06 Sep Getting back into a healthy routine
Vacations are a great opportunity for having a break in every aspect. It is common to be more flexible with schedules, meals and physical activity. However, returning to work and to our day-to-day activities can be tough. In this article, we give you some tips to get back to your healthy routine.
4 steps to get back to your healthy routine
Sleep is one of the most altered habits during summer vacations. Good sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. Going to bed and getting up at the same time will improve your sleep. Having an adequate amount of sleep will help you get back in your routine. In adults it is recommended to have between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day.
Start moving again:
Physical activity helps to relieve stress and increases endorphin levels. Begin with the exercise you prefer whether it is a high intensity physical activity or just a walk. The first step is usually the most difficult to take.
Stick to schedules:
Our body has an internal clock that controls the fluctuation throughout the day of almost all physiological variables. This clock follows a cycle close to 24 hours, and needs certain external variables to be synchronized on a daily basis. During summer, some of the practices that disrupt our circadian rhythm are accentuated. For example, being exposed to a screen (cell phone, TV, tablet) before going to sleep, late dinners, late-night snacks, etc.
Setting a meal schedule and exposing yourself to natural light in the mornings are two good practices to start balancing your circadian rhythms.
Be aware of what you eat:
Keeping track of your meals will help you identify bad eating habits. Only if you are aware of them will you be able to change them. Modifying the entire diet can be overwhelming. Instead, try to focus on eating one healthy meal a day. For example, improving your dinners by adding vegetables and some source of protein can make a big difference.
Don’t expect to get back to your routine overnight. It is a process and it requires some time. You can start by focusing on these four steps and gradually add some more.
- Berger F, Zieve D, Conway B. Sleep and Your Health. MedLine Plus, 2020. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000871.htm
- Eckel-Mahan K, Sassone-Corsi P. Metabolism and the circadian clock converge. Physiol Rev. 2013;93(1):107-135. doi:10.1152/physrev.00016.2012