Christmas in July…How About Fitness in July?

“Get into the spirit”

The ornaments are being released and the Hallmark Christmas movies are in full-force. Apparently Christmas in July is a big deal.

I’ve heard of Christmas in July but this is the first year I’m seeing how popular it is and how “into the Christmas spirit” people are getting. Maybe it’s easier to be jolly when it’s sunny and warm…

ChristmasMagic

Don’t wait until the holidays – get going on your goals now.

Anyway, all these summer Christmas celebrations got me thinking about wellness – specifically, New Year’s Resolutions. If we’re celebrating Christmas in July, can we celebrate new wellness goals on August 1? If so, I’m onboard!

January is such a hard time to begin a healthy and well lifestyle. So why not get in on it early and start acting on your health and wellness goals right now. Whether you have fitness goals or workout goals or you want to commit to better eating or being more mindful, what a great time to start, when it’s beautiful outside, the days are long, and there’s all kinds of yummy fresh fruits and veggies available.

To help anyone interested in kicking off new wellness goals now, here’s an older blog post I wrote that might help to set yourself up for success: why health and fitness resolutions fail. Be ready to combat these with positivity and a plan!

What do you think about bringing health, fitness, and wellness into this whole Christmas in July fad? Are there any goals you’d like to get going on right away? The comments are yours so please leave one. Or connect with me on social: @LindsayIRL on Twitter or @lindsayinreallife on Instagram.

Wednesday Wisdom – Wellness Advice for July 10

Welcome to another round of #wednesdaywisdom. This is wellness, health, and fitness advice in a quick, easy-to-digest format, designed to give you maximum energy and inspiration.

HikingGooseberry

Wellness fact – being outside with a bestie is great medicine.

Think of it as zucchini noodles with veggies and tomato sauce…only with words.

1. Gluten-Free – It’s Not a Diet, It’s How Some People Don’t Die
Summer is diet season so let’s all remember that eating gluten-free isn’t a diet to be adopted, willy-nilly. A gluten-free diet is important for people who are, you know, allergic or intolerant to gluten. Also, what is gluten? For real, most people don’t know so I’ll tell you.

2. Four Easy Things to do for Better Wellness
Here’s how to improve personal wellness in four simple, easy to implement ways.

3. Why We Run
Everyone runs for different reasons. If you’re struggling with motivation, here are five great reasons to run.

Do you have questions or topics I can address with a #wednesdaywisdom blog or in a new, full blog? The comments are all yours to ask questions, share ideas, or, you know, just leave a comment – so do it, please! Or, connect with me on @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter.

Three Tips for How to Drink More Water

“Water, water everywhere.”

Water is so good for us. Drinking more water can energize, ward off headaches, and provide numerous wellness benefits, and it’s such an easy and free thing everyone can do to be well. Yet, a lot of people don’t drink enough water.

After recently blogging about four easy ways to work on wellness, and water standing out as the one of most interest, I conducted social media polls and found that only about half of respondents believe they drink enough water every day. Yet, I have to believe we all know it’s important. So what’s the deal?

Why Don’t We Drink Enough Water?
While I have yet to pinpoint the exact reason, I have ideas based on side conversations and additional polls. I also know that some people simply don’t “like” water aka they find it boring because it’s not soda, an energy drink, or something with flavor, sugar, or caffeine. Sorry, but those don’t count as water and they sure aren’t doing you any favors in terms of wellness.

So while some people may want to up their water totals by drinking more coffee, adding a flavored drink mix, or sipping on “vitamin-enriched” water (which is bogus and full of added sugar and calories – if you’re that concerned with vitamins, eat better or take a damn multivitamin), I don’t offer that kind of advice.

CuteBaby

Even Abel has water bottles wherever he goes.

That aside, to address the most common reasons I believe half of us don’t drink enough water, here are three ways to make yourself drink more water.

1. Get Multiple Water Bottles
One for the car. One for the office. One for the couch. One for the nightstand. One for running. These are examples of different water bottles I own – and, yes, each one is for a designated place (though I do double-up the at-home ones to bring to the lake and on trips).

