Happy World Health Day! Staying healthy is obviously important, but it is also difficult to make a complete lifestyle change in one swing. In light of this, here are seven different ways you can incorporate healthy habits into your everyday life that are doable, easy to follow, and manageable.
We take it a little further than “eating an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” so read closely.
1. Walk when you can
A lot of people don’t see it this way, but walking is cardio! If you can walk to one destination instead of driving or Uber-ing at least once a day, it will make all the difference. If work is a 20-minute walk and it’s a nice day out, try walking there. Instead of taking the campus bus, take the scenic route to class while listening to your favorite jams and walking at a comfortable pace. Take the stairs when you can, versus the elevator. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, take several breaks, even every hour, to walk a lap around the office or take a walk outside. Getting moving makes all the difference. It doesn’t have to be a run, a cardio class, or the elliptical – just a simple walk!
2. Drink more fluids: water and herbal tea are essentials!
Hydration can truly make all the difference. Not only does drinking 8 glasses of water a day reduce headaches, increase immunity, and make you feel more alert, but it makes you lose weight, as well. A good way to trick your body into drinking more water is drinking delicious herbal teas – in the summer, add some ice and lime or lemon, and in the winter, drink warm water. In addition, herbal teas are truly amazing for you, such as green tea, chamomile tea, lemon zinger, you name it. This will also prolong your fullness and help you portion control and limit snacking.
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3. Eat one low or no carb meal: fill up ½ plate with greens, ¼ carbs, and ¼ protein
It’s extremely difficult to suddenly go on a no carb diet. In fact, it’s almost impossible. To completely stop consuming rice, pasta, bread, etc. is a daunting task. In lieu of this, have a no or low carb lunch. A good way to measure this would be to fill ½ of your plate with greens and any vegetables you like, ¼ with a carb, such as a piece of toast, a handful of rice, or a little bit of pasta, and ¼ protein, so any meat, or if you are vegetarian, tofu or beans. These proportions, or cutting out carbs for one meal a day, is a doable lifestyle and will make a change.
4. Portion control
While this may seem like the same underlying concept as number 3, it slightly differs. While also eating low or no carb meals, challenge yourself to actually measure your food according to serving sizes. For example, a box of pasta is 8 servings, yet people eat half a box in one sitting. In addition, often times when people go out to eat, they end up over-indulging in large restaurant portions. Instead, try eating half your Chipotle and a fruit, or half your restaurant entrée and save the rest for tomorrow’s lunch. That alone will do wonders!
5. Start a new workout regime (something you’ve been wanting to try!)
Is there a new workout craze you have been wanting to try? Whether it’s dance fitness (i.e. BollyX, Zumba, Zoanee, Barre, the list goes on…), boxing, Spin and Soul Cycle, or even just a new machine at the gym – start it now. Find time; make time. There is always time for hobbies, and when working out becomes one, it’s a lot easier to hit the gym and/or take a class more frequently!
[Read Related: Finally, a Week-Long Fitness Challenge We Can Do]
6. Get off the couch more – even if it’s to go out for dinner and a movie
Sometimes, when it’s winter, it can be hard to want to do anything after work or class. Usually, my weeknights consist of my couch, my dinner, and my favorite TV shows. Instead, try going outside for a breath of fresh air. Go for a walk, a run, or even out to dinner or happy hour with friends. Catch a late movie with your significant other. It’s important to get out of the house when you can and do activities other than couch-potato time.
7. Take care of your mental health too
While this may be a given, you may be shocked to know how many people go about their day-to-day not taking time for their mental health. Feeling stressed? Get a massage. Feeling exhausted? Get some extra rest. Your mental health is just as important, if not more important, than your physical health. On this World Health Day, make sure you are doing things for your mental health, too.
If you incorporate these seven things in your daily life, whenever you can, you will be surprised at how much more energy you have, how much better you feel, and even your figure will surprise you! Do comment with any other tips and suggestions you may have to start a healthier lifestyle this World Health Day!