Use Back-to-School to Get Your Best Body Back; 5 No-Fail Moves

Happy couple runningTake a deep breath. The kids are back in school.

Your moments of morning silence (however brief) are back.

Your regular routine – after the madness of summer and perhaps a vacation that you now need a vacation in order to recover from  — is back.

It’s easy to allow the stress and fatigue of this time of year to linger, until it starts to be replaced with the angst of the looming holiday season and the end of another year. But let’s do something different this year.

Let’s make Back-to-School our own period of transformation, too – a time when to re-embrace the healthy habits we began earlier in the year and may have lost as our time became consumed with school supplies, class schedules and the first day of school.

Here are 5 no-fail Back-to-You moves that should become part of your promise to take care of yourself for the rest of 2014.

1. Carve out 5 minutes every morning when you will do nothing. That’s right, nothing. Sit in a comfortable chair. Put your phone(s) on silent. Close your eyes. And breathe. Try to clear your mind but if you simply can’t, think only of positive things. Think of new ideas, something you’ve wanted to do or accomplish this year. Think of your favorite moments from the summer. Think of someone who is a positive in your life. Five minutes. That’s all. You can do it at home. In your car at the parking lot before heading into work. On the bus or train as you commute to work. Or perhaps even in the workplace – at your desk or in a quiet room. It may be the best five minutes of your day. Enjoy ’em!

2. Stretch for 5 to 10 minutes – twice each day. Whether you workout or not, chances are you don’t stretch enough, which allows the inevitable stress of the day linger in your muscles and joints, tightening to to your core. Stretching does the body and mind much good. Take a few minutes each morning (maybe before your shower, or just before you head out the door) to do a few quick moves: a) sit on the floor and put the bottom of your feet together, push downward on the inside of your knees to stretch your groin; release then slowly bend forward towards your feet, taking deep breaths to stretch farther. Repeat each stretch 5 times. b) stand and spread your feet shoulder width apart, then slowly bend at the waist with your hands either on your hips (beginnings) or reaching for your toes. Again breathe deeply as you descend and rise. c) interlock your fingers and face your palms outward and reach towards the ceiling in a modified “yawn” stretch. Hold it for a few seconds and release. Repeat 5 times. Repeat the stretch in the afternoon and maybe again in the evening before you go to bed.

3) Rid one sugary drink from your diet and drink more water. If you drink soda, vow to cut your intake in half or, better yet, stop drinking it altogether. This alone will drop tons of calories from your diet. Then commit to drinking more water.  Find a refillable water bottle and make it your ever-present friend. Take a few swallows all day until you’re refilling the bottle at least once during the day.

GStartedF4) Up your workout game. This pertains to you no matter your fitness level. If you haven’t worked out since spring (or ever) start by taking a walk, or going on a walk/jog for 15-30 minutes. If you’re a workout fiend, change it up. Challenge yourself. Take a new exercise class. Add one or two new moves to your training. Start bicycling or swimming. Or carry your clubs when you play golf. Add 25 more pushups or 50 more situps to your regimen. In short, challenge yourself! Now’s the time!

5) Try at least one healthy recipe a week. That may sound like a lot but considering you’ll eat between 15-20+ times each week, c’mon now. Have a healthy breakfast one day, maybe replacing that biscuit thing with a protein shake or an egg-white omelet. Make your own lunch, maybe a healthy salad with an even healthier dressing, or perhaps a tuna salad made with light mayo, as well as relish, scallions and a dash of mustard. Or try one of the myriad healthy recipes right here on this site. I’m sure you’ll find something both you and your family will enjoy. Who knows maybe soon your once-a-week plan will become once-a-day and beyond. Hey I can dream.

Welcome Back to You!

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