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Avant at The Arboretum Apartments Blog

Live Healthy at Avant at the Arboretum

It’s not too late to make 2019 your best year yet! Take July to refocus on you and your health.

Regardless of how gung-ho you started off 2019 with resolutions to put more focus on you, to exercise more or lose some weight, there’s a good chance you’ve hit some speed bumps (if not given up completely) in the past six months. Any health professional, life coach, or therapist will tell you that healthy living is not a linear progression. There are days that will be easier and days that will be harder to think of your health first, and there will be days when you completely throw things by the wayside and eat all the junk food while not leaving your couch.

In any case, it’s important to remember that your health and wellness is more than simply what you’ve done that day, and certainly more than what you’ve done in the past. No matter how many times you’ve fallen off the wagon the more important part is getting back on. The first six months of 2019 have passed, which means it’s the perfect time to recommit to any goals you set at the beginning of the year and finish strong. Don’t wait until 2020 to start focusing on you! Take steps over the next six months to invest in yourself.

Water

Did you know that about 60% of a human body is made of water? Water is arguably the most important element for survival and every living cell in the body needs it to survive. While a person can go three or more weeks without food, the most anyone has gone without water is only about a week, maximum (more like three or four days in more difficult conditions). Water keeps your joints working properly, digestion flowing, and temperature regulated. The problem is we’re constantly losing water, through sweat, exhalation, and other normal bodily functions, and in extreme conditions an adult can lose up to 1 to 1.5 liters of water per hour. If you don’t drink enough water that 60% can quickly decrease and cause health issues like tiredness, low energy, and headaches, or worse. Thirst can also be mistaken for hunger, which can lead to poor food choices or overeating.

We can all agree that water is important, but it’s not always easy to remember to drink more water. If hydration is something you struggle with there are plenty of tips, tricks, and tools out there to help. Shop around for water bottles with daily tracking marks, or you can download an app such as Plant Nanny (here for Apple, and here for Android) to remind you to drink from a reusable water bottle you already have. Increasing your water intake is one of the easiest ways you can start focusing more on your health, so even if you can’t commit to exercising regularly yet at least commit to drinking 6-8 (or more) glasses of water per day. Your body will thank you!

Sleep

Next to water, sleep is arguably the most important aspect of health and wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can lead to a myriad of health issues ranging from obesity and diabetes to heart failure and stroke, not to mention the brain functions that decrease with lack of sleep including hormonal regulations (potentially leading to or worsening symptoms of depression). When you’re asleep your brain is able to rest and reset, your body heal and repair, and allows you to prepare for the next day. Sleep plays a vital role in both physical and mental health, yet sleep is one of the first things to go when life gets hectic and busy. Scientists and health professionals recommend adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and children and teens even more.

On the flip side, adequate sleep can lead to several important health benefits including increased concentration and productivity, healthy weight, better mood and emotion management, enhanced athletic performance, and much more. Western society especially has put more emphasis on work and less on sleep, but you can spend the rest of this year going against that norm and benefitting from it. If you have trouble sleeping consider keeping a sleep journal for a week or two, writing down how much you sleep each night and how alert (or drowsy) you feel the next day. Also keep track of how long it takes to get to sleep, and what may be negatively impacting your sleep. Reduce stimulants like caffeine, strenuous activity, and screen time in the hours before bed, and talk to your doctor about other ways you can better your sleep.

Mental Health

Mental health has become much more important over the past few years, and rightfully so. After all, the brain is an organ and should be treated as such. Mental health is much more than a disorder such as depression or anxiety, and regardless of if you have a diagnosis or are seeking treatment it’s a good idea to focus more on your mental and emotional wellbeing. Make an effort to take some time for yourself, finding ways to relax and enjoy where you are in life. Consider activities like journaling or even hands-on crafts such as kitting. Getting out in nature can also help, whether it be a hike or regular exercise (and don’t forget exercise also releases endorphins!), or for a gentler activity consider yoga. Stress can lead to burn-out, and if we overextend or overcommit it can negatively impact nearly every aspect of our lives. As you’re recommitting the rest of 2019 to better yourself, don’t forget to add your mental health to that list.

If you have the means, consider finding a licensed therapist or life coach to work through life’s tough moments and find action items to take to make 2019, 2020, and beyond the best they can be.

Exercise

Back in January we gave you five tips to stick to your fitness goals to help with New Year’s Resolutions. Exercise is usually the first item we think about when it comes to improving health, however, there’s a reason it’s so far down on this list. While exercise is often the basis of many New Year’s Resolutions, it’s also often the first resolution to die (most resolutions don’t make it past February). Sometimes it’s best to focus on smaller, more achievable goals like drinking more water or getting an extra hour of sleep per night. That’s not to say exercise isn’t important, though! Regular physical activity can increase several areas of health and decrease the chance of numerous health risks, and in fact, health professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of activity per day. If 30 minutes every day is too overwhelming to think about, there’s no shame in starting smaller. If every day is too much, what about every other day, or three times per week? Also consider different ways to be more active throughout the day, like going on a walk during lunch or taking that weekly call standing up rather than sitting at your desk. Little things can add up, and it’s easier to commit to a few small activities rather than one seemingly insurmountable task.

Doctor

Before you start any new exercise program or other health-related activity it’s important to consult your doctor. Every body is different and health needs vary from person to person. What works for one person may not work for another, which is why it’s important to involve health professionals for advice and monitoring. They can suggest ways to help any aspect of your health, recommend treatments and habit changes, or even refer you to specialists if needed. You should have a checkup at least once a year, and don’t hesitate to bring up health issues or concerns while you’re there. After all, that’s what doctors are for!

Commit to focusing on you and your health the rest of 2019! Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let us know your plan!

 

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