The point is if you’re going to drink more water, it has to be accessible. You’re not always going to be by a drinking fountain, water cooler, or a store where you can buy it – and, honestly, don’t buy it. Save money, save plastic bottles, hooray!

Set yourself up for success by having a water bottle for the most common places you are – and make sure it’s always filled.

2. Use Technology
I’m not a phone person. I’m not an apps person. I’m not a smart watch person. But I realize most people are and technology offers opportunities to further wellness goals, drinking more water included.

In my polling research for this article, a few people noted that simply forgetting to drink water was why they didn’t do it. From setting a reminder to downloading an app that encourages drinking water, there are plenty of simple ways technology can prompt you to hydrate and help build it into a habit that becomes natural.

3. Eat Intentionally
So, this one’s interesting. What do eating habits have to do with water? Plenty.

How often do you find yourself mindlessly snacking, missing meals, or eating on-the-go? For most people, this is probably pretty common. And when eating is done erratically, it likely doesn’t include a glass of water.

But think about what happens when you eat intentionally, a snack or a meal. Usually, there’s a beverage along with it. And you can make this beverage water.

Planning meals and snacks is a great way to ensure you’re drinking water. The two pair together so nicely. Every time you take a moment to enjoy a meal or snack, be sure you include a tall glass of H2O along with it.

There it is – three ways you can get more water in your day, every day. Did I miss any major hangups? What prevents you from drinking enough water each day? Do you have another tip to encourage healthy hydration habits? The comments are your space to share thoughts so please do so. Or, connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter.

Three Reasons Food Isn’t Bad – Food is Good

“Food isn’t bad and exercise isn’t punishment.”

Triple threat. Hat trick. Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe.

We’ve all heard that bad things come in threes – but how about all the good things that come in threes.

A few weeks ago, I dug into the topic of trying to define healthy vs. unhealthy food. The conclusion: there is no one-size-fits-all label for a food to be healthy or unhealthy. Inclusivity wins. So eat all the food! In moderation, of course, blah blah blah.

VeggieSub

My favorite lunch after my favorite activity with my favorite guy

A few days ago, I was watching a presentation from a wellness company and I got annoyed. Why? More than once, the presenter did something that’s one of my biggest health and fitness pet peeves. She talked about how to figure out what it takes to burn off certain foods.

Basically, she implied that food is bad and exercise is punishment, and if you want to eat a certain food, you should feel badly enough about that decision to be prepared to burn it off.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it forever. Food isn’t bad. Exercise isn’t punishment.

Please PLEASE let’s stop equating a donut to how many miles we “have to” run to burn it off. Flip side, let’s stop equating exercise to how much we “get to” eat because we burned calories. Not only is this flawed because counting calories and calories burned is a very imperfect science and both counts are likely inaccurate, it speaks to exactly what is wrong with the way most people view food and exercise.

So, in case it’s not clear: Food isn’t bad. Exercise isn’t punishment. Mkay, are we good on that?

Now back to the good. Food is one of the best parts of life. And when I go back to the idea of “good things come in threes,” food is no exception. There are three key ways that food makes our lives better.

Food Fuels Our Bodies
Whether your goal is to take the stairs every day, play with your kids, or run a marathon, you need energy. What’s one of our primary sources of energy? Food. Food fuels our bodies to do ordinary and extraordinary things.

At it’s very basic, the body burns calories just by being. It needs fuel to replace that lost energy and keep going. Add to that sleep, chores, caring for a family, and exercise, and it needs even more fuel. We NEED to eat; food is a necessity, not a source of shame.

PelicanZorbaz

Great-grandfather/grandson time at Zorbaz. With pizza.

Food Fuels Our Minds
Awhile back, I accidentally skipped breakfast a few times. And it didn’t bode well for me, particularly at work.

What happens when you skip breakfast? Well, for me, lack of food hurt my focus and quality of work. Just as quality foods are crucial for babies to develop and grow their brains, food is crucial for us to be on top of our mental game.

