Who doesn’t want to be healthier? Part of being human is looking for ways to improve, to be better, to make ourselves into the people we want to become. There is nothing wrong with making goals to improve, but these goals need direction, guidance, maybe even a *gasp* plan of some sort 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 with the wrong mindset. Wanting to be better does not mean you are scum at the moment. 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.
- Eat Regularly – Don’t skip meals or just eat whenever you feel like it. This leads us to overeat. Schedule out your meals and 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 we get or all the processed kinds. The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better you will feel as your body and brain get the carbohydrates they need without refined sugars. Try to add a fresh fruit and/or vegetable to every meal.
- Take the Stairs – Anytime you are 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 well, your heart strong, and your brain well oxygenated.
- 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 from concentrates. These are unnecessary sugars and calories that absorb way too quickly. Water also staves off hunger throughout the day and sends you on more trips to the bathroom, so you stay active.
- Garden – Gardening is a decent amount of work that will have you squatting, standing, bending, stretching, pulling, pushing, and working out multiple muscle groups. It also gets you outside, boosts vitamin D, improves mood, and supplies wholesome food so you can eat better.
- Walk More – Walk to work if you can. Bike if it’s too far. Get off the bus a stop or two early if it’s even farther. Take a walk after dinner to help you digest and unwind from the day.
- 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.
- Breathe – Breathing is an important part of metabolism. 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 life and your metabolism while also reducing stress.
- 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 is 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 are 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 fewer 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. Hit up farmers markets and local farms or coops.
- Build Muscle – Muscle burns fats and boosts metabolism. You don’t have to bulk up. 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, and you will start seeing a difference in how you look and feel pretty fast. Losing weight without exercise doesn’t last either, so the more you can do, the better.
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