In this four part self-care series, I’ve been discussing how we need to care for ourselves-mind, body, soul. We are interconnected human beings created for the three parts to function together for ONE purpose. I believe that purpose to achieve overall wellness in order to be strong and spread the love of Jesus to others. When one part is off, we aren’t the best version of ourselves. Today, let’s focus on 5 simple steps to care for your body.
There are so many reasons why we don’t care for our bodies. Time, effort, mindset, whatever. But it usually stems from an issue of the heart. Once you have a good routine going for mindset and spiritual growth, then take the steps to add physical health goals into your groove.
Start drinking your water!
Water is key to weight loss, digestion, organ function, and helps with brain fog. Many years ago, I set out to drink half of my body weight in water. (but think pounds to ounces) This means, if you weigh 110 pounds, you should drink 55 ounces of water daily for optimum health. If you are working out, add another 8 ounces.
This gets tricky for me because I am a teacher and bathroom breaks are limited sometimes. But on the days I fall short of this goal, my body lets me know.
Add one healthy eating habit at a time!
Unless you are required by a doctor for a complete food overhaul, most of us do not have the motivation and commitment for changing our entire eating habits. Cue my yo-yo dieting…
Ugh. But the one thing that has helped me make healthy changes and stick to them has been to simply do one thing at a time. I do it for myself and my family as well. I aim for a month and by the time the month is over, it has become a new habit. Here are some examples.
Use less sugar in your coffee. I cut back from 2 to 1 tablespoon of sweetener. It took some time to get used to, but I don’t care anymore and my sugar cravings are few throughout the day.
Add extra vegetables to your dinner plate. Either cook one more veggie than planned, or just cook more of the same thing and add an extra scoop to your plate.
Don’t cut carbs…just start taking smaller portions.
Pack veggies and hummus or dip with your lunch each day. (I keep a week’s supply in my fridge at work)
No matter what version of our existence you believe, we can all agree, we were meant to be outside! I believe God created us to enjoy the full cycle of patterns of nature. Our bodies crave sunlight, fresh air, the pull of the moonlight, the sound of water flowing or waves crashing. The very elements of nature automatically calm our souls and enhance our beings. God breathed this beautiful earth into existence and man decided to hide away in four walls connected to tech.
Do yourself a favor after reading this post and just go stand on your porch or deck or put your feet in the grass. Stretch high to the sky and breathe in the air deeply and think of 5 things to be grateful for in that moment. Feel your body relax. Those good hormones that you just sent flowing through your body are going to decrease inflammation and heal your soul.
I am in Michigan and it gets really cold and snowy. But a few minutes each day with a warm hat a gloves on and you are able to reap the rewards of nature. No excuses!
Invest in hand weights!
Invest in 5-10 pound hand weights and add a quick and easy weight routine to your day. I have a click set that adjust in weight but the rubber coated ones from Wal-Mart or Target will work just fine. I like to do mine in the morning after my prayers, yoga, and journaling. This is how I started.
2 Sets of 10 Each
*Renegade rows (push up position and pull one arm back)
*Crunches (I do 2 sets of 20)
As soon as this routine became “easy”, I added a few different exercises. I have maxed out my time allotted, so in order to keep this in my routine, I am going to increase to the maximum 12 pounds that my weight set “clicks” to.
Maybe you aren’t ready for a weight routine yet. But we can probably all agree that as long as we have legs that work and air in our lungs we can walk. There are so many benefits to walking and so many ways to do it. You are worth squeezing in 15 minutes of movement and I bet you eventually love it so much that you extend your time to 30 or 60 minutes of walking in no time!
The best part about walking is that the whole family can create this healthy habit together. Kids can hop on their scooters or bikes. Babies can come along in strollers and pets on a leash. There are trails and parks and possibly your own neighborhood to accomplish this. If you have to go to a different location to walk, add it onto school pick up or at the beginning or end of an errand.
There are very few excuses not to walk. Your body and family health are worth it!
Side note on the family walk-I prefer my daughter on the scooter during our walks because she can go ahead and come back toward me. The bike sends her too far ahead and I can’t keep up!
You can do it!
I realize that taking steps toward caring for your body are overwhelming if you are not in the habit of focusing on self-care. I spent many years letting ALL.THE.THINGS. be my reason not to try. But if you start with you heart and remember the truth–you were created by a holy and amazing God with a unique purpose and He LOVES you- it gets so much easier to start loving yourself.
A healthy body gives us the energy needed to spread love to our family and others that God places in our lives. We cannot pour from an empty cup.
Getting healthy is good. Feeling healthy is great. Take loving steps toward caring for your body and keep making your house a love filled home.
High five for home.