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Radical Self-care: What our Sweat+Reset challenge is all about.

Updated research says it takes on average 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic. We’re kickstarting your newfound approach to a well-rounded wellness routine with our Sweat + Reset Challenge. 

Hopefully you’re rounding out week 3 with consistency and knocking out those Bingo squares one by one! But what happens once your Bingo card is complete?

We’re here to motivate and inspire you with some of the trickier squares to complete, the mind, soul and, what some might say are the more difficult, body options to not only have you finishing the Challenge like an all-star. But more importantly, to keep going, and growing.

Let’s start with what we think might be the very most important square on your card – sleep!! Sleep affects everything – how well you operate mentally, emotionally and physically. Chronic poor sleep can lead to serious health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes; reduce your immunity; increase your risk of depression; increase your impatience and potential for mood swings; and lead to lack of motivation (i.e. skipping your workout for the day, or going for the donut or the fast food line because you are too tired to cook or meal prep).

So let’s chat sleep hygiene. Try to get your room as dark as possible. That means ideally zero electronics and blackout curtains or a sleep mask. 65 degrees has been proven as the best temperature for deep sleep and brain health so try to keep it cool. Consider your caffeine and alcohol consumption for this one too. Try to cut off your caffeine by noonish, and if you are imbibing, try to cut off any consumption at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. 7 – 8 hours should be your goal for regenerative sleep, so try to find a consistent sleep and wake time to really set your mind and body up for success!

Next up is what you are putting into your body – what we eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), women ages 19 to 32 should be consuming 2.5 to 3 cups of veggies each day, while women of any older age can stick with 2 to 3. But what actually is a serving size? In order to get the proper volume of leafy greens, you should be eating 1 cup each day. Generally speaking, fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables require about half a cup, and raw vegetable juice also requires half a cup to be considered a serving. For fresh veggies, this can look like 6 to 8 florets of broccoli, 1 raw carrot or 8 baby carrots, or half of a bell pepper or baked potato. Vegetables are an essential part of any healthy diet, and getting enough of them will not only fuel your body (and gut microbes!) with fiber, but their unique signatures of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients also deliver major health benefits and help you feel your best.

You know we’re massive advocates of moving your body, but we feel like changing up your routine once you find your rhythm can be daunting. So we’re going to focus on trying a specialty class or intensive to ramp up your results. The Mayo Clinic states fitness training should balance five elements of good health, so make sure your routine includes aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching. Intensive classes at nb like barreSTRENGTH or barreHIIT can pack a serious punch with added functional weight training or EPOC cardiovascular benefits. Also be on the lookout for specialty classes, whether hosted as a pop-up or on the schedule rotation regularly, such as arms and abs, booty blast and yoga. nb can truly be your one-stop shop for exercise if you take advantage of all our class formats!

So much of success is built upon your mindset. So we’d be remiss if we left out practicing gratitude. A study from Harvard Publishing Health states that in positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. We included a gratitude list on our Bingo card, but here are some other helpful ways to regularly express gratitude. Write a thank-you note (including one to yourself!); thank someone mentally; keep a gratitude journal; count your blessings (you can pick a number, like three to five things); pray; meditate.

Self-care is typically an afterthought in today’s busy, all-consuming, distracting world. Radical self-care is the active decision to put your wellness before anyone or anything else. Self-care goes beyond your physical fitness. It also includes your emotional well-being, as well as the condition of your soul or spirit. This is called the mind-body-soul connection. Research has found that these three areas of your life are intertwined, so when one is acting up, it affects the other two. So here are a dozen ideas for you to take what you need depending on the day and what speaks to you for self-care. Take a walk; listen to uplifting music or an inspiring podcast; dance; do a breathwork routine; take a bath; watch a movie; cook; do a face mask; draw, paint or play an instrument; have a good cry; spend some time away from your phone; watch the sunrise or sunset.