Compression garments are becoming very popular, and used in all walks of life. As the post
‘Compression Garments: Who They’re For, What They Do & Why You Should Wear Them’ already
pointed out, compression garments can help reduce the build up of lactic acid and aid with muscle
recovery. They are therefore ideal for people who sit or stand for long periods of time, those who are pregnant or overweight, and people who suffer from tired or swollen legs and have circulation problems. Compression garments have been around since the 1950s and as the benefits became more widely known they began to be used by athletes from multiple disciplines. Athletes wear compression garments to help with recovery and improve their performance during a sporting event. And while they may seem like a recently developed sports technology, athletes have in fact been wearing this tight-fitting apparel for many years. This article will look at how sports embraced compression garments.
It all started with socks. Compression socks were invented in 1950 by Conrad Jobset, a German engineer who suffered from varicose veins. When worn, the socks create pressure on the muscles, bones, and connective tissues to help prevent edema and deep vein thrombosis. Compression garments made their way into sports in the 1980s in order to help athletes recover. Compression socks were first used by runners to “increase oxygen delivery and blood flow, reduce the jarring, vibration and stress to the muscles, and prevent soft tissue damage such as shin splints.” This allowed them to run for longer and recover much faster.
As the use of compression socks grew more popular, sports apparel brands began making other types of compression wear. Socks gave way to calf and leg sleeves, which in turn gave way to form-fitting shorts and shirts. In the early 2000s, NBA superstar Allen Iverson started wearing a cut off arm sleeve to protect his bursitis-stricken right elbow. Aside from helping with his injury, the sleeve was also found to help with his shooting skills by providing extra support. Today, compression arm sleeves are now combined with sports tracking technology to “[give] instant feedback, with sensors that measure the arc, angle and momentum of every shot.”
Another sport that also has a strong connection with compression garments is soccer. Before 2014,
soccer shirts were known for being baggy. This all changed five years ago. As soccer kits started to evolve, the Italian national team were the first to showcase some groundbreaking tech during the 2014 World Cup to feature “a special tape that micro-massaged player’s muscles as they wore it.” The reason for this was to activate the muscles and help with recovery while on the pitch. Sports scientist Suze Kundu describes how panels in the fabric of soccer shirts can “activate certain muscles via compression”. This provides extra support for the players and helps minimize the chances of injury.” Currently, most soccer teams use compression fabric to help elevate the performance of their players. They also have a tactical advantage in that they are much harder for opposing players to hold onto. This is another reason why you no longer see baggy soccer shirts being worn.
Nearly two decades later, the partnership between compression garments and sports is as strong as ever, and continues to grow. Athletes in all disciplines can be seen wearing this form-fitting apparel. In response, here at Lunatik Athletiks we working hard to continually make better, more advanced compression wear to cater to the different needs of our athletes.
Exclusively written for LunatikAthletiks.Com
By: Lola Amber
In today’s health-conscious world, you probably already know that good circulation is critical to your overall health and body’s peak performance. Your blood circulation supplies oxygen to the brain and organs, right? If it’s not flowing with ease, a decline in your health will occur and a host of problematic symptoms will arise.
A result of unhealthy lifestyle habits, pre-existing circulatory conditions, poor disposition and physiological traits, poor circulation is one health concern you don’t want to leave unaddressed.
If you’re wondering what one of the most highly researched and proven treatments for boosting your circulation is, look no further than compression garments! With natural solutions on the forefront of everyone’s mind, it’s no surprise that people of all ages are sharing rave reviews on the benefits and effects of compression apparel.
Who can benefit from compression garments?
Research-based evidence shows that compression socks and leggings can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid and aid with muscle recovery. They are ideal for prolonged standing, sitting and long distance travel since they help aid in the prevention of spider veins and swelling.
Compression garments are ideal for those who:
- Sit or stand for long periods of time
- Are pregnant
- Suffer from tired, aching, or swollen legs
- Are overweight
- Have circulation ailments
- Have had surgery
- Are performance athletes
- I’d say they are the perfect prescription for tired, achy legs
What type should you choose, and why?
When deciding on the best compression garment for you, first consider any pre-existing health concerns or diseases, as well as your current lifestyle habits. You’ll also want to think about your everyday activities at home, work and play to determine the best fit for you.
