It’s a week into the New Year and already people are hard at work trying to lose weight, get more exercise, or attain some other health goal that they’ve set for the year. Fitness centers get flooded with new members and the sale of “diet” foods and “diet” programs peaks. But does a healthier lifestyle have to be complicated?
If you feel like you just don’t have time to go to the gym or eat a healthier diet, take a look at some of the ideas below. They’re simple yet effective in moving toward a healthier lifestyle.
- Take a brisk walk 3 or 4 times each week. It will help improve your heart health, lose or maintain weight, and help you feel better overall. Exercise is one of the best preventive health habits you can do for your body. If walking doesn’t appeal to you, try biking, swimming, hiking, dancing, rowing, or another activity that gets you up and moving around.
- Stretch everyday and do some strength training twice a week. Stretching helps prevent injuries, and strength training helps build muscle strength, improve balance, and helps you perform everyday activities more easily.
- Drink a glass of water when you get up in the morning and before each meal. Most people don’t drink enough water during the day, yet water is one of the most important nutrients your body needs. So have a glass several times each day.
- Add a piece of fruit to breakfast and lunch, and fresh veggies to your lunch and snacks. Try half a grapefruit, a banana, grape tomatoes, or carrot sticks. There are numerous options here. Select a variety and you’ll easily increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Use 100% whole wheat bread for your sandwiches. Try brown rice or quinoa in place of white rice. These whole grains have many essential nutrients that your body needs.
- Use healthy fats like olive oil or canola oil. They’re both high in mono-unsaturated fats and help lower cholesterol levels. Add other sources of healthy fats such as avocado, sesame seeds, or almonds to your menu regularly. They’re easy to add to salads, breads, or other side dishes.
- Eat intentionally – away from the screen. It’s so easy to get sucked into watching or reading something on the TV, computer, tablet, or phone that we hardly even realize what we’re eating, or even that we are eating. We’ll be less likely to overeat if we unplug and step away from them during a meal or snack.
- Write out a weekly menu. You’ll find you eat healthier, spend less on your food budget, and avoid the end-of-the-day stress of figuring out what to have for supper.
- Go to bed at the same time each night and early enough to get in an adequate amount of sleep. For most people that’s around 8 hours. A well-rested body is healthier.
- Plan some quiet time into your day. Connect with the Lord in the morning or evening. It’s the best stress reliever and a healthy habit.
Have you made some resolutions to get healthier this year? What strategies have you planned to help you achieve them? Tell us about them in the comments below!