It’s not often that the calendar gives you a gift. Sure, sometimes a birthday or favorite holiday lands on a weekend, and once a year most of the country gets granted an extra hour of sleep. With the anomalous Leap Day right around the corner, the whole world is essentially given an entire extra day. Granted, with February 29th falling right on a Monday, there’s probably not a whole lot of leeway with how you spend that day. However, a gift is a gift – why not spend it wisely? On this extra day, if you could fit “just one more” of something into your life this year, what would you choose? Let us help you brainstorm.
- How about one more day to connect with loved ones? That card you’ve been meaning to send, the belated “happy birthday” email you haven’t written, the grandparent you’ve needed to call. Time has a way of ticking by at lightening-speed when it comes to reaching out to our family and friends. “I’ll do it later” becomes our mantra. Using your extra day to reconnect with someone important to you is a great idea. Undoubtedly, you’ll be so happy you did.
- Consider scheduling one more session with your trainer. Yes, we KNOW you have your routine set, your schedule made. However, throwing an extra workout into your routine once in a while isn’t a bad idea. Did you know that with just one cardio session:
- Your lungs are getting stronger, and moving a greater volume of oxygen to your muscles
- Your body is getting flooded with endorphins, making you feel fantastic – even after your workout comes to an end
- You’re making gains at keeping healthy. Exercise elevates your body’s level of immunoglobulins. These are proteins that help boost your immune system and ward off infection. "Every sweat session you do can help strengthen your immune function for about 24 hours," says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise.
- Hungry? You’ve got one more day to incorporate produce into your diet, you lucky duck. Each day that you choose to eat well counts. Eating just one serving of vegetables contributes to a well-functioning digestive system thanks to the bounty of fiber and water found in many kinds. Not only that, because of the potassium they contain, just one serving of veggies can help flush out excess sodium in your body, leading to less bloat, and a slimmer-feeling you. What’s more, just one serving of some veggies can even help your body combat the effects of stress by lowering blood pressure and relaxing blood vessels. Nearly any vegetable you choose contains these stress-busting nutrients, but mushrooms, leafy greens, squash, potatoes, bell peppers, bok choy, fennel, string beans and edamame are especially good sources of several calming and healing vitamins and minerals.
You’ve been granted one more day, indeed. Not only do adding an extra session of exercise, or a day of eating well help to stockpile the beneficial physical benefits of these things, it does good things for you mentally as well. Each time we perform and reinforce a desired action, we make gains in letting that action (i.e.; eating broccoli instead of French fries or choosing aerobic exercise over curling up with season 2 of “Breaking Bad”) become a habit. So go ahead – choose just one more good thing for yourself. Come March, you’ll be awfully glad you did.
To learn how Fitness Together® can help you get “more” out of your workouts and nutrition, find a studio near you: http://fitnesstogether.com/find-a-studio