Please consult with a medical professional before beginning an exercise or dieting routine. These ideas are not an alternative or replacement for professional care.
Our physical health is one of our foundational self-care needs.
Our bodies do so much work everyday (every second really) to keep us alive. Therefore, our physical health is on the top of most of our priority lists.
I remember watching the movie Osmosis Jones as a kid and being fascinated with how all of the parts of the body can work together as a system (or in the movie’s case, a city) to keep the body functioning. Even at a young age, it gave me a different perspective on how to take care of myself.
But as an adult, life happens. Sometimes, we get off track on our physical self-care practice. But as we are learning to become self-compassionate people, we are learning that we can always restart and re-prioritize taking care of our bodies. Here are four physical self-care ideas that can help you take care of you:
Stretch before and after working out.
When I first started working out regularly, I would hop on the treadmill for 30+ minutes then jump off to immediately begin my strength-training routine. See a problem with that? I felt a problem with that.
I had to head to the doctor to treat some pretty painful muscle-soreness in my chest because I wasn’t stretching! Choose to stretch before and after your workouts to prevent this condition from flaring up. Consider stretching before bed or first thing in the morning if you’re not able to get a work out in that day.
Stretching on a regular basis can not only improve your flexibility, but its helpful for your overall health, increasing circulation and releasing toxins and tension in your body.
Not a big fan of yoga-styles of stretching? No worries. Here are a few stretching ideas to get you started.
Chew your food slowly.
A very helpful nutritionist I learned from had me once take a pretzel and only swallow it when I had chewed it into little, bitty bits. I chewed for few seconds, swallowed and realized, “I’ve been doing this whole eating thing all wrong!”
Self-shaming aside, I learned from her that choosing to eat our food slowly by chewing every bite can help our bodies digest food easier. This method of eating gives our bodies the signal that we are feeling full faster, therefore we eat less and enjoy our food more. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever heard one!
Take a short (or long) walk.
Yup, you heard it here folks: walking is still really, really good for us.
Some great advice I’ve received on taking short walks throughout the day is to choose to take the long way back after you’ve went to the restroom. Since we typically go to the restroom multiple times a day, you will be making the most of your trips by getting in a few extra steps.
Get some natural vitamin D.
It’s amazing all that sunshine can do. Take 10 minutes to step outside and (while wearing sunscreen of course!) take in those sunny rays. The vitamin D we receive from sunshine helps strengthen our bones, teeth and muscles. Not to mention receiving sunshine is connected to positive emotional health. So enjoy those rays!
Our physical self-care can be as simple as making a few adjustments in our everyday routines or adding manageable tips into our practice. Take care of that hard-working body of yours, you deserve it.
What are some simple physical self-care practices that you do?