Are you confused about diet and exercise?
I love reading books about fitness and nutrition. I follow many dietitians, doctors and trainers. If a new book or program is being released, I want to know every detail. While I find the science of exercise and nutrition to be fascinating, it is equally frustrating. Each book released contradicts the one before it. Each training fad can be replaced with a new style or technique before you’ve even mastered the last one.
One day it’s all about protein, the next day it might kill you. One minute you’re supposed to eat and lift like a caveman, the next you should be training like a ballerina and avoiding nightshade vegetables.
With all of the controversy surrounding the wellness industry, I want to help you ease some anxiety with my favorite fitness rules that stand the test of time, without disagreement. These are wellness tips that you can count on:
1) Eat Slower
Chewing is the first step in healthy digestion. Chew your food thoroughly and take your time when eating. A tip that stuck with me from Deepak Chopra was to wait until your current bite reaches your stomach before taking the next bite. I’m certainly guilty of bringing the next forkful to my mouth while I’ve still got half a mouthful. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, so savor it. If you don’t have time to chew your food, then you’re better off making a smoothie or sipping broth.
2) Moving is better than not moving
We can all agree that being sedentary does not contribute to creating strength, muscle tone, heart health, or brain health. While rest plays an important role in fitness, you’ve got to move and move often in order to benefit from a solid rest day. Use it or lose it. The movement that will work best for you is the movement you’re willing to do most consistently.
3) No SSB’s
It’s all over my dentist’s office and I preach it to my kids daily. SSB stands for sugar sweetened beverage. They’ll rot your teeth and add empty, sugary, nutrient void calories to your diet. This includes soft drinks, sugary juices, and sports drinks. Even artificially sweetened drinks are hazardous to your health. My kids’ pediatrician tell them at every visit, “If it tastes sweet, don’t drink it”. On the flip side, drinking plenty of clean water is a healthy habit the world can agree on. You don’t need to flood your system, but staying well hydrated with clean water and avoiding sugary beverages can help you keep your waistline down and your enamel strong. Few will argue with that logic.
4) Catch your Zzz’s
Sleep is solid gold. It’s debatable what the perfect amount is, but quality rest is certainly good for your brain, metabolism, adrenal system and so much more. If you think your too busy to prioritize sleep…then it’s time to make some cuts elsewhere. Deciding you’re too busy to sleep is like saying you don’t have time to put gas in your car because you have too far to drive. You’re going to find yourself on empty at the worst possible time. Stop trying to fit a duffle bag of stuff into a tiny clutch handbag. You’ve got to prioritize and reorganize. You will be amazed at how much for efficient and effective you are when you’re well rested.
5) Think/Know You Can
Negative self talk or a permanent chip on your shoulder is bad for your health.
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.-Henry Ford
Whatever your goals may be, fitness related or otherwise, having a positive attitude and self image will allow you the confidence to keep going. People who repeat positive mantras or focus on what they are grateful for often practice better self care, have more energy and are less likely to suffer from depression.
Become your own scientist:
I’ve been the guinea pig for many fitness programs and diets. I love jumping in with a deep commitment to follow a program 100% for the sake of research. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Because of that, I’m always happy to share my honest opinion about other plans with you. Of course, we are all unique beings and your experience may be different than mine. Sometimes there is more than one right answer. I encourage you to journal your daily habits and how you’re feeling. This will help you connect the dots and become more aware of what works best for you. As always, reach out to me with any questions. If you’re really overwhelmed with where to begin or what might help you get on the right track, start with those 5 things listed above. They don’t require extra time or resources from you. They’ve held credibility without controversy.
As always, share your thoughts with me. I love hearing from you!