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How to build healthy habits into a busy lifestyle

posted on Monday, 25th April 2016 | find under Fitness, Nutrition
If the new season has given you the desire to make a new start, then you need Sweaty Betty ambassador Charlie Morgan’s suggestions on how to build healthier habits into a busy lifestyle. After hearing numerous clients' concerns about exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed, the yoga instructor has compiled 8 easy tips to add into your daily routine for a more balanced life.

building healthy habits into a busy lifestyle
Charlie (far left) wears the Urdhva Yoga Leggings, Yama Padded Yoga Bra and Chakra Yoga Vest
 

Daily Meditation

Every morning, as soon as you wake up, prop yourself up with a pillow and sit up in bed for 10 minutes. Taking the time to be mindful decreases stress on the body, increases self-awareness and makes you generally calmer. I recommend trying the app Headspace to get you started. 
 
Drink hot water and lemon 

Most foods that we eat are highly acidic, so the best tip I can give to anyone is to start each day with a cup of hot water and the juice of half a lemon.  Lemons turn from acidic to alkaline in our digestive systems, and help to neutralize any unwanted acid.
 
Find your zen 

This may seem obvious coming from a yoga teacher, but discovering the mat was a game changer for me. The word yoga itself means ‘to yoke’ or ‘to join’, so time on the mat connects the mind and the body, taking you away from the stresses of life.
 
Listen to your body 

There is a reason why we commonly use the phrase listen to your gut. No diet fits all, so it’s important to listen to your own body and be in tune with how food makes you feel. I am a big advocator of balance; there is nothing wrong with eating bread or chocolate if it doesn’t make you unwell.

Sleep 

The first thing I always ask my overstressed clients is ‘are you sleeping well?’ Most of the time, they say no or that they struggle to sleep at all. Insomnia is such a wide-spread issue these days and sleep is so important for your body to reset.  As hard as it sounds, an hour before bed try to switch off any technology and find time to wind down and relax. This can be anything from having a bath, meditating, an hour of restorative yoga or reading a book with candles lit.
 
Be Grateful 

To quote Rou Bennett, ‘always start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart'. I always advise clients to keep a book of positive affirmations by their bed and read one as soon as they wake up. By introducing daily affirmations into our lives, we can start to reprogramme our minds to think in a more positive way.
 
Alternatively, it is always worth taking the time to write down three things you are grateful for every morning. Starting the day on a positive note can completely change your mind set in stressful situations. Sceptical? Read The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan, a journalist who spent a year living gratefully with life-changing results.
 
Restorative yoga 

Although I teach mainly dynamic vinyasa flow, when I’m feeling run down I cannot get enough restorative yoga.  This slower practice involves holding postures for anything between 3-5 minutes, which really gives the body time to target troubled areas and restore us back to health.

Take time out 

I constantly hear people say ‘I feel like all I do is work’. Make sure to take the time to do something for yourself, whether that is taking a yoga class, meeting a friend or getting a massage. I say this from experience but taking time to switch off, even if it’s only 10 minutes can make you far more focused and productive.
 
Shop Sweaty Betty's new yoga collection for style to take you from the mat and beyond. For more information on Charlie Morgan visit her website here or follow @shantiliving
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