By: Gianna Rosati
Whether you have a significant other or not, Valentine’s Day should be a day that you show yourself love. We believe that there are five essential gifts you should give yourself. These are gifts that, if incorporated into your daily routine, can greatly enhance your physical and mental well-being.
1. The Gift of Physical Movement
One of the best gifts you can give yourself this Valentine’s Day is the gift of physical movement. This is not to say you should go for a challenging run or do an intense HIIT workout every day. Instead, we recommend being mindful of how your body feels and deciding which type of movement would make you feel best. Some days, that may mean going for a walk to get coffee while listening to a podcast. Other days, your body may crave more challenging movement. On these days, you may find more fulfillment in a CycleCast ride or a run. Other ways to easily move your body include: doing yoga, doing a bodyweight HIIT workout, stretching, etc. Moving your body every day does not have to cost a lot of money, require a cute outfit, or even involve leaving your house. So, this Valentine’s Day show your body some love and start moving it mindfully!
2. The Gift of Hydration
Another gift you can give yourself this Valentine’s Day is the gift of hydration. Bodies respond very well to proper hydration: digestion can improve, skin can clear, energy levels can rise, recovery time can improve, etc. The obvious way to hydrate is to drink water, but there are other ways to get enough fluids in your system. You can incorporate foods with high water content, like watermelon, bell peppers, celery, and cucumbers, into your diet. Further, you can drink tea, warm lemon water, bone broth, or smoothies. Staying hydrated is one of our most basic needs, so this Valentine’s day, start giving your body what it needs!
3. The Gift of Sleep
Consistent movement and hydration are great but couple those activities with adequate sleep and your body and mind will thank you. Sleeping is the equivalent of charging your phone’s batteries. If you let your phone run out of battery, it will not be able to make phone calls, check emails, receive texts, surf the web, etc. The same is true with your body. If you do not consistently recharge your battery, you will not be able to execute anything to your full potential. Contrarily, if you get enough sleep, your body and mind will work at full-speed, helping you maximize your performance at work, in the gym, on your run, etc. Show yourself some love and start prioritizing your sleep. Whether that means snoozing your alarm for an extra 10 minutes, climbing into bed 30 minutes earlier than normal, or putting your phone away the moment you lie down, the extra sleep will enhance your day...week...life!
4. The Gift of Balanced Nutrition
In a previous post, we talked about the importance of pre-workout nutrition. The truth is, it is important to feed your body nutritious food throughout the entire day. In the morning, you should make sure to have protein with your breakfast. This will give you the energy to tackle your morning to-do list. Examples of breakfast proteins include eggs, breakfast sausage, nut butters, and yogurt. For lunch, we highly recommend packing your own. This ensures that you will have a healthful lunch option, rather than having to resort to the highly variable cafeteria offerings. Great lunch options that pack and keep well include sandwiches and salads (dressing on the side). In order to finish your day strong, consider throwing in a few snacks in your lunch bag. Snack options include: rice cake and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, and/or an apple and almond butter. These snacks will hold you over until dinner. Whether you are dining in or out, try and pick an option with a protein, carb, and healthy fat. Examples include chicken, sweet potato, and grilled veggies or salmon, quinoa, and asparagus. This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to a day of well-balanced eating, you won’t be able to turn back!
5. The Gift of Self-Love
The last, and arguably most important gift that you should give yourself is the gift of self-love. Self-love can take many forms. It can be giving yourself any and all of the previous gifts (physical movement, hydration, sleep, balanced nutrition). It can be writing down all of the reasons you are proud of yourself. It can be looking in the mirror and saying three reasons you love your body. It can be sleeping in instead of going to the gym because your body is achy. However you choose to love yourself this Valentine’s Day, make sure that you do because you are deserving of love.