Daily Practices for a Healthy Life: My Simple Guide
Today, I will outline my short list of daily practices for a healthy life.
Note, I am not perfect and there are days that go by where I don’t implement these practices. And on those days how do I feel? Yip, you guessed right. I feel like absolute crud. That’s why, over the years, I developed a bit of guide for myself when I feel myself falling apart.
You know the feeling? You feel tired, run down, that feeling like you cannot bear to speak one more word lest you lose your voice? This guide is what I return to when I start to feel higher levels of anxiety, frustration and despondency.
Disclaimer: I support and respect all belief systems and do not believe you need to adopt my beliefs in order to have a better life.
That said, I am a Christian. I was baptised in the Catholic faith two years ago following a deep spiritual journey within after becoming a mother. That is a long story for another day! The point is my faith helps guide my choices and gives me solace and refuge in my ever-failing human existence.
Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or an atheist, I believe that having a belief in something greater than yourself, helps you to let go and trust that everything will work out OK. There’s so much more to it than this of course.
Having a daily practice of devoting time to God, the greatest source of all love in the world and all that is good, brings me immense peace and grace for myself. I use this one each day.
Whether you’re a religious or spiritual person or not, this one here is for everyone. Having gratitude changes your mindset by helping you to change the way you look at things. Wayne Dyer once said “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” How true is this?! Think about it, if you choose to see the good in people, even the ones who hurt you, you will feel better and more merciful right? If you see the positive things coming out of bad situations, you sort of feel less attached to the bad things, right? Writing down or noting what you are grateful for in everyday life is essential for my daily practices to a healthy life. If you spend time focusing on all the great things that happen in your day, the is far less room for the negative thoughts to grow and surface.
Almost every single day, I make a big crunchy colourful salad. Yes, I doctor it up with creamy salad dressing, thick chunks of feta cheese and cubes of avocado, but more days than not, I make a big delicious salad with a plethora of healthy veggies. There is something about seeing the vastness of colours, cutting every little piece, tossing it all together, that brings me peace and joy. And not only that but eating plant-faced nutrients has endless health benefits for your body and mind. I wrote more about that here. In short, making a salad is a part of my daily practices to a healthy life.
Last but not least, I exercise as a daily practice for a healthy life. Now, listen closely. I do not over-do it. A long long time ago, I saw exercise as a way to get skinny, burn fat, look more like the women in see in magazines, burn off all the good food I had just eaten. It was a dreaded punishment and all about the push and purge. It was unhealthy and left me feeling terrible about myself and inevitably quitting.
I’m not like that anymore. Exercise is a treat; it is a gift to myself to have fun in my body and to feel better. I don’t do complicated work out guides, I don’t train for marathons or iron mans, I do not hurt myself when I exercise or have to “work myself up mentally” to do it. I look forward to it.
My exercise approach is simple and consistent: I get my heart rate up to 150 – 180 BPM for 20-40 minutes at least 5 days a week. At home I have a treadmill, a yoga mat, two sets of dumb bells and a speaker for my music that could fill a club. Do you need all that too? No. All you need to exercise sufficiently for long lasting health is your body, a space big enough to do a plank and jumping jacks, and a good attitude (good tunes help!). And then you MOVE. Start with 10 jumping jacks (star jumps), do some karate air kicks, hold a plank for seconds, do 10 walking lunges, dance in place for a minute, and repeat. Make your own versions and sequences but the only goal is to move, have fun and break a sweat.
The effects of basic and consistent cardio exercise on your body and mind are indisputable and will leave you feeling better instantly. What are you waiting for?! Stop over-thinking it and creating unachievable goals and go move your body to Beyonce right now. And keep doing it consistently. See your mindset and body and relationship with food completely transform.
There you have it! My simple guide of daily practices for a healthy life.