Developing strong health and fitness habits does not mean you need to completely change your life. In fact, small changes can make all the difference in the long run. Check out these five simple ways you can easily incorporate health-conscious habits into your day-to-day activities!
Make Time to Move!
Given our busy schedules, fitting in enough exercise per day can get tricky. However, many people discount how making small changes to get more activity into your day can make a big difference in your overall health. For example, during your morning commute to work or school, leave enough time to provide for a longer walk from vehicle to your office door. This could mean parking further away or getting off public transportation one stop early to make up the distance on foot.
If possible, always prioritize taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You also can even use this small opportunity to sneak in an extra calorie burn: challenge yourself to skip stairs or pick up your pace walking up or down. Opting for stairs instead of elevators and escalators can add a surprising amount of physical activity to your day.
Don’t forget to give yourself a small work break to take a brief walk outside. Countless studies corroborate how devastating sitting all day hunched behind a computer is for our bodies. Set small breaks for yourself to either get up and move around your workplace or get outside for a short walk. Not only will your body thank you, but a small active break is proven to be just as refreshing for you mentally.
Mix up your Fitness Routine
Often times, we lose motivation for the gym for two big reasons: inconvenience and lack of progress. It is easy to cite “I don’t have time” or “What’s the point” as our go-to excuses that stop us from making exercise the priority that it should be. One of the keys to keeping us focused on fitness is to make sure we actually enjoy it!
In this day and age, there are more options to make fitness as accessible and engaging for us as possible. For example, instead of committing to a binding gym membership contract, you can sample as many different types of fitness clubs and work out classes through applications like ClassPass or Cyclecast These applications encourage you to not only find gym conveniently located to wherever you are, but also allow you to sample new types of classes to see what you like or what you will be more likely to stick with.
If you like the stability of a routine gym membership, modern fitness facilities are improving every day through gym software systems and modern equipment that help you get the most out of your membership. These technologies make staying up to date with your membership and happenings within your club easy to simple to stay aware of. The more comfortable and included you feel within your gym’s community, the more likely you are to make time to go.
For those who prefer pursuing their fitness goals outside of fitness clubs or classes, there are no shortage of at-home options through new wave equipment or applications as well!
Add Greens to your Meals
In terms of nutrition, our busy lifestyles tend to mean that we are not receiving proper nourishment through our diets. An easy way to boost our vitamin and mineral intake is by adding a handful of your favorite greens into your meals, or as a base for many of your dishes. Whether you are grabbing take out or cooking at home, you can still have a bag of greens on hand to add a little variety to your meal. Leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as low in calories, making them an easy, low maintenance addition to your diet. Considering the variability of greens (spinach, kale, arugula, lettuce etc), you can mix up your meals so you do not get bored of eating repetitive meals.
Greens can easily be added to smoothies without altering the taste. Similarly, greens tend to reduce dramatically in size and absorb the flavors they are cooked in when they are sauteed. This makes them simple and essentially unnoticeable to add to any meal made in a pan. For other dishes, simply serving your meal on top of a small bed of salad is a great way to add not only dense nutrients to your dish, but different textures and colors to your dishes that help us “eat with our eyes”.
Ditch the Pre-made Sauces and Salad Dressing
While pre-made sauces and salad dressings may seem “easier”, they are loaded with sugar and calories that can take all the nutritional viability from your otherwise healthy meal. In addition, they are packed with unnatural preservatives to boost shelf life. Given how they are packaged, it can also be very difficult to control serving sizes of pre-made sauces, which leads to us commonly over serving and consuming the calories of much more than the recommended portion.
What many people do not realize is that using natural ingredients as sauces, marinades, or dressings can be just as easy as buying something pre-made. Citrus juice like lemon and lime mixed with a small amount of oils rich in healthy fats like olive oil or avocado oil is a simple and delicious addition to any food. Pre-made sauces tend to overpower the natural taste of our food, leaving it to be the only thing we taste. Natural juices, vinegars, and oils instead enhance our foods without masking the main components of our dish.
Laura is a Marketing Specialist for Perfect Gym Software. She is a native born Los Angeleno recently relocated to Warsaw, Poland who spends most of her time at the gym, on an airplane, or online shopping.
Is it just me, or are there only four listed here?