Dr. Bell's Blog

Your Routines: Are They Helping You or Crushing You?

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Our lives are filled with routines from the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment we go to sleep. Let’s be honest, we know that some of our routines are not helping us lead healthy and productive lives. We are creatures of habit. In some instances this is very bad, but if you can create a structure in your life that lends to a healthy lifestyle, you can greatly improve your overall well-being.

Here are tips to create and maintain healthy routines throughout the day

Morning: Some say it is the most important set of routines we have. How do you start your day? What do you do every day? Here are a few tips on positive routines to start your day.

  • Consistent wake up: Getting up at the same time every day has been shown to have both mental and physical benefits. Get up early, and give yourself plenty of time to reduce stress.

  • Exercise: Being active and exercising at some point every day is important and the morning is a great time to do it. Exercising on an empty stomach can also help burn fat. Don’t have a ton of time? Take a quick brisk walk around the block.

Eating Habits: There is some debate whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but there is no debate that quality nutrition throughout the day is needed for energy and overall health.

  • Start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon. This is a terrific way to cleanse your body and provides great hydration first thing in the morning. Have this prior to any caffeine, which ultimately dehydrates you further.

  • Have a light lunch: Consuming food that is heavy with carbohydrates in the middle of the day will only make you tired. Stick to leafy green salad with some lean protein. This will give you plenty of energy for the day but not weigh you down.

  • Don’t Eat Too Late: Try to finish your last meal at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. This gives your body time for digestion prior to sleep.

Sleep: This is one of the most important parts of your day. Getting at least 7-8 hours of GOOD sleep per night is vital to your health and longevity. This is the time your body heals and rejuvenates. Try to never sacrifice a good night sleep.

  • Just as with waking up in the morning, going to bed at the same time every night promotes a routine that will allow for consistent sleep.

  • Shut down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime (including the TV). Read a book or magazine instead. Blue light from electronics is very disruptive to healthy sleep.

  • Avoid alcohol in the hours before bedtime. It may seem like it helps you fall asleep but will eventually severely disrupt your sleep as the night goes on.

  • Still having trouble falling or staying asleep? Try room darkening shades to shut out all ambient light and listen to “white noise” to help clear your mind.

It may seem simple and trivial but developing regular healthy routines can have a profound impact on your health. We all have stress in life and can get flustered from time to time. Routines will help us reset and rebalance quickly. When starting new routines remember to be realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Routines happen over time. As they become a habit you will be well on your way to…

LIVE well. BE well.