PERFORMANCE SOCKS: 15-22mmHg
Compression Socks help you perform faster for longer with less muscle injuries. If you’re an ultra marathon, triathlon or elite athlete, graduated compression socks are for you!
HOW THEY WORK: Performance compression socks consistently increase the stabilization of lower leg muscles and oxygen delivery. With targeted compression zones, they help decrease the risk of Achilles injuries, shin splints, blood clots and muscle fatigue. They also keep your feet dry and blister-free with anti-chafing materials, ensuring maximum breathability.
MEDICAL COMPRESSION SOCKS: 20-30mmHg
Medical Compression Socks offer all the same benefits of Performance Compression socks, with added enhancements that provide further support of the body’s circulation system and help ease symptoms of pre-existing health conditions. If you have been diagnosed with lymphedema, Raynaud’s, varicose veins or blood clots, medical compression socks would be the best choice for you.
HOW THEY WORK: Like Performance Compression Socks, Medical Compression Socks help manage pain and swelling in your legs, alleviating discomfort and improving blood flow. They are designed to exert the strongest pressure at the ankle region, with compression gradually lessening as you move up the leg towards the heart. This helps improve blood flow greatly by enabling blood to circulate back to your heart quicker.
NOTE: Medical compression socks are covered under most extended health care plans when prescribed by a medical professional!
Compression leggings are ideal for wear during prolonged periods of standing, during and following athletic activities, and on those days that you need to add a little pep in your step! Along with being medically sound, they are also fashionable and functional for everyday use.
HOW THEY WORK: Similar to the functionality of compression socks, compression leggings are designed to optimize long term leg health by delivering an overall mild compression to the lower extremities. Advanced compression technology helps alleviate tired achy legs, reduces swelling and assists in the reduction of recovery time following athletic pursuits.
When it comes to fit, be sure to get measured for your compression garments! Find a handy online sizing wizard here or book an appointment for an in-person fitting with Lunatik Athletiks by calling 1-844-777-8884 today.
Experience performance and personality.
When you think of compression garments, you may be picturing the bland nude variations of your Grandma’s past. Luckily, the days of boring undergarments and compression apparel are long gone.
Compression socks now come in a variety of fun and funk-tional patterns to match your unique personality and style. Whether you prefer a more classic look, retro vibe or funkier style, you can find the perfect compression stocking for you.
Check out Lunatik Athletiks’ full line of compression socks and leggings here, and try them out for yourself!
Kelly Roth is the Founder/CEO of Lunatik Athletiks, a “Designer Compression” company in the medical and athletic market.
After completing Ironman Austria in 2011, the importance of a holistic approach to health and self care became very clear to Kelly. Caring for body, mind and soul with things that inspire us and bring joy to everyday living is the foundation that her company, Lunatik Athletiks, was built on. <
Each and every day, the Lunatiks team encourages and promotes preventative medicine while he
Looking for simple ways to naturally boost your body’s circulation? Focus on these simple — yet impactful — daily habits today.
Exercising daily, getting enough rest, and eating a heart-healthy diet that is low in fat and high in fiber will all help enhance your everyday health and circulation. In addition, incorporating superfoods and natural vitamins or supplements that are renowned for their circulation-boosting properties is a great idea, too.
These are all common “good health” habits that you’ve heard time and again and may (or may not) already be incorporating in your daily life. But here are three more that may be new to you!
Dry brushing is an age-old technique of brushing the skin’s surface in a specific pattern (starting at the extremities and brushing the body inwards towards the heart) with a bristled dry brush. Most often, it is done on dry skin before your morning shower and many people find it gives them an energy boost. The best part is it takes less than 10 minutes to do!
Proponents of dry-brushing say it stimulates the lymph system and helps the body rid itself of toxins, improves skin health (smoothing skin, reducing cellulite and clearing the pores), boosts energy levels, and increases circulation.
I love it and have noticed definite boosts in energy levels and improved skin health. Try it and see for yourself!
Rebounding is a simple aerobic activity that anyone can participate in, no matter their age or fitness level. This gentle exercise is easy on the joints and consists of bouncing on an exercise ball or jumping on a mini trampoline to help boost circulation.
Now, hold up… If you are picturing a slew of leotard-clad ladies bouncing around to beat-poppin’ 80’s tunes in leg warmers and headbands, it may be time to readjust your thoughts on this (re)emerging mode of fitness. Though I definitely won’t judge if you do decide to get jazzed up in neon with your girlfriends for the occasion, rebounding is also something you can do from the comfort of your own home to help boost your circulation and mood.