Food Fuels Our Happiness
Family dinner. Lunch with a friend. A weekend birthday party – with cake. We come together and enjoy food together in many ways. Imagine a life without the social engagements built around sharing a meal or treat. How sad!

Not only that, we should enjoy food, period. It brings me happiness to eat waffles every morning. I enjoy my lunch salad with tater tots and a couple Reese’s to wash it down. If you have similar happy feelings for you food, that’s great. We need to eat so let’s not feel guilty over it – let’s enjoy it.

Before I go, one more time, in case anyone missed the message: Food isn’t bad. Exercise isn’t punishment.

What’s your favorite part about food – fueling your body, mind, or happiness? The comments are your space to share thoughts so please do so. Or, connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.

My First Time Running Grandma’s Marathon

“Let’s hear it for the girls”

I’m going to try something new with this week’s blog. In honor of my first go at Grandma’s Marathon in one of my favorite cities, Duluth, MN, I’m breaking up this into a two-part series. But within the same post.

Friday
I’m starting to write this on Friday, the pre-event thoughts. On Sunday, I’ll write my post-event thoughts and put it together.

I just finished my last taper run, a nice 2.2 mile shakeout. Everything felt good and with the weather forecast looking to be nice and chilly, I’m feeling oddly good about tomorrow.

FullMarathon

Team Sloth – Our slogan: We’ll get there when we get there.

When I decided to take on this challenge, I was nervous – maybe even more nervous than deciding to run my first marathon. This would be my first marathon since having a baby last spring and I had no idea how I was going to make the time and find the energy to train for a full marathon while focusing on him, my husband, work, and everything else.

But I did it. It has been my easiest training season by far, no week was more than 35 miles, no weekday run longer than 7 miles, no push for speed or focused hill workouts.

I still managed six days a week of workouts most weeks, making sure to mix in easy cardio days and lifting days to stay balanced and healthy.

I’m ready for this.

More than my good feelings for running my first Grandma’s Marathon and tackling a full while balancing motherhood, I’m so excited to be running this race with one of my oldest friends, Maggie. We did a half together last summer – it was super fun running a half with a buddy – and now I’m hoping to help her get through her first full marathon without wanting to die.

Sunday
Just arrived home from a girls’ weekend in Duluth and my first experience running Grandma’s Marathon. It was a great time.

Any chance to get together with a bunch of friends is great. This might sound odd to most, but, for me, sharing in the experience of running makes it even more fun. And even though we all had different goals and reasons for being there, it brought us all together. Maggie ran her first marathon, Jenny ran her first half marathon, Jess ran the 5k and the half, while Heidi cheered us on and enjoyed the girl time that we all need, more than ever now that we’re all grown up. Oh, there I go sounding old.

Okay, back to the story. How did my first full marathon since becoming a mother go? It was awesome. One of the best experiences to date. A bit sore, a lot sunburned, but I feel pretty great.

It was so fun to run with one of my best friends and help make it a good experience for her. With almost perfect weather on our side, we started off at a comfortable yet challenging pace. I started to feel a little sick and could tell Mags was starting to struggle, too around mile 18, so I started the first of a few planned “coaching” moments that I thought would help us both.

I suggested we run to mile 20, then walk through that aid station to eat gels and get a breather. She eagerly agreed and said she could make it to 20.

Once we walked a bit at mile 20, Mags was already feeling some defeat. She said she didn’t know how she was going to make it six more miles and that I should go ahead without her.

Naturally, I refused, and instead told her we’d walk another minute or two, then we’d run again – just to the next mile and aid station, then we could walk again.

That strategy worked. Through a mix of walking and slower running, we finished well ahead of her expectations. While I can’t say she finished with a smile on her face and she made it clear she never wanted to run another marathon, I think it was a positive experience, overall.

Fun side note, her previous half marathon best was 2:06. We ran the first half of Grandma’s Marathon in just under 2:02. So an *unofficial half record for her!

Mile21Marathon

My favorite memory of this marathon – pickles. At mile 21. Perfection.

