Feeling healthy has always been important to me however I will be the first person to declare that I've fallen off the wagon from time to time (you've all had hangovers, be honest, whether from too many tacos or too many margaritas). Another birthday has recently come and gone and I have to say, it's not getting harder to stay fit and feel healthy like some people say. For me it's always taken work (AHA! that's probably why the word 'work' is in the word "workout') to feel my strongest, fittest, healthiest, good-est. But now I have experience under my belt, I know what works for me. It's almost like being my healthiest most badass self is getting easier because I know what to do. Why am I telling you this? To encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your health and not-so-healthy past and write down when you felt good and why and vice versa. Consider lifestyle, food, sleep, fitness, jobs, relationships, etc. All of these things are factors in our well-being and it's important to know what makes you feel great and what doesn't. This is probably a really great activity for Sunday, so ink some self-reflection time into your weekend calendar and get ready to discover what makes you feel great and settle into your new 'best self' routine.
Oh - and here are some great tips from some of the fittest ladies in my life to get you started!
1. Drink a cup of warm lemon water every morning.
Make this the first thing you do, before your coffee (I know, I know how can anything come before coffee?!) and before your first meal. It's hydrating, aids in digestion, and cleanses the system just to name a few. Oh, and Jennifer Aniston does it and she's People Magazine's 2016 World's Most Beautiful Woman, need I say more?! For more perks of hot lemon water in the morning read 20 Incredible Things That Happen When Adding Warm Lemon Water to Your Morning Routine.
2. Stay fed throughout the day.
I am notorious for this. I get busy doing something and forget to eat until the 'hanger' hits. Then I shovel food in my mouth and enter into a food coma that is just as useless as being hangry. Doesn't matter if the food is healthy or not, my body just can't cope. Fit babes ensure they are satiated all day long. Snack on food that makes you feel good. Veggies are your best friend so find a way to love them. (Try drizzled olive oil & a bit of feta on sliced tomatoes, grain toast w/avocado, olive oil, lemon, and sea salt, almonds, sliced peppers, or celery w/natural peanut butter & dried cranberries.
3. Mix up your exercise routine.
Your body can adapt to exercise. Think of it this way, if you practice something you get better at it, it becomes easier. Same goes for your workouts. muscle memory starts to kick in and the movements you used to do to see results might not work as well anymore. The good news is this means you get to spice up your weekly fitness routine with a variety of workouts. Think about mixing in cardio sessions, HIIT workouts, yoga, barre, and a must - strength training. I recently did a 4 week training program with Maven and I saw noticeable changes - mostly because I added strength training to my fitness regime and there were a mixture of workouts every week!
4. Drink lots of water.
This is might seem a like a no-brainer but track how much water you drink for one week and you might be surprised. One trick I use to ensure I'm drinking enough water is having a fancy water bottle in hand all day. S'well has heaps of fun designs annnnnd it keeps water cold for hours and hours.
5. Get enough sleep.
Our bodies and minds need rest to recover. You might think you can run on just a few hours of sleep a night but maybe for one week try getting a solid 8 hours a night, see if you feel any different. For me 8.5 hours of sleep is my magic number, if I get enough sleep I feel like a million bucks, if I don't I'm dragging ass either physically or mentally the entire day. Sure I can fake it with coffee but is that good for me? No. Power off your electronics 30 minutes earlier than normal and hit the hay with a good book. Maybe end your evenings with 10 minutes of meditation or 20 minutes of yoga that gets you nice and ready for bed. Chances are if you're changing your sleeping habits you'll need to adjust the things you do before heading to bed slightly to accommodate an earlier bed time.
Annnnnd bonus tip - look good, feel good. It's always fun to style your activewear and you feel like a boss when you hit class ;)
photo cred: Women's Health, Maven, Classy Mommy, Well + Good, healthyceleb.com