The fountain of youth isn’t just about quantity of life, it’s quality too. Improve your health and fitness levels, and live the life you want.
Who doesn’t want to be healthier or fitter? Part of being human is looking for ways to improve ourselves and our lives. There’s plenty of good that come from striving to be more, to be better, to make goals, but these goals need direction, guidance, and maybe even a plan or they will fall apart and fade away. Here are some ideas to get you started on your plan today.
Change Your Attitude
The best way to destroy a goal is to start it off with the wrong mindset. Wanting to be better does not mean you are scum right now. Love your body as it is. Embrace the uniqueness of it. Don’t compare it to other people. Be positive about the way you look and then decide to make yourself just a bit better. If you mess up, shake it off, put on a smile, and keep going. Negativity is the enemy of change.
Don’t skip meals or just eat whenever you feel like it. This leads us to overeat. Schedule out your meals with modest portions and then stick to that schedule. Some experts will advise you to eat more often throughout the day, but as long as you stick to a schedule, you will feel better and eat less whether you’re eating 3 or 6 meals a day.
Add in Fruits and Vegetables
We eat way too much sugar and processed carbohydrates. Don’t be fooled by low carb or no carb diets. You need carbs, just not as much as you probably get from processed foods. The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better you will feel as your body and brain get the carbohydrates they need without all the refined sugars. Try to add fresh fruit and vegetables to every meal.
Take the Stairs
Anytime you’re presented with a choice between an elevator or escalator and stairs, take the stairs. If you work on the 52nd floor, maybe take the first 5 to 10 flights and then take the elevator, but you get the idea. The more active you are, the more calories you burn.
Park Farther Away
Same as with the stairs, being more active will keep your blood flowing, your heart stronger, and your brain well oxygenated. Park as far away as you can everywhere you go. It adds up.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is what nature gave us to keep us hydrated, quench thirst, and keep everything functioning well. Avoid anything with added sugar or that comes from concentrates. These are unnecessary sugars and calories that absorb way too quickly for us to use them properly. This is why they get stored as fat or mess with our blood sugar levels. Water also staves off hunger throughout the day and sends you on more trips to the bathroom, so you stay even more active.
Gardening is a decent amount of work that will have you squatting, standing, bending, stretching, pulling, pushing, and working multiple muscle groups every day. It also gets you outside, boosts vitamin D, improves mood, and supplies wholesome food so you can eat better.
Walk to work if you can. Bike if it’s too far. Get off the bus a stop or two early. Take a walk after dinner to help you digest and unwind from the day. It doesn’t have to be a marathon. Even a few blocks is a good start and will do you worlds of good.
Get a Pedometer
Walking is great, but any goal is better with documentation and planning. A pedometer will track all the steps you take throughout the day. Track a regular workday and then build from there. Try to double the steps you take within a week or two and keep it up from there. You can get apps on your phone that do a decent job of tracking your steps too.
Breathing is an important part of metabolism and it helps move lymphatic fluid through your body. Take time during your day to consciously breathe deeply and oxygenate your cells. Pick up yoga, meditation, tai chi, or any other exercise that makes you breathe more. This will fuel your metabolism while also reducing stress, removing toxins, and improving your immune system.
Eat at Home
Eating out, especially fast, is where you get a lot of the refined sugars and processed foods you should avoid. Eat in as often as possible. Prepare light lunches to take with you to work. It requires a little more planning, but it’s well worth it in regards to the health benefits. Choose a day to plan out your meals, like Sunday evening, and then stick to them.
Stand up Straight
Standing up straight is a good habit that many of us neglect, but it makes a big difference in how we feel and how we’re perceived by others. Stand up tall and your spine, muscles, and digestive system align properly so you look better, digest food correctly, and feel more confident.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is when we repair all the damage sustained during the day and recharge. Failing to get adequate sleep leaves us ill prepared for another day of cellular damage, foreign invaders, toxins, and metabolic functions. Get your eight hours or more each night and take a nap midday if you need one. A twenty minute nap can help you be more productive, awake, and active the rest of the day.
Eat Organic and Local
Less pesticides and pollutants means less toxins, less fat, and less cellular damage. Your body likes to package many toxins away in fat cells where they can’t do any damage, but that means extra fat stores you don’t want or need. It also makes it far harder to lose weight. Hit up farmers markets and local farms or coops for fresh, local, and organic foods near you.
Muscle burns fats and boosts metabolism. You don’t have to bulk up and transform into the Hulk. Start small and work your way toward what you want to look like. Even a few pushups and jumping jacks each day will start building muscle if you haven’t done much before now. You will start seeing a difference in how you look and feel pretty fast. Losing weight without exercise doesn’t usually last either, so the more you can do, the better.