Nike sits less than an hour drive from my place. It’s the world headquarters of the “just do it” fitness brand. It’s an icon slogan — and I’d like to suggest a second slogan to add to your health mindset.
Be like Goldilocks and find your “just right” balance of exercise and eating. Like Goldilocks, we need to evaluate what we’re eating and how we’re exercising. To get you started, here are three universal tips that everyone needs for their “just right” approach.
1. Eat less sugar. Sugar is really a toxin. Since we want to function and feel better, we need to stop “swimming” in toxins that break down our bodies. Start with removing added sugar from your meals. Your body gathers enough natural sugar from the whole foods you eat and releases them slowly through digestion, minimizing sugar spikes. Added sugar is a negative, including increasing your likelihood of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and weight gain. For everyone, removing added sugar is a just-right move.
2. Eat more greens. Another universal tip is adding more leafy greens to your meals. Eat lettuce, Bok choy, arugula, kale, and broccoli. A lot of what we eat depends on our unique lifestyle, genetic tendencies, age — but — greens are for everyone, and you can always eat more of them.
Why are greens the just-right choice? Greens help you think clearly, reduce bloating, reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar, improve digestion, and remove toxins. Functional medicine doctor, Amy Myers, MD, shares a list of benefits, and she passes along this helpful tip.
“I get asked all the time if it’s better to eat raw or cooked vegetables. The answer may surprise you! While eating raw vegetables provides your body with optimal levels of folate and water-soluble vitamins, the nutrients in cooked vegetables are actually easier to digest and absorb.”
We’ve been talking about improving heart and liver function recently, and the first steps to supporting your body is decreasing toxins. Sugar is the universal, most-straight forward toxin to remove. Greens, on the other hand, are the universal addition for everyone’s diet.
3. Add daily mini workouts. Another universal tip is to move more often throughout the day. To show what that looks like, Nike captured the concept in this article, titled, The Perks of Exercise Snacks: Bite-size workouts — think under 10 minutes — offer flexibility and big-time payoffs.
You see, we just need to move more frequently. The Nike blog states that, “You don’t have to log an hour-long workout to make progress. Experts are learning that bite-size bouts of fitness — called “exercise snacks — spread throughout the day can add up to full-fledged results. That’s great news for anyone looking for a workout routine that’s a little (or a lot) more flexible.”
Working out is about finding that just right approach so you can “just do it.” For most of us, it’s not practical to do a long workout. Plus, we sit a lot during the day, and doing mini workouts help break up the inactivity.
To recap, start with these three tips: 1) eat less sugar, 2) eat more greens, and 3) move more throughout your day. Keep it simple. Little steps take you on a grand journey. Find that sweet spot for you. If you need help with any of these, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.