5 Ways to Be Happy and Healthy in 2024
You don’t have to run more, run longer, or run faster to be a healthier or happier this year. Granted, all of those things can lead to all sorts of personal bests, and that’s great, too. But you can make it a happier and healthier new year in some simple ways that can pay big dividends. Here are just five ways to be more healthy and happy this year.
Treat your running like it matters.
Quite honestly, it does. It’s tough to not feel a little guilty sometimes when there are bills to pay, chores to do, and people to see… and you want to go for a run. Heck, sometimes you really just need to run. You don’t have to shirk responsibilities to prioritize your running. Be a better steward of your time, schedule your runs when there’s less opportunity for conflict with work, school, and family. It’s a win-win.
Stretch. A lot.
Your warm-up and cool-down routines are just as important as your run. You don’t have to be a yogi or a ballerina, but a solid stretching routine can keep you running longer and enjoying more injury-free miles. Maintaining flexibility is even more important as we get older. Trust us on this one. Establish good stretching habits now, and you’ll be ahead of the game. Not sure where to start? Try a visit with a pro at Novant Health Sports Performance.
Find your “go to” healthy meal or snack.
With our busy schedules, it can be tough to make healthy food choices when we’re tired, out time, or just plain out of groceries. You don’t have to go all Jamie Oliver every time you open the fridge. With just a little bit of planning, you can have a last-minute, in-a-hurry, “right now” kinda meal or snack that can get you through. Protein powder and frozen berries blend up for an easy fruit smoothie. An apple and nut butter, or even some packaged protein bars can fill the gap between solid meals. Just make it easy, and have the materials available.
Get serious about your sleep.
You’ve read it, heard it, and seen it as much as we have: recovery is the most overlooked part of most athletes’ training programs. If you’re getting up early to get that run, make sure you’re going to bed early, too. Need a day off to recover from a hard workout? Take it! Rest is where the real magic happens. It’s when our bodies repair and prepare for the next effort. Start a calming bedtime routine. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, and make sleep a priority.
Check in with a pro.
No one is good at everything; that’s a fact. If you’re struggling with your mental health, an unhealthy relationship with food or exercise, a nagging injury that just won’t let up, or other issues … schedule an appointment with a professional. That’s quite literally why they’re here. Ignoring the issue won’t make it go away, and suffering in silence not a sign of inner strength. Know your limits, and know that there are people out there that really want to help.
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