▣ Tips for a Change!
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Are you up for the challenge?
Eat Healthy! Skip diets – eat smaller portions instead.
Tip: Try a new (healthy) food this week; for example, sample a vegetable you have never tried. If you like it, you have added something healthy to your eating habits. If you do not like it, at least you tried.
Get a good night’s sleep! People need between six and eight hours of sleep a night. Some may even need more.
Tip: Go to sleep early one night, say before 10pm, and set the alarm for eight hours later. See how you feel the next day.
Stretch! The simple act of stretching releases tension from your body and lactic acids from your muscles. It gets your blood flowing.
Tip: Take a break every hour and stretch. You can stretch while sitting at your desk; for example, raise your arms above your head and reach for the ceiling.
Exercise your Body! Just walk 10,000 steps each day: counting your steps is a fun, easy way to fit regular exercise into your busy schedule. Get a step counting gadget and use it. It may surprise you when you see how few steps you actually walk.
Tip: Park further away from your office and walk to your office building or take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have time for more formal exercise, try yoga, aerobics, tai chi, swimming, or bike riding. Get up and Move!
Exercise your Mind! Your mind needs to be used to keep it sharp and healthy. Just as you exercise your body to keep it fit and healthy, you should exercise your mind.
Tip: Read, take a class and learn something new. If you are a creative person, learn how to waltz; if you are a strict routine/planning person, learn how to square dance. Use your brain’s mathematical function instead of the calculator!
Breathe! Your entire being (YOU!) needs oxygen! From moving blood throughout your body to burning calories, you need oxygen. Without a sufficient supply of oxygen, your body’s health and your mind’s health suffer. The way you sit, the way you walk, the way you handle stress all affect how you breathe and the amount of oxygen that your body gets. Toxins build up in your lungs when you are not getting enough oxygen and this affects your health and well-being.
Tip: Set aside two to five minutes a day to “consciously” breathe. Try this exercise while breathing in and out through your nose: Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take a regular breath, then exhale to a count of eight, now inhale to a count of four, hold for a count of four, and then exhale to a count of eight. Do this three times. When finished, observe the sensations in your entire body.
Meditate! Stress is causing people to gain weight, to become ill, to lose sleep, you name it, stress is probably related to it. Meditation is a proven practice to relieve and release stress and tension from your mind and body.
Tip: Set aside a few minutes each day to meditate. Find a quiet place (no phones please), sit with your eyes closed, do the breathing exercise given above, then imagine yourself in a spring garden or at the beach or on the top of a mountain and just enjoy the quiet and solitude of the scene. Spend a few minutes there and then bring your attention back to the room where you are sitting.
Change a routine! If you want to change your life, change a routine. The simple act of changing a routine rewires your brain, and makes you more aware.
Tip: If you brush your teeth holding your toothbrush with your right hand, change – hold the toothbrush in your left hand and brush your teeth. Or, if you eat the same sandwich everyday for lunch, change to soup every now and again.
Above all, be kind to yourself! When you are judgmental about yourself, your body, mind, and spirit all react. Become conscious of your body language and posture; and be mindful of what you are telling yourself about you. At least once a day, say something kind about yourself to YOU! Try to spend an hour without judging yourself.
Tip: Once a day, look in a mirror and smile at yourself!