Written by: Caroline Hodges, PTA, Ortho & Pelvic Floor Therapist at The Green Room PT
Soon we will be wishing you a Happy New Year!
A new day, a new week, a new year, a new opportunity to transform your health! Here are five resolutions that are crucial to personal health and wellness to increase your quality of life and longevity.
1. Make time for self-care
Do you have a hectic, demanding life and others who depend on you, so you have a difficult time justifying addressing your own needs? You are able to better serve others when you’re the best version of yourself. Find things that bring you joy and make it a priority to incorporate them into your life whether it’s on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Daily examples: dance to or sing along to music you love, meditation, taking a walk. Weekly examples: reading a new book or magazine, writing affirmations or self-reflections, drawing or creating something new to express your artistic side. Monthly examples: try a new restaurant, catch up with a friend (virtual or in person), attend a healthcare or cosmetic appointment to address your needs i.e. a haircut, massage, teeth cleaning, etc.
2. Move your body
Everyone has demands in life that make it easy to excuse lack fo exercise- I get it! BUT, try to work 10-15 minutes in the morning and evening into your schedule to start and end the day with healthy movement. This could be gentle mobility, body weight exercises, or more structured resistance training. You don’t need any equipment beyond your body to exercise. If you have access to group exercise classes, a gym membership, or training buddy, that’s excellent. If not, that’s okay! You can still get active without fancy memberships. The key is to find something you enjoy and can complete the most consistently. Start small, then slowly build into a sustainable routine.
3. Drink more water WITH electrolytes
I know you’ve heard over and over, “Drink more water. Drink more water.” How often are people telling you to drink more electrolytes? Proper hydration is essential to full body wellness, but hydration comes from more than simply H2O. Excessive drinking water alone dilutes the electrolyte levels in your cells and won’t solve your dehydration symptoms, like muscle cramps, headaches, and fatigue. Adding electrolytes to your water often makes drinking more enticing, thereby increasing your consumption and overall hydration. This could be in a liquid or powder form that you buy at the store or simply with things you already have in your pantry like salt, lemon, cucumber, or other fruit and veggie infusions. Coconut water and bone broth (protein bonus!) are also excellent sources on their own. If you choose to opt for a liquid or powder supplement, avoid blends that are high in added sugar or artificial sweeteners as they spike insulin and damage the gut microbiome.
4. Prioritize sleep
This is another widely disputed area that people report is not feasible or realistic. Who has the time to sleep? You may think there are too many things that need tending to or chronic pain that disrupts sleep, so it seems impossible. Research has repeatedly proven that people who chronically sleep less than 6 hours each night report lower levels of happiness/life satisfaction, are at high risk for developing systemic disease through weakened immunity, and reduced lifespan- our bodies need sleep to heal and recover! If you want to be present years down the road for friends and family, you MUST care for yourself now. You MUST invest in your health. Our bodies are incredible, but they cannot sustain degrading habits long term.
5. Eat whole foods
This is possibly the most debated and difficult for modern people and families to adopt. In the fast-paced society we live in, food on the go or pre-prepared options may seem like the only option. While our bodies are absolutely incredible and literally designed to sort out toxins and non-nutritive substances, they cannot work magic when they’re not fed the necessary fuel. It’s the same as using tap water in a steam mop or iron --> the device can operate temporarily, but the gunk builds and eventually breaks down the system until it can no longer do its job. We’ve been conditioned to crave processed foods complete with saturated fats and sugar so everything else seems to taste unsatisfying, but it’s what our bodies need to thrive! This transition will take time and doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be relatively consistent. The diet itself may look different from person to person, but the end goal of consuming a balance of healthy fats, complete protein, and complex carbohydrates is vital. You could exercise 8 days/week and not truly be healthy if you aren’t properly fueling your body, so shift the perspective to see investing in your food as essential preventative care. Whole food is our most powerful form of natural medicine!
If you replace “i” with “we” you transform illness to wellness. We are here to support you on your individualized health journey and want you to know that YOU are worth investing in.
I leave you with this powerful quote that we at The Green Room live by:
“If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”