Rebounding stimulates blood flow throughout the body and aids the heart and lymphatic system. It also helps reduce the occurrence of unhealthy veins and builds muscle tone in the lower extremities.
From extreme endurance athletic endeavors to a standard walk to work, one of the most highly researched and proven treatments for boosting your circulation is quality compression apparel.
Medical and performance compression socks, leggings and stockings help manage pain and swelling in your legs, alleviating discomfort and improving blood flow.
Research-based evidence shows that compression socks aid in the stabilization of lower leg muscles and oxygen delivery. Targeted compression zones in them also decrease the risk of Achilles injuries, shin splints, muscle fatigue and blood clots by improving circulation.
As a bonus, compression socks are usually covered under most extended health care plans when prescribed by a medical professional. Plus, companies like Lunatik Athletiks now offer medical and performance compression socks in beautiful patterns to suit your unique personality by being fashionable and funk-tional!
Taking care of your circulation can be quick, functional and fun!
As a mother of three, business owner and longtime health advocate, my goal is to offer you easy steps that will help get you to your goal, while encouraging you to have fun along the way.
From personal experience, I have learned that when we’re in good health, we feel rejuvenated and ready to conquer our next journey. Reach out to me if I can help you on your path!
Kelly Roth is the Founder/CEO of Lunatik Athletiks, a “Designer Compression” company in the medical and athletic market.
After completing Ironman Austria in 2011, the importance of a holistic approach to health and self care became very clear to Kelly. Caring for body, mind and soul with things that inspire us and bring joy to everyday living is the foundation that her company, Lunatik Athletiks, was built on.
Each and every day, the Lunatiks team encourages and promotes preventative medicine while helping their clients achieve optimal leg health and a higher quality of living.
When you hear “vein clots” or “heart attack”, you may picture someone who struggles with eating healthy, has diabetes, or lives a sedentary lifestyle. While these top factors will absolutely contribute to the quality of your health and circulation, there are many other lifestyle choices and circumstances that can cause serious circulatory conditions to develop.
Why is circulation important?
Among all the critical functions of the body, your blood circulation is one of the most important of all. It’s what makes your body work! Supplying oxygen to the brain and organs, your circulation also assists with cell growth and promotes healthier skin. If blood and oxygen aren’t flowing through your body with ease, a host of circulatory conditions and symptoms will arise.
These common factors can contribute to circulatory conditions:
Sitting at a desk for long periods of time, or having limited movement abilities…
Being on birth control pills, having diabetes, or smoking…
Having pre-existing conditions like Raynaud’s Syndrome, or being pregnant…
Bodily injury, undergoing surgery, or being on bedrest…
Any of these circumstances can lead to poor circulation, thrombosis / blood clots, and varicose veins. They can also wreak havoc on the quality of your overall well-being and everyday quality of living.
Do you have signs & symptoms of poor circulation?
Numbness & tingling in extremities
Cold hands & feet
Swelling in lower extremities
Joint pain & muscle cramping
Skin colour changes
If you are troubled by any of these symptoms, please seek the advice of a medical professional. When you meet with your doctor, they can examine you and assess your whole body health, taking into account any pre-existing conditions and ongoing symptoms.
Some circulatory conditions may require prescription drugs or aspirin. In severe cases, or if you suffer from a critical circulatory disease, surgery may be required. Whatever the case, your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for you.
Stay tuned! In my next post, I’ll be sharing three powerful treatments to boost your circulation naturally.
Botox injections, fillers, facelifts, creams, lasers and liposuction… oh my!
In a society where $445 billion is spent in the beauty industry, the majority of our population seems to be more concerned with preserving a youthful appearance instead of actually achieving and maintaining whole-body health for the long-term.
And this statistic resonates with many of us, doesn’t it? I mean, we’ve all been told to live in the now. To enjoy every single moment to its fullest before life passes us by, right? So, because we’re all on “borrowed time”, many people opt for quick fixes to look and feel our best right now.
But what if we decided to implement a few simple habits in our daily routines that will help naturally preserve that youthful glow we’re all seeking, energize us with inner vitality, and help reduce our risk of chronic illness and disease… while still allowing us to live our best life?
