How the Spring Holidays Can Influence Your Fitness Journey
Though Easter is long gone and Passover but a pleasant memory, there are life and fitness lessons we can learn from both.
In no particular order:
- The wisdom of Easter bonnets: They're cute, they're pretty, they protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Hats aren't only for special occasions and shouldn't be limited to baseball caps. If you tend to be outdoors a lot, invest in a few hats that protect both your face and your ears if possible. And don't skip the SPF just because you think you're more covered up!
- A week without bread—inspired by Passover: Part of the Passover observance involves giving up any leavened foods – think yeast heavy breads or cakes— for eight days. If you're trying to tame the wheat bloat or cut down on bread and cake in general, set a goal for yourself to try to avoid white bread or heavily processed baked goods for a week. Then add in cookies and cake and anything that makes you feel worse physically, or that wreaks havoc on your gut, or make you feel bloated and unappealing. After a week, try to swap things like brown rice for white rice or the whole grain version of even your favorite must-eat snacks. It's a small, incremental way to eat smarter and feel better.
- Create a 30-day habit—inspired by Lent: In the 1960s, it was believed that it takes 21 days to lose bad habits and form new ones. More recently, we've opted for the 30-day belief and embrace 30-day challenges at random. A 2009 study by UK researcher Phillippa Lally found that it's more like 66-days until we can see serious and sustainable results. But back to Lent for a minute. I noticed a lot of friends giving up bad or addictive habits for the 30-day period of Lent. At the beginning, they griped about missing caffeine or social media, but at the end, they thought it mostly a relief. If there's something you're trying to cut down on, give yourself 30 days to try to form a new or better habit. Stop checking your iPhone every five minutes and instead shift it to once an hour. Force yourself to get up from your desk and walk around your office or the block right before or right after you do check your phone. See where I'm going with this one? Whether or not it takes 30 days or 66 days to make a habit stick, declaring your intention to try and then following through on a daily basis moves you in the right direction!