People comment all the time on how easy it must be for me to stay in shape and be healthy. After I had both of my children, I lost all of the wight within 4-6 months. Since I was in high school I have managed to stay in shape and be fit. Because of this, it may seem that it comes easy but it does not. I have too stick to a healthy lifestyle every day and you can to with these 16 tips for staying healthy!
1) Acknowledge symptoms as signs for change.
If you are sick regularly, always feeling tired or sluggish, have issues like acne or rashes, take a look at your diet and lifestyle to see what can be changed to improve your health. Decreasing stress, getting exercise, enough sleep and eating a healthy whole foods diet are at the top of the priority list.
2) Make simple changes and set realistic goals
Changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen over night. Set realistic changes such as picking 1 thing per 1-4 weeks to change like
- don’t eat processed foods for dinner
- avoid foods with trans fat
- cut out foods with refined sugars during all snacks
- take a 30 min walk (run, bike etc) 1x per week
Make a plan, write it on the calender and take one step at a time. Add in new step or build on that step every 1-4 weeks.
Remember that change takes time!!
3) Find balance
Balance is so important in our life. We choose to put a lot on our plate and live lives that keep us busier than ever. Planning ahead is key. Balance family, meals, cardio, lifting, and rest.
4) Get your sleep
Sleep is extremely important to our recovery- physically and mentally. When we are not rested, our brains do not function properly and our bodies are tired.
See 8 Ways to Sleep Tight for more info.
5) Take 3-5 minutes in the morning for you
Before getting out of bed and turning on the light or your phone, take some deep breathes and set your intentions for the day. Even though these are just a few moments, they can affect the way you relate to the rest of your day.
6) Meal plan
Planning meals ahead is a key aspect for staying healthy. Making impulsive food choices when we are hungry often leads to easy, convenient fast food. Knowing what you are going to eat for the week, prepping it every Sunday and then getting it all together the night before will keep you on track!
Also see Competition Guide Articles on how to lose fat and retain muscle with Diet Calculations, Cutting Calories and How to Weigh Your Food
7) Choose whole foods
We need to stop out-sourcing our cooking to corporations and know that we CAN cook simple, delicious whole foods ourselves.
Also See 6 Ways You Can Join the Real Foods Revolution and:
8) Keep healthy snacks and a protein drink on hand at work or on the go
Don’t go hungry! The longer you go between meals, the more likely you are to eat too much at the next meal. Eat every two hours, make sure you are eating enough. If you are trying to lose weight, your caloric deficit shouldn’t exceed 300-500 caloires of your daily maintenance (TDEE-not BMR, see IIFYM.com for calorie intake goals).
When you get hungry, your body will thank you for the instant amino acids and healthy carbs and fats. See also 28+ Quick Protein Snacks for the Busy Fit Chick.
9) Understand what makes you over eat
Do you use food to cope with stress, disappointment, rejection, boredom or even success? Defeat your food “cravings.” Know that there is no temptation that you cannot control. Brainstorm ways you can cope with these situations rather than eating, such as taking a walk to get yourself out of the kitchen, reading a book, drinking tea or doing some squats.
10) Know some bodywieght exercises or keep a resistance band on hand
Keep a list of bodywieght exercises you can do anywhere. I like planks, push ups, air squats and lunges. Resistance bands are also a great way to get in a quick workout and are very portable.
11) Take 10-15 minute breaks every 2 hours
I find this one to be challenging. Once I am into a project, I like to go until I am finished. Its a good idea to step away from your work and take a break to keep your mind and body at optimal functionality and effectiveness. Set a timer on your phone as a reminder.
12) Take your vitamins
Taking a whole food vitamin supplement is a good idea to ensure you are getting in all the nutrients you need. When your body is stressed mentally or physically from life or exercise, you burn through vitamins and minerals at a faster rate.
I buy the the Rainbow Light women’s multivitamin for me and the children’s chewable multivitamin for my kiddo’s.
13) Set time aside to do yoga or meditate at least 1x per week.
Since we stimulate our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) most of day, we also need to cultivate our parasympathetic nervous system (rest, relax, digest and connect) to find balance. Committing to a class helps to keep you going.
14) Drink water!
Stay hydrated and carry a water bottle with you. Add a lemon, cucumber or lime for fresh flavor. Freeze it over night if you like your water cold while on the go.
15) Use your commute to de-stress and relax, not multitask.
I stay at home with my kids but we commute to a lot of daily activities. I love listening to books on tape in the car as it keeps the kiddo’s interested and expands their vocabulary while I get in a little “sit down, drink coffee” time in the car. My husband listens to podcasts, books on tape or some relaxing music.
16) Celebrate each days journey!
Take it one day at a time, and sometimes, one moment at a time (seriously). Enjoy and look forward to nourishing your mind, body and soul.