Healthy Habits

Are you cleaning out the garage or your closets this Spring, trying to rid yourself of possessions you no longer need? If you love the idea of lightening your load around the house and tossing what’s no longer serving you, consider extending that mindset to your overall personal health.

Spring is a great time to take inventory of our bodies to see what habits are or aren’t working for us. It’s a few months before summer, when our lives start to get really active (and the winter coats come off). Don’t you want to look and feel great, and have more energy? It’s possible with a little concerted effort.

Too often, we wait for signs that something is wrong before we make changes to our fitness routine or diet. But think how you could prevent problems down the line by being a bit more proactive today – adding more movement to each day, making healthier food choices, and creating more time for self-care.

Following are some tips to help you see where you are, and what you could be doing differently.

Use a fitness tracker. Instead of relying on your twice-a-week Zumba class for your overall fitness routine, buy a fitness tracker, or utilize your iPhone’s Health app (which comes downloaded with your phone). See how many steps you are taking per day, as well as how often you are active. This is a great way to know how much you are moving throughout your day.

If you have a desk job, get up and move. Do you have back, shoulder or hip problems? Your workout routine might not be the primary source – it could be that you spend too much time sitting. Instead of staying at your desk or eating out with your co-workers for lunch and breaks, try taking short walks, even if it’s just around the block. Stand up and stretch every hour to get the blood flowing. This will help with those stiff muscles and joints, especially if you sit in a car commuting for long periods of time, or if you work out regularly. You could also try an online fitness service when you get home after work to get in some exercies.

Be more mindful of what you eat. We think we eat healthier than we actually do. The best way to track your food choices is by keeping a diary – whether you like to write everything down in a journal or keep track using a food app on your phone. The point is, see the choices you make - if you might be snacking too much, or making healthy choices during the day but drinking 2 glasses of wine every night, or perhaps you are consuming too much processed food. Be mindful, so you can make some healthy changes.

Don’t skip meals. The same goes for not eating too late in the day. If you find yourself eating lunch at 3:00, or having dinner at 10:00, then you might not be able to optimally sleep or digest your food. Or worse, you might be skipping breakfast or lunch altogether. Instead of skipping meals or eating on erratic schedules, set a timer on your phone and stick to a regimen. When your body knows when to expect food, your metabolism can be more consistent, which means you can keep the pounds off. You also get better sleep.

Spring cleaning your personal health choices is as important as cleaning out those closets, so what are you waiting for?