As the old proverb goes, “where there is a will, there is a way.”
And it may be a lot easier than you think. So let’s dive in!
FACT: To truly heal and thrive, we need to address the root cause of symptoms. Not just apply a band-aid solution or quick fix.
My friends, I’m a huge believer that everyone deserves to look and feel their best, enjoy their life to the fullest, and spend their money and time as they wish. But we all know that beauty and vitality are much more than skin deep.
Although living life unabashedly (with little concern towards repercussions of less-healthy actions) may certainly paint the picture of a life that looks and feels good on the outside, it’s proven that healthy lifestyle choices and “good genes” play a much stronger role in supporting whole-body health.
Bottom line? If you don’t nourish your body, mind and spirit with good things, chronic disease and illness are likely to creep in.
DID YOU KNOW?
“Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and lung disease are the leading causes of preventable death and disability in Canada.” ~ Public Health Agency of Cancer
As scary as this is, the good news is that we can dramatically reduce our risks of “The Big Four” chronic illnesses by swapping out unhealthy habits for more positive daily practices, and focus on healthier choices each day.
We can absolutely make the most of this one wild and beautiful life — living it to the fullest — while also achieving optimal health, reducing our risks of disease, and aging gracefully. Here’s how!
1. Be physically active every day. Find an activity you like and keep moving! Exercise is 100% beneficial for whole body healing, affecting everything from your cells, weight, mood, breathing and sleep. Simply move your body in any way that feels good to you, and do it often. In turn, you’ll be taking steps to help reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.
2. Embrace naps. Scientific evidence has shown that those who have a regular snooze are 37% less likely to die from heart disease than those who are lacking those extra zzz’s. Sleep is when your body heals and repairs on all levels, so rest whenever (and wherever) you can!
3. Adopt a Mediterranean diet. Eating a colourful, nutrient-rich diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, olive oil and fish can help prevent the onset of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Mediterranean cuisine boasts foods rich in Omegas which can also help enhance your skin and mood for that youthful glow you’re seeking!
4. Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke. Avoiding cigarettes and smoke of any kind can help reduce your risks of chronic respiratory and heart disease, circulatory conditions, and cancer. Remember: it’s never too late to quit.
5. Avoid or limit alcohol intake. Too much alcohol puts strain on the detox organs, elevates blood pressure, and can cause a host of other health concerns and chronic diseases. Eliminate alcohol or limit the amount you consume on a regular basis and you’ll help reduce your risks long-term.
6. Let go of grudges. Harbouring ill feelings towards others can cause serious health concerns for the person holding the grudge, too. Let it go.
Obviously there are many factors that help aid prevention and treatment of aging-related disease and illness, and each of The Big Four chronic conditions share common risk factors tied to your everyday health habits.
Eliminating poor practices and adding in healthy new habits can slow aging at the cellular level, adding years to your life and life to your years.
Although we have all heard tales of spirited old folks who live boldly to advanced ages in life, full of whiskey and vigour, not giving a damn about anything, and being remembered for it all — there’s obviously more to “living your best life” than that.
So… what is it worth to you?
Does a life well-lived mean surviving to the ripe ol’ age of 100 with a host of wild adventures behind you? Does it mean feeling vibrant and being free of chronic illness? Having the ability to care for yourself without disability? Feeling loved and cared for as you spend time with your family and grandchildren for years to come?
To me, living my best life means going through each day with increased energy, vitality, joy, awareness, and ease. It means spending time with those I cherish most and feeling loved in return. It means helping inspire and educate others on how they can live their best life, too.
If you are seeking encouragement, guidance or resources on any of the above, please feel free to comment below or reach out to me via email. I’d love to hear from you.
Countdown to healthy, new habits
If you’re anything like me, you’re more than ready to escape hibernation and welcome in a new season of change. After the loooooooooong winter months, Spring’s gentle glimpses of regrowth will begin to inspire fresh commitments in people (myself included) to get back on track and make way for healthier habits.
You may already see the start of warmer weather as the perfect time to “spring clean” your home (as the saying goes), but did you know it’s also a wonderful chance to detox your body, mind and spirit? And it’s easier than you might think!
With the Spring Equinox happening on March 20th, I encourage you to consider rethinking old habits and welcoming in some new ones with these top four switches to revitalize your health.
Spring clean your kitchen.
