On Wednesday, after over five years, I finally set foot inside of a gym again, and no it wasn’t an empty New Year’s resolution that brought me back there. This trip was to accompany a friend shopping around for a gym in which to start a membership, and I must admit a little to see what I’ve been missing too.
Right from the start, based on the almost full parking lot, it was quite obvious that the good ole resolution to exercise more in the new year was already in full effect. I know it’s been a minute since my last visit, but if the dynamics remain the same, and people are still as predictable as they’ve always been, it’s pretty safe to assume a “thinning of the herd” will be coming soon.
I’m guessing we’re all guilty of making resolutions only to wind up breaking them sooner or later. Hopefully by now we have all realized that in order for resolutions to work, they require permanent lifestyle changes and sometimes the best approach is to take baby steps. There are a few changes we can make that are easily achievable, require very little effort, yet are good for us and are worthwhile incorporating into our daily lives if they aren’t already a part of it.
Being More Positive
Believe it or not, this one is easy to do. Instead of seeing the negative side of things, try focusing on the positives. There was a time when I too often used the excuse of being a realist to dwell on the downside of some scenarios. “The odds are against me so I can’t win”, “it’s cloudy outside the day is ruined”, “life’s too good, something will go wrong”, you get the point? Take it from me, we can train our minds to break away from negative thoughts. Try looking in the mirror daily and affirming you’re going to be positive. Be conscious of your thoughts and if negatives pop into your head, and they will, tell yourself to stop it then counter it with a positive. I promise, I’m not being unrealistic it really works, you try it!
Never underestimate the power of a genuine smile. It not only makes you feel better, but so do the people you encounter. You get what you give, and most people respond in kind to a friendly smiling face. Your heart feels better too, and no commitments are needed, all you have to do is turn up the corners of your mouth and smile.
Getting More Sleep
Sleep is good for our mental health. It sharpens our attention span, reduces stress and improves our memory. The more sleep we get the better we are mentally. The average adult needs between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you’re like me this might be hard to do. Sometimes our brains are so wired it’s hard to quiet them down hence sleep sometimes eludes us. It’s sure worth trying though and I’m still working at it.
For me walking is already a lifestyle, I walk at the track, at the park or at home on my treadmill. You don’t have to go to the gym to move more. You could take a hike or simply choose fitting in a stroll around the block, walking instead of driving to the store if that’s an option, or taking the stairs instead of the elevators. These are all excellent ways to get moving. No membership needed, no special scheduling, just simply walking. Go ahead, count those steps to motivate yourself while measuring your accomplishments.
Drinking More Water and Eating More Fruits
Our bodies use water for most of its functions, therefore staying hydrated is probably one of the simplest but best things we can do for our health. Ideally, we should be drinking about half of our body weight in ounces per day. Mine is approximately four bottles of the 16.9 fl oz water bottles. Figure yours out and make an effort to drink at least that every day. In addition, fruits are a healthier alternative to unnatural processed snacks. They are high in vitamins and nutrients and minimize the risk of a variety of health problems. With little effort you can stop at the market and pick up some of your fresh favorites.
So there you have it. These are all changes most of us can easily achieve. No stress, no resolutions, no timelines, no expectations of perfection, just life and a commitment to a healthier way of living it…Sincerely Jan!