You've probably heard tons of stories and recommendations on living a healthy lifestyle. There are the smoothie artists, the paleo diet adherents, the workout enthusiasts. Everyone has their own reasons for getting healthy, but the primary motivation for why anyone picks up healthy habits is to feel good.
A new diet or workout routine that is working for you not only makes you stronger, it also increases your blood flow, boosts your daily energy level and can help you feel smarter and more alert as well. As we get older, staying energized becomes something like a puzzle that requires the exact right amount of sleep, daily routine, nutrients at breakfast, and activity over time.
If you want to stay as sharp and energetic in your 40s and 50s as you did in your early days, the key is simply to figure out what your body needs. By trying new things and sticking with what works, you can become more efficient at work, more relaxed at home, and maintain your health for longer than anyone may expect. Here are five daily healthy habits you can start today to stay energized and healthy at the same time.
1. Get Regular Sleep
Staying up for days in a row for most people stops at some point in their twenties and becomes quite uncomfortable in your thirties. However, waking and sleeping whenever you want to isn't actually much better. The human circadian rhythm, or sleep pattern, produces the best sleep when your body knows exactly when you plan to sleep, how long you plan to sleep, and when you will wake up. A bedtime ritual at the same time every night will help you wind down and your mind will relax for a deep and productive sleep.
If you set your alarm for the same time every weekday, many people find that their bodies wake them comfortably and naturally a minute or two beforehand because of the circadian rhythm. For those who like to hit the snooze button, sleeping at regular times will help you be ready to wake after that first planned-for snooze. You can even plan to sleep for fewer hours at first, as long as you make it regular.
2. Stretch Out in the Mornings
Once your body helps you wake up in the morning, you can move the process forward by starting your day with a series of stretches. This doesn't have to be extensive or take very long, as long as you warm up your muscles and get the blood flowing. In fact, it's flowing blood that helps you wake up and energize. Many people start with a hot shower, which serves a similar purpose. You can make the most of your hot shower by stretching out beforehand. You can even go for a full morning workout or a run with the ability to shower afterword, and then continue preparing for work.
3. Eat a Fresh Hot Breakfast
The reason they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day is that it jump-starts your stomach. Many of our neurotransmitters that make up mood and energy are controlled and fueled by the stomach, so if you give it the right fuel, it will give you energy.
Oatmeal, bran muffins, eggs, wheat toast, and peanut butter are all a great place to start. Ideally, you want a lean protein, rough nutritious grains, and fruit juice. It's also advisable that you drink at least one full glass of water to start your day in order to get ahead of the dehydration you experience from sleep. Your body needs to rehydrate after not drinking water for seven to nine hours straight.
This breakfast will give your stomach and digestive system something nutritious and sort of 'chewy' to work on to keep it busy and feeling full until lunch. Keep the grease and sugar relatively low for an enjoyable digestive process and don't go for high calories unless you have a labor-intensive job.
4. Take a Lunch Walk
Most people only get 30 minutes for their 'lunch hour' which isn't enough time to eat lunch, work up a sweat, take a shower, and get back to your desk. However, you should definitely get your blood pumping when you have time in the middle of the day. Rather than simply popping open an instant noodle cup at your desk, take a walk. Head to a nearby sandwich shop, walk to a food truck, or pack a lunch and simply take a brisk walk between departments. The important thing is that you get your legs moving and your heart beating. Once again, the increased blood flow will focus your mind, boost your energy, and make it easier to focus throughout the afternoon. It will incidentally also lower your risk of sedentary conditions like heart disease and blood clots.
5. Work Out Before Supper
Most adults want a hearty supper and a cold chicken salad simply isn't rewarding at the end of a long, hard day at work. However, if you work a desk job like most people, then your body hasn't burned enough energy to justify the calories in a classic supper. One great way to get in your daily workout and enjoy the supper you want to eat is to simply work out like crazy about an hour before you eat.
Hit the gym, run around in the backyard with your dog, or do an hour of calisthenics in your living room. Anything that works up a sweat and gets your heart beating is good. When you've exhausted yourself, take a quick shower and get ready for dinner. By exercising before supper, you make the most of your calories, build muscle, and will have more energy to focus on your evening hobbies.Healthy habits aren't just for working on your physical appearance. It's about feeling good and achieving what you want to with the body you have. The perfect healthy regime will change from person to person just like your taste in food, allergies, and natural body shape. If you want to feel energetic, the best way to do this is with good sleep, regular activity, and a diet that works for your body. For more tips on how to feel great in the morning and keep that feeling going until your head hits the pillow again, contact us today!