Health blogger and LA yoga instructor Danielle Cuccio explains why maintaining both a healthy mind and body is the key to looking and feeling amazing in your everyday life (including your busy working week).
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body
You can work out 7 days a week (which I don’t recommend – I recommend 5 days on, 2 days off) and still feel completely overwhelmed, stressed and overworked.
Yes, when we exercise we naturally increase endorphins, but using your mind (learning and enjoying your workouts and physical activities) is a big part of your overall health.
That’s why I love yoga. It’s a practice which incorporates your mind, body and spirit. When you’re on the yoga mat you’re completely focused and undistracted by your thoughts. Think of it as a break for your brain.
After an hour of yoga (or even just 15 minutes), you feel so much better, physically and emotionally. When we let go of stress and tension mentally, we can think so much more clearly and make better decisions at work and at home.
Keep your mind focussed and relaxed during busy working weeks
Try your best to meditate or hop into a yoga class at least once each week. I always feel much better after taking a class or setting aside some ‘me time’.
I also love using calming lotions and oils that can be kept in your office desk or gym bag, just to get a sense of calm in the middle of the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
If you can’t make a mid-week exercise class, take a mental break and meditate
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for 5 minutes. 5 minutes in your 24-hour day is nothing and everyone has the time for it.
I sometimes use my Slendertone belt while meditating because it’s timed (20-30 minutes) and works my abdominal muscles at the same time. It’s especially great for those with busy lifestyles because it gives us the chance to do both simultaneously.
There are other ways to maintain a healthier mind and body every day
Think about your health as a lifelong commitment. It’s not something that we do for a week and give up on. Your personal goals have to be realistic.
If you don’t work out today, don’t give up and say I’m working out every single day this week moving forward. Again, this is not realistic. Be easier on yourself. Start by adding one day per week, then two and then three.
You want this to be eased into your life gently so that you can commit to it without the task seeming impossible.
Slowly improving your diet is better for long-term weight loss and wellbeing
The same rule applies for nutrition. Don’t restrict yourself completely. Let yourself have a small treat every day. Mine is homemade popcorn. I’m obsessed!
The 80/20 diet is an easy way to stay healthy and never overdo it! I usually eat pretty healthy during week days (80%) and then I let myself indulge a bit more on the weekends (20%). Or, if I eat healthily from 8am-6pm, I let myself have a piece of chocolate or something sweet that I’m craving as a cheat.
You can always create healthier versions of your favourite treats, like my 2-ingredient chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.