Sorry, no quick fixes here. We know that good health takes commitment and consistency. We ALSO know that there’s room for imperfection and steady growth as you work on fitness. Skip the fads and start with these tried and true, faithful components to a healthy lifestyle.
Get healthier by doing nothing
Don’t sabotage your fitness with sleep deprivation! Lack of sleep lowers your motivation and your metabolism (National Sleep Foundation). Meals are also less satisfying when you’re behind on sleep, which can increase your caloric intake, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Good sleep also positively affects your immune system, aging and brain functioning (ACE Fitness). Get your schedule, bedroom and media consumption in check and don’t skimp on rest!
Hydration makes life easier
Grab your water bottle, fill it up, drink it, repeat. This really is a diet hack because simply drinking 17 ounces of water can increase your metabolism up to 30% for 1.5 hours! (Humboldt-University) Water can help you stay motivated, feel more energized, and even make exercise feel easier (NCBI). Your muscles are about 80% water, so it makes sense that they need hydration to function! Dehydration can impair your mood and concentration, cause headaches and increase feelings of anxiety and fatigue (Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, 2). You don’t need to go crazy and lug around a gallon of water everywhere you go, but do make it a habit to drink water before and with meals, before and during exercise and periodically throughout your day.
Eat your fruits & veggies
To maintain good nutrition intake and a healthy weight long term, you’ll need to establish positive habits around food. We love and teach the Mayo Clinic Diet, which recommends filling up on fruits and vegetables and including moderate amounts of whole grains and lean proteins. Remember, a healthy diet improves your quality of life and can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more!
Just move more
Increase the length and condition of your life simply by being more active. Exercise as a habit can improve your sleep, reduce your stress, keep your weight in check, boost your mood, and help you think more clearly. Ideally, shoot for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week and try strength training all major muscle groups twice a week (Mayo Clinic). Burning 700-1,000 calories exercising each week can help prevent numerous conditions, including depression and several types of cancer (Harvard Medical School). Any amount of exercise is beneficial! Just replacing half an hour of sitting with basic activity can reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 24%! (Medical News Today)
By Kristi Rambo