Healthy Body and Mind in 30 Days: Suggestions for a Healthier Lifestyle
In this article, I seek to provide a framework for awareness and change which should allow OM Warriors to achieve a healthier body and mind. In 30 days, you should feel more fulfilled, relaxed, and accomplished in a mindful and healthy way.
Of course, healthy living is about more than losing weight and learning to relax your mind, body, and soul. However, changing our daily habits is something we can all do, even if it feels impossible at first. It takes patience and persistence, but I know you can do it!
The following are suggestions for a healthier lifestyle using exercise, yoga, mindfulness, and proper nutrition.
The sequence of the following information is not meant to be strictly followed. You can read through all 30 days in one go if you like, or pick and choose which aspects of healthy living interest you at different times; it does not matter. The important thing is that you take steps in a healthy direction, do it at your own pace, and feel good while doing it!
Exercise should become a daily habit, find ways to incorporate it in a fun way for you. Maybe some days you'll exercise longer than others and that's okay!
Make sure to stretch before exercising as it reduces injury and prepares your muscles for activity. You can also instigate a stretching routine at the end of your workout session – this is especially important if you are embarking on a new workout program.
When exercising, it is important to challenge yourself to become stronger and faster, but you should also work on your endurance so that you can do the activity for longer without growing fatigued. If this sounds complicated, just remember that all exercise works your body in different ways. Think about what you want to achieve and choose a workout that gives you that result.
If you're going to be exercising in a group, it is important to establish some rules beforehand. For example, if everyone in the group is running at different speeds, you could agree on a goal time or distance to complete together. You can use an app like Strava or MapMyRun/Ride for this purpose.
It's always better when exercising with others because you can motivate each other and celebrate each other's successes together. It's also easier to push yourself harder when someone is counting on you.
There are many forms of exercise, both cardiovascular and strength training. Make sure that the exercise you choose is something you enjoy doing so that it doesn't become a chore that you dread. Although it's important not to over-exert yourself, any form of activity is better than none at all.
Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility and stretch sore muscles while improving your breathing and overall mental state of being present in the moment.
As with all forms of exercise, you should always warm up before beginning yoga. Perform some basic stretches beforehand, or do ten minutes of light cardio (e.g. running in place) to get the blood flowing through your is also about mindfulness – you focus on your breathing and your poses as you would in meditation, only with the added benefit of increased muscle tone.
When doing yoga, breathe deeply and imagine that air flowing into those muscles as you settle into a pose; then hold the pose for as long as it feels comfortable to do so.
By the end of this guide, you should have enough experience to make up your yoga routine. You can mix and match different poses or stay with the same set of poses every time for a more consistent style.
Mindfulness is about living in the moment without worrying too much about what has happened in the past or what lies ahead.
If you are mindful, you will be able to act spontaneously without thinking too much about it. This generally makes for better conversations and improved personal interactions with others because you will be living in the moment rather than worrying about what you'll say next. Mindfulness also gives you an appreciation for enjoying small things and taking pleasure in your surroundings.
The first step to mindfulness is to practice breathing meditation for a few minutes each day. Close your eyes and focus on your natural breath as it fills and empties your lungs; do this for at least ten minutes every day, but you can increase the duration as you improve.
Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation that focuses on conscious breathing and bodily sensations. It requires you to become aware of your senses and how they affect the body, such as the weight of your body pressing against the floor or how cold or warm your skin feels in different positions. You can perform yoga Nidra at the end of a yoga session or as a standalone practice.
To begin, focus on your breathing and how it relates to the movements in a traditional yoga session. If you find yourself getting distracted, bring yourself back to focusing on your breath or body awareness.
When you become more aware of your senses, start to think about the structure of your body and how it is divided into parts like the legs, arms, head, and torso. Visualize these as you go through each part one by one until your entire body has been mapped out in your mind.
The next step is to become aware of your internal organs and how they function together as a whole. Imagine them as separate parts that all work together to create different sensations throughout your body.
The last step is to imagine your endocrine system; focus on the thyroid, adrenals, pituitary gland, and pineal glands (these are sometimes referred to as the "master glands") and how they interact with the rest of your body.
When to Eat
You should avoid eating too much or too little; the former will make you gain weight and the latter will inhibit your body's ability to properly absorb nutrients. The best way to manage your weight is through proper diet, exercise, and mindfulness. This can be achieved by balancing what and when you eat.
Meditation can help you to focus on the present moment without being distracted by thoughts or feelings that have nothing to do with what you are doing. It is a great way of calming yourself down when angry or sad, as well as a good practice for improving mindfulness.
The best time to meditate is right after you wake up. Sit with your back straight and eyes closed, then focus on your breathing for 5-10 minutes or until you feel calm enough to move around. Alternatively, try yoga Nidra to achieve the same effects.
Pranayama is the practice of controlling and regulating your breath. By changing how you breathe, you can slow down or increase your heart rate as needed; this helps to achieve a state of mindfulness without meditating. The most common Pranayama techniques use alternate nostril breathing, but there are many other methods you can employ as well such as chanting, holding, and bending.
Proper breathing is essential for mindfulness because it helps you to use all of your body's systems in the right way. If you have a weak or shallow breath, then your organs will function poorly and this can lead to several other complications such as digestion issues, heart problems, and even mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Breathing techniques such as alternate nostril breathing or Pranayama can help you to achieve a deep breath, which is essential for balancing out your physical and spiritual self.
The best time to practice proper breathing techniques is in the morning before breakfast. Sit with a straight back and place your hands on your knees. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your nose, where you will notice that you are breathing in and out. Try to inhale and exhale fully; this means letting the entire breath cycle through every part of your body without in any way holding it back or speeding it up. If thoughts enter into your mind, gently bring yourself back to focusing on your breath.
The best way to eat for your health is to maintain a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. This means eating foods like grains, meat, fish, nuts, and seeds in moderation.
Protein is essential for a healthy diet because it provides your body with amino acids, which are necessary for proper function. Carbohydrates can be broken down into glucose, which your cells then use as energy. Fat is the last piece to consider; this macronutrient is important for cell health and helps you to absorb certain minerals such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Make sure you eat your meals at the right time: three smaller ones throughout the day is better than two large portions because it allows for slower and easier digestion. Eating late in the evening can cause problems such as heartburn or indigestion; not eating for several hours before bedtime can leave your body without fuel, which slows down your metabolism.
Treat yourself on special occasions:
On days when you are not feeling up to snuff or just want some downtime, it's important to allow yourself a treat. Doing something nice for yourself every so often helps you to feel more positive about life and makes it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle overall.
Go out with friends, watch a funny movie, try a new restaurant -- just do something that you've been itching to do for a while but have been putting off because of routine or responsibility. The best part about doing nice things for yourself is that it doesn't require much effort at all; laugh a little more, take some time for yourself when you can, and don't sweat the small stuff.
We hope these suggestions help you feel more fulfilled, happy, and relaxed by incoporating these techniques into your daily routine.