By: Sheila Olson creator of Fit Sheila
Exercising has amazing effects on the health of your mind and body, improving overall wellness while boosting your energy so you can accomplish your daily goals. Any self-care plan should include fitness, but a fitness routine should also include self-care. Self-care is important for rounding out your workouts with a more holistic focus on your general health. From improving your diet to getting more Zzz’s, here are some ways to boost your self-care game today.
1. Don’t Forget to Relax
Although it may seem impossible to find time for relaxation in a busy schedule, rest is just as important as exercise when it comes to supporting your mental health. Calming activities will re-energize your brain and keep you focused, helping you tackle problems in work and life. By reducing stress, a relaxation regimen can make it easier for you to get quality sleep at night and find the motivation to work out during the day. Pick a few relaxing activities that you enjoy such as meditation, yoga or reading and carve out at least 10 minutes of your day for this.
2. Eat a Colorful and Balanced Diet
According to Verywell Fit, nutrition is the most important part of fitness. Many studies support this idea, suggesting that the nutrients in healthy foods help reduce inflammation, repair muscles and burn fat more effectively. Some fitness superfoods include oats, eggs, leafy greens and lean meats. However, you should try to eat a wide variety of healthy foods throughout the day so you can be sure you are giving your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs. For example, broccoli is rich in calcium for bone health while beans are high in fiber for supporting your digestive system. A fresh food delivery service can help you maintain a healthy diet by aiding your portion control efforts and ensuring healthy options are always within reach. These services introduce new types of foods to keep you from getting bored as well, so you’re less likely to fall for unhealthy snacks.
3. Make Sleep a Priority
If you have trouble sleeping or feel tired through the day, your exercise schedule might be to blame. Many fitness fanatics cut their sleep short to fit in an early morning workout. Others take advantage of late evenings to go on a run, stimulating the body and preventing sleepiness. This is a problem because sleep plays a key role in our mental and physical health. It gives our muscles time to recover, our brains time to recharge and bodies time to build up energy for the following day. If you like to work out before bed, stick to low-intensity activities like yoga or Pilates. If you like to wake up early to hit the gym, go to bed at least an hour earlier in the evenings. Sticking to consistent sleep habits and creating a comfortable sleep environment will boost the quality of your sleep as well.
4. Be Mindful While Working Out
Mindfulness isn’t just for meditation or yoga. In fact, The Chopra Center recommends employing mindfulness practice during any type of exercise. While you work out, try to focus on how your body is feeling rather than just tuning out. This will help you prevent injury while you exercise but also receive greater motivation through the rewarding feelings that exercise elicits. Pay careful attention to your posture and form while working out so you can protect your muscles and joints. It can be helpful to use your breath as an anchor to keep you focused on the present moment when your mind wants to wander. If a negative emotion or thought comes to mind, acknowledge it and let it pass instead of becoming attached.
As you start to implement these self-care strategies into your fitness routine, you’ll develop some amazing healthy habits that will soon become part of a wellness lifestyle. Finding health and happiness shouldn’t feel like a constant uphill battle. Reduce body fat, boost confidence and improve your mental health all at once simply by treating your body with care.