A few other fun notes from Grandma’s Marathon – what a beautiful course. While I admit the first 18-ish miles got a little boring in terms of the course view being pretty much desolate forest, running along the North Shore of Lake Superior mixed in a few awesome views. Early on, we spotted the lift bridge and it looked forever away. Running by it at mile 25 felt pretty amazing.

The town of Duluth came out big in terms of spectators. I had the best time waving, thanking them, taking pics, and soaking in that part of the race while Mags and I slowed down and walked a bit.

The finish in Canal Park was awesome. It was controlled chaos but so full of energy.

But the best part of the race? Mile 21. I mentioned earlier I started feeling a bit sick during the race. I opted to skip taking energy gel because my stomach was not happy and sugary sweetness sounded awful. But then, at mile 21, I saw the most wonderful sight. No, not a port-a-potty. Pickles. Yes, someone was handing out pickles. It was the best pick-me-up and the light saltiness was exactly what I needed. I will always remember those pickles.

As for the rest of the crew, Jenny made her half marathon debut in a smoking time of 1:53. Jess successfully ran the 5k Friday night, then the half Saturday morning and finished within her goal time. And Heidi slept in, enjoyed a lazy morning, then came out to cheer with more enthusiasm than anyone. A perfect weekend for all.

Back in the day, I was a bad influence on friends for the wrong reasons. I like to think these days, I’m still a “bad” influence…but in a good way.

Any other runners out there take on Grandma’s Marathon this year? Or are you training for a different race soon? The comments are your space so please write one. Find me on Instagram @lindsayinreallife or connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.

Controversy Over Nike’s Plus-Size Mannequin is What’s Wrong with Health and Fitness Perception

“Here’s the problem…”

Remember last week when I wrote a blog about the misconception of what healthy and fit looks like? If you don’t, that’s okay – I don’t’ expect you to but feel free to check it out via the link above.

I didn’t time it on purpose, ahead of this week’s blog, but sometimes the world just hands me blog ideas that fuel each other. And I can’t help but pour on the gasoline.

Nike’s Plus-Size Mannequin
Nike recently debuted a plus-size mannequin in its London flagship store.

This seems long overdue but, that aside, it’s great. People come in all shapes and sizes, as should clothing, so it only seems natural marketing teams would want to display clothing in all such sizes to appeal to all such potential buyers.

Apparently there was backlash over this from a journalist who believes this mannequin is too big and too fat.
Apparently said journalist believes Nike is promoting “fat acceptance” (if that’s a thing?) with a mannequin and clothing designed for people who are larger than a size 12.
Apparently Nike trying to be inclusive and encourage exercise to people of all sizes is offensive…to, I’m not sure, thin people I guess?

RunFargo

We’re not size 0, we have big legs, & we’re both healthy, fit runners. It’s not that crazy.

I’d like to meet this reporter and have a few words with her.

The Appearance of Health Isn’t As Important as Being Healthy
First of all, you can be “plus size” and be healthy. Sure, there’s a line between having a few rolls without health problems and having a few too many extra, extra rolls where health problems likely. I’m not here to argue that morbidly obese is healthy – I mean, it has the word “morbid” in the name for a reason.

But I’ve seen plenty of people, maybe they were a size 10, a 12, maybe bigger, I’m not exactly sure (who cares), and they were running in a race. I presume they trained or worked out to some degree to get to that race, which means it’s likely they have healthy hearts, possibly low blood pressure, maybe their mood is high and stress level low – in short, they have health traits one can’t always see.

I see people of all sizes regularly doing cardio at the gym or lifting heavy weights, same deal there. And then there are professional athletes, many of which who have larger frames but are healthier and fitter than most of the world. Healthy and fit come in all shapes and sizes.

You can’t tell me that someone who regularly exercises, even if they might have a few extra pounds compared to you or me, isn’t healthy in numerous ways. There’s this funny little thing called genetics that greatly affects our size and trying to fight against those genetics by restricting food, all in the name of maintaining what society deems “healthy and fit” based only on appearance, is the opposite of healthy and fit.

