In February 2022 I wrote a post about which health habits were working for me. Over a year later, it’s nice to see that a few of them have withstood the test of time:
- LMNT for optimal hydration. I have one every single day and always look forward to it.
- Madeline Moves app for daily strength training
- Chiropractic care. I go every other week.
- Morning light. When the sun comes up, Finley and I (and David if he’s around) go for a slow walk. It usually ends up being 1.25 miles. Outside morning light helps set your circadian rhythm and honestly it just is a nice, peaceful way to start the day.
I’m still regularly engaging with all those habits, along with the core others of optimizing sleep, eating a lot of veggies and protein, and keeping my mind as peaceful and focused as possible (not regularly watching the news).
There are a few more experimental practices and habits I’ve adopted lately, too. David has been on a big health kick, which is motivating for me. We’re having fun trying some things together as our wellness focus continues to evolve to a longevity-minded approach. I care a lot less about my beach body and a lot more about my 25-year from now functional body. Here are a few of the new focuses:
- Less alcohol. This was one of my 2023 goals and though vague, it’s sticking. I’ve tracked when and how much I drink since January 1 and have been pleased with how I’ve been able to break the mindless habit of pouring a glass of wine. I’m having a drink about once a week right now, and sticking to 1-2. There have been some exceptions and I am still exploring this area, but my sleep and mental clarity seem better than ever.
- Weights. I’ve done strength training for years but in the past month two things have changed: I’ve been challenging myself with heavier weights. Also, we used to take preworkout then go for a walk and come back to do weights. We’ve switched that order, hitting the weights right after taking the preworkout and it has allowed for harder workouts.
- Creatine. Ok, this one is super new; I’ve been taking it for about 2 weeks. David brought it up and since I’ve been researching it, I’m hard-pressed to find anything negative about it. My goals for taking it are increased muscle and bone density. Since I didn’t do a loading phase and instead just started taking 4-5 g a day, it should take me 3-4 weeks before I notice a physical difference, so I’ll report back.
- Protein. This is a health topic I’m drinking the Kool-Aid hard on right now. Getting enough protein is hard but when I hit my goals I feel great- more satiated, stronger, etc.
- Movement throughout the day. I’m grateful for a lifestyle that lends itself to movement. I was always that person that would go walk some stairs mid-day at the office (though that was years… decades?! ago), but I feel a secret to longevity is to just keep moving.
- Dry brushing. I started doing this regularly when I had a lump in my breast scare as a way to help my lymphatic health. I’ve been off and on with it since then, but lately have been more diligent about doing it before every shower.
- Magnesium and Tart Cherry Juice. This delicious cherry limeade tasting concoction has become my evening sipper of choice. I drink it while I cook or after dinner. It’s delicious! The magnesium helps promote relaxation, reduces anxiety, promotes bone health and exercise recovery, among other things. You want a magnesium glycinate or bis-glycinate for this purpose (there are multiple forms of magnesium). I add a scoop of magnesium bis-glycinate to tart cherry juice, which is rich in antioxidants, can help muscle recovery, and is a natural form of melatonin (great for sleep). I use about 1/4-1/3 c (I don’t measure) tart cherry juice, then fill the rest of the glass up with a lime Spindrift. It will bubble because of the magnesium, so have a big enough glass. The result? A delicious beverage that will help promote a great night of sleep!
Optimal health is always an ongoing journey from me. I’m far from perfect on it, but that’s what makes it fun; there is always an area I can learn more about. There are plenty of things I’d still like to incorporate more, that I haven’t yet been successful with making consistent. Here are a few:
- Cardio. I know it’s not the end all be all, but it’s a good thing to get your heart rate up a few times a week. I tend to like to focus on strength so I need to add this in more often.
- Sweating. I don’t sweat easily, which is why I like my sauna bag. Unfortunately I don’t use it nearly as regularly as I should.
- Stretching. I’ve gotten better at doing 2 minutes stretch sessions a couple times a day but I really would love to do a better job doing full body stretch/15 minute yoga stretching at least a few times a week. I have the hardest time making this a habit!
- Candles. I just can’t seem to shake them. I love candles. Ironic since I have air purifiers and diffusers that I use and appreciate. Then I go and light a candle. Perhaps the joy it brings me outweighs the air pollutants? Sigh…
Share with me; what’s working for your health right now? What’s something you’d love to improve on?