Refuel and Hydrate for Optimal Exercise
To stay healthy and get the most out of your workouts, your body needs fuel and fluids before, during, and after your sweat session.
• Hydrate with water and fuel up with healthy carbs up to two hours before working out.
• Take small, frequent sips of water during your workout.
• Refuel after your workout with lean protein, healthy carbs, and plenty of water.
Make Time for Activity
Getting more fit can be as simple as adding at least 22 minutes of activity to each day. Carving out time isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
• Break it up into 10- to 15-minute segments at times that are convenient for you.
• Go for a brisk walk during your lunch break.
• Take the stairs as often as possible for an extra boost.
Get the Whole Family Moving
Adding exercise is easier when it’s a shared activity. Bring your family with you for more accountability, time together, and fun.
• Dance your way to fitness with a parents’ night out or a fun family dance party.
• Put away the screens and take a walk in your local park.
Unleash your inner child with fun games such as chase, tag, and kid-friendly obstacle courses.
Recover Quicker with a Cool-Down
Cooling down after a workout can help your body reset so you can avoid dizziness, reduce lactic acid buildup, and recover a little bit easier.
• Gradually reduce your heart rate by walking for about 5 minutes.
• When your muscles are still warm is the best time to stretch.
• Breathing deeply during your cool-down can also help you relax.
Along with eating smart and being active, real health also includes getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness, managing stress, keeping mind and body fit, connecting socially, and more.
Rest and Relaxation for the Win
Relaxation is a skill that can be developed. You can take a class to learn new techniques or practice on your own, but the most important thing is to keep it up.
• Practice deep breathing techniques throughout the day by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth slowly and deliberately.
• Pick up a meditative hobby like walking, painting, gardening, or birdwatching.
• Take up tai chi, qi gong, yoga, or guided meditation meditation with an instructor to develop your technique.
Take It Slow
When you’re feeling anxious, stressed out, or angry, take a step back to gather your thoughts and look at the situation objectively.
• In high-anxiety situations, give yourself some space—take a walk and come back later when tensions subside.
• When you’re feeling angry or upset with someone, count to ten and take a few deep breaths before you react.
• Take preventive measures to avoid stress, like leaving a few minutes earlier to avoid being late.
Losing Weight and Keeping It Off
• Long-term weight loss and maintenance is all about lifestyle and making healthier choices regularly.
• Losing weight is a simple equation: Eat fewer calories than you burn, and you’ll see a difference over time.
• Focus on portion control and eating healthy while increasing calories burned with regular activity such as walking.
• Don’t fall into the trap of “cheat days.” For long-term results, develop a pattern of healthy eating and indulge sensibly on occasion.
Kick Stress to the Curb
How much stress you have in your life as well as how you react to it can play an important role in your overall well-being. Keep stress at bay with positive coping techniques.
• Focus on healthy outlets for your stress, such as taking a walk, journaling, volunteering, or taking up a hobby.
• Add regular exercise and mediation to your routine to help you stay more relaxed under pressure.
• Be sure to get enough sleep and take everything one step at a time, especially when you feel rushed or overworked.
Make Self-Care a Priority
• Too often we put our own needs aside to get things done for family, work, and other responsibilities. To be your best you, it’s important to add a healthy dose of self-care.
• Add calming activities to your day, such as lunchtime walks and yoga, to rejuvenate and refresh.
• Take time out for you; use your vacation days, whether it’s to go on a big trip or just hang out at home for a staycation.
• Don’t overlook your emotional and mental health; get help if you need it to manage stress, anxiety, depression, or grief.
Sleep Your Way to Whole Body Health
• Sleep could be the key to unlocking a healthier you. Amount and quality of sleep can influence your eating habits, mood, memory, and more.
• Proper rest allows you to recharge your batteries, so that you’re less likely to crave sugary, fatty foods that provide quick energy.
• How much rest you need is personal, but many people require seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.
• Be more active, limit caffeine (especially before bed), and establish a bedtime routine to get on track to better sleep.