Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Active…But how?
First off, I wanted to wish everyone a happy and healthy stay-cation. We are all restricted by these social distancing laws but that doesn’t mean we have to feel restricted. Stay Home-Stay Healthy-Stay Active…But how? It’s all about perspective. You could be on a stay-cation or you could be stuck at home. Just the sound of it makes all the difference. Your perspective builds your world so if you have a negative outlook, you will find all the obstacles and challenges during this time so find your positivity and see the opportunities. Recently my husband and I decided to tackle the home improvement projects we have pushed off since becoming home-owners. Helping my children with their online school has been a blessing- to be a part of my preteen's life because during this age, time moves so fast and kids just want to grow and be with their friends. I got my eldest sons back, to help him or NOT help him with his schoolwork has been amazing. Witnessing him be self-driven makes me proud every step of the way. I’ve had the time to observe my young man in action and to see the fruits of my labor pay off and it feels amazing. Not only spending quality time with my entire family but I’ve also been working on my business and marketing plan. There is so much to do. At the end of this blog, I will make a list.
Now to the content, you thought I would never get there, but I haven’t been around many people, so I miss you guys.
Staying home can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. I’m seeing all over my social network feed. Constant trips to the refrigerator, endless snacking all day, vegging out watching the news, or even the Tiger King, not working out because the gyms are closed and eventually pain in the body and the mind because this is a pain-sedentary cycle. And maybe you are not all the way to one side of the sedentary spectrum, but here are some tips for not getting stuck in that cycle from home and how to stay active and healthy, mind-body-and soul.
Create a schedule: Write down your activities by the hour or even better half an hour. It may seem time-consuming but it’s really not when you get into the grove of scheduling. Whether you work or not (and more important the more tasks you do have) it’s important to reflect on how you are spending your time. It’s like a food journal, most people truly do not know how bad they are eating until they write it down. So, write it down. I have an awesome journal that doubles as my scheduler.
Family: meals, reading, activity, bedtime stories, walks with fur babies
Work: ex. Calls with clients, go to meetings, blogging (different for all)
Self: scheduling time for yourself may seem silly but in the next few steps you will see why it is important because if you don’t pencil time in for yourself, you will either give it away to other tasks or possibly continue to veg out on the couch while snacking???
Living space: cleaning, organizing, and home improvement.
Create Your Workspace: Workplace ergonomics is so important because the way you position yourself throughout the day and how many positional breaks you take can have long term effects on your body, positive or negative. So here are the minimum steps you can do to keep your body healthy:
90-90-90: Rule of thumb, try to have a 90-degree angle in your hips, knees, and ankles when sitting. See picture 1. If the knees are higher than the hips, increase the height of your chair. If your knees are too low, like myself with short-girl problems, I like to put books or a yoga block under my feet so it creates that 90- degree angle and I don’t have my blood flow just pulling towards my feet which can create pain, swelling and other circulatory or nerve problems.
Computer at eye level and in front of your neutral gaze. What does this mean, when your head is neutral it’s almost as if you were having a staring contest right in front of you, not looking up or down, right or left, this is where your computer should be. Sometimes workstations have computers off to the left or right, just lie they are positioned too high or low and having your neck in the same position all day for how many days is just not healthy. The discs between your vertebrae in your spine will migrate in a certain direction and most likely impinge a nerve which causes radiating pain down the arms and back.
Create a movement timer: Ideally every 20 minutes you should change your positions. (If you want to try a fun experiment, sit on one of your hands throughout the rest of this blog and just become aware of the changes.) When you keep a sustained position for over twenty minutes you are restricting the blood flow and nerve conduction through your body which results in poor circulation increasing the risk for blood clots as well as numbing and pain in your body. Twenty minutes is very frequent and many times, just not possible with some work demands, so in this case AT LEAST EVERY TWO HOURS. If your work doesn’t allow you to move every two hours, I would consider moving jobs. Your body is your body and what are we living for! Respect your body. Pain-pain-pain. This is a recurring theme if you are not creating an ergonomic workspace.
