It can take years and lots of trial and error to find the perfect workout routine. The desire to lose weight and build a strong, attractive body becomes an all-encompassing endeavor for many people, so much so that it becomes easy to overlook other factors involved in maintaining a healthy mindset and lifestyle. People who obsess over weight loss and building a sculpted body often end up doing more harm than good by placing more stress on themselves, especially if they come up short on their weight loss goals. Self-care is every bit as important as getting to the gym and sticking with your diet.
Health and well-being is about more than mouthing cliches like “no pain, no gain” and getting to the gym every day. Everyone needs to spend time doing something they enjoy and which helps alleviate the stresses of work and family responsibility. If it makes you feel better, it’s not self-indulgence, so go ahead and take that leisurely walk in the woods. Go see that movie that only you want to see. When it comes to good mental and physical health, feeling good and being happy is what it’s all about.
Where your health is concerned, a comfortable sleep environment is non-negotiable. You can’t maintain good mental and physical health if you’re not getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation undermines your immune system and impairs your ability to concentrate during the day, which makes a quiet and restful bedroom absolutely essential. An old, lumpy and uneven mattress makes it extremely difficult to get the sleep you need, so consider investing in a new one if you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night. Remember, a mattress should keep your spine in alignment and your muscles relaxed as you sleep, so be discriminating as you shop for a new one.
Pets can be an emotionally powerful source of unconditional love and acceptance. Research has shown that spending time with a pet dog or cat can reduce blood pressure and provide a healthy outlet for pent-up feelings of anxiety. Set aside time to spend at the park with your favorite canine, or curl up on the couch and just listen to your cat purring while you decompress after a hard day at the office.
Yoga and meditation
If you’re looking for an excellent way to combine physical fitness with self-care, yoga could be the ideal solution. It’s a meditative discipline that uses stretching movements and poses to improve physical flexibility and create a balance between mind and body. It’s ideal for many people, particularly those who are nervous about joining a class with people who are more experienced, because YouTube has a treasure trove of DIY yoga videos that will take you through step-by-step routines.
Start a hobby
Do you know someone who spends hour upon hour working in a wood shop or in front of a computer researching their ancestry? Those are hobbies, and the people who enjoy them so much are engaging in an important form of self-care. A hobby involves your mind completely, keeping you engaged in an enjoyable activity that has many therapeutic benefits. If you have a green thumb, consider gardening or landscaping. It’s a good way to get fresh air and physical activity doing something you love.
Remember, good health is about more than pumping iron and running laps. It’s important to pay attention to your personal happiness and sense of fulfillment, which means being mindful when it comes to self-care. Don’t be afraid to indulge in a pastime - think of it as an investment in your health.
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