Sometimes when people think of being healthy they automatically feel tired, negative about past failed attempts or unsure of where to start. The thought of being healthy can be overwhelming. But it’s important to realise that being healthy is not a destination, it’s a constant journey.
There are health icons out there, particularly showcased on sites like Instagram, that come across as being perfect pictures of health. But the reality is that they too are only human, and I’m sure that they also have days where they aren’t active and they order pizza for dinner. They just don’t show that side of them as much.
No one is perfect 24/7 365 days of the year. What matters though, is constantly trying your best to make healthful choices more often than not. The best attitude to health you can have is trying each day to implement little actions or swaps that contribute to a healthier lifestyle than you would have otherwise. So here we have come up with 5 tips to implement into your day-to-day life that promote a happier and healthier way of living.
1. Do something active… like yoga! Moving your body in a way that honors how you’re feeling that day is a great way to create more energy, feel more positive, increase productivity and improve overall health and fitness. It’s beneficial both physically and mentally. Make sure it’s something you enjoy doing, not something that feels like a chore. And it doesn’t have to be complicated either. You could simply park a block away from work and walk a little further. Or ride a bike if you can. Which also saves you money on petrol. Win win!
2. Eat more whole foods. Organic vegetables and fruits are ideal as you know they haven’t bee altered from their natural state and they are nutritious. Fruits like bananas and mandarins are perfect to take with you as a snack as they have natural packaging, so just grab and go. If you’re cooking dinner and are feeling super hungry, chop up some crunchy veggies like carrots and celery and snack on them instead of things like chips.
3. Wake up a few minutes earlier in the morning to save frantically rushing and starting the day off stressed. Use the extra time to make yourself a nice breakfast. Take a hot drink and go sit outside in the fresh air and do nothing but relax in quiet and cherish the moment before you start your day.
4. Sprinkle kindness around like fairy dust! If there are people in your life who you struggle with, make a point of giving them a smile and say something nice to them. Even better, do someone a small favour without expecting anything in return. Brightening other people’s day and being kind always makes you feel good.
5. Drink more water. Your whole body will thank you, especially your skin! Aim for at least 2L per day. But there’s no need to guzzle it all at once and make yourself feel sick. Just sip on water throughout the day. For instance, before making a coffee, while you wait for the kettle to boil fill up your cup with water and drink that and then go ahead to finish making your coffee. If you go to a restaurant for a meal, instead of ordering a drink save your money and health and simply ask for table water. Drink a glass of water while making dinner, before you eat. That will help you to eat less as well, if portion size is something you struggle with.
So, being healthy need not be daunting! Simply incorporate a few healthy actions into each day and that will be a great start. At the studio each week we will be writing up healthy habit ideas on the wall to encourage this.
Expanding on tip #1, you may have the questions of “is yoga enough to keep me fit? Can I just do yoga or do I need to do something else in addition?” According to a study done at the University of California in the US, over 8 weeks the participants noted an increase in muscular strength by 31% and in muscular endurance by 57%, an increase in flexibility by 188%, and VO2max by 7% (which doesn’t usually improve before 15-20 weeks). So take from that what you will. But it is said that if your yoga practice is done for over an hour at least twice a week and includes standing postures, balancing postures, inversions, sun salutations and other vinyasa sequences as well as pranayama and meditation, then you will absolutely see an increase in fitness! For a more in depth analysis read the full article about yoga and fitness at http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/is-yoga-enough-to-keep-you-fit/.
So each day try to incorporate at least 1 of our tips and see how much better you feel. Stay healthy lovely yogis!
Love from the Kaizen yoga team.