Here’s a video to watch for some movement every two hours and if you pick only one, I would stick with the heel lifts-add phone posture.
Workout:The world is my playground-no gyms needed. During this time there are so many online videos and class you can see what format speaks most to you whether Zumba, yoga, kickboxing or full body workouts. Whatever you like, do it. You should be working out 180 minutes. The ExerScience Center has a FREE MEMBERS section with classes, interactive workshops, group discussions so there are no excuses. Always respect your body when participating in online programming. Makes sure you have had clearance from your doctor with no contraindications to exercis
Meditation: meditate at least 10 minutes every day
Headspace: Headspace is an app on the phone and my favorite meditation app of all time. I am thinking I’m up to 24hrs! It tracks your progress and my whole family has benefited from baby to preteen. There is something for everyone. If you do not need guidance, then always scan your body mentally, check-in with the emotional state of your mind and take some time for yourself AT LEAST 10 MINUTES daily. My favorite 10 minutes is when I wake up with my coffee and sit outside to listen to nature and feel the winds scanning my sense of smell, touch, temperature, sight, and sound. You can check my past blogs on how to do this.
Sleep: Just writing that word, I know I need to practice what I preach. I have had sleeping problems for over 13 years where I would only sleep 2-4 hours at a time or per night. This is not healthy at all. The minimum recommendation is 6-8 hours and if you do not get it in one evening, sometimes a midday nap is just what the doctor ordered. If you are with little ones then I know the option is not so easy and I truly understand as a mother. I would get so triggered when people told me to nap, as if I can just put my toddler somewhere and snooze off. Nope, not happening and during social isolation, this can be the toughest one of all but if you do have any family around old enough and responsible to help out, ASK. Because mamas and dadas need a nap too.
Journaling: reflection is so powerful and jotting down your goals and dreams with steps and vision planning. This has been by far the GREATEST TOOL FOR MY SUCCESS. If I didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen a month or a year later, Life moves fast just like trying to keep up with my preteen. My mother always said, one thing you can count on is you will eventually forget this or that. And it’s true. My favorite calendar is from a company called Tools for Wisdom. (insert link for tools for wisdom.) They have beautiful artwork and affirmations throughout their calendar as well as specific prompts when otherwise someone may feel stuck. For example: goal of the day, priorities of the month both business and personal. It doesn’t demand too much from you while at the same time covering all the basics to planning an awesome life for yourself. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
You choose singing, dancing, puzzles whatever you love to do-DO IT! Again, what are we experiencing this amazing thing called life if we are not following our passions! Follow your passion. Don’t just be a part of the rat-race.
My favorite quote is “Live today as if it were your LAST but treat your body as if you would live FOREVER.” It’s such a powerful statement because are we living for if we don’t partake in our dreams and opportunities that lay before us as I’ve stated many times before. We cannot just poison our bodies and minds with a sedentary lifestyle, sustained positioning, and eating unhealthily… add drugs and/or alcohol to that mix with the media on TV is a recipe not just for pain and detriment to the physical body but also the spirit and mind. You are killing yourself slowly if you are doing this daily. Do the minimum. Require the minimum. Force yourself to check off these tasks because once it becomes routine you will wonder one day; how did I ever JUST DO THE MINIMUM. It is a lifestyle that is contagious. Yeah, that’s annoying to hear at first. I was annoyed when people told me one day McDonald’s will taste gross to me. Even when I was in college, I used to joke with some of my mentors, it didn’t happen yet and I still craved those greasy little fries. But then, one day, when I truly checked off all the minimum requirements, no bullshit, no lying to myself…magic happened. I can’t even imagine putting that crappy food in my body! They were right! Once you detox your body from all the poisons you only crave healthy, natural options. Just like activity, once you move and you truly make the minimum a habit, as if it were part of your job, you too will see the magic in your physical world. Walking more, better balance, better energy which means a happy heart and lungs. No better time than now to give back to your body and improve your immune system. THERE IS NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW.
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