Just as we swap out heavy, winter clothes for lighter spring styles in our closets, we should swap out heartier (aka. boxed) ingredients for fresher fare in our kitchens, too.
When taking inventory of what lies within your cupboards and fridge, clear out any junk that doesn’t serve your health goals, wipe down any areas that may not get cleaned regularly, and reorganize everything with accessibility in mind. The goal is to simplify your daily routine!
While spring cleaning your home, use the infamous KonMari Method to “tidy your space, transform your life.” Mindfully sort like items with like, toss anything expired, donate goods that you won’t use, and only keep things that will be used and spark joy.
Spring clean your eating regime.
Save time and money — while improving your health — by cutting back on dining out and making fresh, seasonal meals from home! Choose fresh or frozen first. Buy local and in season. Taste the rainbow (as in: the more colourful, the better!). Eat mindfully. Keep it simple. Organic lean meats or fish served with brightly coloured veggies and a healthy grain like quinoa is a satisfying, delicious and nutritious dinner — and quick to prepare!
Meal planning in a rut? Instead of boxed mac & cheese, try a homemade recipe like this one from Super Healthy Kids as a tasty comfort meal everyone is sure to love. Simply swapping out that orange processed powder for real cheese will uplevel the nutritional quotient. Looking for a bolder variation? Try this vegan mac & cheese recipe from Mallory Maddox that calls for butternut squash as a hidden health boost — it’s great for kids and grownups alike!
Remember, when meals are made with love, you can taste — and feel — the difference. 🙂
Spring clean your body.
Many people decide to do a cleanse in the spring to help detoxify the body and eliminate the sludge of winter “comfort foods” and all those holiday indulgences. Whether you believe in cleanses or not, making healthier choices for the body and gut is something everyone can, and should, do on the daily.
To start the detoxification process and spring clean your body, start by cutting back on alcohol, added sugars, processed foods, excess sodium, and additives from your diet. And, since the skin is our largest organ, don’t forget to take a look at the things you’re putting on your body (chemicals and toxins in your daily skin care products — body wash, lotions, deodorants, etc.), while also paying close attention to the things going in your body.
Simplify your daily habits and make healthier choices each day by choosing:
- Market fresh produce — choosing organic / local for The Dirty Dozen
- Grass-fed, organic lean meats
- Healthy fats — avocados, nuts, cold-pressed oils
- Probiotics — keep your gut healthy with good bacteria!
- Whole grains — quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth
- Water, water, water!
- Organic, paraben-free, sulfate-free beauty products
- Certified pure essential oils
Spring clean your mood.
It’s been a dark, snowy, cold winter with many people hibernating indoors as they count down the days to warmer weather and sunshine. If you’ve been feeling low this winter, it could be seasonal depression, which can result from decreased levels of Vitamin D. Increase your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin by incorporating more foods like salmon and leafy greens in your diet, which are naturally rich in Vitamin D. You can also increase your intake of Omega 3’s which can elevate your mood and your skin health.
Don’t forget to bring the outdoors in! Fresh air enhances your mood and the energy in your home. So open up some windows, clear out any negative vibes, and enjoy nature’s healing energy. Consider picking up some seasonal plants, flowers or greenery that will thrive indoors to further boost your mood and well-being… It’s a proven pick-me-up and stress-reducer!
Spring’s fresh winds of change often inspire us to get outdoors and become more active again. Exercising is a great way to clear unwanted toxins from your body, build strength, enhance vitality, and boost your mood. If you’re looking to increase your steps each day, get creative and have some fun. Start a walking group on your lunch hour, take dance classes, try out indoor rock climbing, join a local baseball league with friends… The options are endless!
By reshaping your goal to simply feeling your best, and making small changes every day geared towards optimal health and vitality, you’ll be feeling fine in no time.
Remember, the hardest step is the first one out the door!
For as long as I can remember, I have always been passionate about health and wellness.
Caring for my body, mind and soul with things that inspire me and bring joy to everyday living is a blessing. I love teaching and inspiring others how they can create a life they love, too.
But, like many, my life has not always been this joyful.
Struggling with anxiety for years growing up was a constant battle. I often felt overwhelmed, discouraged and depressed at the end of each day. My self-care habits were lacking, my mental health was failing, and I didn’t know where to turn.
