There is no doubt that following a regular fitness routine improves muscular, cardiovascular, and bone health, improves sleep quality, reduces stress, can alleviate anxiety and depression, and makes every day activities easier. And I am a firm believer in the “magic” of physical fitness.
But here’s the thing… it HELPS it doesn’t CURE. You can work out daily and still have sleep issues, various health problems, stress, anxiety, or other life difficulties.
I say this because I don’t want anyone to blame exercise or give up on it when it doesn’t solve all of their problems. I’ve had days where I woke up, ate a nutritious breakfast, worked out hard and sweat, hydrated, showered, and after all that self-care inside and out still had a bad day and a bad mood.
So here are a few things to keep in mind as you look to be your healthiest you (beyond working out, which you should do 5-6 days a week).
REST IS PART OF THE PROGRAM
If you workout like crazy, eat only the most nutritious and balanced meals, and then only get 4 hours of sleep, you are doing your body a serious disservice.
Sleep is when your body gets a chance to repair, regenerate, and restore itself after a long day. It’s when your body can do some heavy lifting in regards to processing vitamins and minerals. This is where muscles grow, stress is relieved, and fat is burned.
So don’t forget to schedule sleep like an important appointment for yourself every day. Sure some days you’ll be off the mark, but sleep (and the occasional rest day) should be part of your regular routine.
WATER, WATER, WATER
Ever notice how when you wake up you’re a little bit thirsty? No? Try drinking some water when you first get up and you’ll be surprised how quickly you chug it.
Our bodies are using water constantly and need to be rehydrated often. Struggle to get your water in? Check out these tips on how to make it part of your everyday life.
GOOD NUTRITION GOES A LONG WAY
If you don’t have the right fuel, you’re not going to get very far… in a car, a boat, a plane, or with your body. Not only is food fuel, it can be medicine.
Here are some quick tips about what to have and what to avoid… EAT: fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils… DON’T EAT: foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce (except for quinoa, eat quinoa), foods with lots of added sugars, anything you drink that has calories that you didn’t blend yourself, red or processed meats (none of these will kill you, obviously, just keep them to really small amounts).
SOME DAYS ARE JUST BAD DAYS
Remember that some days you’ll be grumpy, you’ll be tired, your body won’t cooperate, your skin will break out. It happens, even to the healthiest people.
Accept that and don’t give up on the healthy lifestyle because it doesn’t fix everything. Just think of how many more bad days you’d have if you weren’t taking super good care of your body and giving it everything it needs to flourish.
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I'm Amanda K; lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and happiness.