Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep nightly.
Fact is, your body is at its optimal state when you’re well rested. Food is more easily digested, nutrients are better absorbed, your immune system is stronger and stress levels are reduced. This translates to more energy, the need for less caffeine, healthier food cravings, and deeper mental clarity–which means better decisions.
What you eat and your overall lifestyle can affect your sleep. If you’ve been playing games with your sleep and need some ideas on how to reset it, check out my post about reclaiming your sleep.
2. Drink a glass of hot water with lemon juice and mineral salt.
After hopefully a solid 7-8 hours of sleep, the first thing you're body will need is hydration. The easiest way is to take about 8 oz of hot or warm water add about a half of a lemon’s juice and 1/4 of a teaspoon of himalayan or celtic sea salt. What you’ve got here is a natural electrolyte beverage that will rehydrate you and rev up your digestive system. This is helpful to increase your metabolism especially if you’re like me and aren’t always the hungriest first thing in the morning.
3. Move in some way between 3-4 times per week.
Whether it’s running, spinning, dance classes, swimming, weight training, yoga, or basketball, pick one form or as I personally enjoy, a mix of movement modalities to keep you healthy throughout your week. I know life can get crazy, but take some time try new workouts and set your life up around staying active. This might mean scheduling your workouts in advance, meal prepping, making an effort to get to bed earlier. Moving 3-4 times weekly has been proven to increase your metabolism, reduce stress levels, increase energy, improve brain activity and much more.
Start slowly by committing to two workouts and every two weeks add another day until you’re working out as much as you’ve set out to. Be patient with yourself and steer towards rest when deciding whether or not to exercise while sick, it oftentimes ends up making things worse because you’re causing added stress on an already weaken immune system. Bottom line, treat your workouts like your work meetings and start off slow and steady as you working towards your wellness goals.
4. Balanced servings of protein, carbohydrates, and fats at each meal.
The best thing you could do for yourself to improve your health is to find out how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat your individual body needs to function optimally. How you ask? Plug your height, weight, and your activities to a food dairy site like myftinesspal.com or cronometer.com and it will tell you exactly how many grams of each macronutrient you’ll need to be your best self. Now this method won’t support you if you’ve got anything out of the ordinary going on with your digestive system, so I suggest scheduling an appointment with a functional nutritionist (shameless plug) if that’s you.
5. Take a food-based multivitamin
Odds are you’re not getting all of the micronutrients your body needs through food, so adding a multivitamin to your daily routine could help balance out some of your body’s nutrient stores. This can help boost energy, strengthen your immune system, improve sleep and lower stress levels. While I would suggest getting a basic metabolic panel test completed to identify which nutrients you’re actually deficient in to experience real results, supplements can be a great starting point. In addition to supplements, continue to add foods that are high in the nutrients you need.
6. Start a gratitude journal.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning while you drink your warm water and lemon juice or right before bed, take some time to focus in and write down a few things you are grateful for in your life. It’s often easier to focus on temporary issues plaguing us rather then the deep and meaningful, but often overlooked staples in our lives. Access to food, a warm and clean bed, family, friends, and community are all things we sometimes overlook, but can shape our mindsets for the better.