3 Simple Things to begin to Tune In to Your Healthiest Self
1. Drink more water. Our bodies are approximately 65% water. Water intake is a significant contributor to our overall health. It keeps us hydrated, reduces cravings, and cleanses our body. The optimal amount of daily water for an individual is half of your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink at least 75 oz. of water a day. You can alkalize your water, making it even more beneficial, by adding lemon or lime. Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning aids digestion and assists weight loss. Another alkalizing aid is 1-2 tsp. of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. of room temperature water. You can even add fresh herbs, cucumber slices, citrus, apple slices, or other fruit to infuse your water with a little flavor. Enjoy & drink up!
2. Notice your breath and stop 3 times a day to do 3-Part Breath. You can give your nervous system a rest moving from the on-going fight or flight mode to a state of relaxation. Consciousness of breath is the first step toward mindfulness of your body and the ability to tune in to it's needs. Just stopping and recognizing your breath, how it feels coming in and going out of your body, will open your awareness. Whether or not we bring our attention to the breath, it continues and keeps us alive. Knowing this alone is testament to the powerful energy of our breath. 3-Part Breath starts with awareness. As you follow your breath in on the inhale and out on the exhale, begin to breath more deeply. Clear your mind. Close your eyes. On the inhale, think "inhaling" and on the exhale, think "exhaling". Notice the affect on your body. Take the breath all the way to your belly on the inhale, letting it naturally expand. As you exhale, notice your belly button draw in toward your spine. On your next deep inhale, your belly expands, ribs and chest rise, as you feel a gentle lift and your collarbone widens. On the exhale, chest and ribs lower, shoulders relax down your back, as your belly draws in expelling the air from your lungs. This deep breathing expands your diaphragm and massages your internal organs while calming your nervous system.
Remember, 3 times a day to stop, notice, follow, and deepen your breath. You can do it driving in your vehicle - just don't close your eyes! It's a wonderful way to calm yourself while sitting in traffic. Try it on your lunch break or when you are feeling particularly stressed-out. It is also very nice and relaxing right before you go to bed.
3. Do wrist stretches to lubricate joints, remove blockages, and maintain energy flow.
Wrist bending - with arms extended straight out in front of your body and palms facing down, move both wrists up on the inhale and down on the exhale, synchronizing the movement with your breath. Repeat 20 times.
Wrist rotations - with arms extended straight out in front of your body and your thumb inside your fist, rotate your wrists 20 times in each direction. Be aware of your breath and keep it's rhythm slow and deep.
These exercises are great to do if you work at a computer. Take a little break, turn away from your monitor, or stand up and do these simple exercises.
With continued practice of these Three Simple Things, you will notice a difference. Remember, it's the little things that add up to big changes, so start today. Here's to your healthiest self!!