A Formula for a Healthy Life
Would you like a magic formula for improving your mood, energy, and warding off many diseases and health conditions? Most of us do, but laugh at the simplicity or the likelihood that this is really that important or helpful.
Years ago, I was in the middle of raising children, working full-time, and finishing my doctorate degree. Those years were a blur of activity; full of stress and anxiety. I always felt like I never had my act together. I had commitments galore and demands coming from all directions. It was oddly enough, during that time that I developed some new habits that have stuck with me ever since.
A three pronged system of exercise has kept me mentally functioning during lots of challenging times and has helped me meet the expectations of life to work hard and be productive. You already know that research supports the necessity of exercise. But studies also support the most critical types of exercise we need in order to have the best health benefits.
The first of those is movement that accelerates our heart rate every day. Cardio is the type of activity that makes you perspire and gives your lungs a workout. Your body gains strength and endurance and the thirty minutes recommended each day and can be divided up into 10-15 minute increments. Jumping jacks, jumping rope, dancing, climbing stairs, biking or running, and brisk walking are examples of great cardiac activities.
The second prong of healthy exercise is strength training or weight bearing exercise. That can be as simple as body weight exercises or repetitive weight lifting 2-3 times each week. Lifting your child in various positions or holding weights and doing squats or push-ups can work wonders for this part of the formula. Toning your muscles makes them healthier and this part of your exercise plan will make sure your bones stay strong and healthy.
The third prong of this formula is balance and flexibility. This may sound silly, but this is the easiest to accomplish each day. Standing on one foot (working up to this) while getting ready in the morning or doing planks and stretches while cooking or cleaning your house can make a big difference in how you feel and help you avoid injuries. A stronger ankle and core will do wonders for keeping sprains and muscle tears from derailing your mobility.
Staying active regularly has been a serious mood booster for me. It helps me sleep better and I tend to eat more mindfully after engaging in exercise. I have to plan it in my schedule and set up my week to allow for the healthy movement I need. I run, bike, lift light weights, and do yoga often. Over the years I have only regretted the workouts I have missed. Just imagine how good you can feel with a formula that puts your health in the top priority of your day. I encourage you to design your perfect formula for a healthy life today.