Every year in the run-up to Christmas we are hit with a marketing frenzy from all angles, through every avenue, all devices, any time of the day. We are bombarded with messages to indulge, celebrate, spend, eat, drink; you deserve it, you’ve worked hard all year, now is your time!
And no sooner is the turkey carved when we start to hear the whispers creeping in . . . overindulged? Feeling bloated? Need to get in shape? Want a better body for the summer? Feeling guilty yet?
This is marketing. Statistics say that I will be subjected to more marketing in one day than my great granny was in her entire lifetime! That’s a lot of influence in my life. It’s up to us to manage the message and what we do with it. Remember that no one can tell you how you feel, what your body needs, or how to get it. Only you can read your own mind, your own body, and your own health. Listen carefully; you’ll hear exactly what you need.
Now with the festivities behind us and the overindulgences in the past, many of us have tried some new year’s resolutions, feeling that we need to take control of our life and our health. Maybe dry January, possibly a 10-day juice detox, signing up for the gym or a health programme. There’s no shortage of options being thrown at us, trying to take advantage of the guilt that’s been laid on us.
I also imagine there are some or many of us who have fallen off the wagon so to speak, failed in our big audacious new year’s health goals. When we try something and we don’t succeed, we take a hit to our confidence. We are then reluctant to try again.
Here’s an idea to try now that we are over the new year’s resolutions. Each week make one or two small changes that will improve your wellness. When I say wellness, I mean it in a whole-body-and-mind sense, we need to look after both to be at our best. Implement these small changes each day and as you do you will build confidence. Applied consistently, they will build new habits. These new habits will build new behaviours and, come next Christmas, you will have tools in place to enjoy whatever life puts before you without a knock to your health and your wellness. The changes you make are really up to you. Make sure that they fit your lifestyle; you probably can’t plan to have a run every morning if you also have a 90-minute commute. Have a look at your lifestyle and see where you can fit in some small healthy changes.
One of the greatest and easiest steps towards improving your health and wellness is to drink more water. Hydration is key to optimum physical and mental performance. When you’re adequately hydrated, all the systems in your body will work more effectively, you’ll have more energy, sleep better, and notice healthier hair and skin—just some of the many benefits. Start out with increasing your water intake, working up to having 2.5 litres of water a day. For some that might sound like a huge quantity, but you can increase how much you drink over time until you reach 2.5 litres and you’ll reap the benefits.
Some of ways I make sure I get my 2.5 litres a day include having a 750ml water bottle by my bed. I make sure that I have this gone before I leave the house in the morning. You could start with a smaller bottle if you’re not used to drinking water. Then I’ll make sure I have 750ml before lunch and 750ml after. Combined with the water I have during lunch, dinner etc, I easily make up the 2.5 litres. If I am working out I’ll have more. Tea and herbal teas can count towards your water intake but not coffee as it has diuretic properties.
Another big change you can make and implement a little more each week is a commitment to move more. By introducing a little more movement each day, you’ll breathe new life into your body and mind. I’m not talking killer gym sessions, marathon training, or triathlons—unless these are something you want to try. All you need to do to make a change is a little more than you did previously. If you drive to work, get a walk in at lunch, park a little further from the office, walk to people when you can rather than email or instant message. Just keep finding ways to move. Using a step tracker is a great way to implement this. There are so many ways you can start moving more: walk, run, dance with your kids, dance on your own, play in the garden, bring the dog for a walk, take a new fitness class, get up and get active!
When you make small changes each day, week, month, you will build up to new long-lasting, sustainable, healthy habits. Making only two small changes a week is 104 changes in a year, imagine the difference that will make to your health, your energy, your life.
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