Ten minutes a day is all you need to get started! Anyone can find ten minutes...you can do it, we believe in you and know you can. If you haven’t been active in a while and are just starting out it’s important to remember to start small and build with time. It’s as easy as finding something active you enjoy and doing it for a total of 10 minutes each day.
Once 10 minutes seems easy, add on 5 more minutes and then 5 more after that. If you have bad or stiff joints, start with low-impact exercises like walking, biking, swimming, yoga, pilates or an elliptical. And remember, exercise is anything you enjoy that gets your heart rate and breathing up.
You can avoid injury by beginning at a low intensity and then moving up gradually to amedium intensity when you feel ready. Additionally, it’s often wise to consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.
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Sleep experts recommend most adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each day but it’s important to remember that every person is different. Some people can function on less than seven hours of sleep each day while others may need more than nine. Find out how much sleep is right for you. You’ll know you’re getting enough sleep when you stop feeling sleepy during the day.
Be aware that the average sleep cycle is 90-110 minutes long. Because of this, if you allow your body to finish a full sleep cycle before waking, you will awake feeling less groggy and more refreshed. If you need more sleep, begin by adding 15 extra minutes each night until you’ve reached your optimum level.
Sleep needs also differ depending on our age or stage of life. Getting our required amount of sleep often becomes more difficult as we age, but as adults, our sleep needs generally remain the same for the rest of our lives. There are also a few stages of life that are unique in their sleeping patterns, the first being newborns, infants and toddlers. This age group benefits from frequent naps as part of a regular sleeping schedule.
Second, parents should be aware that as children become teenagers, most of them naturally change and become “night owls.” This makes their bodies more prone to staying up and sleeping in later. Despite this change, teenagers still require 9-10 hours of sleep each night.
Third, pregnant women may benefit from additional sleep but often experience difficulty sleeping for understandable reasons. It’s important for pregnant women and their partners to make sleep a priority and find solutions to their specific sleep complications.
Finally, the elderly tend to spend less time in deep sleep and are more easily awakened. Because of this, regularly scheduled naps during the day can be an effective solution for this population. The chart below outlines the average sleep needs for each age or stage of life.
In addition to your specific sleep need it’s likely you’ve also developed a sleep debt that’s been building up over the recent past due to missed sleep.
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A number of years ago I ran into a “popular” kid I went to high school with but hadn’t seen since. It had been over ten years since we had graduated from high school but I immediately began to feel the same feelings I did as a teenager: unconfident, inferior and uncool…just like I had ten years previous.
I’ve often thought about this experience and the power of our minds and our thoughts. I’m sure many can relate. As a teenager I never told anyone what I thought of myself because I was too embarrassed. But the reality is that I often viewed myself in a bad light. My self-talk was often negative, beating myself down, telling myself I wasn’t as cool, talented, confident or good looking as everyone else. And sadly, over ten years later, my high school identity (or who I saw myself as) resurfaced instantly…immediately impacting my behavior.
Unfortunately for most, this story doesn’t end with high school. We continue to feed ourselves negative thoughts that only bring sadness and hold us back from reaching our potential.
Each of us views and talks to ourselves a certain way; this is your personal identity. In the depths of your mind where no one else can hear you, what do you tell yourself? “I will never be beautiful.” “I just don’t have the willpower like other people do.” “I will always be fat.” “I’m not good at setting and accomplishing goals.” Often times these thoughts come from others, outside influences, but we then allow ourselves to believe them, and begin repeating them to ourselves over and over.
Like a script for our life, these destructive thoughts eventually become our reality. This is our personal identity—the person we see ourselves as.
Whatever your thoughts, they will ultimately determine who you are and who you become. If you think your thoughts don’t matter or that people won’t eventually discover what you’ve been thinking, think again. It’s simply impossible to hide your thoughts, for they are your life script. Thoughts turn into actions, which turn into habits, which determine your life.
If you have always viewed yourself as lazy, ugly, fat or unmotivated, choose today to be someone different. Choose today to be proactive, beautiful, healthy and motivated. You and only you hold the power to become whoever you want to be. And it starts with your thoughts and the way you view yourself, your identity.
If you don’t mentally believe first, you will never physically become. Choose to write a new script. Choose a new identity and read it to yourself daily, in your mind and out loud. Remember that identity is destiny!
There is no one size fits all approach to overcoming these challenges. But at Health Movement we have tried to gather the best research together on this topic and combine it with information and tools to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be. Click on the link below if you would like more information.
-Rich Millar, Founder of Health Movement
No judging: we’re all on the same journey, just at different stages so let’s not tear each other down.