Can we just sit down for a moment and talk about how quickly the beginning of the new year is going? Holy cow. Time needs to slow down for this mama, I'm not ready for graduation to be upon us so soon.
I mentioned a few weeks ago about my teaming up with a handful of other Iowa bloggers for the Live Healthy Iowa wellness challenge. It's my third year participating, representing the Iowa Food and Family Project's team and it's something I always enjoy. If you live here in Iowa, I'm sure you might have heard of this ten week challenge. It's really a fun way to kick off the new year and have a friendly competition while getting a little bit healthier.
Are you one that made some goals or resolutions in the new year? If you're like most Americans, then maybe you've already long forgotten about those and fell off the wagon a bit. Or maybe you're still cruising along, crushing them each week. I hope so!
It's easy to get overwhelmed when trying to create a healthier lifestyle. Everyone wants to overhaul their life in one day. And then they wonder why they get frustrated and quit. Begin by taking small steps, little changes at a time and then build upon those each week. Today I want to share with you five simple things you can be doing to really drastically improve your own health. No, you don't need to implement all of them right away. Maybe you already do most of these and then, I applaud you. Keep going!
1. Move your body most days of the week: Exercise, it's that simple. Maybe that means attending a group fitness class or joining a gym. At home fitness might work best for you. Walks in the evening with the family. Doing a few squats and push-ups when you have five spare minutes. Whatever you can fit into your schedule, just do it. You'll feel better and have more energy when you do.
2. Add at least one serving of vegetables and fruits to your meal plan each day: No, it's really not a lot in comparison to what you should be eating each day. But, it's a start. And it might be the only fresh produce that some get. Start slow and then build upon that each week. There's bound to be at least one veggie and fruit that you like.
3. Drink your water! You should be aiming to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, then you should be drinking at least 70 ounces of water every day. And I'm going to say that's water only. I'm not counting coffee, tea or other beverages in that amount. Water is really the cheapest way for you to improve your health and even lose weight. It helps to keep you hydrated of course, flushes out toxins in your body, regulates your digestion and improves the quality of your skin.
4. Practice a little self-care: This will look different for everyone. Think about what you love to do, and simply do more of it. Give yourself some time to read before bedtime. Take an afternoon nap. Relax in the bathtub with some Epsom salts. Little things like that. Take care of yourself so you can be at your very best for your family and those around you.
5. Get enough sleep each night: I realize everyone is in different seasons in their lives. But it's so important to your health to be getting a good amount of sleep. Have you ever paid attention to your eating habits when you're really tired? You end up craving more junk and not making very good food choices. If you're exercising, sleep is important so that your muscles can rest and recover. Plus we are able to function better in our day when we've had an adequate amount of rest.
These are really not rocket science or anything new. I know you've heard them all. Hopefully they are things you are practicing on most days, but I also know there's always room for improvement. We should strive to be a little bit better each day!
Being apart of the 10-week challenge, these are really things that we're all working on right now. As team members we are all working together to cheer each other on as we document our daily activity minutes, weight loss and just overall physical wellness. My team sponsor, Iowa Food and Family Project has so graciously offered to give three of my readers each a $10 gift certificate towards any fresh beef or pork purchase of their choice!
I'm going to make this super simple for you to enter: simply leave me a comment below and let me know which healthy task you are going to work on executing in your own life? I can't wait to read all of your responses! I will leave the giveaway open until Sunday, March 4th. At that time I will draw three winners at random and notify them of their winnings.
Lastly, a big thank you to Iowa Food and Family for sponsoring our team again this year and also for the pork and beef certificates. I truly appreciate the opportunity to gift these to my readers!