Act like a toddler for better health!

That’s right, throw your BEST tantrum at work today and if there is no chocolate milk with lunch, you’re OUTTA THERE!

Just kidding 😉

Acting like a toddler, however, can be a great tool to make healthier choices and to move your body better.

For a moment, try not to compare yourself to your own 2-year-old, or that screaming kid in the grocery cart ahead of you. Let’s think of what it’s like to be a toddler in these three areas.

Movement 

When toddlers learn to walk, they do it starting in a squat position (NO, she’s bringing up squats again!) That’s kind of backwards from how we approach it now. You go to the gym, loosen up or walk into your favorite fitness class, and *grunt* you can’t get your butt down, your back is supposed to be straight and why are you losing feeling in your right foot?

Can we start from the bottom? Why not relax into the posture like garland or squat pose in yoga. Gently press your arms into your leg muscles and picture those legs opening like a book. You don’t need to ace this on the first try, but research suggests it’s better to know the movement that you are trying to achieve in order to be better at practicing it. That’s what exercise is anyway: us practicing over and over, each time trying to get better form or more repetitions in a set time. Now after you’ve tried that, stand back up and gently lower yourself to your point of comfort or challenge, take a deep breath in and see if you can sink down one more inch! In what ever exercise you are doing, meet the exercise at both ends! Now you can have your cookie 😉

Eating

Every see a toddler eat? I recently had a girlfriend over and her 1 ½ year old (or however many months I’m supposed to say) was eating a delicious snicker doodle! But, instead of gulping it down like I just did to my breakfast bar, she took a bite, then ran a few laps around my giant living room, played with her toy, and a few minutes later she returned to take another bite. BRILLIANT! Slowly savoring her treat. Again, please don’t take me literally and go run around the restaurant or your dinner table in between bites. Take this as an opportunity to be mindful and remember to savor your food. Enjoy then have a conversation with those around your dinner table or take a sip of water and relax.

Napping

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to my mom for not taking naps as a child. With my sincerest apologies, I am trying to make up for that in my adulthood. Seriously though friends, napping is AMAZING for you. Here is a great summary of a scientific study that examined the effects of sleep on body fat percentage. We need sleep and yes, you have stress, life, kids, it all piles up. But if you can’t get good sleep, you are disrupting the most important rhythm our body has: the circadian rhythm. That ever important internal clock that helps our brain signal our body when we need to shut-er-down and rest. When this is disrupted, your life is disrupted. I know you are busy and swamped, but please PLEASE pay attention to getting rest each night. Make it a priority and I can tell you, you will feel better and more balanced. 

Squat, eat and nap!

Britt

britt.fitnessmail@gmail.com

About the author: Britt

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