This New Year, take a holistic approach to your health and make being healthy fun and not a chore. Remember SpringSpot’s Pillars of Holistic Health: F.R.A.M.E.S. Try these tips to develop long-lasting healthy habits and bring more calm and joy in your home:
Food & Earth: Think before you eat. Do you find yourself eating while doing something else? Watching something on TV, scrolling through your feed on your phone, or working at your computer? Doing so can actually affect how well you digest your food. Distractions like browsing the web on your computer screen can activate your sympathetic nervous system, which switches on fight or flight mode, which can stop digestion completely. Leaving your food improperly digested. Also remember that every bite is not created equal. Treat your body like the temple that it is and be purposeful about what you put into your body and what you're doing while you eat. Being more mindful while you eat will make mealtimes more enjoyable and give you some recovery time, read more below.
Rest & Recovery: Let recovery be your rockstar. Stress seems to be inevitable in our lives and we're often trying to reduce it. Though one helpful thing to remember is that Stress + Recovery = Growth. Stress in the right doses can actually lead to growth - getting ready for a presentation or important sales call or playing a game or match against an opponent can help you get better when you overcome that stress. The problem is if you have chronic stress without recovery, you get the opposite of growth, which is decay. So this year, balance stress with more recovery. For your weekly workouts, incorporate an Active Recovery routine. For bedtime, try leaving your phone in another room when you sleep. Even if you put your cell phone or other devices into silent mode, having them in the bedroom creates the temptation to look at them if you wake up during the night, potentially thwarting your ability to fall back asleep.
Art & Creation: Let the music play. Did you know that listening to music activates several areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, memory, and emotion? That's why music can make us feel happy, nostalgic, or even sad. Studies have shown that listening to calming music can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which can lead to a reduction in anxiety. Try listening to classical or relaxing music at the end of the day or check out the this "Calming Classical" playlist on Spotify. Need a pick me up? Try playing some nostalgic music which can be a quick mood booster.
Movement & Exercise: Get serious about strength training. Did you know that your muscle mass actually decreases by about 3 to 8 percent per decade after 30, with decline accelerating after 60? Twenty years of research have shown that resistance training can prevent and even reverse the loss of muscle mass, power and strength that people typically experience as they age. Resistance training improves your muscle strength and tone, and can protect your joints from injury. In the SpringSpot Total Body Strength class, in addition to resistance training, we also work on flexibility and balance, which can help you remain independent as you age. Resistance training will increase your bone density and strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Get on a resistance training program now and you and your kids will be glad you did.
Emotions: Find opportunities to express your feelings. On any given day, you can experience a roller coaster of emotions, often without time to process them. Sometimes you adapt on the spot or are so busy running around getting kids where they need to be that just sitting and silence feels like a luxury. Try journaling once a week, or daily, so you get practice writing down what happened during the day. Journaling can benefit your emotional wellness. This helps you build more self-awareness of your emotions. If you have trouble sleeping, this can actually help "unload" the thoughts from your brain which may be keeping you up. You can start by just writing down what happened during the day - type it up or write using pen and paper. The added benefit of journaling is that it allows you to reflect and look back - maybe even write down your kids milestones and the days they happened. Bring a smile to your face and use a new way to capture moments other than just with photos or videos.
Community & Connection: Carve out time to talk. After a full day of work, taking care of the kids, running errands, or just interacting with the world, the last thing you may want to do is sit down and just talk about your day with someone else. Though finding that time to communicate on a daily basis with your spouse or loved one can strengthen your relationship together. It can be hard at the end of the day when you feel tired, but this practice of talking and listening, is hugely beneficial. It allows you to share anecdotes or stories that the other didn't know about, plan ahead, or just reflect together. All it takes is 10-15 minutes and can be after the kids are asleep, or after dinner. Just start talking about your day and you'll start to reap the benefits!
Try these six ways to jumpstart your new year and get the SpringSpot mobile app (on iOS and Android) to start building healthy habits today.