At the beginning of the new year we all looked forward to a fresh start and initiating some healthy habits. But 2020 has not been a good year for anybody. COVID, hurricanes, closing of stores and restaurants, loss of jobs. All of this has put enormous pressure and stress on each of us. What are we supposed to do? How can we make it day to day?
Here are several things you can do to make you feel better, have more energy, and have a better outlook on life:
Exercise. If you do not have a current exercise routine, you need to start one. Walking is one of the easiest ways to start an exercise routine. Start with a short distance and each week walk a little further. In hot weather it is better to walk inside. All of our WK Fitness Center locations have treadmills for that. Our north location also has a walking track on the second floor. Each week try to increase your walking distance. Try to walk 30 to 45 minutes at least three to five days each week.
Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can result in your feeling lethargic, grumpy, and tired. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Try winding down from your day with relaxing behaviors before bedtime, such as a soothing bath or reading a book.
Eat nutritious foods. Your body needs whole, nutritious foods to keep you going so you can function at your best every day. Julie Hartley, our dietitian, can help you with a meal plan so you can reach your nutritional goals.
Stop smoking. Don't smoke? That's great! But if you do, smoking is one of the worst habits affecting your health. The smoke from cigarettes is extremely harmful and increases your risk of health conditions such as lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes. If you need help to stop smoking, call our north location and ask about our Smoking Cessation Program.
Drink plenty of water. This is especially important when it is so hot and humid. You need to drink water throughout the day and even when you are not thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before eating supper can make you feel full so you won't overeat.
Visit with family, friends, and neighbors - even if it is on a Zoom meeting or FaceTime. It's important to keep interacting with people, and even more so if you live alone.
Read a daily devotional or motivational book. Sit quietly for five to ten minutes. Good thoughts lead to good health. Positive thinkers are able to deal with problems more easily and start looking for other solutions. Positive thinking helps you better cope with stress, which decreases the damaging health effects that stress can have on your body.
Take a yoga or Pilates class. This helps you clear your mind, relax, relieve some stress, and stay flexible. Look at our schedule of classes on our website (www.wkfitness.com) and find the time and day of the week that will fit your schedule.
If you are working from home, work your "normal work hours" and try to stay in your normal work routine. Get up, eat your breakfast, take your shower, and get dressed. Try to have your temporary work space clean and organized. Work in a separate room where you can close the door if needed and separate yourself from your family life during your work hours. Take your lunch break at your normal time.
Sit outside early in the morning right before the sun comes up and close your eyes. Listen to see if you hear any birds chirping, listen to the sound of your sprinkler spraying the water across your yard, or think about what positive things you can do today to help yourself or someone else.
With each day that passes, we are all getting closer to what we remember as normal. But with the addition of exercising, eating healthy, meditating, and thinking positive thoughts, we can make each day a little more enjoyable.