When I suffered from a debilitating concussion and its life-changing effects in 2011, that event became the catalyst to finding new ways of restoring my health and vitality.
I promised myself I would not give up until I found the magic solution, and would commit to finding joy in the journey.
Immersing myself fully in my new mission, I took courses, watched documentaries, and did holistic cleanses. I started implementing some of the top self-care habits suggested by the most acclaimed critics. And, over time, I began to notice a pattern in all those recommendations.
When I broke it down, all of the bestselling authors, life coaches and speakers shared the very same tips and tools as guidelines for living your best life. Though each one claimed to offer an innovative new masterplan, they were really slight variations of what others had already claimed as the best. You know, all those self-help tips we have been told time and again but ignored.
Well, I finally listened and started implementing these rituals into my daily life (I definitely consider myself a work in progress, and never wish to claim that I have it all figured out)… however, slowly, my world was has started to change.
I began to find joy and contentment in the life I was creating and You deserve to feel the same.
Today I’m sharing the 5 daily habits that helped me create a life that feels good.
Friends, if you’re looking to enhance your health and well-being like I was, these five habits could be the answer you’ve been seeking. They certainly changed my life!
Remember that consistency is key, so try adding one new habit into your day at a time. Practice, repeat, refresh. When ready for more, add in the next daily habit. Then the next.
In no time, you’ll discover the joy that comes with caring for mind, body and spirit daily. Enjoy!
1. Practice gratitude daily.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways — do what feels most authentic to you.
DID YOU KNOW?
Your brain interprets gratitude as optimism. In turn, it helps lower the stress hormone cortisol, releases pleasure-inducing effects, and helps calm your body and mind. By practicing gratitude regularly, you train your brain to choose positive thoughts and new ways of thinking.
To incorporate gratitude in your daily ritual, start by writing down all the things you are grateful for. I do this first thing in the morning to help set my mindset for the entire day. Simply choose a journal or notebook that you are drawn to and go from there.
TIP: If the notebook is too much effort, begin by just thinking of a few things you are grateful for each morning. Work your way up to writing them down in further detail.
2. Meditate each day.
Meditation used to be seen as woo-woo. Now, people all over the world are recognizing the amazing healing benefits to becoming more mindful of (or in tune with) your body, your breath, your thoughts. It’s as simple as noticing.
To get started, try this meditation for beginners. Just 3-5 minutes a day can make a noticable difference. Work your way up once that becomes easy. The most important thing is to have a regular daily practice of meditation.
Here is a simple meditation for beginners:
Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.
Close your eyes.
Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
Allow thoughts to come and go, like clouds passing by. Just be.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
We all know that fruits and veggies ward off chronic conditions while helping us to feel healthier and more energized. But even for the most health-conscious eaters, getting more of these nutrients can be a challenge. Here are some tricks for adding more fruits and veggies to your daily diet:
Leave fruit in obvious sight
Eat crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your fav dip
Throw veggies in an omelet
Never go fruit or veggie-less
Double up your veggie servings.
Always include salad before or after dinner
Freeze your fruit
Add fruit or veggies to smoothies
Add a green juice to your meal
Keep cut up veggies in the fridge for a quick snack or pre-dinner nibble
4. Drink lots of water.
Eight (8) glasses of water a day is the recommended amount. However, if this seems too much to start with, then try adding more water to your daily intake with these tips.
The first thing I do in the morning is drink a glass or two of water
The easiest way I’ve found to up my water intake is finding the best water bottle for me
Juices and sports drinks are also hydrating — you can lower the sugar content by diluting them with water.
For you coffee fanatics! Coffee and tea also count in your tally. Many used to believe that they were dehydrating, but that myth has been debunked. The diuretic effect does not offset hydration.
5. Create morning and evening rituals.
Simplify your processes and patterns by creating daily rituals that makes you feel good.
MORNING RITUALS: Creating a morning routine for yourself is essential to a successful life. Waking up earlier than usual will give you ample time to focus on your goals and conquer the day with more energy, mindfulness and strength.
Looking for a simple morning routine? Simply start each morning by drinking a full glass of water, stretching your body, focusing on positive thoughts (gratitude journal), meditating for 3-5 minutes, and making time for a healthy breakfast. Do this consistently.
Having a morning routine helps start your day on the right foot, but it’s just as important to end your day doing the same. Make time for laughter, rest and self-care always.
