Are your New Year’s resolutions fading? Good news. These 5 simple changes can help improve your health and help you make 2018 an amazing year.
With 6 kids and a super busy schedule, my health has taken a back burner the last few years. I kept telling myself one of these days I would get around to making some changes but we’ve just been so busy it’s been a bit of survival mode. In the last 5 years, we had 3 kids (including twins), moved 3 times, dealt with bedrest, hyperemesis, and all kinds of other stresses, the only thing on my agenda was getting through the day.
This year is my year to start making my health a priority. I’ve found that sometimes, the simple changes can have the most impact. I’m starting with these 5 simple things to improve my health.
I work at home. It is so easy to get stuck in a funk when you don’t get outside of your own four walls. I find that getting outside and taking some time to be out in nature does wonders for my state of mind. Even if I’m not exercising, just being outside lowers my stress level and stress has a huge impact on your overall health so I try to get outside as often as I can.
I’m lucky enough to live in an area with some amazing hiking trails. There’s really no excuse for not getting out there and enjoying them more often. I love that I can spend time with my kids when I get outside too. I’m terrible about getting distracted when we are at home. Leaving the house lets me really focus on them and completely unplug.
Set an Activity Goal.
I’m much better at making something happen if I have a clear goal in mind. Without a concrete goal, I may think I want to be more active but I have no plan to actually accomplish it. This year, my twins are going to be 4. That means I’ve had 4 years to lose the weight from my twin pregnancy but I’m still hanging onto it. Some days I actually hate leaving the house because I know someone is going to ask me when I’m due. It happens nearly every time. When you have 6 pound twins, you end up with a super stretched out belly and any extra body weight just seems to accentuate that. That’s going to change for me this year. I don’t care as much about the number on the scale as I do about working to make my muscles strong and losing the look of a pregnant-looking belly.
Since I’ve been working on this goal for nearly 4 years, I know that nothing will change unless I have a clear goal. I’m starting simple. I want to get in 10,000 steps every day.
To do that, I need an accurate way to track that and monitor my progress. I was really excited to check out the Steel HR activity tracker from Nokia. Unlike most activity trackers, this one is actually a really good looking watch. You’d honestly never guess it could do all the things it does just by looking at it.
The Health Mate app that this uses is so user friendly. I loved seeing all the data laid out so clearly. They even have ways for you to customize your fitness goals. On my wishlist is a Nokia scale that will talk to the watch because I think that’s so cool the two can work together to help me meet my health and fitness goals.
Download the app here:
The thing that really sets this watch apart for me is it is the first activity tracker that has a battery life of up to 25 days!
I’ve tried a few other options but I was never able to track my heart rate overnight with most of them because that was the time I had to take the watch off and charge it. It’s water resistant too so I can even shower with it on.
With a 25 day battery life, I can leave the Steel HR activity tracker on and get some good data about what my heart rate and sleep patterns . . . which brings me to my next point.
Get plenty of sleep.
Most moms I know do not get enough sleep. I know I’m definitely guilting of skimping in the sleep department.
Poor sleep habits can affect so many aspects of your life. I don’t feel my best and have a hard time sticking to a healthy eating plan when I’m sleep deprived because I use sugary food as a way to boost my energy so I can get through the day. Sleep deprivation makes you cranky, more susceptible to stress, and can even cause you to gain weight.
None of those things help me life my best life.
After tracking my sleep for a few days on the Steel HR activity tracker, I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere near enough sleep. The Health Mate app lets you see a complete history of your health data so I was able to see my sleep patterns clearly. It turns out, I go to bed too late, wake up several times at night, and them have to wake up early to get kids out the door. Seeing those numbers laid out really made me realize that I need to make sleep a priority.
To help me get to bed earlier at night, I’m actually setting a bedtime alarm to remind me to stop what I’m doing at get to bed.
I know half of you rolled your eyes when you read that. Trust me. I used to think meditation was ridiculous too. I’m always on the go so the idea of sitting and just doing “nothing” makes me a bit crazy. I’ve realized that the fact that my mind is always going a million directions is one of the major reasons why meditation is necessary.
I tried it once at the recommendation of a friend. I was skeptical but she swore it would slow my mind down and help me focus. A short, 5 minute, guided meditation actually did wonders for slowing my heart rate, calming my mind, and helping me get back to the task at hand with complete focus.
Search for guided meditations online and try a few short ones to get the feel of it. I’m still terrible about doing this but I find when I do a short guided meditation every day I feel so much calmer.
Reduce your Stress.
Stress is hard to get away from completely. Honestly, a life without any stress at all would probably be pretty boring. Sometimes a few challenges are a good thing, but when they get to be too much, or they are so relentless we never get a break, then we need to reevaluate things.
Constant stress is bad for our health. Finding ways to reduce our stress load should definitely be a priority, but it can be so, so hard. As a full-time work at home mom with 6 kids, a house that gets messy every time I turn around, and all the general stress that comes with this whole human experience, I get that.
I also know that even if reducing stress seems like an impossible task, it has to be done.
Look at what you can delegate first. Move anything off your plate that doesn’t ultimately bring you joy or isn’t absolutely essential. Gradual change is the way to go here. Each week, take a look at your schedule or your to-do list, and take just one thing off. Practice saying no.
Having just a bit of fringe time in your day will do wonders for your stress level.
If you need some help taking charge of your health this year, check out the Steel HR activity tracker from Nokia, available in 36mm (in black and white) and 40mm (with countdown bezel, in black only), with additional silicone, leather, and woven bands. And for anyone interested, get 10% off at the Nokia Health store through December 1, 2018 here with this code: NEWYOU-FJ6-I5W
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.