It’s inspiring to see and hear people talk about how they’ve made radical changes in their life. But then you might think, “I can’t do this. It’s too hard,” and that inspiration just disappears.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a chore. The secret is to make small changes that are manageable. If you want to be healthier but you’re afraid of overhauling your life, here are five manageable lifestyle changes you can adopt right now.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, you need water to maintain normal body temperature. Water also helps lubricate your joints, protects your spinal cord and other tissues, and helps rid your body of waste products. The CDC also says your need for water increases if you’re in a hot climate, you’re physically active, or if you’re sick or running a fever.
Fortunately, drinking more water is easy. Fill up a water bottle at home and keep it with you in the car and at work. Sip on it throughout the day.
Sneak in More Exercise
It’s inspiring to see people lifting weights or jogging day after day.
But how do you exercise when you don’t have the time? According to the Mayo Clinic, all you need is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. That’s just 22 minutes per day! Alternatively, you need just 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. It shouldn’t be hard to find 25 minutes in your schedule just three times a week!
An easy way to fit all this in is to get up a half-hour earlier in the morning and go for a walk. Alternately, you can walk in the evening when you get home from work.
Or work it into your normal daily routines. Park at the back of the office parking lot, grocery store, or wherever you go. When you’re at work, get up and walk around for a few minutes for every 20 to 30 minutes you spend at your desk.
The Mayo Clinic also recommends you engage in resistance training twice a week. Focus on the basics. Do pushups, unweighted squats, and chin-ups at home as soon as you get out of bed. All you need is about 10 to 15 “reps” (repetitions).
Eat Smaller Portions
Another helpful thing you can do for yourself is to cut back on portion sizes. That 6-ounce or 8-ounce steak? Try 4 ounces instead. Instead of drenching your “healthy” salad in a quarter-cup of dressing, measure out two tablespoons and enjoy the flavor of the vegetables too. Don’t “supersize” the fries. Even a small reduction in the meats, fats and carbs you consume will make a difference, but go ahead and eat all the veggies you want. Drink more water with your meals and eat more slowly, and you’ll feel satisfied without that feeling that you ate too much.
Destress During The Day
According to Kristine Crane, in her piece 8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life, “Meditation allows people to take charge of their own nervous system and emotions.” It can improve concentration, increase happiness, and even slow the aging process.
Most people could stand to “chill out.” Take 10 minutes every day to meditate. New to meditation? Use apps like Headspace to help you with guided exercises. They’re helpful and can get you into a Zen-like state in just a few seconds. Some apps are also educational and teach you what you need to know to guide your own meditations in the future.
Get More Sleep
Getting more sleep is probably one of the most helpful things you can do. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep plays a vital role in your long-term health.
Shoot for at least eight hours every night. To make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, unplug all electronics or move them out of the bedroom. If that’s not possible, get yourself a pair of blue-blocking glasses to wear at night. A study at Harvard University showed that the kind of blue light emitted by many personal electronic devices even when they’re off has a particularly harmful effect on sleep.
What To Do Next
If you’re having trouble making lifestyle changes, or you’re ready to take things to the next level, schedule a free consultation online with Evolved Medical in San Mateo, Lafayette, Santa Cruz, and Monterey, CA, or call us at (888) 925-4568.