If you are eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise, then you know you’re on the right track to a healthy life, but could you be missing a key element of well-being? Self-care is just as important to your wellness as burning calories and consuming nutritious foods, so make sure you are leaving time for it in your busy schedule. Looking for some ideas on how you can balance your fitness plans with self-care? Here are a few ways you can take care of yourself as you take care of your body.
Combine Self-Care with Getting In Shape
When you think of self-care, you likely think of activities like yoga and that’s for good reason. Yoga is an excellent way to decompress, but did you know that the right kind of yoga can be an amazing overall workout for your body? Practicing positions like plank or wheel can get your heart rate up while challenging your muscles. Yoga isn’t the only way to combine self-care with exercise. You can relax while swimming or taking a hike through the woods. Hiking with a backpack can burn thousands of calories while giving you a much-needed break from the rush of your normal routine.
Get the Most Out of Gym Memberships
Gym memberships are a great way to reach health goals. If part of your fitness routine includes a gym, take the time to check on other services included, such as massage or a sauna. Getting a massage can be good for your muscles but it can also be a wonderful way to unwind and melt stress away. Even if your gym doesn’t offer in-house services, there’s a good chance they partner with local spas or health clubs that do offer options for relaxation. Ask around and use the benefits of your monthly fees.
Set Realistic Goals and Boundaries
Getting fit is a smart goal for long-term health and vitality but make sure your fitness routine isn’t causing more harm than good. Setting unrealistic goals can be damaging to your mental health and cause undue stress on your emotions, and your body. If you’re looking to lose weight, know what you can safely lose, and with any fitness goal be patient with yourself. Be cautious as well that your workout plans aren’t taking over your life. Exercise addiction is a reality and can be just as dangerous as an addiction to alcohol or drugs. So, be kind to yourself and don’t take your fitness desires to dangerous levels.
Create a Relaxation Routine
While diet and exercise are certainly the building blocks for a healthy lifestyle, several experts agree that sleep may actually have the most impact on your overall well-being. Lack of sleep can even prevent you from losing weight and impairs your ability to think and function clearly. Spend some time creating a sleep paradise in your bedroom, by investing in quality pillows and linens, installing room-darkening drapes and turning on a noise machine at night. Build your evenings around your need for sleep as well. Take a few minutes to decompress when you get home for the evening, by writing in a journal or retreating to a space in your home set up for meditation. Keep lighting dim before bedtime and turn off all screens a few hour before your head hits the pillow, so that you have a better chance of getting the sleep you need.
Finding time to balance a fitness routine with self-care can be challenging, but there are ways to practice both without giving up more of your time. Figure out how to combine self-care with exercise, be kind to your body and mind, and make sleep a priority. By finding your perfect balance you can be better equipped to achieve wellness that will last a lifetime.
**Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.