We live in a fast paced world where our bodies are constantly in fight or flight mode. Our minds race, along with our feet as we rush from work, to lunch, to 6pm spin class. We do our best to log miles on the treadmill, reps in the weight room and as much sleep as possible each night. Yet, if you’re like most of us, you find yourself working too hard and resting too little.
The result? Our bodies break down due to physical and and mental exhaustion, leading to fatigue, hormones that have gone haywire, along with aches and pains. As if that wasn’t enough, a study done by Dr. Gaeta, Director of Pain Management Services at Stanford University, indicated the nearly one in five people from a nationwide survey had chronic pain caused by arthritis. Even young, active individuals are at risk for arthritis. Wear and tear on the body can cause the cushioning of your joints to wear down.
The solution? Massages at the spa can become expensive. It’s not always possible to get 8 hours of sleep when a crying baby keeps you up until 11pm and your only chance to workout is at 5am. Rather than focus on what you cannot change, focus on making time to restore your body and investing in your health. It requires time and attention to feel your best, staying mindful of high quality opportunities to rest and repair. These tips are a few of my favorites. They are easy to incorporate, affordable and will help you become the best version of yourself.
Check out my YouTube video for 3 tips that will help you rest and recover.
Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
Sleep is crucial. We all know that. When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re irritable. We crave carb-rich processed foods that can clog our arteries and will likely be stored as fat. We’re less productive, and the little bit we do get done takes more work. If you struggle to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night, don’t fret. Instead, focus on the quality of your sleep. It’s better to get 6 hours of restful, deep sleep instead of 8 hours spent tossing and turning, in and out of sleep. How does one deepen their sleep? Avoid caffeine after 4pm, keep your devices out of the bedroom and invest in an eye mask and ear buds.
Natural Prescription: An eye mask and ear plugs
Practice Downward Dog
It doesn’t matter if you’re in downward dog, upward dog, or child’s pose. Move your body. Stretch you muscles and lubricate your joints to prevent damage to tendons and ligaments. Tight muscles restrict range of motion which can lead to pain and an increased likelihood of injury. Simple stretch improve flexibility and can ease joint pain.
Natural Prescription: Yoga sessions at the studio or at home with YouTube
Never underestimate the power of your diet. The impact of nutrition on your health can be the safest form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Everything you put in your body has the power to heal or hinder your progress. Diets rich in processed foods, trans fats and sugar can lead to metabolic diseases that can increase inflammation, will accelerate the aging progress and decrease your energy. On the other hand, nutrient-dense diets are full of vitamins and minerals that can reduce inflammation and encourage the bodily systems to operate at their best. Not only can a healthy diet provide a clean source of energy, but it can also decrease the severity of ailments such as joint pain and arthritis.
Natural Prescription: Collagen
Write It Down
Goals. Your to-do list. Your emotions. Whatever is circulating in your mind is taking up valuable “real estate.” Are those thoughts positive? Are they providing you with energy or depleting you of it? By writing down your fitness goals, you can plant your seeds of strength on paper, giving your mind more space for new ideas. By letting loose about your latest rant with your mother, you can let go of the negativity associated with with those thoughts.
Natural Prescription: Journal and pen