Everyone knows the enthusiastic feeling of a New Year, writing your resolutions and deciding that this time around, you’re going to change your life. You’re going to hit the gym every day. You’re going to stop eating so many donuts. You’re going to drink less. You may even run a marathon before it’s all said and done. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, the problem comes when these drastic changes prove to be a bit more challenging than expected, and when we stumble over one goal, sometimes the other goals can come crashing down too like dominoes. Which is why, this year, why not keep it simple? By making these 10 tiny health adjustments, you can concentrate on achievable objectives, whilst noticing the difference almost immediately. Try this:
1. Focus Your Eyes on Good Food. Literally.
You are what you eat, and you eat what you see. A bowl of apples in the middle of a table not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but will encourage you to snack on them rather than any junk alternatives. Keep the nutritious food in your fridge on an eye level, and load your work desk drawers with healthy refreshments to avoid falling for those social cake traps.
2. Manage Your Meals and Portions
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to plan ahead. Calculate your portions and never skip a meal, as this can disrupt your metabolism, zap your energy, and develop into bad habits. Try eating your dinner a little earlier than usual to give it time to digest, and if you’re still hungry after you’ve eaten, wait 10 minutes before a second helping, giving your food the chance to hit your stomach first. And finally, always skip the complimentary bread from the restaurant!
3. Know What You’re Eating
Get into the practice of reading the labels on your supermarket purchases, and soon enough, you’ll learn which products are healthier than others by comparing their calories, sugars, bad fats, and recommended serving sizes. If you find this information confusing, consider downloading one of the many smartphone apps which will keep track of everything for you.
4. Occasionally Experiment with Veganism
Even if the v-word scares the milk out of you, there is simply far too much worrying research which links the overconsumption of meat to multiple diseases and health issues. Even by joining the meat-free Monday movement, you are doing your body (and the environment!) a world of good. Furthermore, you’ll be surprised how swiftly a vegan treat can tackle your dessert cravings with much less added guilt!
5. Hydrate Smarter
We all know we should drink more water, but why not carry around a water bottle which is also filled with cucumber, watermelon, mint, and lemon? These ingredients are great for detoxing and aiding digestion. Limiting your alcohol, drinking your coffee black, and cutting out soda are other simple liquid changes which could make a huge impact on your well-being.
6. Commute by Walking
If you can walk (or run) to get to where you’re going, do it! Perhaps it will take a bit longer to reach your destination, but considering you can count this as a treadmill session instead of going to the gym, you may actually save time in the end. Otherwise, pacing during phone calls or dancing during housework can also help drop those pesky excess pounds.
7. Add Resistance to Workouts
By incorporating light dumbells or cardio wrist weights into your usual exercise regime, your heart rate will increase and you will shed calories faster without having to put your body through too much additional stress. Just be careful not to overdo it, and be aware of your limits before you try to run a marathon with a sack of bricks strapped to your back.
8. Wash Your Hands More Regularly
Whenever dealing with food, bathrooms, animals, garbage, wounds, or a person feeling poorly, wash your hands as often as possible. Use antibacterial soap and ensure you scrub them clean for at least 20 seconds.
9. Switch Your Mind Off
Whether it be via meditation or watching funny cat videos on YouTube, you need to make time to give yourself a break. These stress-relieving moments are shown to lessen anxiety and depression whilst keeping those endorphins flowing, ensuring an all round healthier state of mind to manage your day with.
10. Sleep the Recommended Amount
And finally, if you’re known to skip out on your sleeping, make the decision now to move closer towards the approved 7 – 8 hours of slumber. The benefits are endless: from keeping your metabolism operating properly, to developing a routine to defeat insomnia, to even improving your mood and keeping your mind sharp. Sleep in late whenever you can, using good health as your excuse.