Imagine the very best version of yourself you can think of. Perhaps you have tons of energy, are fit and healthy and always wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Maybe you’re crossing the finish line of your very first 5k—or heck, marathon!
If you find the reality falling short, don’t stress. It can be easier than you think to improve your health, simply by following a few handy tips. They’re easy to fit into your day, and before you know it they’ll be part of your lifestyle.
The first step to getting a healthy body is having a healthy outlook, but it can be difficult when the task before you is daunting.
Every day, write down three things for which you are grateful. In the beginning, it might be something as simple as hitting all of the green lights on the way into work, or maybe that your 2-year-old slept past 6:00 a.m.. After you begin to flex this positive outlook muscle, you’ll find much more to be grateful for in day-to-day life.
Instead of thinking of all of the ways your co-worker drives you crazy and makes you stressed, you might begin to appreciate her attention to detail, or simply the fact that you have your own office with a door you can close.
This positive foundation will help you mentally prepare to be the healthiest version of yourself.
Many of us think exercise happens at the gym or during a run, but a healthy person tries to live well throughout the day. That includes all the hours we are at work.
In fact, more than 40 percent of people say they have gained weight at their current job. Thankfully, there are plenty of exercises to do at work to stay healthy and keep energy levels up. Sure, there is the old tip about taking the parking space farthest from the office entrance, but there’s more. While you sit at your desk, you can do leg extensions, desk squats, glute squeezes, desk dips and more.
Other than sleeping in your bed, your desk may be the place where you spend the largest chunk of your day. That may sound depressing, but it’s also an opportunity to find workplace-friendly exercise to capitalize on precious time.
A media mogul who preaches about sleep? Arianna Huffington started with a TED Talk on the topic in 2010, and recently published a book about the importance of sleep in success and health. Her experience and research show that an increase in sleep can lead to more happiness, productivity, and healthier decision-making.
Skipping breakfast and overeating at lunch. Supersizing. Grazing. We make lots of size-based decisions with our food that are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.
Taking a close look at correct serving sizes and portions can be an easy and quick way to reorient our eating habits. For example, a serving of chicken is about the size of a deck of cards, and a portion of salad dressing should be about the size of a ping pong ball.
Meetings are the hair shirt of the modern workplace. They are often unproductive or even unnecessary. One-on-one meetings are particularly suited to walking meetings, as they enhance physical activity but also ensure more alert and attentive participants.
Eating out is a saboteur of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also a convenient and delicious reality of today’s life. It can be too big of a change for many people to cut out restaurants entirely, so start small.
Eating at home can save you more than 200 calories a meal, and it can also encourage creativity and family bonding. Planning meals with roommates or family members will also save money, which is an added bonus.
Very few people can maintain the gym rat lifestyle of hitting the treadmill or weight room daily. It can be time-consuming, expensive, and monotonous. Instead, exercise "accidentally" by planning hikes with family and friends, walking to the library rather than driving, or taking your kids or nieces and nephews to the pool for an afternoon.
You’ll be so busy talking and laughing that you won’t even realize you’re burning calories.
Accountability is important to being the healthiest version of you. Share with a significant other, friend, or family member your goals of becoming a more positive person, losing weight, or increasing physical activity. That person can offer words of encouragement and join you for workouts or recipe-testing.
At the very least, being dehydrated can make you grumpy and give you a headache.
Dehydration can also derail your workouts and hinder proper bodily functions. Invest in a reusable water bottle and refill it several times a day. Infuse your water with cucumbers or lemon for a spa-like refreshment. Don’t turn to sugary sodas which come with empty calories.
Even in the quest to be healthy we still have to live fun, pleasurable lives. So don’t make the mistake of depriving yourself of so much that you fall off the wagon entirely. Instead, allow for small indulgences, like dessert a few times a week, or a lazy day without exercise where you just snuggle and watch Netflix all day. This gives you the balance to be healthy the rest of the week.
Only you have the ability to change your life to become happier and healthier. Start with these 10 simple tips, and you’ll be well on your way.