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Monday, May 13, 2013

Slow Down by Picking up the Pace

That's right! Today is the day. Yipee! The big 26! I've survived another year. :) Not looking much worse for the wear either if I can say so myself! Which I can and I will!

What is it about getting older that freaks people out so much? Is it the wrinkles that show you've actually gone outdoors and lived during your lifetime? Is it the onset of forgetfulness that occurs after you've done so many things, you can't keep it all straight anymore? Is it the creaking of the joints as you get out of bed in the morning, telling you that you were once active but maybe you've relaxed a bit throughout the aging process?

Here's the thing in life: you can slather on as much anti-wrinkle cream as you want and get chemicals injected into your face each year, but it's not going to help you make it out alive and it's not going to make you any younger physically or mentally. Why not focus on making life more worth-while and try making the inside of your body younger instead of the outside? At least then you can live a full and healthy life instead of a short one focused on looking as perfect as possible.

So what am I saying exactly??

I'm saying...try living a healthy lifestyle instead of a "perfect lifestyle" and you'll find that being healthy is perfect enough. :)

Alright, alright. You get it, but how exactly am I suggesting you go about making yourself younger on the inside? Well ladies and gents, it's time to pick up the pace on living a healthy lifestyle! Stop making excuses! Yes, good quality food costs more sometimes, and yes, taking 20-60 minutes to exercise a day sounds like a lot of work (and is), and yes, going to bed early will cut into your daily facebook time or cut down on viewing the newest drama on t.v. BUT...come on people! This is your one and only life! Don't you want to be around for your kids and/or grandchildren, husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, AND YOURSELF?!?!

So, here are my tips for creating a healthy body on the inside, which will in turn reflect on the outside:

  • Eat a well balanced diet - to include raw veggies and raw fruits (the processed and/or canned veggies and fruits have added sugar, preservatives, and hydrogenated oils added...which ruins the point of eating them in the first place), whole grains, nuts, and lean protein. If you eat meat, make sure its from free-range, naturally raised animals (not raised on antibiotics and not packaged with chemicals, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, etc.)
  • Add some spice into your life - spices and herbs are full of anti-oxidants, fat fighters, metabolism boosters, nutrients, anti-inflamatories, and immune boosters. Click on the link for a list of herbs and spices and their benefits.
  • Do your best to eliminate free radicals from your diet as they are key players in speeding up the aging process of your skin and other organs
  • DRINK WATER!!! Water makes up almost 70% of the body, yet people don't see the need to replenish it as it is lost through sweat or temperature changes in the environment. Every year, thousands of cases of dehydration are logged into hospital records for patients who don't understand how important water is for the body. Water not only hydrates us, but it speeds up the process of eliminating toxins from the body. A body full of toxins will also be a body full of fat and a slow-processing mind, as pounds are added on when the body is too busy elsewhere trying to eliminate the toxins and toxins clutter the brain. DO NOT only drink water when you feel thirsty. Drink water all day long. It will not only help eliminate toxins and help you flush fat; it will also help keep you feeling full longer so you are not munching on that cookie in the corner when you don't really need the extra calories.
  • EXERCISE! EXERCISE! EXERCISE! Seems daunting when I put it like that doesn't it? For a long time, the word exercise in my mind was related to sprints in the gym with an insane gym coach screaming "FASTER! Pick up those feet and MOVE!" I loathed going to the gym and just prayed for it to be over sooner than later. That is, until, I figured out that yoga, trail hikes, zumba, powercut, crossfit, pilates, dancing, swimming, aerial conditioning, etc. count as exercise as well....AND those activities can actually be a LOT of fun! Exercise comes in so many different forms these days that there is really no excuse to not pick an activity and enjoy your workout. Even if you go for a walk for 20 minutes a day, IT COUNTS! Don't be intimidated by the workout or yourself! You CAN do it!!! We all know exercise promotes weight loss and/or helps bulk up the muscle, but most forget that it is a FANTASTIC stress reliever! Imagine all the new things you will notice on that 20 minute walk in the morning or after work. Now think about that 20 minutes of noticing new things, you are not focusing on work, family, kids, money, and/or other stresses. You are just walking...your feet are hitting the pavement in rhythm, the sun is kissing your skin, the flowers are blooming and blessing you with their sweet scent...the world is relaxing if you just look around once in a while and enjoy it. SO, pick some sort of activity and try challenging yourself to do something new. It will help your body and mind!
  • Get to bed early or on time (don't lay there and look at facebook on your phone either AND don't eat that huge bowl of ice cream right before bed - the light from the phone will make your brain think it's still bright out and not time to sleep yet and the food will force your body to keep itself going while you are laying there as it tries to digest everything you just ate...which, if it was ice cream, you just ate SUGAR!!! Sound like a good plan before bed?!)
  • Do something every day to try to relax. Take 10 minutes out for yourself to do absolutely nothing except breathe. Pick up a hobby that you enjoy and won't get stressed over. Spend some time teaching your kids about relaxing and then enjoy it together (playing catch, making magnets, playing a game, TAKING A NAP!!! - A personal favorite of mine). Get a massage. Make a healthy meal that is quick and simple. Practice yoga and/or meditation. Go for that walk we talked about earlier. ;-)
AND most importantly: DON'T FORGET TO LIVE!!! Feel blessed every morning when you wake up. Find something that makes you smile and hold onto it. Enjoy the little things. In the words of a stress therapist "You will never see a grave marker that says: Did everything, died anyway." :)

So, spend some time picking up the pace on living a healthy lifestyle and watch how slowly you age and how much more you are enjoying your life!

Have a great day!!!

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