5 Healthy Habits You Absolutely Shouldn't Skimp-Out On
You’re back from vacation, school is in session, and it’s time to transition out of the sweet, lazier days of summer and into productive days centered on hitting your goals.
Optimal health and maximum energy couldn’t be any more welcome.
While you may have certain healthy habits down pat — like clean eating, regular workouts, meditation and no glowing screens before bedtime — it always helps to boost your wellness routine, especially in simple ways that you can easily integrate into your life.
Now is the perfect time to start your journey towards a healthier you. As you ramp up your health and fitness goals be sure not to overlook these important healthy habits that will take your approach to overall wellness to exciting new heights.
1. Stretching in the morning.
Just like our canine pals do downward dog after a period of sleep, it’s important to take a few minutes to fully stretch out in the morning. While it may be your first instinct to read your emails or check Instagram, a few minutes of stretching will boost your blood circulation, improve range of motion in your joints and increase muscle flexibility. While awakening your body through spinal twists, and shoulder, back, hip, hamstring, and quad stretches, you can also use the time to set your intentions or goals for the day.
2. Drinking enough water.
Even though drinking pure water is essentially "Health 101," it can be one of the toughest habits to nail down, especially with artisanal coffees, vitamin waters, sodas, energy drinks and happy hour cocktails all vying for your interest. Nothing, though, outdoes the benefits of water, which makes up 55 to 60 percent of our bodies. To stay hydrated and maintain youthful, radiant skin, find an insulated water bottle that you find aesthetically awesome—make it second nature to bring your bottle with you everywhere, including work, the gym and your car. If water’s never been your drink of choice, infuse it with fresh orange slices, frozen strawberries or even herbs like basil for flavorful flair.
3. Checking the ingredients in your personal care and household products.
Being aware of we put into our bodies and consciously eating whole, organic, nutrient-dense foods is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle. What’s commonly overlooked though, are the products that we’re constantly spraying, scrubbing and slathering onto and around our bodies. Each day, your skin absorbs 60 percent of what you put on it, including soap, shampoo, shaving cream, perfume, makeup and sunscreen.
Your largest organ is also exposed to the products you use to keep your house clean and scum-free. Some of these items contain potentially harmful ingredients like methylparabens, triclosan, FD&C color and pigments, and phthalates. To avoid breathing and absorbing toxic chemicals, get acquainted with these health villains and create a habit of checking out the ingredient list on products, just as you would for your food items.
4. Adding variety to your fitness routine.
We all have a workout that actually gets us out of bed in the mornings, something that we look forward to, and something that we tell all our friends about — maybe it’s spinning, maybe it’s pumping metal, maybe it’s yoga. And maybe it makes up the bulk of your fitness routine. While it’s spectacular to find an activity or sport that you love doing, it’s also beneficial for your body and your spirit to mix up your workout schedule. If you’re an avid “CrossFitter,” take a spin class. If you’re a “Soul Cycler,” try a kickboxing class. By getting out of your fitness comfort zone, you can challenge your muscles, push yourself in a different area and maybe find another fitness passion.
5. Foam rolling and getting deep tissue massages.
While it may sound like unnecessary self-pampering, getting a deep tissue massage or releasing muscle tension with a foam roller works wonders for your body. In using a foam roller you can reduce aches and pains, decrease muscle soreness, prevent injury and give your muscles the desired release, especially before and after you work out.
Foam rolling works by simulating a deep tissue massage by working out the tension in your hard working muscles and providing a release for the outer sack of your muscles, also known as the fascia. A deep tissue massage has similar benefits and can promote healthy blood pressure, heal injured muscles and reduce pain-causing inflammation. In fact, The University of Maryland Medical Center has stated that a deep-tissue massage can be more beneficial and affordable than conventional medical treatments for those looking to reduce chronic pain.
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