Rut and a routine are not synonymous terms. In fact, there are great mental, emotional and physical rewards to being a little predictable at times. Here are some of the big benefits a routine has for your wellness.
You probably have a morning routine built around making coffee, showering and taking care of your pets or kids, but do you have one for your hydration? In order for your body to function properly, you must replenish your water supply by consuming beverages, as well as food that contains water. Further, many of our daily routines like drinking coffee or soda actually have a negative effect on our hydration efforts, ultimately draining our body of important fluids.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the “8 x 8 rule”(drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day). But often we find ourselves not taking time to drink water until we feel thirst — a sign that dehydration is already an issue. Commit to drinking a large glass of water immediately after waking. If you drink coffee or soda in the morning, alternate one large glass of water per cup. Fill a large water bottle to take in the car on your morning commute and do the same on the way home. Set an hourly reminder on your email calendar or phone that will literally alert you to take a minute for your health and fill that water bottle. Then chug!
You know the regular benefits of walking and aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping. But there are also huge benefits to an ongoing strength-training routine. Joan Pagano, celebrity fitness expert and author of several fitness books including Strength Training for Women, says that around age 40, “most women start to lose bone and muscle mass, causing a decrease in metabolism of about three percent every decade. One way to counteract this natural process is through a strength-training routine done at least twice a week.” Pagano explains that strength training keeps you lean by building muscles. Because lean body mass has a higher resting metabolic rate than fat, having more of it will aid in burning more calories as you breathe, digest food and even sleep.
Did you know that your routine has a huge impact on your sleep quality? According to the National Sleep Foundation, your daily exercise routine should be completed at least three hours before bedtime. Ideally, “the best time to workout is usually late afternoon.” That’s because when you exercise, your body temperature rises, and takes as long as six hours to restore to resting levels. A cooler body temperature is directly associated with how easily and able you are able to enter into deep, quality sleep once you hit the hay.