Living a healthier lifestyle is something that should be at the forefront of our minds more often, though for many it only comes to mind when people start to make their new year’s resolutions that will quickly fall to the wayside. I am by no means a health or fitness expert. But I am someone who has strived for it (and struggled with it) over the years, and I definitely have advice to share! Keep reading for a few simple ways to live a healthier lifestyle this year.
1. Drink more water. This is the easiest and most obvious way to live a healthier lifestyle! We’re all told constantly that we should be drinking more water. But do we actually start drinking more water? I have recently, and there has been a noticeable difference in the way I feel!
2. Incorporate fitness into each day. This seems like a huge change, but it doesn’t have to be. You certainly don’t have to do a full hour-long cardio workout each day. But incorporate some sort of fitness each day, whether that be a full workout, going for a walk around the block, or doing a bit of yoga.
3. Cut out unhealthy snacks. Occasionally I’ll go through my snack cupboard and purge the least healthy of the snacks. At first glance, it seems impossible. But then I realize how long half of the stuff has been in there, and that I don’t actually need most of it. I narrow it down to one or two snacks I keep in the house but vow not to eat them on a daily basis.
4. Get more sleep. For many of us, this is easier said than done. I have a difficult time falling asleep at night, and often don’t find myself very tired until quite late. But we should all be making a real effort to get closer to 7-8 hours of sleep each night! I’m someone who needs sleep, unlike many who can survive on just a few hours. Seriously, I physically can’t do it!
5. Cook your meals at home. It’s amazing the calorie difference between a meal cooked at home and a similar meal eaten at a restaurant. There are so many extra calories snuck into restaurant meals, and we often end up eating more sides and drinking unhealthy drinks like soda or alcohol. Plus, cooking at home will be great for your bank account!
6. Meal plan and write a grocery list. This is something that has been a constant struggle for me. Meal planning can be hard! But I’ve definitely found I am more likely to cook healthy, home-cooked meals when I plan ahead and shop off my meal plan.
7. Take the stairs. It seems too simple and too small as if it won’t make a big difference. That’s definitely how I approached it. Then I stopped for a moment to think of how many times per day I make the stairs vs. elevator decision. Really, it hadn’t even been a decision. I just automatically headed to the elevator. But between the parking garage that I’m in twice per day, and running several errands in the building each day, visiting other offices, I have several opportunities each day to trade the elevator in for stairs.
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8. Create new evening habits. My evening routine used to be pretty consistent in that I would come home, throw on some sweatpants, and settle in with my computer and Netflix. Lately, I’ve gotten in the habit of working out after work and being more active in general, and it has made a substantial difference in how I feel!
9. Eat breakfast. I know many people don’t make time for breakfast in their day. I was like that for the longest time. I don’t think I ate breakfast the entire time I was in college. Now, it’s a regular part of my day. There are plenty of breakfasts you can eat on the go. Including protein will keep you full longer, and breakfast, in general, is great for getting your metabolism going.
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10. Cut the soda. I know how difficult this one can be for people, but it is one of the quickest ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Honestly, it just took a lot of self-control for me to do it. That, and the fact that I started to notice that I didn’t feel well after drinking a soda, and wanted to eliminate that feeling. Now I rarely drink soda, with the exception of having it in a cocktail here and there, and it’s definitely been an improvement.
11. Mix up your workouts. I get easily bored with my workouts. Yes, I love my elliptical. But relying on my elliptical for my workout each day is going to result in me getting super bored, super quick. That’s why I love workout videos! I can do a different workout every day without getting bored, and I can continue going back to the ones I really enjoyed.
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12. Cut down on processed food. I used to rely a lot on processed food and frozen meals. Like, a lot. I would eat a frozen meal for lunch each day, and we would eat family-size frozen dinners several times per week. Honestly, I was starting to feel gross and overall uncomfortable physically. Cutting those out has made a huge difference! Sure, I’ll still pick one up for dinner here and there. But I’m no longer relying on them for my daily diet.