For most of us, living and maintaining a healthy life is a top priority. I’ve been in the wellness field since 1998 and have an extensive background as a health professional. From getting my ACE and NASM certification to studying nutrition and holistic wellness to being a mom of a 10-year-old, I’ve discovered that maintaining a healthy life requires multiple pieces working together.
As a Flexologist at StretchLab that works with people seeking to improve their quality of life, I’m constantly asked for advice and tips on living a healthy life. And the reality is, I often find myself struggling with this as well. Most days I have to balance co-parenting schedules, work travel, and giving my daughter enough cuddles in the day. And some days all I want to do is get into my cozy pj’s and binge Netflix.
Thankfully, through my studies in body work and functional health I have gained a skill set that has not only helped me but many of my clients as well. And when it comes to living a healthy life, I’ve found that these 5 simple tips can make the biggest difference!
Staying hydrated can help improve your overall health on a multitude of levels. Just drinking a glass of water can alleviate a headache, help you feel full, and assist your body with its natural cleansing response. Most of us actually struggle with low grade dehydration and don’t even realize it! When our bodies are dehydrated, we start to struggle to run efficiently. We may feel dizzy, fatigued, overheated, and just overall unwell.
The easiest way to stay hydrated is by drinking water. A good way to know how much water you should drink is by taking your weight and dividing it by 2. That is the minimum of how many ounces your body may need a day! Here is an example: If you weighed 120 LBS and divided that by 2 it would give you 60 oz. There are many factors that can affect whether you need more or less water but starting here can set you on the right path!
Another way to ensure you are staying hydrated is eating foods with high water content such as cucumbers and tomatoes. According to Danielle McAvoy MSPH, RD, the Lead Registered dietician for Territory Foods, hydrating foods help lubricate joints and improve flexibility. When our muscles are dehydrated they won't extend and contract the way they are meant to, making it harder for you to move. So if you want to be able to stay active, you need to stay hydrated!
Eat Nutritious Food
Think about your last few meals. Were they the same color day in and day out? Aim for a colorful plate to help ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need! Adding some dark leafy greens at dinner, some berries into your breakfast, and carrots and oranges as a snack can help ensure you’re getting the variety of nutrients your body needs. Make it a goal to have at least 3 different colors for every meal!
Having a nutritious meal on a daily basis can be hard, especially if you have a busy schedule. As a mom that’s constantly on the go, I get it. But as someone that has studied nutrition to help manage chronic health issues for myself and clients, I know it’s essential. But there’s no shame in getting a little help to make sure you’re taking care of your body.
At StretchLab, we’ve partnered with Territory Foods to provide our members nutrient packed meals to help fuel their wellness journey. No one diet is right for everyone, and Territory Foods understands that. Which is why they provide dietitian-designed, regionally prepared meals with fresh, high-quality ingredients. If you’re interested in learning more about Territory Foods, stop by a StretchLab near you!
Take Deep Breaths
Don’t forget that taking care of your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. One of my biggest tips for myself, my child, and anyone I work with is taking 3, long deep breaths. Deep breaths can help us feel grounded and clear headed, which is especially helpful when we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
For those moments when I’m feeling frustrated or anxious, I’ll take 3 deep breaths and even add in a “Ha” as I exhale. This is because the “Ha” helps to stimulate the Vagus nerve which has been shown to provide a positive response for your Parasympathetic Nervous system. This is the area that brings us back into balance when we are dealing with chronic stress or traumatic situations. So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking three 3 deep breaths.
Stretch and Get Stretched
Something as simple as stretching can have a huge impact on your health. Stretching can help increase your range of motion and mobility, giving you the ability to be more active. It also allows the body to feel more at ease, putting it in a relaxed state that can help relieve stress and tension. Stretching a few minutes throughout the day, every day, can make a big difference in how you feel.
To feel the full benefits of stretching, you need to be able to hold a stretch for long enough. And most of us aren’t able to get a deep stretch on our own. This is why getting stretched can be especially beneficial in keeping you healthy! When you come to StretchLab, your Flexologist will not only assist you in holding a stretch, but also help you get a deeper stretch through a PNF technique. Plus, with an assisted stretch a highly trained professional will be able to notice the areas that need more attention whether it’s better range of motion or an imbalance in your flexibility.
Every day our studios help members move better and maintain an active lifestyle. If you haven’t gotten stretched yet, I recommend checking out a StretchLab near you!
Stress can have a lot of negative effects on your health. In addition to impacting your mental wellbeing, it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, cause muscle tension, and even digestion problems. Being able to calm down your body and mind is crucial for your health which is why meditation can be a helpful tool.
Meditation allows us to refocus and ground ourselves. And when we are grounded, our heart rate can lessen, putting less stress on your vital organs. Meditation can look different for different people. For myself, some days it’s just sitting by a river. Other days it involves more guided practice. I’ve found our X+ app to be highly beneficial because I can choose a gentle stretch that allows me practice my breathing and helps me ground myself.
I love being able to bring my knowledge in yoga and holistic wellness to our StretchLab members and help them find a few moments in their day to just let go. Not only are we helping them move better and stay active, but we’re also helping them achieve a relaxed state that can allow their body to feel its best.
Kickstart Your Healthy Living
Ready to start living a healthier life? Try out these 5 tips! Making these simple changes to your day-to-day life can have a big impact. And the nice thing is, you don’t have to do this on your own. You can do all 5 of these healthy actions from StretchLab. Whether you want to work towards a fitness goal or just want to feel healthier, your Flexologist will work with you to help you reach your goal. Check out your local StretchLab today to get started!