Here’s a to-do list to help you take charge of your health.
This chart will help you keep track of your health habits each day. It will make you aware of all the good and not so good things you are doing for your body and mind. And in a few days you will find yourself making better choices.
Remember to make copies of this checklist (click here to download the checklist) and fill it out every night before bedtime. It will help you plan your next day better!
Here's what you need to know about the checklist.
Your target is to be within your weight range as per your height. Keeping a daily track of this will help you make better food and exercise choices.
What time did you sleep last night?
Getting to bed early is important to let your body get sufficient rest. Try sleeping at the same time every night.
What time did you wake up?
Waking up at the same time every day helps set the body clock and prevents weight gain.
How many times did you wake up during the night?
The more number of times you get up, the more disturbed is your sleep. Try getting some downtime before you sleep. Reading, listening to soft music, a relaxing bath, a warm cup of milk, or a few minutes of deep breathing will help you relax. Avoid drinking too much water before bedtime to prevent bathroom trips.
Did you nap today? How long was your nap?
A quick power nap can help you refresh. And if you lead a lifestyle, where it is impossible to get enough hours of sleep at night, it would help catching up with a few winks in the afternoon.
Your total hours of sleep?
Everybody is wired differently; but you do need to get enough sleep so that you wake up feeling fresh and not tired. Watch out for signs of lack of sleep, fatigue, irritability, inability to concentrate, lack of hunger and an overall low feeling.
What did you eat today?
An ideal breakfast would comprise cereal/whole grain bread, fruit, egg white/cheese. Tea and coffee should be had with little or no sugar, along with black or skimmed milk.
Pick a healthy, energising option like a fruit, nuts, smoothie, low fat yoghurt, etc.
Pick 50 per cent carbohydrates; you can try chapati, veggies, dal and rice or a wholegrain sandwich with a low fat filling of your choice.
Get a pick-me-up from a fruit, raw veggies with a low fat dip, a low fat milkshake, a granola bar, etc.
Load up on proteins! Through the night your muscles are going to rest and repair.
You can have chicken or fish lightly cooked, or a bowl of lentils, salad or veggies and a serving of carbs of your choice.
And eat three hours before you hit the sack.
Did you get in...
2-3 servings of protein
2-3 servings of vegetables
2-3 servings of fruit
5-7 servings of carbohydrates (bread, cereal, rice, etc.)
7-8 glasses of water
Did you take your vitamins today?
Taking your prescribed vitamins will help to keep your nutritional levels in balance. Keep them handy by your dinner table or nightstand with a glass of water.
Did you exercise today, and for how many minutes?
You must get in some exercise at least five days a week to keep your body active and healthy.
Did you do aerobic (cardio) exercise?
Aerobic exercise helps to build stamina, burn fat, strengthen your heart and lungs and lower fatigue levels. Try walking, swimming, cycling, aerobics, active sport, etc.
Did you do resistance training (weights, etc)?
Resistance training will build bone and muscle density and give you a toned look. It prevents age-related joint, bone and muscular problems.
Did you do stretching exercises?
Stretching keeps your joints supple, preventing stiffness. Often overlooked, you must stretch every time you exercise.
Did you take the stairs today?
Walking up the stairs daily adds to fat burn and strengthens and tones your lower body. Make it a habit!
Did you spend anytime walking today?
Keeping the body physically active is the body's basic need. You don't need to specially step out for a walk.
Simply walk when you have to go short distances like a trip to the grocery store. You also save time being stuck in traffic and fuel costs!
Did you do any other physical activity, and for how many minutes?
The more you move, the healthier you get. Count house chores, errands, weekend dancing, all in here.
Did you wake up looking forward to your day?
Waking up with positivity sets you up for a good day ahead. Plan a good day for yourself. And that will make you spring out of bed quite happily!
Did you have a happiness goal for today?
Pick a goal for the day that would make you feel good about yourself. Workout harder, wear a new hairstyle, beautify your home, try a new recipe, attend a workshop, etc.
Did you talk to at least one friend?
Having a chat and a chuckle with a friend lowers stress levels and makes you feel good. Catch up over a walk, cup of coffee or a phone call.
Did you do at least one activity you enjoy?
An activity that is fun has nothing to do with responsibilities should be a part of your day; like reading, watching a show, solving the crossword, playing a game, having a soak in the tub, etc.
Did you spend 10 minutes in quiet time or meditation?
With all the hustle and bustle, a few moments of calm is required to give you a complete mental break and hit your reset button.
Try a 10-minute breathing meditation.
- Find a quiet spot where you won't be disturbed.
- Set a 10-minute timer.
- Sit cross legged with your spine straight.
- Place your hands in your lap and arms loosely by your side.
- Relax your facial muscles.
- Take a few seconds to settle and then begin a 10 count breathing meditation.
- Breathe in and as you exhale count 1.
- On your next exhalation count to two and so on until your reach 10; focus just on your breath.
- Then start at 1 again. Continue till your timer rings.
Did you try adding happiness to mundane tasks?
Routines can become boring. Keep them alive by adding interest: Wear a new scarf to work, download fun music for your workout, light candles for dinner, read 'your' favourite fairy tale to the children at bedtime.
Have you made a happiness goal for tomorrow?
Making a goal for tomorrow will make you wake up looking to your day with purpose and enthusiasm. Think of it as you plan your day before you go to bed.
Is there anything that made you happy or unhappy today?
Making note of any positive or negative experience of your day will help you make necessary changes and do more of the things that make you feel good.
Keeping a diary is a good idea to refer to every now and again when you need inspiration.
Inspired to have your own well-being checklist? Click here to download it!
Lead photograph courtesy: Lazare/Pixabay.com