Preventative wellness is your own regular assessment of the health of your body and wellbeing. With daily habits, you can ensure your mind and body are maintained. Stretching, strengthening, hydration, and monitoring nutrients are the key steps. By checking in regularly, you can understand what your body’s unique normal is, and notice when something is out of the ordinary.
Stretching For Preventative Wellness
After laying in bed all night, stretching can make all the difference between a good day and a bad one. The American Heart Association has an entire section dedicated to the importance and benefits of flexibility exercise or stretching. Movement will help increase your blood flow and revitalize your body. Ease yourself into your new stretch routine as you learn to listen to your body. With time, you can decrease aches and pains, and even improve posture.
Once you place your feet on the ground, your stretching routine begins. When you’re creating a new routine, this could mean simply rotating your ankles a few times, or stretching out your legs. Or you might want to do some forward folds, arm stretches, or downward dogs. Always be gentle with yourself and take the time to understand how you are feeling.
Moving With Your Breath
An important key to remember is to move with your breath. Do a forward bend and hold it for a full, luxurious breath, then exhale. Stretch, bend, and explore while savoring five or more wonderful breaths.
Strengthening For Preventative Wellness
To transition from stretching to strengthening, move into core stabilizing, lower body and upper body strengthening exercises.
Basic exercises like push-ups work well. For the more advanced, try shoulder touches in between every 5 push-ups. When you’re just beginning, you can do push-ups on the wall or yoga style.
For a yoga-style stretch, starting with chaturanga is great. It strengthens the arms, shoulders, abdomen, and back muscles. Feeling optimistic? Try incorporating some squats throughout your day! It may sound insane, but doing 20 squats after you use the toilet – not recommended to do while on it – will allow you to increase your number of squats throughout the day.
Want to get away from the traditional squats? Do sumo squats! These emphasize inner thigh abductors in addition to the glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves. You have a wider stance with your toes turned in at a 45-degree angle. This is only slightly different from the traditional squat.
Stretching and strengthening in the morning provides you 5-10 minutes of pure bliss in your own silence. Afterward, you will feel that much clearer and more prepared.
Make Hydrating Fun
Hydrating with water is essential! We all like a nice glass of juice, hot coffee, lemonade, tea, maybe some wine in the evening, but we must balance that out with water. Some of us may underestimate the importance of just hydrating with good old H2O when we first wake up. No worries if that is too plain jane for you! Try adding a lemon or lime to it for some added zest.
There currently is no evidence that supports the notion of drinking water on an empty stomach in the morning reaping added benefits. What is suggested is drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Health authorities do recommend 8 8-ounce glasses daily. So yes “Sasster”, the bathroom might be your new best friend throughout the day while you’re “killing it” with those goals. Trust me, I am not a fan of being a “pee pot” either, but hydration provides so many benefits, you may want to rethink your relationship with the bathroom.
Hydrate Consistently For Preventative Wellness
You are less likely to be dehydrated if you start your morning with water and keep up with your intake during the day to reach that goal. And we all need to stay hydrated and healthy. If you run out of water, boil the water from your sink, it beats drinking juices or soda all day (although a few times a week won’t hurt 😊).
Monitoring Nutrients For Preventative Wellness
No matter where you are in your physical health & nourishment journey, stay mindful that your body needs balance! Most importantly, always ensure you get the nutrients your body deserves. Even small activities like little chores around the house will get your metabolic rate up. Give yourself healthy alternatives to cravings, and let yourself eat as many as you need to keep full and away from foods that won’t serve you.
Mindful eating has very basic steps to make the process efficient. You should pay attention to what you feel you want or need, the way your body feels not only before but after eating, and what thoughts you prioritize to eat.
Give Yourself Options
Everyone should prioritize the benefits of vegetables, amino acids, and snacking when our options may be limited during self-quarantine. Dig out those frozen fruits and make a smoothie, cocktail, or porridge. Grab those frozen vegetables and give them some attention with a seasoning or sauce, or some good ol’ salt and pepper!
Seek out beans and pair them with some basmati rice or quinoa. Combine either with veggies for a power-packed bowl. You can try this with or without meat. For easy snacking, grab a handful of sunflower seeds or roasted almonds to put in a napkin or as toppings on top of your salad (lettuce or meat-like tuna or chicken salad).
With mindful eating, less sugar and caffeine also improve functionality so more water, tea, and fruits for balance and energy! Oh, and yes you may have a cheat day or weekend.
Understanding our body’s unique normal is essential in our daily routine! Keep checking in with daily measures to maintain it by stretching, strengthening, hydration, and monitoring nutrients.