Sometimes we find taking care of ourselves more complicated than it needs to be. As a coach, I encourage clients to take baby steps every day to improve their overall health and well-being. It is the little choices we make every day that, overtime reap results and significant health benefits.
No need for excuses, these baby steps are doable. Make yourself and your health a top priority in the midst of your busy life.
Drink 8 – 10 glasses of Water
1. Baby Step: Trade out 1 drink per day with water.
The benefits of water can’t be over-rated:
Water gives you more energy by hydrating your cells.
Water helps you to loose weight by acting as an appetite suppressant that helps you fill up and eat less.
Water flushes out fat cells and increases your body’s rate of burning fat.
Researchers have discovered that hydrating improves your mood and ability to think clearly.
When you wake up, you are dehydrated. Simply drinking two glasses of water first thing in the morning will benefit your body and get you off to a healthy start.
2. Simply Stretch
Baby Step: Simply role out your joints or stretch at your desk. Try to touch your toes or stretch as you do a task.
As we get older, we tend to lose flexibility that makes us prone to injury and muscle stiffness. Incorporating stretching as a part of our daily routine has many benefits.
A few benefits of stretching:
Provides mental release and relaxation.
Increases your blood flow.
Relieves muscle tension and provides greater range of movement.
Enhances posture by strengthening the muscles that support the back.
Rolling out the joints in your feet, hands, wrist, hips, neck, and raising your shoulders to your ears and releasing can feel great and relieve tension during the day.
Touching your toes and returning to standing 3 times in a row can help you avoid pulling your back muscles when you reach or bend over to do daily work and tasks.
Start your day off with some light stretches like these (click here – total body stretch – flexibility exercises),
3. Take a Walk
Baby Step: One time this week, invite your friend, spouse, or co-worker to go for a walk. Take a mini break during the day and walk for 10 minutes.
Walking is the easiest way to get moving and it’s free.
A few benefits of walking:
Walking can clear your head, is good for your body and overall fitness.
It improves blood flow and your cardiovascular health.
Walking as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 40 percent.
It raises your heart rate and endorphins – as a result it improves you mood and has been proven to lower cholesterol.
Walking in nature has been proven to help with managing stress.
You can use the time to listen to a podcast, music or talk to a friend.
Rather than meeting someone for coffee, invite this person to go for a walk. Trade watching TV for walking and talking with your spouse or child. Park your car further away from your destination. Take 5-minute mini-walks two or three times a day.
4. Take time to relax
Baby Step: Take some time this week to breathe, journal, play music, pray, meditate, or read a mindless book or magazine—whatever works for you.
The benefits of relaxing are numerous:
Relaxation counteracts the effects of stress.
Some argue that stress is our biggest health concern – it increases our risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks. We need to relax for our heart’s benefit.
Relaxing boosts your memory.
Lowers your stroke and breast cancer risk.
Stress has been found to increase breakouts. Relaxation eases acne.
Protects you from depression and helps with not overeating.
Relaxation replenishes your energy resources.
We all need to make the time to chill everyday. We need to cut ourselves some slack. There is so much we are expected to do that sometimes we just need to relax. Mindfully relaxing means that we intentionally slow down and create the space to do something that nourishes and refills us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
5. Foster Friendships
Baby Step: Call a friend or choose to do one small act of kindness for someone else today.
Friendships are good for your health. Happier and healthier people invest in relationships with other supportive people. They share the good times and support each other during the bad times.
Here are a few benefits of fostering meaningful friendships:
Social connections can lower stress and increase your mental and emotional health.
Bonding can increase your feelings of belonging and purpose.
Friendships can improve your resiliency, mood and self-esteem.
According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch, social connections improve your health as much as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking.
Social connections reduce the risk of depression and prevent loneliness.
Improves your self-confidence and longevity.
Scientists have found that social connections relieve stress, boast the immune system and release stress-reducing hormones.
Carving out time to foster friends takes effort and commitment. The quality of your friendships is more important than the quantity. Be intentional to spend time with those you care about the most and engage in activities that you enjoy. Schedule regular social activities with positive and upbeat friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers. Your investment will be well worth the benefits.
Today, keep it simple. Choose one thing that you can do to improve your overall health and well-being—whether it be drinking an extra glass of water, taking the time to stretch, walk, chill, or connecting with a friend. You will not only improve your health, you will be happier and more confident as a result.
Questions: What tips can you share that have made a difference in for your well-being? Please share them with us here!