Nike’s Responsibility to Health and Fitness
Second, this woman’s argument about Nike’s “fat acceptance” (again, don’t like that but gotta keep it real to what was said) also implies it’s somehow Nike’s responsibility to change people’s lifestyle choices and force them away from being “fat” to being “fit”…and by fit, I again mean society’s surface definition of fit aka thin, flat belly, minimal arm jiggle, you know what I’m saying.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want Nike or any other company deciding what size I need to be in order to fit into this “fit and healthy” box or how I should live my life in general. It is NOT Nike’s responsibility to make people change their lifestyle or their choice of how to maintain their bodies.

What is Nike’s responsibility? To have a profitable company that provides a quality product to the consumer. If more and more people are a size 12 or 16 or 20, and those are potential consumers for workout gear, it’s Nike’s responsibility to cater to the market and what it demands. That’s just good business.

While I say it’s not Nike’s responsibility to shape the idea of what’s healthy and fit, you could argue it is in their best interest to encourage people to work out. And, what do people – of every size – need in order to work out? Workout clothes!

Nike – And Inclusivity – Win
Nike has had bad press lately, with its conflicting messages of female empowerment and less-than-accommodating contracts with pregnant/postpartum female sponsored athletes. But I think they win the day with this move. One reporter’s opinion that a plus-size mannequin is wrong or controversial should mean nothing to Nike. Go, Nike. Inclusivity always wins.

What do you think of Nike’s move to showcase a plus-size mannequin? The comments are all yours so please leave one. Or, connect with me @LindsayIRL on Twitter.

Being and Looking Healthy and Fit Isn’t One-Size-Fits All

“Things aren’t always what they seem”

I think the image and desired appearance, in its most general sense, of what it means to be fit and healthy has long been skewed. For guys, it’s having muscles without too much fat, for ladies, it’s being thin but not looking too muscular.

SickStomach

No sucking in, no posing – just five days of minimal food.

This image isn’t always accurate mostly because what’s fit and healthy varies based on the person. A person doesn’t have to fit inside a perfect box of being this lean or this strong to be healthy and fit.

I was reminded of this recently. After having a horrible stomach flu that prevented me from running and eating much of anything for five days, naturally it came with a loss of inches and weight.

On that fifth day, I was down to 141 pounds – a weight I haven’t been in years. A pair of my pants that were normally a bit big were so spacious I needed a belt. And I felt weak and unhealthy. I went for a five-mile run and, while it went okay, I didn’t feel my best.

Fast forward to Saturday that week, four days later, I was (presumably) back to my normal weight of 147 pounds and my stomach was noticeably rounder. And I felt strong and healthy. I went for a 20-mile run and, while the heat was really tough on me – and, let’s be real, 20 miles is still 20 miles – I felt pretty good.

My lowest weight in years. My stomach flatter and without bloat. My pants loose. On the surface, that probably seems high-five worthy and the gold standard by which most would believe is the achievement of my healthiest and fittest. But it was actually unhealthy and weak.

ShirtlessRunning

Same spot, noticeably rounder, much happier.

I’m at my best when I weigh a bit more and my belly is full and fueled. And it’s about more than how I look; my resting heart rate is in the 40s, my blood pressure is low, and my stress management skills are quite good. I’m strong enough to toss around my one-year-old son and train for a marathon while mom-ing and working for a living.

With temps in the mid-70s before 6 a.m. I bravely ran in just a sports bra, something I’ve been historically uncomfortable doing, my belly back to it’s regularly, flabby self.

I think a lot of the skewed perception has to do with social media. I mean, you don’t see fitness professionals or even the wannabes sharing anything but the most perfect images. The ones with perfect lighting, perfect posing, and likely taken after a fast. Not to knock them and, for some, that typical super-fit image is probably what’s right for them. But it’s not for everyone and I hope this is a reminder to always strive for what makes you feel your best, not how you think you should look.

At 147 pounds, a stomach that carried a baby and loves food, and everything fitting just right, I may not look like the vision of health and fit…but it’s right where I want to be.

Do you believe the vision of healthy and fit has been skewed by pop culture and social media? Do you set goals based on pants size and weight, or on how strong and good you feel? The comments are for you so please leave one. Or, connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.

