by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE

Why does it always feel so damn hard
to keep up your resolutions to improve your health?

I’m not sure. But it does.

I could go on and on about change theory and developing habits. And one day perhaps I will. But for now, as I did last week with mental and emotional health, I’d like to offer you some of my favorite means to care for my physical health.

By that I mean, it must come from within you. Not because you think it will make someone else happy, or because you think someone will love you more if you are thinner. Or any of the other lies we are quick to tell ourselves.

That is YOU!

With that said, take a gander at the list below and try a few out. See what you think. I’d love to hear about what works for you. Hit reply and tell me.

Increase Productivity and Sleep

It’s not breaking news that we spend an excessive amount of time in front of screens – phones, computers, televisions, iPads. It’s hard not to, right?

While in this age of mindful chants to get outside away from screens, I am throwing down that while I agree that we need to get outside away from screens more, I also have a love affair with my screens. One of the problems with this love affair, though is that the blue light from screens wreaks havoc on my sleep. I’m not a special snowflake; it’s harmful to everyone’s sleep. Further, the eye strain associated with computer work can obliterate our productivity.

It’s a necessary evil for many of us. So, what can you do about it? Give your screen time up is one solution. Yeah right.

Another viable option, one I love and think you will too is using glasses that block the blue light from screens. Whenever I wear mine, the quality of my sleep increases, my eye strain decreases, and my productivity increases.

Helpful Product for eye strain reduction.

Pupil Box for the WIN!
If you want to try a pair, you can use the discount code, DOCTORB, to receive 10% off.
When I wore them the other day during a client call on Zoom, my client commented that she liked the look of my glasses and that they made me look studious. That was it. I am wearing them 24/7!

Exercise Fun

Aaptiv

– An app with virtual coaches to inspire and train you in everything from running, to weight lifting, to yoga, to spinning and many more. I can’t say enough about this app. It’s perfect for someone like me, a person who becomes bored faster than I can say the word. It’s well worth the $8.33/ month. You can checkout Aaptiv here.

Fitness in Your Own Home

I cannot help but give Figure 8 Fitness dance videos some major kudos. I love to dance! And we know that to sustain an exercise regimen for any length of time, it must be something we enjoy. You would fall down laughing if you saw me moving to the beat, looking nothing like the people in the dance videos, but it works and it’s fun. So there you go. You don’t need to look great or coordinated when you’re dancing and you will still get results.

Hydration

Water is essential to our health. Drinking 6-8 cups of water a day should be your minimum water intake. Having a water bottle on hand at all times is necessary if you are on the go. That the bottle is pretty goes a long way as well:) It’s important to me that my water stays cold (or hot if it’s a warm liquid); the bottle doesn’t sweat; and that the water doesn’t splash all over my face like it does with Nalgenes. A friend turned me onto Re-hydrate Pro Double Wall Stainless Steel Water bottle. I love these so much that I purchased 5 as Christmas gifts and 2 as Valentine’s Day gifts this year.

A Sleep Aid

Oh My! Sleep has never been better. Have you seen the ad on Instagram for weighted blankets? Me too. And yes. I bought one. Best decision ever! Weighted blankets mimic the feeling of being hugged. The pressure you feel across your body is calming. This weighted type of therapy has been used by occupational therapy for people with anxiety, ADHD, autism, OCD and sensory processing disorders. Now weighted blankets have become a sleep inducing trend.

Trend or not, I won’t give mine up. I bought mine on Amazon from Peace Weighted Blankets. Joe calls it my Thunder Jacket. Nice guy, huh?

Essential Oils

Just as I use essential oils to support my mental and emotional health, I love using essential oils to support my physical health.

I love to diffuse oils to clean the air in our home by boiling distilled water with 5 drops of Purify on the stove. The oils in this blend include antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and sanitizing properties. Using Joint Support and Fitness blends for their physical support, as well as Peppermint, Orange, Lime, as energy boosters and Lavender for sleep has made a load of difference in my physical well being.

Smoothies and More

While my friends at the lake, think my NINJA is solely for Mango Margaritas, this is not all I use it for. I love how fast my NINJA blender makes my morning berry, spinach, kale, banana, almond milk smoothies. I love it so much that I transported it back and forth from home to the lake and then traded out my blender to a NINJA at the lake as well. The 1500 Watt NINJA is cheapest at Costco.

Healthy Eating Cookbooks

21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health
Weight fell off and my joints stopped hurting when I started following the eating lifestyle in this book. The research cited is the real deal.

The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family
Great recipes in this book and it’s beautifully photographed.

This Cheese is Nuts!: Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home
Chock full of recipes to make food that is as satisfying as cheese but without the health risks of cheese. It’s a great cookbook if you need to cut dairy due to allergies as well.

Daily Meal Planning Made for You

Meal planning, recipes and shopping list at your fingertips. The Rich Roll Meal planner makes eating healthy so easy! I found the yummiest quick tomato basil soup recipe in this planner. Plus, I found a reason to use the hand-held blender that’s been sitting in my utensil drawer forever. No kidding, I think my mom gave the blender to me in the 90’s. The hand held blender isn’t a must have – it’s simply fun. And it made me feel like Betty Crocker.

Books

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
Two of my favorite topics – health and the brain – all rolled into one.  A fascinating read. Did you know that exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance? It’s the truth. This book explains the mind-body connection. Just writing this makes me want to hop off my chair and do some jumping jacks 🙂

And if you want to get your head in the right place at the same time, check out last week’s article and you’ll find ways so help you improve your mental and emotional health there.

I’d love to hear about what you use to support your physical health, the health required to sustain you in doing your best work.