Traditionally, January is all about making those aspirational new year resolutions. While I have done endless resolutions in the past, I can say with confidence that the majority of those resolutions have never really stuck past this month (could just be me, but I have a feeling I am not alone here).
This year I am not making a resolution, but rather I am focusing on how to improve my life and well-being with simple adjustments that can really have a big impact. My goals for this year don't revolve around weight loss or reinventing myself, but rather to simply feel my best every day. So for today's post, I wanted to share with you what modifications I will be implementing this year in attempt to be my healthiest self.
In addition to my beautiful bar cart, I also received a Fitbit for Christmas this year (*Fun Fact- Fitbit was the #1 most downloaded app on Christmas Day 2015). I am an avid runner and had always thought it would be interesting to see how many steps I was taking daily. Of course in addition to steps, I thought it might be rewarding to know how many calories all of my athletic efforts were burning. Now that I have been wearing the Fitbit for about a month, I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the reasons why I have become a fitbit devotee.
I have ended up finding the most value in the awareness it raised towards my inactivity in the office. Since I started wearing the fit bit over the holiday break, I was seeing large step number totals each day (which was fabulous). It wasn't until my first day back at the office that I received a very rude awakening. On average, I take about 5,000 less steps per day when I am in the office at work, than when I am at home. I was horrified by this reality. Immediately I decided to do something about this deficiency and have now made it part of my daily routine to go on some sort of a walk during my lunch break. This not only helps to improve my step count for the day, get my blood flowing and fresh air circulating throughout my lungs, but it also reenergizes me to get back to work post lunch. The Fitbit is offered in various models with an assortment of features and all varieties do the most important job--counting your daily steps!
Drinking water is an essential part of staying healthy, which makes sense when you consider the fact that the human body is predominantly water based. Water helps to keep your skin looking hydrated and youthful. It also promotes digestion and can even be the root cause of rumbly stomachs that are often mistaken for hunger cravings. The general rule of thumb here is drink half of your body weight in ounces of water as a daily minimum. So a 100lb person should be drinking a minimum of 50 ounces of water daily. For those of you who are wondering if flat or sparkling makes a difference in hitting that daily minimum--it does not. Water is water! So if you prefer to drink a Perrier over a glass of still water, you can still put those ounces towards your total consumption for the day.
There are so many vitamins and supplements on the market promising various benefits. I have been sucked into following various supplement regiments over the years that were expensive, time consuming and honestly, I am not even sure if they really provided any major benefit to my health. After speaking with my primary care physician and conducting a fair amount of independent research, I am all about keeping it simple and sticking to just taking a daily multivitamin. I am a relatively young and healthy person with a balanced diet, so there is no need for me to be overloading on supplements. Taking one Multi-Vitamin daily (Centrum or One A Day - Men or Women) is reasonable, achievable and really all I need in terms of additional nutrition to my usual diet to keep healthy.
Getting between 7-8 hours of sleep each night is critical for your health, mind, skin and overall happiness. Like so many, my weeks are jam-packed with work and other activities so it is beyond important to make this a priority. A few tips to set yourself up for success when it comes to achieving an ideal amount of sleep on a nightly basis:
- Cut off caffeine by 3pm in the afternoon
- Start your bedtime routine an hour before you actually want to fall asleep
- Make sure your bed is comfortable (pillows, blankets, etc.)
- Turn off electronics - computers and cell phones are stimulants that will keep you up.
Not only should you wear sunscreen daily (yes, every day of the year), but it's also important to find a sunscreen that contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These two ingredients on their own have reflective properties, so when combined they for an ideally protective pairing to keep you protected against harmful UVA rays. In addition, these two ingredients are chemical free meaning they are great for use on kids and people with sensitive skin (like myself). I am actually a huge fan of using Mustela Sun Range Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ (yes, it's for babies but also happens to do a heck of a great job on my adult skin). Another great option that you can find at most drug stores is CeraVe.
So far so good with my implementation of these healthier lifestyle tips. I am optimistic that I will be able to keep up these new lifestyle practices and hope that maybe I have given you a few ideas for how to improve your own well-being. If you have any helpful tips or suggestions with regards to healthy living that I failed to cover in today's post, leave a comment or send me an email. I always love to hear from you all!