Exercise and Healthy Habits

Many people believe that, by adhering to a rigorous workout schedule, they are taking the best possible care of their bodies from day to day. However, exercise is only part of the overall picture of proper self-care. While physical activity does foster a positive mental state, lead to improved sleep, and increase your general health, other forms of self-care, like getting enough sleep each night and reducing stress, are necessary to become fully healthy. Here are some ways you can expand your current set of self-care routines to incorporate a more well-rounded picture of health.

 Be sure to get enough sleep

One of the greatest benefits of sticking to a regular fitness routine is how exercise makes it easier to get to sleep at night. Since many people have difficulty sticking to a regular nighttime routine, if you work out regularly, you are already ahead of the curve. While getting one good night of sleep is worthwhile, sleep really begins to provide its beneficial effects when the routine is maintained over an extended period of time. That helps get the rest of your bodily rhythms in order and will help to provide a good amount of energy that will last the entire day.

If you currently vary the time you go to bed each night, take the time to count backwards eight hours from the time you generally wake up. Add an extra 30 minutes to give yourself time to fall asleep, and set that as your lights-out time for the next week. If at the end of that week you find you need slightly more (or slightly less) sleep, adjust the timing accordingly. The amount of sleep each person needs is different. What is important is not only that you are getting a certain amount of sleep, but that you are getting a high-quality of sleep. Make your bedroom a cozy place by fixing yourself up with breathable sheets, dark curtains, and a quiet environment.

 Maintain a healthy lifestyle

While getting enough sleep makes it easier for you to make healthy choices during the day, you then have to actually make the decision each day to live a more healthy lifestyle. If you are passionate about exercise, it is likely you already watch how you eat. However, you may be able to improve your diet even more. Convenient as they may be, processed foods and restaurant meals often have added preservatives, salt, sugars, and other unnecessary things added in to make them more presentable or last longer. Making your own food is a great way to increase the amount of nutrients you get per meal, and it can help you feel better overall. If you are concerned about your time management, you may want to consider a fresh food delivery service. These kinds of services help you control meal contents, as well as the portion size, helping you lose weight and stick to a regular diet.

 Reduce stress overall

Finally, even if you are eating and sleeping well, you will also need to make sure that you are living as close to a stress-free life as you can manage. With your current schedule, you may be feeling overwhelmed due to a lack of time or an overabundance of things to do. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is important to be able to recognize that you are too busy, and develop the ability to say no to projects or outings if you need time to yourself.

By taking the time to exercise, you are already well on the way to becoming healthy overall. You can become even healthier by making sure you get enough sleep each night, eat healthy meals, and free up time to help reduce stress.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Guest post by Sheila Olsen of http://fitsheila.com