Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Being Good to Yourself

Love yourself because there is only one of you!
This post is by Dana, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and your family, and it will help you be the best Zumba instructor that you can be. Doesn’t everyone want to be the best possible instructor? I can hear e-cheer as I imagine you reading this article and thinking, “Yes!”.

Being the best version of yourself and taking care of you seems like a fundamental thing that everyone should do and seems relatively obvious. However, what doesn’t seem obvious is that it is actually hard to be good to yourself and everyone else around you while juggling day-to-day life which is hectic, crazy, busy, and overloaded with a million activities. Just recently I had a Zumba participant tell me, “You look tired”. She was very sweet by asking if I was ok {seriously I was touched that she went out of her way to communicate her concern} and her comment got me thinking….YES, I was tired, and YES I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by running around like a chicken with my head cut off and not fully taking care of myself! She was right, I need to take better care of myself to be the best instructor I can be.

Let’s start with the obvious. Sleep. Something that none of us get enough of. However, the benefits of a good night sleep are critical to one’s overall health. If you can manage to squeeze in an extra hour here or there, or even a 20-minute power nap, studies suggest that the more sleep you get the better you will feel overall.
·        Sleep can help your mood! Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation. When you are tired you are more likely to be cranky, overly happy or overly sad.

·        Sleep can help your injuries heal faster. If you have chronic pain or acute pain from a recent injury, getting enough sleep may actually make you hurt less.

·        Sleep also keeps you safer from accidents. When you are tired you are more likely to trip of fall or not be mindful of the things around you.

Another obvious be-good-to-yourself tip is to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet. I am the worst offender of not taking care of myself with the proper vitamins and nutrients. There are so many programs and options available in the marketplace to ensure that you are “filling your tank”, so finding a strategy and a plan that works for you should be a fun way to explore your tastes and interests.

Some helpful things to think about as you figure out what eating plan works for you:  

·        Eat a variety of fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits without high-calorie sauces or added salt and sugars. Replace high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables.

·        Limit saturated fat and trans fat and replace them with the better fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. If you need to lower your blood cholesterol, reduce saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of total calories. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.

·        Choose foods with less sodium and prepare foods with little or no salt. To lower blood pressure, aim to eat no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day. Reducing daily intake to 1,500 mg is desirable because it can lower blood pressure even further. If you can’t meet these goals right now, even reducing sodium intake by 1,000 mg per day can benefit blood pressure.

In addition to sleeping and eating a well-balanced diet, there are another few items to consider while working on your overall health.
·         Drink a lot of water
·         Eat often to keep your metabolism up
·         If you work a desk job, stand up and walk around during the day
·         If you sit at a computer all day, be mindful of your posture
·         Make those overdue doctor appointments
·         Make {YOU} time.
·         Socialize the people that make you feel loved and happy
·         Listen to music and dance as much as you can!


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