EVENING RITUALS: Getting yourself ready for the next day is a great way to plan while still staying present. This is a great time for some self care. Examples of this can be your skincare routine, reading a book, putting your phone away an hour before bedtime, making yourself your favourite tea (who’s with me when I say there is something about loose leaf tea and waiting for it to steep that feels extra satisfying). Whatever it is that makes you feel prepared for the day ahead, make time for that in each day.
REMEMBER: Along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the pillars of health. You simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep. It’s when your body repairs and rejuvenates. Make sure your evening rituals allow enough time for you to decompress and get a good night’s rest.
BONUS: Do something for you!
A little solitude in an age when we’re so connected all the time is a breath of the freshest air for the soul. In fact, maybe take your me-time outside and get that revitalizing oxygen in your lungs.
But Katrina Kenison pointed out something interesting and totally valid for O, The Oprah Magazine. She wrote that many of us feel compelled to measure our success in terms of acquisition and accomplishment. We can feel uncomfortable for claiming time for ourselves without an agenda, because we constantly feel the need to be doing something. Not only that, but dedicating some time only for ourselves can be intimidating for some due to being afraid of what they might find when left alone with their thoughts.
Own it. Trust in yourself. Be your own biggest supporter. Make peace with your wild and wonderful self and remember…
It’s not all or nothing.
One of the most important things I’ve learned along my journey? It’s never an “all or nothing” approach. Don’t give up because you can’t do exactly what others do. I truly believe there is something in doing what you can, with what you have. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Get back up and do your best tomorrow.
Because you deserve a life that feels good.
In 2011, I suffered a severe concussion during a triathlon race, and it changed everything.
As a Health & Physical Education teacher at the time, I struggled with the debilitating effects of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) at work and at home. Persistent migraines, dizziness, blurry vision, loss of concentration, noise and light sensitivity, fatigue. I suffered every day.
At work, it was almost unbearable to focus or perform duties as before. The blaring lighting, class commotion, constant noise and overstimulation of all of my senses were crippling. I ended up having to resign from my teaching position.
You see, at the time of my concussion there was no specific, successful protocol to follow for PCS healing and recovery. The doctor literally said, “you have a concussion” and sent me on my way. I was left feeling lost and hopeless.
It was evident that unless you had the status of Sydney Crosby, there were very limited care options available for an everyday concussion sufferer like myself. Alongside this, regular “self-care” was seen as self-indulgence instead of self-preservation at the time. (Thank goodness this has changed!) So with post-concussion syndrome being my new way of life, I had to figure out a new way of living.
My lifelong journey of healing began.
With a background in Health Science and Kinesiology, I was lucky to already have a solid understanding of how the human body functions and what, essentially, it needs to heal. I understood the link between emotional, physical and mental health and knew an imbalance in one area could affect other aspects of your health.
Yet it took years of dedicated self-advocacy and grueling personal experience to truly understand that healing yourself means intentionally caring for the body, mind and spirit.
Because self-care is true health care.
Although advocating for my own concussion treatment plan was very different from the health and wellness regime I practice today, both principles have an underlying goal of intentional self-care for body, mind and spirit.
Today I fully understand that self-care is an act of self-preservation and self-love. It’s listening to your inner voice and learning to recognize stressful triggers, personal limits and signs of disconnect so that you can heal and flourish. It’s slowing down, knowing how to rest, fueling your body with nourishing foods, and feeding your spiritual self.
Self-care is weaving little bits of love into every day.
When I think of self-care, I define it as living honestly and with intent, mindfully weaving little bits of self-love throughout each day to fuel body, mind and spirit. It’s being intentional in your actions and remembering to treat yourself as you would others — with loving kindness, forgiveness and faith. It’s creating and dedicating yourself to a life you love.
If you’re looking to start incorporating simple self-care rituals into your life, simply focus on the things that naturally bring you joy. Then make a concerted effort to schedule time for them each week. Trust me, your future self will thank you for it.
These are some of my favourite self-care rituals. What are some of yours?
- Watch the sunrise or sunset in silent appreciation.
- Allow yourself to say “no” to something you don’t actually want to do, instead of saying yes.
- Pay attention to regular activities that you usually do on autopilot: brushing your teeth, drinking coffee, eating breakfast, washing your hair. Be mindful of each movement.
- Get up and stretch. Create movement in your body. Notice.
