After a likely overindulgent year-end, many of us attempt to rein in our behaviors with lofty, often unreasonable restrictions otherwise known as “resolutions.” Stop that!
The steps to good health and living well are actually… manageable. They may come packaged in unwelcoming terms like “moderation” and “commitment,” but when you dissect the actual method and practice, these steps are pretty easy to do and maintain.
For example, being intentional about your bedtime, which includes establishing a simple routine, will result in not just more time asleep, but better quality sleep. This means your body gets the rest and rejuvenation it needs at night for you to be that much more productive during the day.
Another bandwagon we jump on the first of the New Year are those twin enemies of too much pie, cookies and gravy-based dishes enjoyed over the holidays — clean eating and portion control. Clothes fitting tightly and loss of energy are quick reminders that we need to get our nutrition and exercise back on track.
However, the knee-jerk reaction to severely restrict our food intake and turn up the volume way up on exercise can’t be maintained. It’s an all too stark realization three weeks into the New Year. A diet reset to clean eating and better nutrition focuses our attention on using food as fuel so that we actually feel better as a result of what and how much we put in our mouths.
Exercise can be an important pairing with better nutrition, but unless you’re an athlete training to compete, daily two to three hour workout sessions aren’t necessary. 30 minutes to an hour per day, including walking, cycling and moderate weight lifting can help you trim the fat and sleep better at night.
Eating the right portion (around five ounces per day) of lean meats, a couple cups of veggies, etc. satisfies hunger and gives your body the right amount of fuel to function.
Rounding back to good sleep habits, nutrition also affects your sleep. Reducing the amount of caffeine intake, limiting fatty foods (especially before bed) and hydrating makes it easier for you to maintain good sleep hygiene.
If you must be tied to a “resolution,” resolve to get back on the right path to wellness that makes it easier for you to maintain without beating yourself up physically and mentally.
Web MD: How to Reset Your Sleep Cycle. Stephanie Watson, 10.6.16
Huffington Post: Sleep and Wellness – Hydrate To Prevent Snoring And 5 Other Ways Foods Can Solve Your Sleep Problems. 1/8/17
National Sleep Foundation: Study: Physical Activity Impacts Overall Quality of Sleep.
Every Day Health.com: Getting Portion Size Under Control
Coffee and Health: Caffeine and Sleep.