Late this spring I woke up and realized I felt like crap. I had slept, but not soundly and I didn’t feel rested. I was sluggish and grumpy. No amount of body-positive affirmations could make me happy about the fact that the seasons were changing and my summer pants didn’t really fit. I wasn’t sick, but I was not well.
Although under lockdown my family had avoided the normally inevitable parade of runny noses and stomach bugs that ordinarily punctuate the school year with small children, I found myself deeply affected by the indirect health effects of the pandemic. My newly sedentary lifestyle was characterized more by frustration and anxiety than by Netflix and chill, and I didn’t want to feel this way.
I started doing a Tabata-based workout on Zoom with Aynsley Kirshenbaum, a Brooklyn-based personal trainer with a master's degree in nutrition, who has been holding online classes since the beginning of lockdown. “The only thing we’re here to do today is to feel better when we’re done,” she’s fond of saying at the beginning of each class. Kirshenbaum, both in her classes and on social media, has informed my thinking about exercise, and really shifted it away from something you do to make your body look a certain way, to something that helps you feel a certain way. Even when my Wi-Fi fails or there’s a Zoom glitch and I only complete half the class, I always do feel better after the workout. So much better that it got me thinking — if one sweaty hour of burpees and squats could make such a difference to my day, what other well being metrics could I use to check in with myself and get back to a place of ease with my body?
Here’s an expert-backed set of five new metrics to assess your health that have nothing to do with measurements like weight or calories and all to do with reframing your relationship with health. Ask yourself these questions each morning or evening.
How much green stuff are you eating?
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