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If you want to change your health for the long-term, it's going to take more than a few fitness challenges and some trending new exercises named after one beach or another. Instead, you need to build is a lifestyle of health and wellness, sustained by simple but powerful routines and habits.
"When you start to view health and fitness as a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby or 30-day challenge, you develop behaviors that will improve many areas of your life." (blog.nasm.org, How to Make Health and Fitness a Lifestyle)
Changing your health and fitness is as simple as changing the choices you're making right now. Choose the right routines and you'll not only be better equipped to reach your health goals but be able to sustain them for the long-term. Let's take a closer look at what some of those routines are.
When it comes to not only starting your day off right, but taking powerful steps toward a health and wellness lifestyle, few things can compete with taking time to calm your mind, and prepare it to find its calm throughout your day.
The power of making meditation a part of your healthy lifestyle also amplifies your physical exercise routine as well. In fact, the two balance each other very effectively, making each routine more effective and helps you gain sustainable results.
"Combining meditation with regular physical activity can give you several benefits. If done correctly, they can work hand in hand: meditation will help you maximize your performance during exercise and optimize the outcomes. On the other hand, exercising will help you better meditate and reach a calmer state of mind." (declutterthemind.com, Meditation After Exercise (What and Why You Should) — Declutter the Mind)
Being in a calmer state is no guarantee against bad days, hard times, or meeting difficult challenges. Nothing in life can guarantee against any of these things. However, taking the time to develop your mental health and wellbeing can help you shift your perspective when you encounter these events.
"Of course, mental wellbeing does not mean being happy all the time, and it does not mean that you won't experience negative or painful emotions, such as grief, loss, or failure, which are a part of normal life. However, whatever your age, being physically active can help you to lead a mentally healthier life and can improve your wellbeing." (mentalhealth.org.uk, How to Look After Your Mental Health Using Exercise | Mental Health Foundation)
A long-term practice of meditation and focusing on your breath can help you meet any challenge from a calmer position, by focusing on your breathing and understanding how to work with your thoughts and not against them. A regular meditation routine can give you the tools and capability to find your center no matter how big the challenge you're facing.
After you focus on your internal wellbeing, don't slow down your progress, now it's time to get your muscles moving. If you meditate first, you can approach this from a calmer state, but if you approach exercise before meditation, then your meditation can help you gain more results in your cool-down phase. Whichever option you choose, don't skip the physical exercise as part of your daily startup routine.
"Exercise is a cornerstone of health and benefits nearly every system in the body. Many of the benefits are seen immediately, like reduced anxiety, lowered blood pressure, and better sleep. Consistent exercise offers even more long term benefits, including better weight management, stronger bones, and a reduced risk of more than diseases." (sleepfoundation.org, The Connection Between Diet, Exercise, and Sleep | Sleep Foundation)
Your morning exercise doesn't have to be intense or over the top, just get your heart bearing and do something that gets your muscles moving. Movement is essential to good health. And it's a great way to wakeup, and get your mind and body ready for the day ahead.
You've likely heard this said your whole life, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What you put into your body, like what you put into your mind, and what you put your body to the task of accomplishing through exercise, are all vital to your overall health and wellness. This is especially true of your first meal after not eating for a long time (while you slept).
"The choices you make about what you eat and drink matter. They should add up to a balanced, nutritious diet." (aafp.org, Nutrition: How to Make Healthier Food Choices — American Family Physician)
What will you choose to fuel your body with at the start of the day? Are you being mindful and intentional with your choices? Because if you aren't, this may be the one area that's still holding you back from accomplishing your health and fitness goals.
If you want to change your health, change your choices. And if you want to change your choices, change your routines and habits. One thing feeds the other. How you make your choices and what you choose to do are all interconnected, and each of these parts will directly determine whether you reach your health and wellness goals or not.
The routines you establish don't have to be overly complex or complicated. They just have to be something you are willing to do consistently until they become a habit. The more you repeat your efforts and return to them (even after messing up or missing a day) the easier it becomes to do them with little to almost no thought.
The routines shared today are intentionally easy, and left open for your interpretation so you can own them and own their results. Adapt them to your specific needs and where you're at on your wellness journey.
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