It’s the beginning of a new year and the time for new resolutions, and for many, that means losing weight. This year, instead of focusing on losing a certain number of pounds, try thinking about your body in terms of how it feels and the rest will follow. Are you experiencing less pain? Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? These are the things that really matter when it comes to becoming healthier and for your wellbeing, and they’re what will keep you motivated long after January 1st has come and gone.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to treat your body right without worrying about the numbers on the scale. Here are three ideas:
More than quick, band-aid fixes, clean ingredients in food can have a great effect on the way your body feels on a day-to-day basis. Make sure your food has as few additives as possible, especially “natural flavors” and the ones you can’t pronounce. This will help your body digest nutrients more easily and keep your digestive system running smoothly. One great way to replace lots of processed and unhealthy ingredients is to add tahini to your kitchen arsenal. Tahini is a superfood made from sesame seeds, which are a great source of protein and healthier fats and can be beneficial to the immune system. What used to only be popular in faraway countries like Persia and Israel is now super convenient right here in the US. To make things easy, there are now brands like Mighty Sesame Co. that make clean, organic tahini in squeezable bottles so you can easily add a boost of flavor and nutrition to your sandwiches, salads, chicken, and even desserts.
If you’re like most people these days, it can be tough to find time to exercise and become healthier. But you don’t have to run marathons or spend hours in the gym to feel energized and happy. Try finding time for just 30 minutes of exercise every day. Exercise is possible even from the comfort of your home. This can be as simple as taking a walk or doing some yoga, but the point is that you’re getting your heart rate up and moving your body around for a little bit. This can help boost energy levels and improve mood, which makes it easier to get through your day—and maybe even enjoy it! You can even get moving while you’re watching TV or waiting for your coffee to brew by buying a mini trampoline. As silly as it may sound, jumping on a mini trampoline can be great for keeping your heart health in check, as well as exercising your lymphatic system, which is responsible for ridding your body of waste and bacteria that could keep you feeling less than amazing.
Take time each day to slow down and focus on breathing deeply and calmly, or if you’d like, try following videos on YouTube or using meditation apps like Calm or Headspace, which can help guide you. Meditation is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and anxiety, which is important not just for your mind, but for your body too. Excessive and chronic stress can negatively affect your physical health, including cardiovascular and immune health. Taking care of your mind is great in the short-term for helping to regulate your mood and blood pressure, but the long-term effects are what really show that meditation is a vital step toward taking care of your body.