If you’re like me, setting the
clocks forward an hour means more than just an extra hour of daylight. It signals
the light at the end of the tunnel for winter weather and more opportunities to
exercise outdoors. Regardless of how crazy the weather has been this winter,
paying attention to your health is important year round.
If the winter has gotten you off track or other family priorities have trumped your wellness plan, Spring brings about an opportunity to get back in the groove. I always find it helpful to ground myself in four cornerstones of health to back on track and propel me into a healthy mindset.
Of course, consult your physician if you’d like to talk about these tips and any others to get your weight management plan on track.
Cornerstone #1: Properly Hydrate
Latest studies recommend you take in approximately half your body weight in fluid ounces daily. Dehydration masks itself as headaches, poor elimination, muscle soreness and fatigue, dry skin and mouth.
Tip: Stay hydrated by splitting your day into three-hour increments. If it’s helpful, set a reminder on your phone or email calendar and plan to drink at each point in the day. Water is best but if it’s too boring try flavored water, tea or even soda. All drinks hydrate, even those with caffeine.
Cornerstone # 2: Get Some Rest
Your body looks to restore and recharge itself when you sleep. Getting enough sleep daily is also a key to managing stress. A minimum of six hours of sleep daily is recommended.
Tip: Plan your sleep schedule, until it becomes more routine. For example, if you need to wake at 6am, you need to be sleep no later than 11pm, which means you will probably need to start your resting routine about 10pm. A routine is a really healthful habit to develop.
Cornerstone # 3: Exercise…Plain and Simple
I can't say enough about this one. Movement is so important for every part of your health. Your exercise routines should include stretching, strength training and cardio. The latest studies recommend exercising 4 to 5 days a week for at least 30 to 45 minutes each.
Tip: Make your exercise appointment with yourself a non-negotiable priority. Exercising in the beginning of the day is preferable if you can make it work. You give a real boost to your metabolism for several hours afterward and get a great endorphin release. A great way to start your day!!!
Cornerstone # 4: Keep Your Portions in Check
If you are drinking your water (see proper hydration) this will be a "piece of cake." Water is a natural appetite suppressant, it actually helps you maintain portion control. But more important, think small when you can. Opt for smaller portions, smaller plates and don’t feel like you have to clean the whole plate at every meal.
Tip: Prepare ahead and set up your plate with half of what you would normally eat. Chew your food slowly, wait a few minutes and if you are still hungry get more vegetables.
About the Author:
Norma Rixter is a Fitness expert, Certified Nutritionist and Health and Wellness Coach in Oak Park, Ill and is a Consultant to food and beverage companies including Coca-Cola. Her views and opinions are her own.”