Wednesday Wisdom – Wellness Advice for June 5…and Global Running Day

Welcome to another round of #wednesdaywisdom. This is wellness, health, and fitness advice in a quick, easy-to-digest format, designed to give you maximum energy and inspiration.

Think of it as a sweet potato…only as words.

WednesdayWisdom

Happy Global Running Day!

As an extra-fun tie-in, it’s also Global Running Day! Happiest of days to all my fellow runners out there and I hope you enjoy some special running-themed wisdom:

1. Five Reasons to Run Without Headphones
One of my favorite blogs of all-time. There’s so much we get out of running. Here are five reasons to run without headphones and really soak it all in.

2. You Might Be a Runner
I dug waaayyy into the archives for this one – we should almost call this post #waybackwednesday. This gem reminds you that, no matter how fast or how far, you are a runner. And for fun, 10 signs you might be a runner.

3. The Thing That Sucks Worse Than Running
My most recent blog felt like the perfect close to this month’s Wednesday Wisdom. Do you ‘have to’ do things or do you ‘get to’ do them? Here’s why swapping ‘have to’ with ‘get to’ is a game-changer.

Do you have questions or topics I can address with a #wednesdaywisdom blog or in a new, full blog? The comments are all yours to ask questions, share ideas, or, you know, just leave a comment – so do it, please! Or, connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.

The Thing That Sucks Worse Than Running

“Replace ‘have to’ with ‘get to’ for a change in perspective.”

Some people think running sucks. I respectfully disagree but I’m not here to have that argument. For the sake of this blog, we’re all in agreement that running is good.

For those who don’t agree and stand firm on the notion of running as a suckfest, allow me to share with you what sucks worse than running – not running.

Whether you’re in the thick of race training or simply enjoy going for a good run, there are few things in this world that suck worse than not running. FOMOR, Fear of Missing Out on Running, is real.

While I don’t mean this to be another blog about finding the good in bad situations, it’s sort of going that direction. But I promise there’s no fake “motivation” message or anything like that.

SickBaby

Sick day snuggles with the culprit who gave it to me.

Last week, I was minding my own business, enjoying peak week for Grandma’s Marathon and getting ready for my 20-miler on Saturday. After a legit 18-miler the weekend before, I was feeling confident and excited – and a little nervous and dreading it, of course.

Then, out of nowhere, the stomach flu hit me. And I mean HIT me.

Whether it’s because I’m getting older, I’ve been training hard, I have a one-year-old to care for, and a combination of several factors that perhaps add up to I don’t really have it all together as I like to think, this one hit me like a ton of bricks.

I could barely get out of bed the first two days. I had zero interest in eating. I attempted to work a bit both days and I could barely get anything done. It was bad.

Throughout all the Pepto, forced fluids, and trips to the bathroom, I couldn’t help feeling the worst about the inevitable fact: there’d be no 20-miler for me on Saturday. And, as it would turn out, Sunday wasn’t in the cards either.

As I started to feel a bit better on Saturday, I felt the worst about not being out there putting in my miles. It’s one thing to have to take a sick day from work, it’s worse having to take one from running…on the biggest run of the training period.

Saturday was so hard and I felt pretty down for most of it.

Yes, nearly every time, the thing that sucks most about running is not being able to do it.

But, as we must do with everything in life, it’s all about perspective and focusing on what we can control vs. falling into the trap of sorryness for what we can’t.

What it all means is we’re now looking at peak week: take two. I’ll refocus efforts, look at the past few days as unplanned but valuable rest, and go for my longest long run on Saturday. It also means I start my taper a week later, something I’ve done before and I can do again.

If nothing else, I hope this experience will make my 20-miler a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, parts of it will still suck. I mean, it’s still running 20 miles in June. I’m not here to pretend that’s going to be all Reese’s and Cheez-Its.

But there will be even more gratitude about the opportunity that I get to be out there vs. feeling like I have to be out there. A good dose of perspective.

Have you ever been in this situation, missing a run or workout when you really wanted to do it? The comments are for you so please leave one. Or connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.

