Tuesday, September 3, 2013

5 Small Changes

Saturday: 3 Miles + Foam Rolling 20 minutes
Sunday: 9 Miles
Monday: 2 Miles Recovery Run

Changing our routines and habits can be difficult. We tend to stick to what is comfortable to us. When we choose to make a change toward a healthier lifestyle, where do we begin? Here are a few of my quick and very simple health tips toward a healthier lifestyle:
  1. Drink water. Invest in a decent water bottle and carry it with you wherever you go. I am constantly drinking water. I once read that it is common when you think you are feeling hungry, that you are actually thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water when you feel a little hungry and see if you still feel hunger after a few minutes. If you don't care for plain water, try adding a few slices of cucumbers and mint or raspberries and lemon to your water. I am not a fan of bottled flavored water due to the sugar content, so I opt for more natural sources of flavor like fresh fruit and herbs. 
  2. Prep your meals. Prepare snacks and meals the night before. When you have a plan for your meals, you are less likely to chow down on guilty pleasures and/or grab prepackaged foods that make convenient meals on the go. Make little bags of trail mix, carrots and hummus or apple wedges paired with a nut butter to take to work with you. This will keep you on track with healthy eating and cut down on the opportunity to "cheat". 
  3. Go for a 20 minute walk each day.  This is not difficult to do. Take a walk after dinner to aid in digestion before bed or clear your mind in the morning before work with a stroll around the block. Truly, a 20 minute walk will do wonders for your mind and body. 
  4.  Cut TV time by a half hour. Many of us spend our down time plopped in front of the TV. I am guilty of this too! Watching mindless TV allows my mind to unwind and not think for FIVE SECONDS. Instead of spending all of your down time in front of the TV, try doing some stretching. You don't need to go to a yoga studio to get deep stretches, try looking up a few poses online that you could do. Stretching helps release the tension in your muscles and will allow for the relaxation you are craving. Many of us lose time while watching TV and wish they had gotten to bed sooner, use this half hour to get to bed that much earlier. Your body will thank you for the extra sleep!
  5. Take the less convenient route. You're heading to the grocery store, you reach the parking lot and you can either park a few feet away where there are a few open spots or you could wait for the person pulling out in the front row spot. What do you do? Head toward the spots further back! Yes, it's less convenient, however, you are giving yourself an extra opportunity to be just that more active! Don't take the people mover at the airport, walk to your gate. Don't take the elevator, opt for the stairs. Take the time to be active and make small changes. 
Simple, right? Making these small changes will soon become your habit. Give them a try this week and let me know what you think.

Do you have simple lifestyle tricks you stick to? Share, I'd love to hear them! 

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