It’s that time of year! Everywhere I turn, someone is talking about prioritizing wellness, establishing healthy habits, and shedding a few holiday pounds… and I’m here for it.
Like most of us, I allowed myself to indulge a little too much over the holidays, and so often busyness got the best of me.
Well, the social events are over, the hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind me, and I’m ready to make wellness my top priority once again.
My journey to wellness is a long and complicated one, and it has been well-documented over the years on this blog of mine. Let’s just say, I’ve come a long way!
Whenever I’ve taken the time to do the research and inform myself about health and wellness, I’ve made great strides towards improving my quality of life. There have been some detours along the way, but overall, I am so much healthier now than I was 10-15 years ago. And best of all, I’m medicine-free.
Unfortunately, I got lazy last year and started slipping back into old habits, but no more! I’ve been making some changes to my diet and workout regimen, and they’re working really well for me so far!
MY 5 STEPS TO EMBRACING WELLNESS IN 2020
#1. More Walking, Less Running
I’ve been gradually running less and less over the past year or so due to a myriad of reasons. I miss it, but I can’t seem to get my old mojo back, and now I’m struggling with a hip injury. It wasn’t caused by running, but running definitely exacerbates it.
At 47, I have different expectations for myself than I did 5 or 10 years ago — not lower, just more realistic.
I may never get back to the shape I was in when I ran that half marathon in 2013, and that’s okay.
I used to get depressed when I couldn’t run, so I just wouldn’t do anything. This time, I’m not letting circumstances beyond my control put me in a funk.
What I can do is walk, so walking is what I’m doing.
Hopefully I’ll build back up to more intense workouts once we get my hip issue sorted out, but for now, at least I’m getting fresh air and releasing those feel-good endorphins!
#2. Motivational Podcasts
Walking is b-o-r-i-n-g. While I need music when I run, it doesn’t motivate me to keep walking.
To keep myself distracted, I’ve started listening to podcasts on my new Airpods, and now I don’t mind walking alone for 30-45 minutes. In fact, sometimes I add another loop around the neighborhood so I can finish listening to the show!
Even more importantly, I’m listening to podcasts that encourage me to embrace a healthier lifestyle. So not only am I getting a walk in, I’m getting information and encouragement that helps move me along in my journey to wellness. (Get it Move along? Haha!)
Which leads me to #3…
#3. Intermittent Fasting
I’ve shared a few times about my new-found intermittent fasting lifestyle. It’s only been a month, but I’m already looking and feeling so much better.
The scale is down a few pounds, and I’ve lost an inch from each of the key areas (chest, waist, and hips.) I also have a crazy amount of energy.
I realize it sounds extreme, but I urge you to research it before making up your mind about IF. Besides the weight loss potential, there are some really amazing health benefits associated with an intermittent fasting lifestyle.
Also, it’s very flexible. Your IF life doesn’t have to look like mine. It’s worth looking into if you’re looking to make some changes.
#4. Regular Strength Training Workouts
This isn’t new to me, as I’ve been working out with a trainer for years, but we always get a little off-kilter during the holidays.
We are both busy moms with jobs that have a lot of moving parts, so we were rather inconsistent with our workout appointments over the past few months.
Now we’re back to our regular twice-a-week schedule, and I can definitely feel the difference.
I often get asked if you can work out while fasting, and you can. We’ve been taking it slowly while my body gets used to it, but it’s actually recommended that you work out in a fasted state.
#5. Stylish Workout Gear
New gear always helps me feel more motivated to work out… no shame in that game!
Nordstrom has been my go-to resource for quality activewear for years, but I recently tried out a few new-to-me brands. This Sweaty Betty merino hoodie was a splurge, but it’s both practical and stylish.
In fact, I’m going to start integrating some stylish athleisure outfits like this one into my daily looks so it’s easy to go for a walk during the day.
That’s another way I’m helping myself achieve my wellness goals — eliminate excuses!
Proper gear is as important as clothes, so I picked up this Sweaty Betty All Sport Backpack to carry my shoes and other workout gear to and from the gym.
I used to throw everything into my everyday tote, but I like having a dedicated workout bag. It takes less time to get out the door when I’m already packed up and ready to go.
This bag will also be nice to take with me when traveling.
And these Nike running shoes are great for my long walks around the neighborhood.
They’re super cushiony and soft inside with good arch support, plus they’re a stylish addition to my workout wardrobe.
My new Adidas baseball cap is the perfect accessory to finish off my stylish workout look, and don’t forget about socks!
One thing I’ve learned over years of running is good socks are as important as good shoes.
These Bombas ankle socks have a midfoot support system that cradles your foot, and they are super soft and thick.
I picked up a few other pieces for my outdoor walks in this cold weather — this seamless dip dye long sleeve tee with thumbholes is the perfect base layer for chilly days, and I’ll be able to wear it alone when the weather warms up. (Other good options are here and here.)
Lastly, hydration is key to health and wellness. I’ve gotten into the habit of bring a bottle of water with me whenever I leave the house.
This stainless steel Hydro Flask keeps my water cold all day, and because it’s so sturdy, it rarely gets dented or dinged up. It’s also BPA free and phthalate free! (My white is sold out, but the black is one is great too! I also like Swell water bottles; I have several of those as well.)
And that’s it! Those are the 5 steps I’m taking to embrace wellness in 2020.
Whenever you get down on yourself because you aren’t where you want to be, just remember this: Wellness isn’t the destination, it’s the journey.
Everyone is in a different place, and I don’t think there is some final wellness utopia one can reach. We all get busy or lazy sometimes and backslide a little bit, and that’s okay. Just pick it up where you left off, and keep pressing on!
How about you? Did you set any wellness goals for 2020? I’d love to hear about them.
For more activewear and fashion inspiration, you can follow my Nordstrom Looks page! I’ll be updating it regularly with lots of outfit ideas as we head into spring.
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photos: Alison Cornell