Four Easy Things to do for Better Wellness

“Go big or go home – cool, I’ll go home and take a nap.”

When most people set goals, they go big, jump in headfirst, take a big bite. This is especially true in the wellness world. Must meal plan and prep every week. Must run a 5k. Must meditate 10 minutes every day.

It’s easy to get caught up in the big stuff and think achieving those big goals is the only way to be well. Truth is, there are some big wellness strides one can take by doing small, easy things.

Here are four simple steps you can take right now for better wellness.

1. Drink Water
Water is so simple yet so important.

First, there’s the scientific health benefits of drinking water like improved brain function and a happy colon and kidneys.

LoveCorkcicle

My latest, greatest water bottle to keep up the hydration game

Then there’s the added good water does, like it’s proven to boost energy levels and metabolism, prevent headaches, and enhance physical performance, important for a labor-intensive job or tough work out.

It also aids in natural detox of the body – no absurd juice, lemonade, or broth cleanses necessary.

There’s zero argument anyone can make against drinking lots of water. And it’s so easy to do it. So do it.

2. Move Intentionally
Movement matters – but it’s not necessary to run 10 miles to get the wellness benefits of moving. Movement should be part of every day life.

Going for a walk, using the stairs, even choosing a parking space far away from the door are all simple ways to move more. They’re small steps that add up.

Notice I added “intentionally” to this tip. A lot of fitness tips advise doing squats while brushing your teeth, stretch while in the shower, or do lunges in your cubicle while catching up on emails.

Um, does anyone actually do this sort of nonsense? I do not believe this is advice that’s fit for real life. To each their own but I don’t advise trying to do double duty on adding more movement to your day. It’s not that hard to move your body, it doesn’t need this level of overthinking. If you honestly can’t make time, 15 minutes, in your day to do cardio, surely you can make the effort to walk, take stairs, or do something.

This ties closely to another belief I have that goes against multitasking. I believe in being present and focused, and just do what you’re doing.

Brush your teeth while you’re brushing your teeth. Shower while you’re showering. And do work while you’re at work. There’s no need to do other things while you’re already doing something…

3. One Thing At a Time
…Which leads to the next point – just do one thing at a time.

In our over-scheduled, always so busy, social media-driven world, apparently we can’t do just one thing anymore. We must multitask to get more done rather than set boundaries on commitments. We must cram in activities because there’s not enough time rather than plan and prioritize that time.

And, apparently, we must film a concert to share on social media rather than, oh I don’t know, enjoy the damn concert – that one I seriously don’t get. Please stop it.

Okay, now I’m not saying you can never multitask. It has its place in the day. But more often than not, let yourself to focus on one thing at a time.

On a related note, here’s why to disconnect and put down your phone for better health.

Be present. Enjoy moments. Focus on your work, your friend, or simply just be. Not only is this an easy-to-implement wellness tip, it’s a simple, yet giant step towards mindfulness and even meditation, if that’s the end goal.

4. Be Grateful
Finally, let’s talk about the wellness benefits of gratitude. Again, the proven benefits of showing gratitude are better physical and emotional health. Additional benefits are better sleep and greater mental strength.

CoffeeTalk

Grateful for friendship and coffee.

Then there’s the improved self-esteem that comes from taking a moment to be grateful. Social media traps us into focusing on what others have, what they’re doing, or why their life is so great (or the appearance of all). Instead, let’s put the focus back on ourselves, what we have, the great things we’ve done, or why we really do have it pretty good.

Similar with multitasking, I’m not advising to ditch social media entirely – I mean, chances are you found this post through social media (thank you for reading). And I absolutely want to see photos of your dog in my feed. But always remember that someone else’s positives don’t take away from yours – or, really, even affect yours.

You don’t have to keep a gratitude journal and write in it every day – though I personally do enjoy gratitude journaling. But make the effort to recognize something you’re grateful for every day. It’s good for you, it’s easy, and I promise you have enough to fill that journal if you decide to take it to that level.

What would you add to this list? What’s a simple, daily habit you’ve taken that has positively impacted your wellness? The comments are for you so please leave one. Or connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.

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