Good habits are notoriously hard to adopt, especially when tackling too many new ones at once. To make our good intentions a little stickier here at Munch Better HQ, we've decided to adopt one new healthy habit a month and keep track of how we're making it part of our routines.
For the month of April, Amanda set out to practice yoga every day and Erin wanted to pick up skin dry brushing. Here's how it went!
Erin's Habit: Pre-Shower Dry Brushing
Like jogging on a crisp summer morning, I love the idea of dry brushing and all that it promises - to boost energy, banish cellulite, detoxify. But while I've bought many a dry brush over the years, I've found it a hard habit to adopt. As with my non-existent jogging routine, I attribute this to pure laziness: I usually start the shower, then see the brush and think, "Oops, the water's on...guess it's too late now."
To help the habit stick this month, I put a post-it note on my shower door for the first week that said DRY BRUSH! I hung my brand new body brush with pride and tried to make the pre-shower ritual a relaxing experience instead of my usual rush job.
According to McKel at Nutrition Stripped, it's best to start with a few "mini-circular motions" with the brush on your chest, then move down to the feet and brush in long upward strokes on your legs. For your upper body, use gentler circular motions on the stomach and chest, and then brush upward from hand to shoulder on your arms. (I wasn't sure about the armpits, so I left those out.)
To maximize the skin-softening benefits, I applied coconut oil as a body lotion post-shower (I keep a little jar on the bathroom counter). I had a case of super dry skin, and I think the oil in combination with the brushing helped banish the itchy patches.
My skin is still on the flaky side (thanks, cold April weather!), but it's definitely less itchy. Another dry brushing benefit? More hop-to-it-ness after showering. #worthit
Amanda's Habit: Practice Yoga Every Day
I love yoga, but sadly I don't have time to make it to a studio every day. Yoga With Adriene is an online yoga channel with a lovely instructor. I decided to commit to Adriene's 30 Days of Yoga program and see what it felt like to practice every day.
Doing yoga at home has its challenges: I live in a small space and I have a dog. I made sure he was walked (or out on a walk) and that my partner was out of the house when I set up my space. I tried to light candles and essential oils, dim the lights, and turn my apartment into a mini studio. It definitely makes a difference to create a peaceful environment!
Did I do all 30 days? Almost. And I realized it was okay to miss a few because moving your body five days a week is better than zero! I recommend choosing the shorter sessions; it's hard to carve out an entire hour of uninterrupted time at home, but 20-30 minutes is manageable.
After two weeks of at-home practice, I noticed that my body craved yoga stretches, especially after sitting for a long time. Home practice is great because you can focus on specific areas of your body that are bothering you, and it really helps to alleviate stiffness.
I want to start taking the beginning of each month to re-focus on meeting the 30-day challenge. I know my body's going to thank me for it!
Until next month,
Erin and Amanda xo
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