Working on your fitness is a practical solution for preventing pain and issues in your spine. To really get healthy and take care of your body, however, you have to find ways to balance that fitness work with some essential self-care practices. However, finding the time to add them to a busy schedule can be a real issue. If you are struggling to work me-time into your workout schedule, here is a daily self-care checklist that may help you get started. 

1. Create Workout and Relaxation Spaces at Home 

If you have a busy schedule it can be challenging to even fit your fitness routine in throughout the week. Getting to the gym can give you some perks but you can also consider adding some workout spaces at home, to make things more convenient. You can pick up some home fitness equipment to personalize your home gym and strengthen your commitment to staying fit. At the same time, think about setting up some spaces to relax, such as a meditation zone, to balance out that exercise routine with some essential self-care. 

2. Get Some Exercise Outside Every Now and Then 

Having fitness gear inside your home is a great way to make exercise more accessible. For ultimate relaxation, however, you should consider taking your workout outside. Spending time in nature, whether it’s hiking a mountain trail or kayaking down a scenic river, has been shown to lower cortisol levels and improve your focus on whatever task you are attempting. So, take a break from the gym and take some breaths of fresh air outside for a healthy way to blend your self-care routine with some physical fitness. 

3. Balance Healthy Eating With Happiness 

Regular exercise makes up a small portion of staying fit. In order to really lose weight and stay in shape, you have to work on your diet as well. Studies show, however, that severely restricting your diet can stunt your weight loss efforts and lead to some pretty intense mood swings. So, find a balance that allows you to fuel your fitness efforts and enjoy your life as well. Make a healthy meal plan during the week and let yourself have a cheat meal. Enjoy a slice of cake or a burger every now and then, and learn how to stop letting food control your life. 

4. Keep Stress From Taking Over Your Life

Stress can make you feel pretty lousy, but stress can impair your fitness efforts as well. When your body experiences chronic stress, chemicals can be released that make it harder to shed extra fat. That’s why it’s important to use self-care to reduce your stress levels every day. Take a break from work and do a quick breathing exercise or take up some relaxing hobbies. Coloring can be fun, even for adults, but gardening, knitting, or painting can do the trick as well. 

5. Learn How to Relax and Sleep Better 

Getting into shape takes a lot of time and hard work, but you also need to give yourself a chance to recover. Taking time to rest and relax is just as crucial for your body as regular cardio and strength training. A little rest is also good for your mental health. So, take a day off every once in a while and take steps to improve your sleep. Sleep and mental health are closely linked — just like sleep and weight loss — so make sure you are getting at least seven to eight hours of good sleep at night. You may want to switch your workout to mornings if sleep is an issue and avoid heavy, spicy meals in the evenings to prevent stomach upset from keeping you up. 

You shouldn’t have to stress about working self-care into your health and fitness routines. Healthy habits, like learning to relax and reducing stress, can easily be added to your wellness practices and can have some seriously positive impacts on your overall health. If you want to stay strong and get into shape, be sure to add self-care to your fitness goals. 

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