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🧘🏽‍♂️ Health Makeover in Just 10 Days

FP Healthy Makeover

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”Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.”

– J. Stanford

It’s time to snap out of that funk! Sunnier days are ahead and we’re celebrating with a special 10-day challenge that will help give your physical and emotional health a fresh start. These fun ideas will revive you and help you feel more alive by boosting your mood and supercharging your diet and fitness routine. So get ready to center yourself, release the stress, and enjoy the ride.

DAY 1: CALM YOUR MIND

It’s normal to feel down every so often—but about 1 in 5 Americans deals with more serious mental health conditions. Need help? Call 800-662-HELP (4357). This 24/7 national help line run by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is a free and confidential way to find resources, local treatment facilities, support groups, and more.

DAY 2: BELT OUT A TUNE

Listening to a favorite song can lift your spirits, studies say, and they’ll be raised even higher if you sing along. Singing has been shown to increase oxytocin (which helps regulate anxiety) and decrease cortisol (the stress hormone).

DAY 3: PERFECT YOUR POSTURE

Here’s one cool reason not to slouch: It could affect your mood. What?! There’s something called embodied cognition—the brain-body link in which the way you move or hold yourself has an impact on your emotions and mental state. Studies show good posture may help you rebound from a bad mood or prevent one in the first place.

DAY 4: DO A QUICK DECLUTTER

Messy environments have been linked to anxiety and stress, so organizing your cluttered closet or desk may bring calm. And if you donate what you don’t need, it can amplify the boost.

DAY 5: GET (OR BORROW) A PET

Spending time with a cute fuzz-face can strengthen your emotional health. If pet adoption isn’t an option, ask a family member or friend if you can visit theirs.

FP Healthy Makeover - pets

DAY 6: CURB CRAVINGS

People with celiac disease follow a gluten-free diet because they can’t digest gluten, a type of protein found in wheat; but you don’t need to have a sensitivity to it to consider cutting back. Here are three benefits you might see by going gluten free. It could…
Trim off a few pounds: Following a gluten-free diet was associated with weight loss, in particular a smaller waist, according to one study. Ease your pain: In studies of people with endometriosis, eating gluten free for at least six months reduced the pelvic pain the condition can cause. Tame IBS: Got gut problems? Patients with irritable bowel syndrome saw their symptoms improve when they cut gluten out of their diets, according to research.

DAY 7: SOOTHE YOUR ACHES

Want to counteract the effects of too much sitting (hello, achy back!) and soothe tired muscles after a workout? Try a foam roller.

The 101 on these useful devices: They’re lightweight tubes made of compressed foam, and they come in varying lengths and levels of firmness. You’ll also see rollers with ridges or bumps, which help reach tissue deep inside the muscle, as well as vibrating ones for a massage effect.

In a pinch, a tennis or lacrosse ball works. Foam rolling increases flexibility, reduces muscle soreness, and releases tight knots. If you feel a bit stiff while standing or performing basic movements, or after exercise, you’d probably benefit from a quick foam-rolling session.

DAY 8: CRUISE THROUGH LIFE

Bike sales skyrocketed last year as people scrambled to find new ways to spend time outdoors during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few great reasons to jump in the saddle and join the cycling craze, plus an important safety reminder:
Get a low-impact workout. Biking is an especially beneficial exercise: It’s easier on your joints than walking or running. And the pedaling motion seriously works your muscles, from your legs to your glutes, your abs—all the way up! Take time for a breather. Spending time in nature and being physically active have both been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. And bike riding offers the best of both worlds! Help the earth (and your heart). A cycling commute is good for the environment and your heart. Biking to work was associated with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, according to a study in The BMJ. Buckle up that chin strap! Always wear a helmet to protect your noggin. A properly fitted helmet should feel comfortable and snug (measure the circumference of your head to help choose a size). You can also find light clips for cycling past sunset.

DAY 9: BUILD A BETTER SALAD

Give your go-to lettuce a rest and toss in a few different kinds of greens instead. Add mixed herbs (entire leaves or chopped), microgreens, and sprouts, or shredded cabbage or Brussels sprouts. A few salad options when it comes to thinking beyond kale and romaine:
Mustard greens
have a peppery taste and are packed with vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting, plus calcium and iron. Watercress leaves are delicate, but they’re a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin C and lutein, as well as vitamin A, crucial to good eye health. Arugula is great for gut health—it contains sulforaphane, which may ease constipation, and also folate, a B vitamin that helps the body digest carbs.

Finally, try topping with crispy chickpeas instead of croutons for crunch; something sweet, like pears, apples, or grapes; or a dressing that spices things up—we’re looking at you, horseradish.

DAY 10: NOURISH YOUR HEALTH

This month, we’re celebrating a delicious way to eat that benefits your heart, your brain, and, well, pretty much your whole body: the Mediterranean Diet. The eating style emphasizes fruit and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean and plant-based proteins (particularly fish). Here are the basics:
Make smart pantry swaps. Switch out white rice and pasta for whole-grain options like quinoa, farro, brown rice, and whole-wheat or bean-based pasta. Use olive oil instead of butter for its healthy fats. Eat more fish, less meat. Aim to eat heart-healthy seafood at least twice a week; grilled or baked is better for you than fried. Minimize red meat and focus on lean poultry or pulses like beans and lentils. Be adventurous with produce. Since this way of eating emphasizes plant foods, nudge yourself out of your comfort zone and pick up unfamiliar fruits and veggies from the store, then look up recipe ideas.

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