How are you doing on sleep these days? Are you taking care of yourself or are you running ragged now that the sun is out longer? Don’t forget how important sleep is to your health. Here are some tips to make sure you get enough each night.
1) Create a calm sleeping environment
2) Play soft, soothing music
3) Use aromatherapy – scents like lavender can help calm you
4) Dim the lights 60-30min before going to bed
5) Take a hot bath
6) Drink a cup of bedtime tea
7) Follow the same routine daily
8) Keep your bedtime and wake time the same – vary it no more than 30min on each side
9) Get a good pillow and comfortable blankets
10) Eliminate TV, Computer, Video games (screen times) 30 min before bed – they keep your brain working
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time of family gatherings and lots of good (even if not so healthy) foods, many of which are long time comforts for you. Thanksgiving is also a time of gratitude, a day to be thankful for all that you have in life, not a day to beat yourself up over an extra helping of grandma’s best pie; she made just for you. With those thoughts in mind let’s set some guidelines.
First, do practice moderation. Thanksgiving naps happen for a reason. Aim to keep your portion sizes reasonable and go back for seconds only after you have given yourself time to determine whether you really want seconds or not. Watch the beverages, remember they are calories, too. That also goes for the snacks you consume as you are making all the goodies for dinner. Many of us unconsciously consume calories as we taste, snack, visit, and gather. Try to pay attention to what you put in your mouth. Be pro-active bring a healthy food item to snack on or contribute to the family meal. At least you’ll have one great healthy choice. Eat something small before you meet up with the group. This way you will not be famished, which can lead to overeating.
Second, suggest something active after the meal. Start a new thanksgiving tradition and go for a walk after the big meal. Engage the children in your gathering in a game of hide-n-seek or tag. Do not forget the importance of dish washing. All that cooking and cleaning do burn calories, just do not consume the same amount in snacking while you are completing these tasks, defeats the purpose of your sparkling dish rack. Get others to help clean and you will create bonding time, as well. Play games. Games like charades, twister, gestures, and others allow you to use your brain and your body, plus they are hilarious to watch and play. All that laughing does wonders for your health!
Third, relax and enjoy your day. For many of us Thanksgiving is a time to rest and rejuvenate. Keep in mind the spirit of the day and enjoy it. Stay present in the moment of the day and you will find that watching portions, snacking, and fun are all taken care of. You just have remember to stay focused.
If you are shifting into a maintenance or off season phase of workouts. Its a great time to add in mind- body exercises. The body and brain may naturally be heading this direction as winter approaches so why fight it.
You can find very intense workouts or very light. Adding an element of mind-body will help you next season by preparing your mind activity now for more focus later. Also, as you continue to practice mind-body work the biofeedback loop becomes stronger. This is great for family picnics – where you may tend to usually overeat. Now the body sends the signal and you have been practicing listening. Not that you automatically won’t overeat this time, but the chance that it will be a conscious choice is greater and this is the key to long term weight loss.
Life is full of choices. Its how we make them that will determine our success or failure of weight loss. If you have the option to consciously choose your actions you have the power to decide if you’ll reach your goal! The idea of biofeedback is also great when training for events.
We have a tendency to do too much in our society. If you listen to the body it will tell you when to back off before injury lays you up for weeks. Many have trouble heeding the bodies advice, but the more you practice listening the more likely you’ll be to hear and honor what your body is telling you.
Which will keep you progressing in training, not laid up on the couch frustrated, mad, and guilty that you didn’t listen when “you knew better”.