Major health change happens with 1000 modest efforts.
While the "big basics" (e.g. the Healthy Way of Eating, resistance training, ample movement, quality sleep, etc.) universally hold, you’d be surprised at how much license you have to "play" on the path to good health.
Viewing our journeys through the lens of experimentation can underscore the truth that our commitments are made and remade every day - choice by choice. It can also encourage us to try on new practices that fit our interests and progress us further in our lifestyle change.
What new ideas have you attempted lately? Check out these 30 health experiments that span the spectrum from lighthearted to illuminating, and see where the month takes you!
1. Spend a day poolside - and do your cardio in the lap lanes.
2. Find a quiet and beautiful (or at least uncluttered!) space, and try a 10-minute meditation period. Receive the bell - and the chance to clear your head.
3. Fit in a “green hour” every day during which you soak up the sun, the fresh air and the restorative energy of nature.
4. Add a HIIT or other interval workout to your fitness routine.
5. Venture into a new area of the gym and see what “new-to-you” equipment can do for your workout sequence.
6. Experiment with a new kind of healthy fat for flavoring in veggie or meat entrees. (Yes, in the Healthy Way of Eating context, we can add fat.) Try duck fat, pastured lard, bacon drippings, ghee or organic creme fraiche.
7. Expand your protein shake repertoire.
8. Take a warm epsom salt bath after a stressful day.
9. Begin a motivation scrapbook in which you write inspiring quotes and include a succession of photos to represent different points of your journey - and celebrate your progress!
10. Fuel your day with a better breakfast.
11. Treat yourself to a massage.
12. Take a day off work or find alternative care for the kids, and create a day’s retreat (at home or away) for yourself during which you pursue at least 5 healthy, relaxing or otherwise wellness-indulgent activities.
13. Visit a new fitness class - something that sounds fun or daring.
14. Go dancing - or enjoy an impromptu dance party at home with the kids.
15. Better target your efforts by getting one of those handy health assessments you’ve always wondered about.
16. Schedule a personal session with a club fitness professional.
17. Buy a gourmet salt sampler at a better kitchen store (or online), and experiment with the likes of Himalayan pink salt, Fleur de Sel, Alaea Hawaiian sea salt, Murray River Flake salt, Brittany gray salt, Cyprus onyx, Sagrado Rosa, and Aussie Snow.
19. Sweat out the stress - and toxins - in the club sauna.
20. Find healthier indulgences to enjoy by visiting tea stores or coffee emporiums or by exploring the healthy specialty offerings (e.g. unsweetened nuts, specialty cheeses, seasoning/herb mixes) of grocery stores and gourmet shops.
21. Participate in a race or other fitness event.
22. Take a healthy cooking class in your community to expand your kitchen skills.
23. Beautify your sleep space, and clean up your nighttime routine. Put fresh sheets on the bed, straighten your room, put flowers and positive reading on your nightstand (if reading before bed relaxes you). Set your alarm to go to bed at a time that allows you ample sleep, and turn off the tech toys an hour beforehand.
24. Grab the kids or a friend and go for an afternoon/evening bike ride.
25. Start a “self-care” journal in which you record actions or set particular daily intentions for ways you can take care of your health and well-being, including specific ideas for eating well, moving more and incorporating de-stressing practices that day.
26. Hit the library/bookstore, and look for at least 5 cookbooks with lots of healthy, whole food, moderate carb recipe ideas. Commit to trying 1-2 new dishes each week.
27. Visit an area farmer’s market and find 3 new veggies to incorporate into the week’s meals.
28. Make a motivation investment by downloading songs for a new workout playlist.
29. Take that adorable dog of yours (or your neighbors) for an extra walk.
30. Encourage someone else in his/her health journey!
Is your month full yet? Want more ideas for micro-experiments you can do? Talk with our professional fitness and nutrition staff today. Thanks for reading, everyone.
In health, Jennifer Wannen, Content Manager
This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.