5×5 (Five by Five) for Health & Happiness

If you’re like me, you want to feel good and be able to move well.

Yeah, we can talk about “being” healthy and living longer – but at the root of it, you and I want to look and feel good, on the inside AND out.

That might be completely different from your eyes and mine, and that’s perfectly OK.

All our life goals can and should be relative. YOU get to decide what successful means to you.

My challenge to you this weekend (or next few days) is to try out the 5×5 “exercises” for your health and happiness.

Our goals may be different, but I believe we could all benefit from these.

5 Minutes of Stretching

You and I both know that flexibility is important.

We often take it for granted, though. It’s one of those things we don’t pay much mind to until you pull that muscle bending over to tie your shoe…

Take 5 minutes this weekend (or more if you’re so inclined after starting) and simply stretch. Hold a few different stretches and do your best to take slow, deep breaths.

A few great muscles to work on are the hamstrings and lower back, quads and hip flexors, and perhaps calves/achilles.

Now, I may be asking a lot of you if you’re a bit out of practice with these all.

Don’t get overwhelmed if you haven’t been stretching regularly.

Sure, practicing this every single day would probably be a good idea. However, start with just once over the next few days.

Start simple. Start slow. JUST START.

Maybe start your stretching with Downward Dog…

5 Minutes of Sunshine (fresh air at least/walking is great)

There’s something almost magical about the sun.

And before you go there, yes, you can get too much sun. You’re talking to a life-long pale kid who played sports and swam every summer growing up.

I’ve got to be careful mowing the lawn midday because if I forget sunscreen…boy let me tell ‘ya.

Remember – only asking for 5 minutes this weekend.

Shouldn’t be a harmful amount of UV exposure LOL

Tied into this “exercise” could be a little actual exercise…go for a short walk around the block.

You’re getting the blood flowing and breathing that fresh air, all while getting your sun exposure and natural vitamin D.

It is important – if you’re mindful of getting that vitamin D – to have some skin exposed.

Wear short sleeves and no hat if possible.

If you’re used to walking for long periods of time, I would recommend some protection from the sun.

But for this case, keep it simple and get out and move for 5 (or more) minutes.

Cloudy/raining???

Walk outside for the fresh air and movement, but don’t sweat it.

“The sun’ll come out…TOMORROW!” -Annie

5 Minutes of Laughing and Smiling

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

There’s a lot of truth to that old saying.

Sometimes you can find a good TV show, comic strip, or simply your family goofing off to provide you plenty of humor for a good laugh.

Other times you may have to search a little more.

Or just start by smiling at strangers you pass in the grocery store.

The funny thing is – and it seems crazy – but we often ACT our way into FEELING.

What I mean is that our actual physiology – how our body feels and functions – is positively affected by the actions we take. (The opposite, negative impact is also true with regards to inaction)

Don’t just wait till you’re happy to smile. Make it a point to smile more, and you’ll start to feel happier.

Don’t feel like working out? Just lace up the shoes, touch your toes a couple times, and step out the door… You’ll start walking and feel so much better after just the first few minutes.

But it does take ACTION on your part.

Smile.

Find something to laugh about.

Reap the benefits šŸ™‚

You can laugh at us =) *Halloween isn’t far off!

5 Minutes of Reading

This is such an underrated habit, not in the sense that people don’t think that reading is beneficial, but in the fact that most people don’t do it.

(Make up some statistic here) % of people don’t read a book after graduating from school.

I have found that books are a million times better since graduating LOL

We have the freedom to choose what we read, when we read it, and learn all that they have to teach us.

You and I have the ability to literally learn about any subject we want and grow into a “better” person than we were before reading whatever it is we decide to read.

Depending on what you choose to read your imagination will be stimulated and come alive! This doesn’t happen when watching TV or scrolling social media.

***I recommend a mix of books, some personal or professional development/some fun or entertaining.

Take just 5 minutes these next few days and crack a book. Shut off the TV. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Let yourself read just a few pages.

And as with many of these “exercises,” allow yourself to go beyond five minutes if your schedule allows.

But you have to start.

And if all you get is five minutes…that is enough.

A couple recent reads

5 Minutes of Planning the Week Ahead

This may prove to be the toughest for some of you.

If you’re not used to planning ahead or using a calendar/schedule regularly, this may very well be eye-opening.

Please note: your plan/schedule won’t be perfect, nor will it often go without having to make adjustments during the week.

But “set the sail” – as Jim Rohn would say – for the coming week, instead of just getting sent in whatever direction the wind decides to blow each day.

The idea here is to be intentional with your time, and direct your focus and energy.

Time is the great equalizer in life.

We all get the same allotment.

No more. No Less.

It’s in how we use our time that determines the direction our life takes.

You don’t have to feel like you’ve got life “figured out” in the next week alone. Just take a step in the direction that YOU CHOOSE.

When we’re not careful and intentional with our time, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with everything and everyone else in our lives.

Meetings and conferences and practices and errands…there’s not much time left for working out or reading or simply talking to a loved one.

Not having enough time is perhaps the most abused excuse of them all.

We’re all busy.

We all have responsibilities.

We all have goals and desires, whether we ever verbalize them or not.

And…

We all have the exact same amount of time each day to get everything done we’d like to get done.

Make a plan for your week, no matter how simple.

Write down when you’d like to workout, when you’d like to read, when you’ll be spending time with your family and shuttling the kids here and there.

Heather shared a great photo and thought recently, “Don’t prioritize your schedule…schedule your priorities.”

Take a few minutes to focus on what’s really important to you, and then put those activities on your calendar (and get rid of stuff that is wasting your precious time).

pen calendar to do checklist
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Let us know how your 5×5 goes this coming week.

Maybe some of these practices can become weekly, if not daily habits.

I truly believe, no matter what YOUR goals are, these 5 “exercises” will prove beneficial.


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