Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Real talk: I am ecstatic that summer is here, but Montana summers can be a whirlwind since activities like hiking, biking, camping, and boating only come around for a very short time in our mountain climate. Trying to squeeze those summer activities in along with outdoor festivals, vacations, and BBQs on top of working and/or mothering children leaves most Montana women scrambling.
If the frantic pace is leaving you feeling drained, you are not alone. The importance of sleep, exercise and nutrition is no secret, and yet it can be incredibly easy to let these foundations for well-being fall by the wayside without a plan on how to fit them into your lifestyle. As a certified personal trainer and life coach specializing in women's health, I have strategies to help you:
SLEEP. Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. If an overactive brain makes it difficult to fall asleep, keep a journal by your bed to write down anything that comes to mind when you are trying to relax so your brain can let the thoughts go. Also, try listening to a podcast (with eyes closed) to help you fall asleep. The less stimulating the podcast, the better...but it helps stop your brain from ruminating.
NUTRITION. You know what you need to do but it is hard to stick to it when hunger strikes. Therefore, meal prep Sundays (or whatever-day) can be a real lifesaver in your time of need! It takes just an hour or so to wash and cut enough vegetables for salads, soups and veggie scramblers all week long. Another strategy that has really saved me is ALWAYS taking a snack or meal with me when I leave the house. Baby carrots, apples or protein shakes are easy go-to's. And always take a quality probiotic to aid the gut-mind connection.
EXERCISE. Like nutrition, you know what you need to do. But quality movement can easily get pushed to the back burner during busy times. Here are some of my favorite strategies to keep that from happening:
a) Find a type of exercise that you love to do and you will be less inclined to cancel.
b) Exercise first thing in the morning (before the day gets crazy) or schedule exercise into your calendar like you would any other appointment.
c) Find a workout buddy to help keep you accountable.
Health is complex but the effects of rest, nutrition and exercise on mood, productivity, relationships and even creativity are well documented. We know that all three foundations are necessary for complete well-being. Therefore, I hope these strategies help you to find your best self so that this summer will be your healthiest, most magical summer yet.
Mindy is a columnist for "Montana Woman Magazine." Her column "The Real Levitation Experience" shares expertise for elevating health & wellness that she has acquired through her certifications as a personal trainer and life coach. Mindy is also founder of Kalispell’s Levitation Nation Aerial Studio, where the catch phrase “fitness is fun” is embodied alongside a culture of movement & women empowerment. For more about Mindy, please visit: https://www.levitationnation.org/mindy.