When it comes to building healthy habits, small decisions add up over time. Don’t take shortcuts and you will see and feel the difference. Here are 5 healthy (and easy!) habits I recommend incorporating into your daily routine that could really change your life, and the way you feel.
Drink more water.
You probably hear this all of the time, but there’s a reason for that! Your body is about 70% water, and drinking enough of it is vital!
It plays many roles in your body, including maintaining electrolyte balance, stabilizing blood pressure, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature. Staying hydrated even affects the clarity of how you think. While we all know that it’s important to stay hydrated, doing so can be difficult at times. Carry a reusable bottle with you and keep an eye on how much you’re actually drinking during the day. You can also add flavor to your water to help increase your intake. If you’re not used to drinking a lot of water regularly, it may be difficult at first, but your body will adapt and you will start to notice a difference in how you feel.
Get more sleep.
Do you sleep a solid seven or eight hours most nights? Many of us don’t, and for some of us, all we need is 6 hours of sleep to feel rested. Solid sleep doesn’t just give you more energy, it can also help with how you eat. When you’re short on sleep, it reduces your body’s production of hormones that suppress appetite, which can contribute to weight gain due to overeating. Focus on getting quality sleep, turning off electronics close to bedtime, showering, and even having some hot tea to help your body and mind relax before jumping into bed.
Incorporate exercise on purpose into your routine.
Your body was made to move, and you may not think about it, but every extra step counts. Try making smaller changes to your daily habits, like parking further away at the mall so you have to take some extra steps. Skip the elevator and take the stairs. Take your pet on an extra-long walk that day, or spend some more time being active with your kids. Any movement counts, and it adds up over time!
Eat more greens and fiber.
Any green vegetable is good for you, we know this. But why don’t we make more of an effort to eat them? Adding greens to your meals is a good strategy for making sure you feel full and satisfied. There are so many benefits to eating more greens- they are good for your gut, your hair, skin, heart, and brain. They have the power to improve your overall health. If you have trouble eating greens, start by adding small amounts, like a little bit of spinach to your morning eggs. There are so many green drinks on the markets these days, it’s so easy to get your daily dose, so stop making excuses.
Find alternatives to your favorite snacks.
As convenient and delicious as packed snacks may be (chips, chocolate-covered fruit, granola bars, etc), they are packed with saturated fat, enriched flour, high-fructose, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Opt for mixed nuts, homemade nut balls or protein bars, apple & peanut butter, popcorn, sugar-free jello, veggies with hummus, hard-boiled eggs, beef jerky, protein mug cake, edamame, or sugar-free candies or fruit if you want something sweet.
Don’t wait until January to start creating healthy habits, start today!
IFBB Pro Figure, Trainer