How to Feel Great 24 Hours from Now
How are you feeling today? Would you like to feel better tomorrow? If so, here's some good news: You can feel great in just 24 hours by making small changes in your diet and lifestyle.
These changes don't require you to do anything extraordinary. In fact, these are the little rules that we know we need to live by for optimal health and happiness, but which get shoved aside by our daily routines.
Try them out for a day, and feel the difference!
Start Your Day Off Right
Look at your usual breakfast choices. Could they be healthier? Do you skip breakfast in an effort to save calories, or because you don't like to eat first thing in the morning?
Your breakfast kicks off your metabolism for the day. If you run on empty all morning, your metabolism will slow to a crawl. You'll also find yourself starving by lunchtime, making it more likely that you'll overeat.
Give your morning a healthy start by preparing a nutritious breakfast of turkey bacon, eggs, and fresh strawberries.
If you'd prefer something more portable, mix up a smoothie using silken tofu and various fruits.
If you're a light eater in the morning, at least have some peanut butter on whole grain toast.
The important thing is to get a dose of nutrition to get your metabolism in gear and make you feel better all day long.
Stretch and Relax
Mornings are a great time to stretch your muscles and prepare yourself to deal with the stress you will encounter during the day.
You can do stretching and relaxation exercises before you get out of bed, or after you eat breakfast.
Sit down in lotus position and gently stretch your arms, hips, and back. Do head and shoulder rolls to relieve any tension that built up overnight. Then straighten your legs and stretch them one at a time.
Return to lotus position and close your eyes. Feel your stress draining away along with the muscle tension. Breathe deeply, and hold each breath for a count of five.
Do this for five minutes while you visualize the tasks you would like to achieve that day.
Once you're ready to head out the door, grab some drinking water to take with you. Most of us go through our days in a state of mild dehydration. Medications and health conditions can make dehydration even worse.
Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water. It's best to drink throughout the day, perhaps sipping on a 32 ounce cup of water all morning, then refilling it at lunch and drinking the rest over the course of your afternoon.
You might find that you need to make more trips to the bathroom, but that's a sign of proper hydration. It means your body is letting go of retained fluid and flushing itself clean.
Snacking is an important way to keep your energy level high. Look for snacks that pack a lot of nutrition into a handful of calories.
Almonds are an excellent choice because they contain protein, healthy fat, and healthy carbs. Low-fat cheese or yogurt is another good choice. Raw fruits and vegetables give you plenty of vitamins and minerals for a low calorie cost.
Try to eat a snack every two hours to keep your blood sugar stable. This will prevent cravings and help you feel full until your next meal.
Have a Slow, Healthy Dinner
By dinner time, you've put in a full day. You might be feeling tired or emotionally exhausted. Instead of binging on comfort foods, give yourself a variety of tasty but nutritious foods that will keep you feeling good all evening.
Serve up some lean protein like roasted chicken or lean ground sirloin. Add a colorful side salad filled with your favorite seeds and veggies, and have a cup of whole grain pasta on the side.
Be sure to skip the alcohol and caffeine with dinner; both can interfere with the quality of your sleep and alchohol can affect your weight in an adverse manner.
Go for a Walk
A little after-dinner activity can help you calm your mind and loosen your muscles. Exercise also helps you sleep better at night, and good sleep is a vital part of feeling great tomorrow.
Since you're just starting out, your goal should be to get 30 minutes of cardio activity.
If you're not accustomed to exercise, take it easy with a walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park. If the weather's bad, stay home and dance around to your favorite music.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
Now that you've exercised, hydrated yourself throughout the day, and avoided late doses of caffeine and alcohol, you're all set to have a good night's sleep. A little more stretching and relaxation can help clear your mind of racing thoughts.
If noise or light interfere with your sleep, invest in some inexpensive ear plugs and a sleep mask. These might feel a little awkward at first, but the deep sleep they bring is well worth it.
Also, give yourself enough time to get a full night's sleep. Most of us require between 8 and 10 hours a night. If you've been operating on significantly less, you might be surprised by how refreshed you can feel with just a little extra sleep.
Here's to a better tomorrow!