Reshaping your health habits takes time and dedication. Our daily efforts and actions have a tremendous influence on how we feel…about everything! Most of us demand immediate results, but substantial changes take time. Don’t give up on these three!
Meditation: There’s an old Zen saying that goes “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” The first few weeks of meditation can be challenging. Getting your mind to quiet down is not an easy task. The beginning of everyone’s meditation practice is simply sitting, breathing, and releasing the chatter in your head. Nobody sits down in their first week and finds 20 minutes of enlightened silence. It’s completely normal to feel like you’re not getting the benefits right away, but you are. Eventually you will find longer gaps of silence to enjoy. Stick with it for a minimum of 30 days, it has the power to make everything in your life run smoother.
Daily Flexibility Work: Maintaining flexibility as we age is important for a lot of reasons. However many of us don’t have a regular practice in place. People will often let stretching slide out of their routine because the results aren’t as immediate. You don’t really get your heart rate up and you won’t “pump” your muscles like you do when you strength train. You may not even be able to effectively measure improvement. Make no mistake though, stretching even a few minutes a day will allow you to participate in all of your favorite activities, will enhance athletic performance, and is essential in preventing injuries. Find a combination of static and dynamic stretching that works for you. Start with five minutes a day!
Breaking Up with Your Favorite Junk Food: “Well I have to live my life.” “I believe in moderation.” “How bad can it be?” These are phrases used to justify keeping our childhood junk food favorites in the mix. Processed foods high in sugars, refined flours, and chemicals have no place in our diet and are directly linked to every major chronic disease. Chemical and emotional links to these foods are hard to break. Sugar has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine! Ice cream, pretzels and cookies give you a rush of feeling good. Do your best to find healthier alternatives to foods that bring down your health. It may take some time, and some soul searching, but you have the power to break free from foods that damage your health.