So here we are, mid February. The weather, at least in the Northeast, is dreadful. The sunlight is barely making a comeback. And your New Year’s resolutions for a healthier you are starting to slip by the wayside. But don’t be discouraged! Here are a few things that help me get back on track.
Exercise daily! OK, don’t groan, it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’ve always viewed exercise as a chore. But I knew it was an important habit to cultivate. My strategy was to exercise every day, just for 5 minutes to get into a habit. During those 5 minutes, be as focussed as you can be. Give it all you got, even if it’s just about developing coordination. You are worth the time. Being present for yourself on a daily basis is a good foundation. You can walk up and down the stairs, do leg lifts, isometric exercise. Just do something! Once you get more comfortable, add another 5 minutes and then go to your comfort level. Some people have the stamina for 60 minutes workouts, where others can tolerate 20 minutes without then craving sweets because of underlying blood sugar issues. This is something that you are doing for yourself, not to impress anybody. So feel good about what you are doing.
The best time of day is to exercise in the morning before eating. This helps boost your metabolism and burn off the extra fuel your body has stored in the liver. Burning off these calories then prevents them from being stored as body fat. So this small adjustment has a large impact.
Stop late night snacks! Time restricted eating has been shown to have a positive influence on metabolism and many of the biomarkers of health, including blood pressure. This is not a calorie restriction, although you can add that later if/when you are ready. The basics are eating within either an 8-hour or 6-hour time frame. Studies have shown some people even experience improvement of health markers within a 10-hour restriction. The first time I did this, I was so terrified of being hungry. But I got through it by drinking a lot of water and herbal teas, some sweetened with stevia. The hardest part was to let the sensation of hunger just be. The first few days I did it, I found that even after I ate, I still had that sensation so it helped me realize that the sensation of hunger was not quelled by food and I focussed on my goal of being healthy.
Get proper sleep! So many things can distract you from a good night’s sleep. A poor sleeping environment, nervous energy, a racing mind, an uncomfortable bed, and pain. But there are simple things that you can do to help. Turn off the blue light filter on your phone. Better yet, stop screen time about an hour before your head hits the pillow.
Acupuncture can help with muscular skeletal issues, food cravings, and sleeping difficulties. If you are interested in finding out more about how Acupuncture and Holistic Care get assist you reaching your wellness goals, please text or call 570-728-3438. Be well!