Sometimes making a health change can be intimidating, overwhelming and can have you running for the hills! Changing up your diet, creating an exercise routine, or trying out a juice cleanse are all beneficial but starting off slow with small, simple changes will make your health journey a lot more enjoyable and maintainable for the long run. Here are my top 5 tips on simple ways you can begin to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Walk More: I know we are all guilty of this but it is something that can make a significant difference in your day. Aiming to walk even just 15-20 minutes more than you usually do each day can bring in positive side effects. Walking is highly underrated, it is a form of low impact, low intensity cardio that brings along benefits to your cardiovascular health as well as mental health. Feeling stressed or anxious?...go for a walk, feeling tired?....go for a walk! Most people can spare an extra 10-15 minutes per day instead of a coffee break or a mindless scroll through social media, why not commit that time to taking an afternoon walk to clear your mind and get some exercise. Doing this 2-3 times per week can add in an extra 30-60 minutes of activity to your week by simply going for a walk. If your day is too busy to spare an extra 10 minutes, how about parking your car far away from where you need to be or how about offering to go for the coffee run for your co-workers, the options are endless!
- Think Positively: We all know the benefits that being positive brings, feeling happier, newfound appreciation, stress reduction etc.. but how do you get to that point where positive thinking comes naturally?...Practice! That's right, just like any other skill or activity it takes practice and consistency to see results but they are 100% worth it once you get there. It may seem hard at times when your environment is filled with people who seem to have that "negative forcefield" around them but trust me it can be done. Starting your day by writing down 3 things that you are grateful for is the first step, over time this practice will come automatically and you will be thinking about gratitude each and every day. Another tip is to take any negative experiences and think about how this could be a lesson in life, take a step back, breathe deeply and know that you have the right to be happy in this moment. We all have the equal right and opportunity to be happy, it all comes down to you and how you want to live your life.
- Drink More Water: Simple but worth a mention, we ALL know that we should be drinking more water but do we.....no! But we should, a large percentage of our bodies are made up of water which means we need to keep it hydrated in order to properly function. What I commonly hear from everyone is that water is boring, or they don't have time....well, my suggestions are to make your water interesting, add in frozen berries, lemon or lime juice, fresh mint, cucumber slices, orange slices, the list goes on. Another tip is to get a water bottle with a time tracker on it, or make one yourself with a sharpie and your favourite bottle. Aim to drink a certain amount of water by a certain time of day and before you know it, it will be all gone. Lastly another tip is to eat water rich fruit such as watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew as a snack to get in some extra hydration in between meals.
- Meal Prep: Meal prepping doesn't mean having to portion out every ounce of every meal for a week straight but instead provides healthy options on hand for when life gets busy or when you need an on the go meal and don't have time to prepare it. Having healthy options on hand is a lifesaver for both meals and snack time. Some of my favourite staples to cook in large batches are quinoa, beans (made in my instant pot), chopped up fruit and vegetables, bliss balls (dates/oats/coconut/protein powder), baked sweet potatoes and some healthy treats such as muffins, raw desserts or simply some dates to keep my sweet tooth at bay. If mornings are your busiest time I would suggest overnight oats as a quick and healthy on the go breakfast.
- Set Up A Morning Routine: Do you ever wake up feeling rushed, tired, uninspired..... and forget about breakfast..., you're just hoping your pants are on straight! We have all been there but organizing a specific morning routine for yourself can not only benefit your morning mood but can also have profound effects on your entire day ahead. An effective morning routine doesn't have to take long, but it does have to be consistent. I aim to spend the first 10 minutes that I wake up sipping on some water and writing down 3 things that I am grateful for (ties into #2), I then get out of bed and move my body, I stretch, do some morning yoga if I'm feeling up to it or if I have time I will get in a quick walk or workout to move my body. It's important to make your morning routine specific to YOU, waking up an extra 30 minutes earlier to spend some time dedicated to YOU and only YOU, doing something you love and that makes you happy in that time. Once you get into your routine each day it will become easier and you may even find you want to wake up earlier to fit in more YOU time.