Happy New Year!

This is a great time to see if you can add some (we think relatively easy) things to your life to help you get stronger, healthier, and look better naked. 😉

This list isn’t in any meaningful order. It is somewhat all over the place to show that there is relatively low hanging fruit in areas you probably are aware of (like the foods you eat and exercising) but also some in areas you might not have considered (like the temperature of the room you sleep in and getting blue light at the appropriate times). These are all examples of things that we believe fall into the 7 parts of the #everydaybetter life (Movement, Nutrition, Tribe, Recovery, Stillness, Nature, Edification).

With all of that said, here is the list!

1. Get rid of your LED bedside alarm clock.
We get that we started with something that doesn’t feel super fitness/health related but it can really help. There are tons of studies showing that we sleep better when the room is as close to pitch black as we can get it. No TV. No phone in bed. And getting more sleep isn’t going to help much if it isn’t good quality sleep.  If your phone/Tablet are near you when you’re sleeping make sure they are turned to Airplane mode!

2. Eat veggies 3+ times a day.
A common resolution to have is to eat better. Often people jump to a trendy diet and try to eat the least amount of food they possibly can. And if fat loss is your goal, we would agree you probably need to look at your intake however very few people that come to us for fitness eat enough veggies. We like to build habits and confidence when approaching nutritional behavior change and adding in something (like veggies) is a great start to being successful on your nutritional path.  It’s also part of our BINGO!

3. Spend 3 minutes a day being still.
This is another “hippy” sounding thing but taking time for yourself (we recommend at the start of your day, say while you are having your coffee, or the end of the day before bed) allows you to prepare/review the day, meditate, or just breathe and relax. We think this might be one of the ones on the list that makes way more of an impact than you’d guess. Write down what you’re grateful for every day.  Someone on the Interweb had a great idea of getting a large jar and every day write down something great about your day and put the note in the jar.  At the end of the year, read every note.

4. Take a cold shower before bed.
This is another way to prepare yourself for quality sleep. A cold/cool shower brings your body temperature down, which in turn, helps you sleep better. The cold water stimulates the vagus nerve which increases parasympathetic (the rest and digest part of the body) nervous system activation. Yes that last sentence is nerdy science stuff (but that is kind of our jam…and if you want a more in depth breakdown on that, please let me know and I will send you more info.

5. Join a group fitness program.
This hits 2 of the 7 pieces of the puzzle, so you get more bang for your buck. Adding something like CrossFit (shameless plug) to your life will undoubtedly move you towards a fitter you. Additionally you’ll develop a tribe of people that care about you and have similar interests and goals as you. Which helps you get better. If you really are looking for the one thing we think would benefit the most people the most, it’s joining CrossFit Pickering.

6. Take your significant other (or someone you care about) on a date twice a month.
Make sure the important people in your life feel important. Go on a date as often as makes sense. If you’re married/dating, that means you and them. Not a group. Not the kids. And no phones. Talk and build that relationship. Strong relationships are the #1 predictor of life expectancy. How wild is that?!?

7. Get 1,000 more steps a day in than you currently do.
If you have an activity tracker, this is an easy challenge. Look at the average amount of steps you’ve been getting during a normal day and do 1,000 more than that. If you don’t have a wearable device, your iPhone or Android device tracks this as well.

8. Go for a hike!
A perfect combo with #7 and is another thing on the list that hits multiple categories. Going on hikes will check the Movement and Nature boxes for sure but it could also check the Tribe box if you go with your family or friends. We are so lucky in Durham to have many place where you can hike!

9. Switch to black coffee. Or lattes (plain) or TEA!
You know all that junk you put in your coffee isn’t great for you. Switch to black (or with some milk/cream if that will get you there). A plain latte is one of the best things on earth.  I personally would recommend green tea rather coffee,but you know me and coffee don’t mix.  You know those giant Yeti bottles you see me carrying around the gym?  I have tea in them!   David’s tea and Tealish are 2 great tea places.

10. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
Yes, baby steps. When we tell someone that they would benefit from 8 hours of sleep they either laugh or eye roll. We get that you are busy but don’t tell us you can’t get in bed 15 minutes earlier. Maybe this will help, fat loss is correlated with amount/quality of sleep. If you really want to lose some fat, you (most likely) need to sleep more.

11. Travel somewhere you have never been before.
And walk. Or rent a bike or a scooter to see the city. Or go skiing or hiking. Travel can hit so many part of our 7 sections of the good life. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy or far away. Just go somewhere new and walk around.

12. Lift weights.
We will be hollering this until we die (or everyone is lifting). Lifting weights is the single best thing you can do for your fitness and makes the biggest change on the looking better naked front too. Lifting weights can help prevent osteoporosis and build strength and mobility, these things keep you out of the nursing home. It can make you a more capable person. It can build your self esteem. It can shape up your booty or give you nice guns. It increases your sex drive. It can do more things for you than any other one fitness related thing. In a perfect world, your fitness has other aspects as well but it is tough to imagine a great fitness program with no weight bearing movements.

13. Add in some locally sourced foods to your diet.
Humans used to eat the food that was from the few square miles around them. They also had different foods each season because that’s how plants work. Even hunting had peaks and valleys for different food sources. This is just one of the pieces of the puzzle for why the population is struggling with diabetes, heart related deaths, and even things like depression.  Better yet, grow your own food!

14. Be outside for 10 minutes a day.
Especially late morning or early afternoon. It helps set your circadian rhythm so that you sleep better, it helps you get vitamin D, and helps fight off depression. There are other benefits if you spend that time in nature (versus just eating lunch on the porch) but to start, just get those 10 minutes anywhere.

15. Buy a cookbook or follow my cooking blog. 😉
As adults we use are learning skills less and less. This is a fun way to learn new things and eat better food (and if you do it with the family that’s a 3 category point score…grill outside and make it 4).  Did you know that I have a recipe blog?  It ain’t pretty, much some great recipes on there

16. Get a massage once a month.
Everyone is stressed. Add in the benefits of soft tissue work to your anatomy and time to be still, this is a great combo piece as well.  If you need a recommendation to a Massage therapist, I can do that!

17. Read for 15 minutes every day.
Preferably on paper. Like a book. Or newspaper or magazine (those both still exist right?). Odds are if you find something you like you’ll read more. But the key is starting and if you are super busy, 15 minutes is still doable.  Reading is my jam. Books are my favourite things. I read over 42 books in 2019.  If you want book ideas be my friend on Goodreads.   I read at night before bed.  I also read when I eat lunch as I eat lunch alone. The past year, I have been making myself sit down for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week to read.  It’s my downtime.

18. Fast
Fasting doesn’t have to be scary. You can do the Fasting mimicking diet or intermittent fasting.  Maybe once in a while have a half day or full day with just water. Your body will thank you for it.

19. Download an audiobook or find a podcast you like.
I always listen to podcasts when I drive into work.  I like podcasts that have to do with nutrition, health, hormones, sleep, crossfit and some interesting interviews with incredible people. I love Tim Ferriss.  I also love Foundmyfitness.

20. Reduce your social media usage by 25%.
We get it. We aren’t saying delete it, we get that isn’t practical. But most people who tell us they don’t have an hour to workout or 30 extra minutes to sleep also have 4 hours of social media usage a day.  Post only once a day. Did you know that Social Media Gods consider posting more than 3 times per day SPAM!   Install the Moment app on your iPhone to help with this. (Want to see something scary? Go to “Settings” then “Battery” then click “Last 10 Days” then scroll down and click “Show Activity” to see how much time you have spent on each app. It will blow your mind.)

Have any questions about these?  Send me a quick email . Try a few of these for a month and see what happens!  XOXO Marta

Let’s make 2020 #everydaybetter!

( thank you Ryan Pye for the inspiration)

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