It’s the new year, so many of us have made our resolutions and are striving to live a healthier lifestyle in 2016. Trust me, friend, you aren’t alone! I have several health and fitness goals for this year. Living a healthier lifestyle is something that should be at the forefront of our minds more often! 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 in 2016.
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.
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3. Cut out unhealthy snacks. Dave and I recently went through and cleaned out our snack cupboard and ended up throwing away most of the junk food. At first glance, it seemed impossible. But then we realized how long half of the stuff had been in there, and that we didn’t actually need most of it. We narrowed it down to one or two snacks we would keep in the house, but vowed 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, drinking more alcohol or soda, etc. 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 we are more likely to cook healthy, home-cooked meals when I plan ahead and shop from 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 Capitol building each day, visiting other offices, I have several opportunities each day to trade the elevator in for stairs.
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8. Write it all down. Keeping track of my health and fitness has been super beneficial for me. I use an app called MyFitnessPal to track my food and workouts each day, and it really allows me to stay accountable and keep track of how I’m doing. When it comes to striving for a healthier lifestyle, consistency and accountability are key.
9. Create new evening habits. My evenings haven’t changed much over the years. I come home from work, settle in with Netflix and dinner, and don’t move a whole lot until I go to bed. Recently I’ve tried to make a genuine effort to keep myself busy with things other than Netflix and television, and I’ve been really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish!
10. 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 our day. We get up, sit down and eat eggs and yogurt together, and start getting ready for our 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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11. 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. It was super difficult for me, especially since Dave, other family members, and coworkers all drink a lot of soda. Honestly, it just took a lot of self-control. 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’ve been happily soda free for about a month, with the exception of having it in a cocktail here and there.
12. 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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13. 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, we’ll still pick one up for dinner here and there. But I’m no longer relying on them for my daily diet.
What habits are you implementing for a healthier lifestyle?
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