We have already spent two months growing and becoming healthier and more mindful! How are you feeling? Have you noticed any differences in your health and energy levels from your servings of fruits and vegetables? How have your evening discussions been in regards to your day? Hopefully we all had a great time talking with others about their day and our own day. I truly hope there have been a ton of new positives in your life, causing you to start thinking more mindfully. Any chance you will continue your evening discussions of the highs and lows of your days?
It's time to move on to March! It's almost spring for a lot of you out there (totally jealous...Here in North Dakota spring comes for a week in May or June), and I know you are gearing up to go outside and enjoy the warm weather coming your way. This leads us straight to our nutritional goal for March...
Goal #1: Get your recommended intake of water each day!
Water, water, everywhere! Water is a force in our world and our lives. It makes up the majority of our body, we need it to survive, we need it to hydrate our muscles and help them heal, and I can just keep going with how our bodies need water every single day.
It's time to make sure we are properly hydrating our bodies so we continue to live long, full, healthy, and hopefully wrinkle free (a girl can dream) lives.
Every individual will sweat and lose water at different levels. Therefore, it is impossible to give specific guidelines or recommendations about the amount of water each individual should consume.
According to the Institute of Medicine, The need for (water) replacement during exercise depends on the individuals daily activity, exercise intensity, duration, weather, and individual differences in sweat rates.
What does this mean for the average human being...YOU STILL NEED TO DRINK LOTS OF WATER!
Take this basic guideline to determine your water intake: Divide your weight (pounds) in half. This will determine the ounces of water you should drink per day. This does not include fluid loss due to exercise.
While exercising try to drink about 17-25 ounces of water per hour. Before a workout session (15 minutes), try to drink 8-10 ounces of water. Now, I know every person is different, and some actually get nauseous from drinking water before and/or during a workout. Please be mindful and listen to your body. Just get the water in your body way earlier or after your workout.
After exercising, you can even weigh yourself. For every pound lost during exercise, drink 20-24 ounces of water.
What about sports drinks?
Nowadays there is a sports drink everywhere you look. Some sports drinks can be beneficial to athletes working at higher intensities for longer time periods. Endurance sports are where sports drinks should also be used. When exercising for more than an hour some sports drinks can be beneficial due to their salt content. This salt content, will encourage individuals to drink more and prevent dehydration. They also provide beneficial calories for continued performance.
When exercising for 3-5 hours you may want to use a complex sports drink with electrolytes.
Please be aware of the added artificial colors, fructose, glucose, and additives in some sports drinks. They contain calories that can lead to weight gain when overused.
Since a typical workout session does not last more than an hour, sports drinks are not really necessary.
What about Energy Drinks?
Do not consume any type of energy drink. END OF STORY!
Energy drinks are considered a dietary supplement and are not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, no formal testing has been done for consumption safety among athletes and those participating in normal workout sessions.
Energy drinks contain caffeine and other stimulants that cause and can contribute to health problems such as rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, agitation, and irritability.
Please note that coffee does not substitute for water, even though it mainly constitutes of water. I've tried the whole living off of coffee thing back in my early 30s...It didn't go too well.
Other No Nos
Also, adding anything (flavoring or sweeteners of any kind) other than REAL fruits and herbs to your water is not healthy, and only causes you to crave more sugary foods and/or beverages. One more side note, please be careful with the amount of lemon added to your water. The lemon will wear down the enamel on your teeth. As with everything, use moderation when adding lemons to your water if you do this on a daily basis.
Goal #2: Practice mindfulness by staying "in the present"
"What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen." - Henry David Thoreau
How many of us truly live our daily lives in the moment? Now I know we have to think about the future and what has to be done, but we need to let the past go and not dwell on the future as much as we do. We just bathe our body in stress hormones, because we rarely think about the positive aspects of the past and/or future. Did you know that the average human spends 80% of their day thinking negative thoughts? This seriously needs to change. It is hurting us physically and mentally. Not to mention, it will affect our relationships with others.
What does it mean to live in the moment? It means that your awareness is completely centered on the here and now. You are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When you live in the present, you are living where life is happening.
Here are some simple tips to help you live in the present and enjoy the day more:
1. Smile and laugh more!
If you find that you are not focused on the present because you feel unhappy, force yourself to smile and laugh a bit. Even if you put on a fake smile and laugh in a goofy way, you should start to feel better right away.
2. Put the cell phone and/or tablet down, lift your head, and enjoy the world around you.
3. Eat slowly and savor your food.
4. Forgive past hurts.
5. Don't miss the opportunity to compliment someone, express affection, or say thank you.
6. Practice daily gratitude in your own life.
This was part of last month's goal, so keep the ball rolling! Being grateful helps to bring you to the present moment because you are thinking about what has made you grateful and how that has affected you in the here and now.
7. Stop worrying.
I know, easier said than done, but please try. You can’t fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. And since worry has never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy elsewhere.
8. If something is bothering you, move towards it, not away from it.
Stephen Hayes, a psychologist at the University of Nevada, notes that the mind's natural tendency when faced with pain is to attempt to avoid it—by trying to resist unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and sensations. When we lose a love, for instance, we fight our feelings of heartbreak. As we get older, we work feverishly to recapture our youth. When we're sitting in the dentist's chair waiting for a painful root canal, we wish we were anywhere but there. But in many cases, negative feelings and situations can't be avoided—and resisting them only magnifies the pain.
Here is a great article with some wonderful tips on how to incorporate mindfulness at work...How to Practice Mindfulness Throughout Your Work Day