It’s not easy to change bad habits, we get that. However, it’s possible to make small changes that will lead to healthy habits over time. Christopher Travers, MS, exercise physiologist, and Laura Jeffers, RD/LD dietitian, offer some tips and tricks to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
1. Makeshift gym equipment by using stairs and furniture
Take every opportunity to use the stairs in your office or home. But don’t stop there. Walk up and down stairs frequently for a cardio workout. You can start slowly and increase the repetitions as you get stronger. You can make your own weights with wine bottles, a gallon of water or even your kitchen chairs. This will allow you to do tricep dips and planks. You don’t need to buy expensive equipment when your furniture can be used instead.
2. Get an extra glass of water every day
There are many health benefits to drinking water. This is not a new concept. It regulates your body temperature, cushions and lubricates joints, protects your spine cord, and eliminates wastes through sweat, urination and bowel movements. Drinking water is essential to keep your body hydrated and working at its best. Between 50-75% of your body’s weight is water. You can flavor your water to increase your intake if plain water is not your preferred choice.
3. Replace diet soda by carbonated water
According to research, the brain reacts to artificial sweetness in much the same way as it does sugary sweets. Jeffers says that if you are a regular drinker of diet soda, carbonated mineral water can be used to wean yourself from it. They can make you crave high-calorie foods more often, which can lead to weight gain. You can also drink plain, unflavored water if you don’t like carbonated water. Although it’s impossible to quit cold turkey, you can reduce the amount of artificial sweeteners and diet soda you consume and make a huge difference in your waistline and overall health.
4. Walk for 10 minutes
Travers says that even a 10-minute walk can improve your cardiovascular health. It’s good for your health to take a short walk in the lunch hour, or go to a nearby store to get a gallon milk. When you are at work, take the stairs to the nearest bathroom. When running errands you should try to locate the nearest parking spot and then walk from there. Even the smallest steps add up. Sometimes it doesn’t cooperate with the weather and you don’t want to go outside when it is snowing or windy. But don’t let the cold weather stop you from walking comfortably. It is possible to walk comfortably by dressing correctly. Start with a sweat-wicking top, then add layers of insulation for warmth and finish with a waterproof shell.
5. Correct your posture
As a child, did your parents ever make fun of you for being sloppy? The bad news is they were correct. Good posture can reduce aches and stress on your ligaments. Good posture can prevent backache, fatigue, and muscle pain. Travers suggests that you can make a mental note telling yourself to sit straight up until it becomes a habit. Walking with your head up and shoulders back can help you feel better about yourself. Although it is not possible to immediately improve your posture, it can be taught. However, remembering to sit straighter can have a positive impact on your overall health.
6. Go to bed ½ hour earlier
Do you get seven to eight hours of sleep most nights? Experts say that this is a sign of good heart health. Good sleep can not only give you more energy but it can also help you achieve healthy eating goals. Insufficient sleep can cause your body to produce less hormones that suppress appetite. This can lead to weight gain. If you have untreated sleep apnea or insomnia, you may be at higher risk for heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. These seven to eight hours do not have to be consecutive. You can take a quick nap if you feel particularly tired. You shouldn’t do it too often. You should try to go to bed at least half an hour earlier than usual. We promise that you won’t be late! Relax with a good book. In no time, you’ll fall asleep.
7. Balance exercises should be incorporated into your daily routine
For 10 seconds, balance on one leg and then switch to the opposite leg. Travers recommends that you incorporate this balance exercise into your daily routine. However, it can also be done while standing or brushing your teeth. This exercise is part of neuromotor training. It helps improve balance, agility, and mobility.
8. Every week, weigh yourself
You can keep your weight from increasing by setting a weekly maintenance goal or losing goal. Write it down and measure yourself against that goal. To maintain consistency, weigh yourself every week on the same days and with the same clothes. It is important to pay attention to clothes fitting and scale measurement. You can work with your doctor to develop meal plans that will help you reach your weight loss goals quicker and more healthily.
9. Get your day started with a healthy breakfast
To keep you full and happy, eat fiber with protein. Start your day well and you will eat healthier. You’ll also be more prepared for your morning meetings if you eat breakfast. Are you tired of eating the same oatmeal every day? You can make your oatmeal more interesting by adding different toppings. Omelets need not be boring. For a quick and easy breakfast burrito, add your favorite salsa, cheese, and eggs to a wrap made of whole grains. There are many options.
10. Incorporate greens and lettuce into your meals
To add more nutrients and water to your diet, include lettuce in your meals. You can get fiber from lettuce to help you feel fuller and it has only 20 calories per portion. The most nutritious and flavorful lettuces are those that are deep green or reddish in color. Even the popular pale iceberg lettuce is rich in water, fiber, and folate.
11. You can find creative substitutes for unhealthy food
Reduce the amount of snacks and foods you eat that are high-calorie but low in health benefits. These foods should be eaten as an occasional treat and not as a regular part of your diet. Instead of high-fat or sugary options, try low-fat dairy, whole grain, healthy oils such as avocado and olive oil, and natural sweeteners such as fruit. Jeffers says, “Remember that developing new healthy habits takes time. It’s okay to treat yourself to avoid feeling deprived.” Keep your eyes on the goal and don’t lose sight of it. If you do, start over.