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  • Writer's pictureJackie

50 Tips! Words of Wellness Advice

—It's our 50th post! Packed with 50 suggestions for preserving wellbeing–


Wow, a year has passed, along with 50 posts from SomeBODY strong.com! And it's my humble hope that one or two of them have helped in some way as you work daily to build your best health.


Oprah Winfrey has said, "Helping others is the way we help ourselves." At the start of 10 years of collaborating with clients as a health coach & personal trainer, I soon learned that the majority of my "education" would come from the folks I'm privileged to interact with. I've learned that most of us face very similar, often the exact, same challenges when it comes to health & wellness. I've discovered that certain areas of health seem to be more overlooked than others. That many people criticize their efforts similarly. That the messages from the wider "fitness culture" can lead all of us in directions that are not ideal. That most of us just want great quality of life—for as long as humanly possible. What a gift to get this 10,000 foot view, thanks to hundreds of people extending their trust over the years!


As you'd guess then, there are many tips (probably more than these 50) that I mention regularly to folks who are trying to improve or maintain wellness. (And to myself. Have I mentioned I mutter to myself A LOT?) A few of you may even have heard these directly. Some are huge tasks. Some are small reminders. It's my hope that a nugget or two will boost you today as you keep that routine going. Be well! Here they are, in random order (because everyone's priorities differ):


  1. Show up. Nonnegotiable.

  2. Just do today. Tomorrow do tomorrow. We're often overwhelmed by a week or month of goals. Just reach today's and let tomorrow's goals be.

  3. Congratulate yourself on EVERY effort no matter how "small." Individual actions add up. One big effort does not lead to fitness.

  4. Pay attention to the words you say to yourself about yourself. Only you can control this, and self-talk can make or break an effort.

  5. Express gratitude. No other quality packs as much power. It tends not only to motivate but to impart a sense of peace when frustrations build.

  6. Be boringly consistent. We're often told our efforts need to be Herculean or complex or culminate in some massive goal like an Iron Man. The truth is that maintaining health & wellness means performing the same tasks predictably.

  7. But also stretch your boundaries. Our bodies change depending on the challenges they face (or do not face). If weights are too light, increase them. If a doctor recommends a Mediterranean eating approach, overhaul your fridge to try it.

  8. Don't buy it if you don't want to eat it. This sounds like a no-brainer until you're in the cookie aisle, stressed out, fatigued, and in NEED of a reward. If you don't buy it, it won't derail your plan, and the craving will indeed pass.

  9. Swap out shoes regularly. Happy feet equal quality of life. Elementary but ESSENTIAL. How your entire body feels from ankles to shoulders & neck begins with your feet. Keep them supported.

  10. Don't skip stretches. Not only do they also add to quality of life, they can help you avert injury.

  11. Minimize light at bedtime. We live in an era that is NEVER dark. In some ways, how luxurious & convenient. But sleep onset relies on your body's release of melatonin, a process that requires low or no light.

  12. And get up after 20 minutes if you cannot sleep. Lying there longer actually "trains" your brain to associate your bed with being awake. Get up, do something dull (like a word puzzle) in low light, and return to bed when drowsy again.

  13. Don't just go through the (workout) motions. Workouts not only provide awesome opportunities to be present and mindful, but this state opens the door to building focus, learning proper form, and improving performance.

  14. Plan dinners weekly. This strategy seems to serve everyone well. Folks who plan meals way ahead of time enjoy much better success at reaching their goals.

  15. If tracking weight, weigh daily but average the numbers. Accurate bodyweight is an elusive measure. It will vary by the scale you use, the time of day you weigh, when you last ate, etc. Step back and take a wider view by using the same scale consistently, first thing in the morning, and by averaging 5-6 readings a week.

  16. Spend time outside daily. This has been proven to lift mood and self-esteem, not to mention provide an opportunity to accrue some vitamin D and breathe fresh air.

  17. Make light a must. Especially in winter, dim days, for many, have the insidious effect of dampening mood, disrutping sleep, & increasing cravings (symptoms of SAD).

  18. Forgive fitness lapses and just move on. Rumination undermines. Enough said?

  19. Always have cheerleaders. Support is a top predictor of success when you're chasing a goal. Find people who get WHY you're working toward wellness, who admire your efforts.

  20. And supporters you trust to be honest. Be sure one of your cheerleaders will be your go-to truth teller, someone who will share their clear vision of your efforts without a helping of harsh criticism. Also make sure at least one on your "team" is very well informed, perhaps your medical professional or a certified coach.

  21. Make resolutions ANY time of year. New Year resolutions often fail because people think, "It's now or never." The truth is that resolutions are simply goals and promises you make to yourself. Why limit them to January?

  22. Don't follow fad diets. They don't work. People overwhelmingly regain weight they've lost. Build a lifestyle that lasts forever.

