Revitalize your healthy eating and exercise habits with this #1 quick fix – Eat This Not That

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Are you looking to give your fitness and nutrition game a much-needed refresh? If so, I have some coveted tips to share. I revitalized my healthy eating and exercise habits, in addition to my sleeping habits, on an all-expenses-paid wellness retreat at Sensei Lana’i, A Four Seasons Hotel. This hidden gem in the mountains of Lāna’i, Hawaii taught me how to move, nourish and rest my body using wearable technology, and it improved my overall health and lifestyle forever. .

Sensei offers a wide variety of programs for clients to choose from, including the Optimal wellness program, which I participated in during the retreat. I was assigned a Sensei Guide with whom I established personalized health intentions. My guide helped me set boundaries between work and home, solidify a morning stretching routine, sleep better, and have more energy during the day with well-balanced meals. She has worked with me through every step of my wellness journey to revamp my healthy eating and exercise habits. At the end of my stay with Sensei, she presented me with a personalized Guide to Growth report. This information will be instrumental in helping me practice (and stick to) the many wellness tips I learned there and how to make it a way of life.

Walk with me through this life-changing experience and learn how to revitalize your own healthy eating and exercise habits, in addition to a better nighttime routine and improved sleep.

SHOUT

The Optimal wellness program was personalized for me through analytics, data entry, and healthcare technology. I was equipped with a SHOUT 4.0 wearable wristband that tracked my fitness, sleep and recovery data before and during my stay at Sensei. Recovery is based on important biometric data such as your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and sleep performance. My WHOOP group turned out to be my best cheerleader and friend, keeping a close eye on everything as I revitalized my healthy eating and exercise habits.

One of the things I found most interesting about the WHOOP band is that it doesn’t have a screen, which if you’ve ever worn a health tracker may also surprise you. WHOOP tracks data while you’re on the go or sleeping, and it’s awesome! The reason for this is that you don’t feel inclined to constantly check your stats, so you feel less stressed. When you open the app on your phone, you’ll see real-time feedback on next steps you can take to build better health habits.

In my case, this health technology has changed my life in many ways. For example, it held me accountable for getting the right amount of recovery after a day of fitness classes, including Balance Basics, Tai Chi, and a personalized workout. It also took care of tracking all my stats so I could be fully in the moment during my fitness sessions.

Related: How I Learned to Slow Aging and Live Better on a Wellness Retreat

yoga class at Sensei Lanai illustrating healthy eating and exercise habits
Robb Aaron Gordon

Generally, we don’t think about how we breathe, because it happens naturally. But did you know that focusing on your breathing at the end of a long, stressful day can really help you relax, and starting your day with deep breaths can set you up for mental and physical success?

During my personal training session, I learned breathing exercises to start each morning workout. They consist of 10 three-dimensional breaths at full capacity, going from the belly to the chest and throat. It really prepares your body for any workout. practitioner proper breathing throughout a workout gives your body more control and helps you stay calm and alert throughout the session.

My WHOOP group tracked my average heart rate, resting heart rate, and calories burned, revealing how intense each day and workout was. This created a full breakdown of how I exercised my body, such as how many minutes I spent at what percentage of my max heart rate.

bowl of healthy chicken illustrating healthy eating and exercise habits
Shutterstock

Fueling the body with the right foods goes hand in hand with physical activity and recovery. In addition to dining like a queen during my time at Sensei, I had a 1:1 nutrition session, where I learned useful tips and tricks on how to get more energy during the day through well-balanced meals.

The session highlighted the importance of starting each day with a solid breakfast — which isn’t just a high-carb bagel — to ensure I don’t crash an hour later. I also learned how important it is to consume fiber (to be more satisfied after meals) and probiotics (to improve my microbiome), in addition to making sure to fill half my plate with vegetables; 1/4 protein; and 1/4 carbs. The favorite meal prep idea I learned was to establish a base for dinner bowls – wild rice and chicken, for example – and change the add-ins each night. One night can be a Mediterranean bowl, with homemade tzatziki sauce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese. Another can be an Asian chicken bowl, which includes scallions, sesame seeds, coleslaw mix, and edamame.

As always, the WHOOP group had my back, constantly monitoring my stats in the background, coupled with my daily “diary” entries, where I tracked whether or not I ate all my meals for the day; how much caffeine I had; whether I successfully hydrated; if I have consumed dairy products, fruits, vegetables, proteins and/or meat; etc

Related: What Science Says About Exercise Habits That Slow Aging

relaxed woman at Sensei Lanai wellness retreat, relaxing depiction of healthy eating and exercise habits
Sensei Lana’i

Getting sound sleep is so important to your overall health. It fuels you for a productive working day and gives you the energy to train. Sometimes I find it hard to truly disconnect from my day, ignore outside stress, and sleep peacefully in Dreamland. I am also an incredibly light sleeper. So, during my time at Sensei, a couple of my goals were to 1. sleep better and 2. learn to disconnect from work mode, since I work from home in my small apartment in town. My guide Sensei taught me several tools to achieve “resonance frequencies”, which occur when mind and body (the rhythm of your heart and the rhythm of your breath) are in sync. When you feel stressed or anxious, you will not feel this rhythm. Thus, the end goal is to train your nervous system via several breathing tools.

By wearing the emWave2 device which tracked my heart rate, I learned to “build waves”, inhale 4-5 seconds and exhale 5-6 seconds through my nose, keeping the process as consistent and comfortable as possible. I also tried “heart-centered breathing”, where I focused on a “light” in my chest that grew larger on the inhale and diminished on the exhale. Finally came the “moment of appreciation,” where I visualized something that made me feel happy, calm, and at peace as I breathed. (Spoiler alert: I thought about my puppies, the cutest little munchkins ever!) Come and find out (and to my surprise), I breathe really well and all three methods are quite effective in helping me find my zen.

My WHOOP group can attest to this – I slept really well at Sensei, so I know adding these healthy habits to my normal routine at home will be very beneficial.

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