You don’t have to exercise every morning before dawn or stick to nothing but salads — these simple tips will ensure you’ll be your healthiest, happiest, and most energetic yet. Even better? Being consistent with these small habit changes can lead to big results if you’re looking to lose weight. Get ready to feel your best ever with these 20 simple ways to be your healthiest self yet.
1.Move For 30 Minutes
Every day, try to walk, run, bike, or work out for at least 30 minutes. Your waistline will thank you.
2. Make Sleep a Priority
The more you neglect your nighttime rest, the more your health will be affected. Adequate sleep is important for lowering your risk of disease, helping you lose weight, and making sure you have enough energy to tackle your to-do list. Aim for seven to nine hours a night, and stick with your goal, for better overall health.
3. Drink More Water
Drinking about half your weight in fluid ounces of un-carbonated water is a great way to ensure you stay hydrated, have energy, and even burn more calories.
4. Eat Mindfully
Slowing down will help you relax and enjoy what you’re eating. Sit down when you eat, and think about your food so you make healthier eating choices while enjoying your meals more than you would on a rushed junk-food habit.
5. Track Your Steps
You don’t even have to invest in a fancy fitness tracker — you can track your steps with an inexpensive pedometer or a smartphone app (like the free Runtastic Pedometer app available for Android or iPhone). Try to hit 10,000 steps every day.
6. Add Greens to Most Anything
The more whole foods you have in your life, the better you’ll feel. Add a handful of arugula to your pizza, throw some baby spinach into your next chocolate-banana smoothie, or add kale to your pot of soup. You’ll add fiber and vitamins to keep you feeling energized and full, with almost no calories at all
7. Think Positively
It’s easy to stress out about how we look or feel and sometimes harder still to ignore the negative voices in your head. Take a day, or even an hour, to consciously tell yourself you’ll stop negative, self-defeating thoughts as much as possible — you may not realize how hard you are on yourself.
Meditation is a great way to unwind and strengthen the relationship between your mind and body. It’s free, too! And it comes with so many benefits including improved concentration, reduced blood pressure, and better quality of sleep. According to meditation teacher Matthieu Ricard, a practice of 20 minutes per day can change your neurochemistry in less than 3 weeks.
You’ll be in a better mood, feel more energized, and relieve your achy body with just a few minutes of stretches at your desk or on your yoga mat in the morning. 5 sun salutations before breakfast is a great way to start your day.
10. Snack on Nuts Make your snack work for you. Opting for a high-protein snack like nuts or seeds (especially walnuts or almonds) can help tide you over until your next meal, instead of constantly grazing on snacks with empty calories like potato chips or crackers. Plus, many nuts and seeds are high in heart-healthy omega-3s, which also have been shown to help shrink your waistline.
11. Stand More
Sitting for an extended period can raise blood pressure and increase your risk of dying early. Just shifting from sitting to standing instantly helps your body be healthier, so take breaks off the couch, stand instead of sit on the bus, or move around your office more during the day.
12. Grab Weights
Weight training won’t make you bulk up, but it will help you build metabolism-boosting muscles fast. Make it your mission to use weights for a session or two — you’ll burn more calories, increase bone density, and strengthen important muscles.
13. Go Intense (For Just a Few Seconds!)
Studies have shown that 30-second bursts of exercise, done at high intensity, can help lower cholesterol and increase cardio health. Try one of these full bodyweight exercises in short, intense intervals. Just right for adding to any day — no matter how busy your schedule is.
- Warm up your body with a vigorous stint of 30 seconds.
- Stand with your back against a wall, placing your feet about two feet out in front of you. Feet should be hip distance apart.
- Bending your knees, slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90-degree angles. Your knee joints should be over your ankle joints, so you may need to inch your feet further from the wall to create proper alignment. Don’t let your knees fall in on the midline of your body or sway outward.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
- Place your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Make sure your head stays facing forward, not down (focus on something in front of you to help), and that your upper body faces forward as well, bent slightly forward. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
- Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, keeping your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
- Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
14. Clear Out Junk Food
What’s in your house has a big influence on what’s in your mouth. Clean up your diet simply by getting rid of processed foods in your kitchen. If you ever have a craving for something, you’ll have to go to the store and buy it or wait it out until the craving passes.
15. Ditch Soda
A soda-a-day habit can hurt your health, even if it’s diet. Cut out soda or substitute your daily soda dose with carbonated water flavored with fresh fruit or lime juice instead.
Take a few minutes every day to de-stress and reenergize. Take a break from your computer, read a book before bed, or listen to music while doing nothing at all — whatever it takes to shut your mind off and decompress for a few minutes.
17. Prep Produce
This week, cut up some fruits and veggies on a Sunday, so you can snack on them (with a healthy dip or alone) throughout the week. When you’ve got readily available foods like carrots and apple slices in your fridge, you’ll be less tempted to grab higher-calorie, less-nutritious options.
18. Cook a Meal (or Two!)
Eating out too much? The amount of fat, sodium, and calories in takeout and restaurant meals can be eye-opening. Mastering just a few simple meals that you can whip up at home every week will save you calories and make sure you’re eating whole foods instead of processed ones. For healthy recipe options, check out www.cheftess.com
19. Dine Smart
You don’t have to limit everything you eat to what’s in your kitchen. Make smart decisions the next time you eat out: share a huge entrée with a friend, order a side salad to help you fill up with nutrients, and savor your favorite treat if you opt for a dessert at the end. For some healthy local restaurant options, visit:
20. Connect With Friends
Friends can have a major impact on your health and well-being. They can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Visiting with friends can also help boost your happiness and decrease stress hormones such as cortisol.