Whether one has had a little too much weekend merriment or just spent too many long hours at work, you can go from feeling “blah” to feeling really good in a day. It doesn’t require consuming some magic potion or strenuous workouts. With swimsuit season just around the corner, you can easily implement a few simple habits into your daily routine that can add up to big results.
We have heard over and over that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast will give you the nutrients you need to start your day. If your mornings start off like a day at the races then a little prep the night before can help. Try making oatmeal in your crockpot. You’ll wake up to a hot, heart-healthy breakfast that can be topped off with cinnamon and blueberries. Still have no time to eat? Don’t chug a cup of coffee. Try a veggie juice or green smoothie. Starting off with dark leafy green veggies like kale or spinach and adding some carrots, celery, cucumber, parsley, lime and green apples, you can make a veggie juice that give you a blast of energy that far surpasses the jolt you get from a cup of coffee or caffeinated soft drink. Don’t have a juicer? Fine. A blender works well. Start off with a cup of your favorite plant-based milk like almond or soy add a cup or large handful of kale or spinach, a banana and some frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) and blend for an antioxidant packed portable breakfast. Want to add an extra punch? Throw in a 1/2 cup of frozen edamame (shelled soy beans) for a protein boost and a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds for omega-3s.
Stand Up And Get Out
At work, standing at your desk can help a 250-pound person lose 2,000 calories when working eight hours. Stretching throughout your day also helps keep blood circulating. Eating at your desk might help get a project done, but it doesn’t help your health. Taking a few minutes to step outside and walk around the block will do wonders for your health. Just 15 minutes of sunlight hitting your skin helps produce vitamin D, nature’s happy vitamin. Plus getting in a few steps will help boost your daily exercise requirement.
For lunch have a salad and for dinner try “Meatless Monday” meal. According to Dr. Michael Greger author of “How Not To Die,” laying off the animal products will drastically reduce the likelihood of getting food related diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Staying hydrated is important. We think about it in the summer months, but not so much in winter. In winter, we can easily lose water through breathing — the cold air that evaporates and turns into frost. According to NutritionFacts.org, drinking water is important for cognitive mental health. It was also noted that women should drink four to seven cups of water and men should drink six to 11 cups of water per day.
Going for a walk after work, riding a bicycle, weight training or taking an exercise class are some of the most important things one can do to maintain good muscle tone and stave off osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. The benefits of exercise far outweigh whatever excuse you are telling yourself for why you should not do it. Need another motivator other than swimsuit season? Shorts. Summer is coming and you want to look good in shorts.
Grab Some Me Time
Life can be hectic. The demands of school, work and family can leave you feeling stressed out. Grab some me time by doing some deep breathing exercises — this works wonders if you are stuck in traffic. Once the day has come to a close, opt for a bubble bath or a little meditation to calm you and help prepare you for bed. Dr. Dean Ornish, president and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, as well as Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco helps his patients become empowered by offering different ways to stress management. Through stretching, mediation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation and imagery, Ornish helps his patients take a balanced approach to life.
Go To Bed
According to Dr. Neal Barnard, author of “Power Foods for the Brain,” we need sleep to help reset ourselves. Sleep is vitally important for our brains to function at their optimal level. Setting a consistent bedtime will help bring a routine of calmness into your life and help you get into a matter of restful sleep.
This article was written by Robin D. Everson of Examiner.com for CBS Local.