As a group of health & fitness professionals, the iGnite leadership team uses a number of habits to keep ourselves feeling our absolute best. And since we all love hearing new ideas, tips & tricks for living our best life, we thought — better to share them! So, here are some of our team’s tips & tricks for feeling our best — hopefully you’ll find they enhance and improve your life in body, mind and spirit, too 🙂
1. Prioritize Sleep
“The thing that has made the biggest difference in making my body feel its best and healthiest has been prioritizing SLEEP. Yes, that means over working out(!), over late nights of squeezing in that last to-do followed by early mornings, over my favorite tv shows, over … lots of things! I’ve found that I am a completely new person when I make sure that I get around 8 hours of sleep. The idea that you will be ‘healthier’ if you skimp on sleep in order to exercise more is just plain wrong. Your body needs sleep to heal and rest before it can perform exercise well and in a way that is helping your body more than hurting it. The second I accepted this and prioritized sleep for health above all else, my energy, mood and ability to take on other things skyrocketed.
I’ve learned that that workout/errand/to do list item/television show can wait. Making sleep #1 and then scheduling in an exercise routine that allows me to get the zzzzzz’s our bodies so crave is my feel-great secret!”
2. Prepared Healthy Snacks
“I always fave a variety of cut-up veggies in the fridge so I’m less apt to reach for crackers to dip and munch on.”
3. Regularly Getting in the Water
“Dunking myself in any water, anywhere, anytime is something that I crave and that makes me feel rejuvenated. Studies have proven that if you are in, on or near water you are 90 percent happier! I don’t think there is anyone around who does not feel rejuvenated when jumping in a pool, river, lake or ocean.”
4. Take Probiotics
“One of my stay healthy secrets is Ortho Probiotic. I used to suffer from dry mold allergies every fall. I was congested from October into November, and I had a constant cough. The Ortho Probiotic has made a huge difference. I take one in the morning on an empty stomach before I run.”
5. Planned Date Nights
“One thing that helps me feel my best is my Friday date night with the hubster at Fonda San Miguel here in Austin – we hit happy hour followed by a quiet evening at home.”
6. Get Regular Massages
“I get monthly massages at Massage Envy, it’s reasonably priced and a sure way to get yourself a relaxing massage once a month! I really enjoy it — they have great therapists for all types of massage and the monthly fee is only $59.99. Plus you get other perks and discounts being a member and you can go to locations all over the U.S. if you want to get a massage while traveling.”
“I make sure to schedule a 60 minute massage quarterly, if not more often! I have been to several places in Austin, all varying in price, including Mecca Gym and Spa, Massage Harmony in Westlake and Foot Massage in Northwest Hills. With how much I am on my feet during the week, I make this a priority to help me feel good!”
7. Morning Prayer
“I make sure to pray before I get out of bed in the morning.”
“I bought a NutriBullet about a year ago and I absolutely love it! I try to have one a day, and it’s a perfect way to get a healthy boost without spending $8 on a green smoothie.
I just pop in 1/2 greens (I prefer spinach), and then 1/2 fruits, (whatever I have) and then a boost like flax seed, chia, almonds, etc. Then you just add water, so no added sugar!
It takes a few minutes to extract all the healthy nutrients from those veggies and fruits. You can put any type of veggie and fruit in. It’s quick, easy and healthy!”
9. Calming Pet Time
“My go-to for nurturing my emotional self is to sit down — that’s the key part, sitting down — to pet my dog, Sam. Within seconds, I feel my heart slow down, my brain quiets and a smile comes across my face — no matter what weights I’m carrying that day. Then the icing on the cake is when all my other animals hear the “love-rubs” happening, and here they come! It’s a guaranteed drop in blood pressure…and, really, what is better than a dog-smile?”
10. Homemade Skin Care
“With ingredients most of us probably already have in our pantry and fridge, I create lotions, scrubs, and occasionally masks, to supplement my skin-care routine. I have a few “must-have” skin-care staples, listed below. And when I have time to treat myself to a full “home-spa-day” I’ll experiment with more “complex” recipes.
Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil
Instead of store-bought moisturizer and body lotion, I use coconut oil (unrefined and organic) on my skin. I apply it daily after I shower/bathe to both body and face, and I also use the excess on my hands as a “leave-in conditioner,” running my fingers through my hair after applying to my face and body. (Also, although I don’t wear make-up very often, I discovered coconut oil is a great natural make-up remover.)
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Organic Brown Sugar
About once a week I make a body-scrub using EVOO and brown sugar. I don’t follow a recipe, I simply mix the two ingredients together adding more or less of one or the other until I get the consistency/texture I want, depending on the exfoliation intensity needed/desired (coarse for feet, legs, hands, and arms; medium coarseness for torso; light coarseness for neck and face). This scrub is very gentle and leaves the skin feeling amazing.
In a quick online search of “home-made skin-care” you’ll find countless recipes that include nourishing yet simple ingredients like oats, honey, almond milk, peaches, avocado, pumpkin, cucumber, lemon, and even coffee and cocoa(!) to name just a few!”
11. Nutritionist Consultations
“I see Applied Clinical Nutritionist Joseph Strickland of Better Body Clinical Nutrition once every 12 weeks. I began seeing Joseph in May 2012 specifically for allergy issues, hives, and constant fatigue, and after the success I’ve had with him, I continue my visits to check in and see how my body is functioning. I currently take 4 different Standard Process supplements that he specifically recommends for my body that I buy from People’s Pharmacy. I can tell a difference when I miss a day or two, and I know how important they are for me to maintain a healthy body.”
12. Nighttime Technology Turnoff
“I make sure to turn off the computer at night and crawl into bed with a good read.”
13. Evening Treat
“I always drink a large glass of chocolate milk each evening. It has been proven by studies over and over again–even by our University of Texas — as the number one muscle recovery drink of all time! It tastes SO good and truly helps my muscles recover, and I sleep so well. I love it!”
14. Varied Workouts
“I make sure to go to different iGnite workout classes weekly. Yes, I know I work for iGnite, but I feel different when I teach versus when I participate. I am “on” in different ways when I teach than when I take a class. I’m able to step out of my ‘teaching brain’ and simply follow the leader’s instructions. I don’t enjoy working out on my own, and in fact, I don’t do it. I appreciate going to different classes, and I listen to my body when it’s telling me to speed up or slow down.”
15. Self-Guided Yoga
“I make sure to schedule a weekly yoga session with and for myself.”
16. Cranberry Water
“I always have a pitcher of the iGnite cranberry water in my fridge! I get bored of drinking plain water, and I enjoy this refreshing drink.”
17. Morning Stretching Ritual
“Kitchen counter stretching and moving my spine in 6 ways first thing each morning while waiting for my tea to steep helps me continue to feel my best.”
18. A Favorite Eye Cream
“My eye cream Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Eye Cream: I am addicted to it and put it on three times a day! It has a little glisten to it and it so hydrating. It truly has helped my bags under my eyes go away that I inherited from my sweet Mom — it is awesome stuff, AND is available at the grocery store!”
19. Body Oil
“My go-to for just feeling pretty and well-taken care of is to spray a few drops of my favorite oil — Caudalie Divine Oil — onto my palms, then I rub it behind my ears, under my nose and on my neck. It smells so quietly fresh, and hydrates my skin beautifully. I sometimes rub a little onto the ends of my hair, and, well, it just makes me feel pretty and fresh!”
20. Bike Ride Escape
“I go for a bike ride and leave any worries or distractions behind me!”
Although all of these habits are unique to each of us, one common habit we all share (in addition to exercise!) is that all of us rest and recognize that we can’t have one (exercise) without the other (rest)! No one can perform exercise to their fullest ability without adequate rest.
So, go ahead — pick out one or a few of these habits and test drive them in your own wellness routine! We hope they iGnite your body, mind and spirit.
Have some great healthy habits and tricks of your own? Please share them with us by leaving a comment below! We love hearing your feedback and learning from you.