When we think health, we typically think of nutrition and exercise, but we often forget about our mind. Health encompasses both the body and mind. Here are some tips to bring “whole” health to your day.
1) Practice Gratitude: We all know stress is bad for your health and can raise your blood pressure. Start the day off right by practicing gratitude first thing in the morning. Write down or say aloud a few specific things you are grateful for. This will help put you in a positive frame of mind before tackling the day ahead. For more ideas go here.
2) Stretch: Try a few stretches after getting out of bed to loosen up your muscles. This will reduce risk of injury and allow you to exercise longer, which keeps your heart healthy! Try a few stretches towards the end of the day as well when you feel tense. Here are some desk stretches to relieve tension.
3) Have a heart healthy breakfast: Try some low-fat Greek yogurt topped with berries, seeds or nuts. Low-fat dairy has been shown to help reduce blood pressure and the protein in Greek yogurt will help you feel full. Here are a few others to try.
4) Use lunchtime for a walk or workout: Try to squeeze in some movement throughout the day. Get up and do a few laps around the office or spend half of your lunch time going for a walk. This can help decrease stress but also get in some exercise. Resistance training is also great way to benefit your heart and muscles as well. For some basic resistance exercises go here.
5) Reset your mind after work: After sitting in traffic after a long day at work this is needed. Try listening to mood-boosting music in the car to help ease the tension of rush hour. Love on your furry friend when you get home. Try this simple exercise: Take a deep breath in through your nose feeling the breath start in your belly and work its way to your head for a count of 7 and exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 7.
This blog post was written by Heather Snell, Preventive Health and Wellness Coordinator at the Metro Nashville Health Department. It first appeared in the MPHD Healthy Nashville Newsletter - May 2018.