Want to feel better by Halloween? How about embarking on 50 days of wellness with me?
Starting tomorrow, do one of these 50 tasks daily. Keep a journal and note how they make you feel – can you make them stick? You don’t have to go in order. If you already do some of them – well note that in your journal and recognize that you are well on your way to greater health. Some of the tips are simple, one-off events – others may make you more conscious all day. Some, you may not like…that really means you should do them. Exercise, nutrition, compassion and awareness are all part of the plan.
You’re in? Great. Start tomorrow with just one of them:
1) Get up 15 minutes early and go for a walk.
2) Drink 8 oz. of water before every meal.
3) Swim 10 laps (20 lengths).
4) Meditate for 10 minutes before starting your day.
5) Take a yoga class.
6) Wear a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps.
7) Jump rope for 10 minutes.
8) Treat your feet to a new pair of workout shoes, especially if it has been more than a year.
9) Get up once every hour for a 5-10 minute stroll.
10) Sign up for a 5K. Plan to walk or run it.
11) Take an indoor cycling class.
12) Do 20 bodyweight squats, 20 pushups and 20 alternating lunges, three times in a row. No breaks.
13) Go vegan for a day – no animal products at all, including cheese, milk and eggs.
14) Add 10 minutes of cardio to your normal workout.
15) Go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
16) Hold plank position for one minute.
17) Bring five pieces of fruit to the office and place them on your desk. Eat one every day for a week instead of a junky snack from the cafeteria.
18) Eliminate all soda for one day (regular and diet).
19) Stretch for five minutes after your next workout. Hold each stretch for about 20 seconds.
20) Get a massage
21) Trade white bread for whole wheat. Make sure the first ingredient is 100 percent whole wheat flour.
22) For one day, measure your portion sizes. Proper portions are 4 ounces of protein (about the size of the palm of your hand), 1 cup of vegetables (if there is no dressing or sauce, you can do much more!), ½ cup of grains (1 slice of bread, ½ cup of brown rice or quinoa). Most women need about 1.5 portions of protein, five portions of grains and five portions of vegetables (two could be fruit) each day. Men need slightly more because they tend to burn more calories. Go for 2 portions of protein, six to eight portions of grains and five portions of vegetables.
23) Get out your bike (or borrow one) and ride for 30 minutes (or more).
24) Make a work meeting a walking meeting.
25) Opt for half the cheese and order extra veggies on your pizza.
26) Do 15 burpees.
27) Be conscious of your posture – notice when you slump and sit up taller.
28) Cook with olive oil or coconut butter instead of dairy butter or margarine for at least one day. These fats have healthier properties.
29) Between weight training sets, take 20 to 30 seconds to stretch the muscle you just worked. Boston researchers found that men who did this increased their strength by 20 percent.
30) Eat an orange instead of drinking a glass of orange juice. Save 50 calories and gain lots of fiber.
31) Go the speed limit.
32) Take the cheese or mayo or creamy dressing off your sandwich or salad.
33) Start a gratitude journal. Before going to bed, write down something you were grateful for this day.
34) Do not eat in front of the television today. This includes snacks.
35) Take your dog, or your neighbor’s dog, on a long walk.
36) Sit down at a table for every meal today – not your desk and not in your car.
37) Smile and say hello to everyone you pass today.
38) Pick up any stray litter you see on the ground.
39) Take a day off technology. No phone ,no facebook, no television.
40) Try yerba mate instead of coffee today. You can get it at most health food or grocery stores in the tea aisle. It offers a natural energy boost that makes you less jittery than coffee. Brew loose leaves like coffee or the tea bags like tea.
41) Spend the whole day giving people the benefit of the doubt.
42) Perform a random act of kindness: for example, pay for the drinks of the next person in the Starbucks drive-through; leave flowers on a random doorstep; or leave spare change in a vending machine.
43) Slow down when you approach a yellow light instead of speeding through it.
44) Eat only foods with three ingredients or less. For example: whole eggs, oatmeal, fresh veggies, lemon juice, olive oil, raw nuts, plain chicken or fish, fresh fruit, brown rice, natural peanut butter, plain milk and dried beans. Chances are if it comes in a package, it is more processed than it needs to be.
45) Trade your chair for a stability ball today.
46) Drink 70 ounces of water today. Plain water – not flavored, carbonated, sugared or artificially sweetened water.
47) Hug 10 people today.
48) Treat yourself to a bath.
49) Climb the stairs at your office, at a store or at home 10 extra times today.
50) Eat breakfast. Skip it and you slow your metabolism and set yourself up to eat too much later. Choose something healthy: whole grain toast with nut butter, egg whites and veggies, oatmeal with berries or yogurt with almonds are great choices.