- Write in a journal for 10 minutes, uninhibited. Release and let go.
- Do one thing today that brings you joy, just because.
- Make one small change to your diet this week. Add one more serving of green leafy vegetables to your meals. Drink one full glass of water at waking.
- Mute, remove or unfollow anyone in your social media that stirs up negative emotions in you. If it doesn’t lift you up, it’s bringing you down.
- Unplug from the constant noise of social media and emails. Turn your devices on airplane mode for 10 minutes (or an hour, or a full day) and feel yourself settle slowly.
- Start your day with upbeat music and shake your booty. Let it all go.
- Schedule time each week for self-care. Take a bath. Read a book. Go for a walk. Have a nap. Create art. Whatever you need the most.
Taking care of your emotional, mental and physical health is key to maintaining overall health and vitality… to living your best life.
Don’t wait until you get sick or are drowning in anxiety before you start noticing and caring for your well-being. Start practicing self-care today.
Soon enough you’ll find yourself living a life that looks and feels good to you in no time.
Although you don’t have to wait for the new year to start making healthier changes in your daily life, it can be the perfect time to change your perspective and refocus on the kind of life you want to live.
Many people’s New Year’s Resolutions focus on health and wellness goals, with major weight loss/fitness changes and healthier eating being a priority. In my practice, I‘ve learned that self-care truly is health care, and investing in your overall health and well-being will exponentially enhance your quality of life.
It’s no secret that trying to make big changes like these all at once can be overwhelming — and often end in failure. Medical literature suggests that 95% of diets fail, or 95% of people fail on a diet. The reason for this is many people don’t have clear guidelines on how to get to their goals, or ways of making new habits stick.
With that in mind, I’m sharing my top tips on how to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to create a life you love.
Change Your Perspective
As Norman Vincent Peale once said: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Committing to a healthier lifestyle starts with changing your perspectiveon the goal, creating a positive daily mindset, and focusing on how you want to feel.
Instead of focusing on the goal of losing weight, for example, reframe your thinking to focus on how you want to feel when you reach that goal.
I want to feel stronger. More vibrant. Resilient. I want to start living a healthier life so I can continue to age gracefully.
Focus on the feeling you want to achieve and align every action to that feeling.
Start Small And Keep It Simple
New habits don’t happen overnight. They’re a series of simple, small routines done consistently until they stick… over 30 days to be exact. So start small, keep it simple, and add on from there.
If your goal is to drink 8+ glasses of water a day, simply begin by drinking one extra glass of water a day until that becomes easy. Start implementing one new habit at a time. Go for one walk around the block. Add leafy greens to one meal a day.
If you keep performing and perfecting actions that move you closer to your goals, eventually you will attain them. Success in life is guaranteed – you just need to be willing to try enough times.
Find Something To Get – And Keep – You Moving
Regular exercise is not just essential for your weight loss and wellness goals, but is also proven to help boost your immune system and improve your mental health.
You may need to try various activities to get your body moving before you find something you can really get into and enjoy regularly. Yoga, rowing, running, Crossfit, golf, Zumba, swimming, powerlifting, dance… Try new ways of moving your body until daily movement becomes a habitual way of life.
TIP: Start with a simple 10-15 minute walk when you wake up or after dinner. Add on from there!
Do What You Can With What You Have
If you aren’t able to make it to a gym but have a goal to feel stronger and healthier this year, schedule time to workout from home on your own or with a buddy. You can use your own body weight or hand weights and plan out your workout using free fitness videos or phone apps. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just start somewhere.
Make Simple, Healthy Choices
Not every meal has to be Pinterest-worthy. Skip the fancy stuff and just focus on eating real food – not from a box. Choose local, fresh ingredients where you can. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water. Sleep more. And don’t give up if you have a misstep on the way to your goal. Simply acknowledge it, recover and hop back on track!
Focus On Your Overall Health
True health encompasses mental health along with physical health. Focusing on balancing your blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI goes along with balancing your overall well-being, happiness, and peace.
Having A Tough Time Reaching Your Goals Or Feeling Overwhelmed?
Join a support group, reach out to a professional, or ask for help from family and friends. When working towards your goals this year, remember that it’s not all or nothing. So “if you stumble, make it part of the dance”, right? Set small, attainable goals for yourself and take everything one day at a time. You deserve a life that makes you feel good!