30 Days of Health and Contentment: Day 5, Invest in Yourself, Tracking for Health

Today is our third day of 50-minute aerobic workout; 40 minutes in your target heart-rate zone, and 5 minute warm up and cool down. Then, we will have two days of “free style exercise,” meaning you pick whatever exercise you’d like for days 6 and 7, or use these days to make up for any exercise you missed in days 1-5.

Plan your menu in the MyPlate app, and keep track of what you eat and drink, as well as your exercise.

The Exercise Pattern

Here’s the pattern for 7 days:

  1. 50-minute aerobic workout; 40 minutes in your target heart-rate zone, and 5 minute warm up and cool down.
  2. 60-minute Yoga (10 minutes of this is relaxation/meditation)
  3. 50-minute aerobic workout; 40 minutes in your target heart-rate zone, and 5 minute warm up and cool down.
  4. 60-minute Yoga (10 minutes of this is relaxation/meditation)
  5. 50-minute aerobic workout; 40 minutes in your target heart-rate zone, and 5 minute warm up and cool down.
  6. You pick your exercise, or do a make-up session for days 1-5.
  7. You pick your exercise, or do a make-up session for days 1-5.

There is now a page on the website main menu bar that you can refer to for links to every post in this 30 Day Health and Contentment plan, for your convenience. Check the Introduction Day for the links to resources like menu tracking, free online Yoga and meditation classes, and recipes.

Why Tracking Your Diet Is Important

I have to admit that tracking my food intake isn’t my favorite thing to do, and I even have the Livestrong MyPlate  (iOS) (Android) app installed on my phone and tablet.

I also have to admit that tracking keeps me on the right path, and helps me make better choices.

When you first start using the app, you’ll find it informative. After a while, you’ll get to understand what works for you, and you’ll be tempted to skip the tracking. That’s okay, so long as you continue to make good choices. But, if weight starts creeping back (I’m guilty of this!), you need to go back to planning and tracking.

Notice that there is never a mention of what foods you should eat; just that you keep track of what you eat, how much you exercise, and what your calorie goals should be.

Many of us need to relearn proper eating habits, because we’ve gotten so far from healthy food choices. By the way, this has been the goal of marketers in the food industry since Post-WWII: getting people to eat as much as possible, and as much processed food as possible.  Michael Pollen does an excellent job of explaining this in his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Processed foods are often high in salt, sugar, corn products, and white flour. What science is showing us is that these ingredients actually make us more hungry, instead of  feeling sated.  If your business is selling food, those are the ingredients you would use!

Conversely, if you want to eat healthy foods and feel good, then you should make better food choices, and avoid the ingredients that make you feel hungry all the time. Don’t let the marketers win!

Make Your Life Happy

Yes, diet and exercise is work, though it leads to feelings of well-being.  Don’t forget the “contentment” part of our 30 day plan.

Schedule the things that make you happy, just as you schedule any chore. Take the time for personal grooming, the time to read, the time to enjoy a hobby, the time to take a nap. If something’s gotta give, don’t automatically pick the thing that you enjoy – let it be the vacuuming, or cooking, or shopping. Fit those in tomorrow!

Invest in Yourself

I don’t know about you, but my feet have been sorely neglected lately. No doubt it’s because they are hidden under socks and boots.  But, my heels are dry and cracked, and the skin is flaky.

During the holidays, we are busy doing things for others and it feels great! Now, though, it’s time to start taking care of ourselves.

jar of foot cream made from natural ingredients
Antifungal Healing Foot Cream from MyFootShop.com

I tried this rich foot cream that has really helped my skin regain moisture. It smells so good, too! It’s not outrageously expensive, and I feel like I’m treating myself when I slather it on my feet and pull on my warm socks.

If you’ve been neglecting yourself in some way because of time, obligations, or budget, make a change now. You deserve it. My sister-in-law once advised me, “Don’t be the martyr, because no one will care.” She is very right about that!

Make yourself a priority in 2018, and don’t feel guilty about it. Your health and happiness will benefit everyone around you.

This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.

This post includes links to affiliates. I may receive a commission from this affiliate, at no added cost to you.

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