Wellness… was that even in our vocabularies 5 years ago? Funny, because it’s all we think about now. Is it just me or have we all traded in late, inebriated nights at the bar for early morning yoga classes? Here are my top 10 wellness habits that everyone can start today.
Improve Your Posture
Good posture can alleviate back and shoulder pain. More importantly though, it can make you look and feel more confident. I resolved to improve my posture this year and I enlisted the help of physical therapist Jessica Wiley, owner of iAM Physical Therapy in La Jolla. After 6 sessions of deep tissue massage, stretches, and strengthening exercises, I’m now looking and feeling better.
Take a Pilates Reformer Class
How else can you get such a great workout while (mostly) lying down? I’ve traded in my boot camp style fitness classes for Pilates classes. They’re just as effective, but immensely more relaxing. If you haven’t experienced “feet in straps” you’re missing out on this heavenly feeling and need to book a class today. My favorite Pilates studio in La Jolla is Vida Pilates.
Leave the car at home and walk whenever possible
I live 1.25 miles away from my son’s school. While most other parents in town are driving their kids to school and waiting in the drop-off line, I meet up with a group of 3 other parents with kids and dogs to make the round trip trek of 2.5 miles. Yes, I have to wake up about an hour earlier every morning to accomplish this, but it’s worth it.
Use a mineral sunscreen every day
Throw out all your chemical sunscreens and replace them with mineral ones! The ingredients you want to look for in a mineral sunscreen are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These natural minerals do not penetrate the skin, but rather create a physical barrier from the sun. What you want to stay away from are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and andoctinoxate. These yucky chemicals penetrate your skin, which is not a good thing. Read more about the differences between physical/mineral sunscreens and chemical ones here.
Try looking up… literally
Whenever I need a good dose of mindfulness, I go outside, lie on my back and look up. Try it in a park: Take a blanket and put it under a tree. Look up and watch and listen as the breeze moves the leaves. Try it at night: Lie on a beach and watch the stars glimmer in the sky. If you look long enough, you’ll certainly catch a shooting star.
Light a candle
I love the smell of Anthropologie stores. That particular smell makes me feel so good that I actually googled “how to make your home smell like an Anthropologie store.” As it turns out, it’s not hard. You just have to buy one of their Capri Blue Volcano candles. Burning my Volcano candle has been the best source of aromatherapy I’ve ever experienced.
Start foam rolling and cupping
I was introduced to foam rolling and cupping by my physical therapist (see #1 above). Both are tools to facilitate myofascial release and increase lymphatic draining. What’s even more awesome is that there are claims that these practices can reduce cellulite. While I’m not able to substantiate those claims (yet), I’m faithfully foam rolling and cupping my thighs and keeping my fingers crossed.
Call a friend
Don’t text or Facebook message a friend. Pick up the phone and talk to a friend. Better yet, ask to get together for lunch or a hike. Maintaining friendships is one of the keys to happiness so make sure to nurture your friendships.
Cut out as much refined sugar as possible
I have a terrible sweet tooth so this is by far the most difficult item on the list for me to accomplish. When I have a bad sugar craving, I’m now buying Hail Merry tarts. They’re made with raw ingredients so you will find them in the refrigerated section. And they’re sweetened naturally with ingredients like organic maple syrup.
Note one thing you’re grateful for every morning
Gratefulness is another key to happiness so make a habit of noting one thing you’re grateful for each morning. My one thing is often the same each morning – I’m grateful for my legs. No, I don’t have long and beautiful supermodel legs, but they work and they get me from point A to point B. If I have the ability to walk my son to school in the morning, it’s a good day and I’m grateful.
Hope you enjoyed these fun and easy wellness tips!