For those of us who now fall into the "Over 40" category, and aspire to maintain our health and continue to enjoy our active lifestyles, paying attention to what we're eating, how we're spending our time, and when we are (or aren't) getting enough sleep becomes forefront in our minds; We privately count our hug quotas, our veggie and protein consumption, our steps. These daily counts become our metric rituals and result in a gold star or a demerit for the day. While most would agree that there is a healthy balance between obsessing and ignoring our health, the fact remains, it will eventually creep up and bite us in the behind if we don't practice healthy habits today. From a financial perspective, we can pay a little more for it now or pay a lot more down the road.
But, who has time to filter through all of the helpful advice from friends and the multitude of health-related books, podcasts, and featured news articles? Fortunately, I have the opportunity to focus attention on it during this season of my life but understand that not everyone does. And, often hidden among the pebbles in the river of continuously flowing information, there lies the truly valuable nuggets of information that often go unnoticed. Lost in waves of overwhelming amounts of information that slam into us daily, we can overlook the basic fundamentals that are essential to maintaining our health.
While some of my life-long friends seem bent on insisting that I have some gene mutation that keeps me from being effected by over-consumption, I assure you, I am only human. And today, I'm taking advantage of this time I have to weed through the fields of facts and find those blossoms that will keep my mind, body and spirit ever-growing and applying them sooner than later.
1. INVEST IN THE SQUATTY POTTY - Laugh at me now, thank me later!
2. RELEARN HOW TO SQUAT - In only a month of conscientious squatting, I've reduced weight in and toned and strengthened my lower body. We bend over more frequently than we realize and each time is an opportunity to squat and tone muscle in your abs, gluts and legs. I found the information and pictures in "Diastasis Recti - The Whole- Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation by Katy Bowman" to be a great resource for proactive care. You can find more information by listening to Chris Kresser's Revolution Health Radio podcast "The Keys to Longevity with Dr. Peter Attia" or take my word for it!
3. YOGA - Want to try Yoga for free, with a fun guide, in the privacy of your own home, when it's convenient for you? Give Yoga with Adriene a try! Go to YouTube videos to find Adriene's yoga videos for everyone from beginners to advanced yogis. The videos vary in length. You can squeeze in a practice in under 20 minutes or spend a bit more time when you've got it.
4. GET YOUR GREENS - Thank goodness for the green smoothie! Before the first quarter of 2016, I've already adopted making green smoothies daily and graduated to a Vitamix Pro 750. I didn't inherit my dad's love of dark leafy greens but have, over the past few months, likely consumed more of them than I have in the past 40+ years combined. I Just had to find what works for me. I hope you make it a point to find what works for you.
5. INTENTIONAL BREATHING - As silly as it may sound, if you're feeling stressed, wanting to get the best workout, or preparing to give a speech, juice up on the big O and you'll be ready to go! Deliberately, loudly, consciously. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
6. READ, LEARN, GROW & SHARE - I realized recently that my daughter and I do this often: We'll be in the car, me driving, her describing a book that she's been reading for a school assignment. I've always enjoyed this. Just listening to her tell me the story. I know it benefits her because she's sharing it with me and it benefits me because the stories are typically books that don't find their way onto my list on their own. This has gone on for years, yet it wasn't until recently while listening to her describe the book "Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children", that I decided I wanted to read the book myself and I was going to make it a priority. The book was a quick read and it's been a lot of fun recounting the story with her again and again. In fact, we're both now reading "Hollow City, The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children" and plan to find others to share.
7. LISTEN TO MUSIC - It will relax you, excite you, remind you and stimulate your brain.