While this past year has not been one with a lot of big activity for me, some of the routines and habits I have put in place are really helping me to stay fit.
I noticed that I automatically do some things, mostly out of habit, but they are helpful, healthy routines that I thought I’d share.
The things that I learned – especially about habits – have really helped me to stay more fit and active than I would have.
Over the past year+ (during the Covid pandemic), I haven’t had the type of big goals like I did set a few years back. However I’ve still been able to keep up some exercise. While I’m not running any races right now, I still try to continue a healthy eating, an exercise routine and get good sleep.
Here is a look at the 3 key areas of fitness and how my routines and habits are helping me.
1) Food -I’m in the habit of roasting veggies in the morning when I’m preparing my breakfast. I don’t seem to want to overeat or emotionally eat at breakfast time so it’s an easy way to prep for dinners or late afternoons when I feel more like indulging. If I have healthy foods prepared, I’m so much less likely to eat something that I regret. Cooking up some quinoa, or roasting veggies, or popping something into the slow cooker always is a good thing. I weigh myself every morning and make sure to drink enough water.
Eating a meal outside at an area restaurant with a friend is a huge indulgence for me these days. I’m pleased that I ordered a spinach salad and that steak on top was delicious too. Dressing on the side means I cut a lot of nasty fats/sugars that I really didn’t want. One beer felt extremely indulgent for me. This photo was taken back in September and I’m still reveling in the time together.
Eating outside in the open air made the restaurant meal feel less worrisome to me.
I know that 80% is food and 20% is exercise when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
2) Working Out – I’ve barely been to the gym in the past 20 months, but I am doing a lot more gardening and lawn work. It’s not the same kind of exercise but it’s still getting me out of the house and off the couch. This past week I actually made it to the gym three times and got a spinning class in as well. It took a lot of mental discipline for me to walk through the door as I deeply concerned about spreading germs. But I know I need more cardio and strength training than I can do for myself at home.
Some of the exercises involve walks with Peanut, others are lawn work. This past week three of my exercise sessions are from going to the gym. My mantra is “progress not perfection” at this point. Some of the exercise is raking leaves, pulling out overgrown vines and cutting back my perennials. I continue to do strength work at home with some heavy (for me) weights, but I could really do with increasing it to keep my muscles strong.
3) Sleep – I’ve written about sleep issues before and some of the routines I do to improve my sleep. A lot of times people don’t consider sleep as key ingredient, but I know if I don’t get enough good sleep, eating right is a huge challenge. It’s like my energy levels are much lower the next day and I crave sugar and caffiene to feel peppy. If I get a good night’s sleep, I can eat right and feel like doing more activity.
I have downloaded many books on the library Libby app to learn more methods of meditation, Yoga Nidra, deep breathing exercises and other ways to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. All these have definitely benefited my sleep.
Some nights my sleep is still is plenty elusive, so having these tools has been a great help.
Another useful app I’ve really enjoyed is called insight timer which has many sleep recordings from bedtime tales (who doesn’t like a book read to them), naturescape recordings of things like rain, ocean and crickets/toads, as well as sleep meditations. I have not yet subscribed but when an audio book can’t lull me to sleep, the insight timer app usually comes to the rescue.
My favorite “go to” is the hour long Deep Sleep Guided Meditation by Kenneth Soares. Second favorite is the 20+ minute Yoga Nidra for Sleep by Jennifer Piercy.
Do you listen to sleep meditations?If so, what are your favorites?
What habits for healthy eating, fitness and sleep do you have as part of your routine? Please leave an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or a comment below, or even a voicemail at 330-970-6662.