Hello my dears! Another Friday is upon us. Raise the roof.
So, we’ve all heard the verse, “Treat your body as a temple,” yes? You might hear that phrase and brush it off – “Yeah yeah, I know,” you think to yourself. But do you really know?
You’ve only got one body – you can’t turn it in for a newer model like you can a phone or a car, so it’s wise to treat it like the precious gift it is! Today I’m sharing five ways that you can, in fact, live out that old adage and elevate your body to temple-like status. None of the things on this list are complicated or unheard of, in fact quite the opposite. They are all very simple. However, no matter how many times you’ve heard about each one, seeing them all together really completes the picture of true health.
I’m no expert, but I am willing to guarantee that the experts would, in fact, tell you that you SHOULD be doing the following!
1. Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat
This is not #1 by accident – your diet is arguably the #1 factor determining how your body feels, functions, and looks. Nourish your body with healthy, whole foods most of the time…and leave some room for special treats that don’t fall into the “wicked healthy” category. We all need these to stay sane and to have fun. But, as I shared on Wednesday, making fruits and veggies, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats the staples of your diet will do your body so much good! You’ll feel energized, clear headed, and strong! And, when you do indulge in things not on that list (my personal faves are nachos, margaritas, and ice cream) you enjoy them all the more!
To keep your body strong and capable of keeping up with life’s busy demands plus working out, you have to view food as fuel to a certain degree. If your tummy is the tank that keeps your body going, you’ve got to be giving it high quality stuff – NOT the processed junk day in day out!
Part of this is developing good habits and part of it is cultivating a balanced mindset about food. Once you’ve got this down, you’ll have yourself a nutrition plan that your body will thrive with.
2. Combine Strength Training AND Cardio into Your Exercise Program
Both of these activities play an integral role in your overall health and fitness. A well balanced exercise program is key! Sure, you might go through phases where you’re more into one than the other, but make sure to incorporate both if you can. Not only will you achieve optimal results on the outside, your bones, heart, and muscles will be strong on the inside.
I’ve said it a million times, plugging away for an hour on the elliptical every day is not what your body needs. It needs you to change it up, to challenge it, to build intensity, to progress, to move fast, to move at a steady state, to push, to pull, to lift…you get the idea, right? Mix it up!
I’d recommend taking a look at your training schedule and analyzing it. What’s missing? What can you incorporate? How can you balance cardio and strength training in your weekly routine?
This compilation of all types of workouts can help you if you need some new ideas!
3. Drink H20
It can be tough, especially in the winter, to drink water (or at least it is for me). Cold temps and cold water don’t quite go together so well. If you’re in the same boat (ha) try to drink some warm lemon water to make it easier!
I’m making drinking water sound quite unappealing, but that’s not the point. The point is to focus on how wonderful it is for you! Water helps with digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients, circulation, body temperature, kidney function…not to mention, it helps control calories and keeps your skin, hair, and nails in amazing condition. Drinking more water is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
Another one that often goes neglected, (guilty) stretching does wonders for your body. The folks at Mayo Clinic say it best:
Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of motion in your joints. Better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and enabling your muscles to work most effectively.
Not only that, but stretching can relax your body and ease your breathing. Breathing = really good for you.
You should warm up before exercise, and then perform a cool down with a stretching sequence to complete your workout. Also, on rest days, try to devote time solely to stretching out!
Do not underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! This is your body’s time to recover. When you sleep, (I almost put, “While you are sleeping…” but that reminded me of that Sandra Bullock movie!) your body is repairing your heart, blood vessels, and brain. I don’t know about you but I’m a big fan of mine and I’d like them to be in the best shape possible!
Guess what? Sleep is also related to hunger! When I don’t get enough sleep, I’m extra ravenous the next day. Why? Because sleeps help keep the hormones that regulate hunger and satiety (the feeling of being full). If you are short on sleep, I bet you can guess which hormone goes up – yup, the one that makes you hungry. My hunger levels are already high enough, thank you. Think I’ll take the help of some shut eye to keep them from going even higher than necessary!
Sleep also affects your insulin and your immune system. Another two key players, wouldn’t you agree?
Catch those zzz’s!
We can be very hard on our bodies – we demand a lot of them – so make sure you’re doing these five things to take care of yourself…today, and long run. If you do, I mean, you’ll pretty much be a walking human temple. 😉
This weekend, I hope you treat your body well and take a moment to appreciate all the amazing things it does for you each day!
Wicked Healthy Wonderings: How much sleep do you get a night? What would be #6 on this list?