  23. And be careful of fad workouts. These often overshoot professional fitness guidelines (such as reps of an exercise, length of intense effort, and proper form, for example), which often leads to injury, putting folks at "negative square one" when they are forced to rehab.

  24. Troubleshoot obstacles. Regularly assess factors that are tripping up your wellness efforts and strategize.

  25. Never underestimate the value of rest & recovery. In my experience, people ALWAYS do this. If you challenge your body via intense workouts, rest is especially crucial, but EVERYONE needs a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep nightly.

  26. "No pain, no gain" is a faulty premise. Please toss this out. Pain is an indicator that you need to address a problem.

  27. Never skip your annual physical & the chance to consult with your doctor. Period.

  28. Baby your joints—at EVERY age. Joint issues begin for most people way earlier than stereotypes suggest. Many experts believe joints begin to deteriorate as early as age 40, but improper form and overuse can create issues for people of ANY age.

  29. Don't give up foods you love "forever." If you love birthday cake but say you're giving it up for good, I'm betting against you. Try to rein in frequency and portion size rather than assuming willpower will carry you for eternity.

  30. And be sure to eat foods from all of the macro groups. This is not just a "nice" idea. It seriously affects health.

  31. Eat more fiber. Most Americans don't, and this can have BIG health consequences. Not only can it directly impact heart health, as a bonus, fiber can aid in weight loss.

  32. And less processed sugar. We all know it seems to be in everything, but we shouldn't "throw in the towel." Sugar creates inflammation in the body and contributes to weight gain without imparting any nutritional value.

  33. Drink lots of water. Every process in the body needs H2O. Don't skimp.

  34. Find every excuse to get up and move. Sedentary lifestyle continues to wreak havoc on Americans' health. In addition to your workout, get up from your chair as frequently as possible throughout the day.

  35. Own your own outcomes. No one can change FOR you. Each of us must take ownership of our own results, recognizing any limitations life throws our way.

  36. Strength train. People often place this as a lower priority than cardio, because they believe the latter is "better" for weight loss. Research shows that lifting weights helps to control weight as well AND has myriad additional benefits.

  37. Know that stress can and will sometimes derail your plan. Stress jolts psyche and body in very negative ways. It's also the top reason people give for quitting fitness plans. Plan to plan around it, so that you do NOT give up.

  38. Stop apologizing for aspects of wellness that are your business only. So much shame persists in society related to things such as bodyweight, age and chronic health conditons. You owe no one but yourself an explanation of your health, and only YOU know what your true fitness level and quality of life entail, as well as what you personally need to improve.

  39. Expect to be a role model. When you take good care of yourself, other notice. If they're yearning to do the same, don't be surprised when they seek you out as an example of success.

  40. Meet your body where it's at. None of us can magically & instantly heal an injury or illness. We cannot age backwards like Benjamin Button. We cannot force ourselves to be competitive bodybuilders if we're genetically more of a marathoner. Focus on what you CAN do well today.

  41. Make the most of solitude. For most people, this serves as an excellent de-stressor. It's a way to care for spirit as well as body.

  42. Exercise in the morning if at all possible. Morning exercisers are notoriously dedicated. If you truly want to stick with it, work out first thing before the day starts propping hurdles in your path.

  43. Schedule workouts. Would you skip a doctor appointment? or even a date with a friend? Put exercise on your calendar and ask why on earth you'd skip a commitment to YOU.

  44. BREATHE. It sounds like it belongs on a plaque, I know. But we often really do not breathe properly. We breathe shallowly, especially if stressed. Breathe deeply to relax, to enhance workouts, to provide your body with precious oxygen.

  45. Know your motivations. Only you understand why the heck you're pursuing this health & wellness plan of yours. Or you should know—because acknowledging & internalizing your reasons will propel you forward.

  46. Set goals but change course as needed. Most of us set goals on paper not on stone tablets. You can and should change them when they're not serving you well.

  47. Copy someone you admire. Just as you'll likely become a role model, seek one for yourself. Seeing someone else achieve dreams will spur your own drive.

  48. Step away from the screen. Staring at screens not only keeps us sedentary (unless you're on an elliptical, for example), it creates forward-head posture and can strain the eyes. Oh, huh? It can also create huge amounts of distraction from the world around us.

  49. Don't lean on the "lack of time" excuse. This stands as the top reason people fail to start a workout plan. It just nips the whole idea in the bud, doesn't it? If you want change, then finding time is essential. For most, this is actually less difficult then they first perceive.

  50. Understand that the process of building fitness & preserving wellbeing does NOT end. This is a lifelong journey. What an honor to be on it with you!


Thank you to all who've inspired & helped me to learn as much as possible and to chase my own best health as well over the years. Keep going strong, my friends!


Jackie



Photo by spemone from Pexels


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