Taking Small Strides Toward a Healthier Lifestyle
As natural as some influencers on social media may make it seem, adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult to make routine, especially when faced with the responsibilities of daily life. The key to success is never about throwing yourself into overly ambitious fitness/health goals that could burn you out too soon. Rather, it’s all about setting yourself up for success at the get-go by focusing on smaller, more realistic changes to your day-to-day practices that can easily be made more consistent. By following some of these simple practices, you may find your energy and overall healthy lifestyle improving day by day!
Hydrate with water first thing in the morning! It’s always tempting to have a steaming mug of coffee in the morning, maybe with the added oomph of cream and sugar? But the best way to start your morning is to drink a large glass of water. Drinking water in the morning is an excellent way to flush toxins from your body and promote healthy digestion! Try squeezing some lemon juice into your glass of water for the added benefits of Vitamin C, which is also great for your skin!
Remember to eat & balanced meals at that! Remembering to eat may seem like a silly suggestion, but you’d be surprised how many of us get caught up with work and skip breaks or meals to stay on schedule. Incorporating regular meals into your day-to-day routine is key and should be made priority even on the busiest day. That’s not to say you have to drop everything and make yourself an elaborate spread for every meal but instead, find ways to make eating convenient, delicious and healthy at the same time. Think about prepping your meals at the start of the week, that way you can simply pop open a container or heat up your meals at your leisure. Also if you’re on the go, a smoothie packed with lots of fruit and veggies is a great option! When making your meals, do your best to incorporate some greens and veggies into every meal, this is a great way to fill up on essential nutrients and control your portions.
Go outside and take a breather: Make sure you take time out of your day, whether it be to take a walk or simply to step outside for a just few minutes, to get some fresh air and soak up that glorious Vitamin D. Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D and is an instant mood booster when paired with a beautiful day! That said, if you plan to be out for an extended period, be sure you’re wearing an SPF sunscreen of at least 30 or higher to protect your skin barrier from potentially harmful UV rays.
Stretch your legs regularly: Working at a desk consistently can feel straining on your joints and muscles. It’s suggested by many health experts that sitting behind a desk for extended periods without movement can be extremely detrimental to one’s health and therefore it’s recommended that an individual should get up and walk around every 30 minutes just to stretch their legs. That doesn’t mean you have to leave your workspace to get your steps in, but rather take a stroll around your home, maybe do some stretches on the spot, anything to loosen up those limbs really. You can also try a convertible standing desk, and work 30 minutes of every hour on your feet as opposed to just sitting.
Buy some plants for your space: If you can’t be outside while working, try bringing the outdoors inside with you! Visit your local nursery and purchase some indoor plants to help liven up your workspace. The added colours and greenery not only look beautiful but work to freshen up the space and are a great mood booster.
Set Smaller Fitness Goals: Something I find many of us are guilty of is biting off more than we can chew when it comes to fitness, and giving up too early. Fitness and exercise should not feel like a chore. Sure you want to break a sweat and feel like you have really pushed yourself to the fullest, but by setting unrealistic goals, you may also be setting yourself up for failure right from the start. If you’re someone who has difficulty finding or committing to a regular workout routine, try taking smaller strides to start out. Download an app with a customizable workout plan and make it your own based on experience and fitness level. There are plenty of apps that allow you to choose the length and intensity of your workout. Even just doing a ten-minute workout at low intensity is better than nothing and as you build up your strength, you can also gradually build on your workout as well!
Try Affirmations: Being kind to ourselves is often difficulty. It’s easy to pinpoint everything we’re doing wrong or focus on the stresses of our situation and allow them to ruin our entire day. But an excellent way to break out of such toxic patterns and to better ground yourself is building a positive mindset through affirmations. It may feel a bit strange at first to affirm yourself but just give it a try! You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel with simple reminders of everything you’re doing right, what makes you special, and what you have to be grateful for, and how they can brighten your day! Here’s to self-love!
Sleep Enough! While it’s tempting to stay up late either be working on a late-night project or simply bingeing Netflix, healthy adults should be sleeping roughly 7-9 hours each night. If you can help it, do your best to get to bed on time to give your body the full overnight charge it needs to be prepared for the coming day. If you have trouble falling asleep, there are some excellent mediation apps that may help you wind down. An open window, to balance fresh air flow may also help!
Now that you’re away of these few simple practices toward building a more routine and balanced lifestyle, hopefully you can find the time to incorporate them them into your day-to-day schedule! Happy serotonin boost and good luck on your health and wellness journey!