Sharon Ash | Health Promotion Specialist, Personnel Support Programs
As memories of the Hectic Holiday season start to fade – we look to the New Year for a fresh start, an opportunity to leave behind that which no longer serves us and welcome in the gifts of Mind, Body and Spirit that are needed to support our journey to MAKING HEALTH A HABIT in 2017. So, let’s consider a few options to get you stepping in the right direction towards a happier, healthier you.
Our mind needs exercise just as much as our body. Yes, meditation has proven to provide an enormous benefit to strengthening our mind, but if time is a barrier here is a simple 4 minute mindfulness technique that you can do anywhere at any time… Tactical Breathing:
Inhale for a 4 count – Hold for a 4 count – Exhale for a 4 count – Hold the exhale for a 4 count completing 4 cycles per minute for 4 minutes.
Tactical breathing is an easy to learn technique that combines deep yogic breathing, with counting to target our relaxation response.
In addition to physical activity, we can also strengthen our body by choosing healthy foods more often! If time is a barrier, prepare transportable snacks ahead of time. Follow Canada’s Food Guide recommendations of eating dark leafy greens and at least one orange vegetable per day and don’t forget the fluids. Water is often referred to as the forgotten nutrient. Carry a water bottle and use it often. Make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Feeding our spirit is equally as necessary to a whole health framework. Practicing a hobby, surrounding yourself with people you love, volunteering, living your passion, playing with your kids or animal companions or if you’re like me… reading a good book. Find something you enjoy and do it daily.
Creating change can seem overwhelming – so start small.
Pick one piece of the puzzle and take the first step towards Making Health a Habit in 2017
And remember … It’s a journey not a destination!