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Do you get overwhelmed when thinking about living a healthier life? It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results but not all health goals require a complete overhaul of your life. You can actually reach your health goals with very little effort THIS WEEK.
Today I’m sharing some simple healthy living tips from my friend Randa. You might know her as the brain behind The Bewitchin’ Kitchen.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, start exercising, or stay on track with self-care, here are some tips for reaching your goals this week.
1. Drink more water.
You’ve likely seen all the recommendations to drink more water before. In fact, it’s such a common health goal that there are even apps that will remind you to drink up! If you’re not a water fan though, trying to go from 0 to 8 glasses a day (or more) can be difficult.
Any progress is still progress, right? So, this week just set a specific goal to drink 3 glasses of water a day. Whether your goal is to lose weight or hydrate, studies have shown that more water helps you reach your health goals.
Have a glass of water with breakfast, one with lunch, and one with dinner. Adding it to your meals makes it really simple to achieve your goal, and can still have a noticeable effect when it comes to your health.
2. Eat healthier foods.
That sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Pick one smaller healthy eating goal. You could decide to have two meatless dinners each week. Or 5 servings of dark leafy greens a week.
Perhaps you’re not a fan of whole grains and so this week, you’re going to add one whole grain food to each daily menu.
Or maybe you just want to avoid packaged convenience foods for the week. All of these are great ways to reach your health goals and help you live a healthy lifestyle.
You don’t need a specific diet plan or health coach to meet this goal–and there is no magic pill. Making simple changes in the quality of food that you eat will help your health, and you can start today.
The easiest way to incorporate new healthier eating habits into your diet is by meal planning.
If you know that you’re going to have your meatless dinners on Monday and Friday, you can add that to your meal plan and grocery list, and you won’t be left trying to figure it all out at the last minute. Knowing what you’re going to have and when removes so much of the stress from mealtimes!
3. Get a better night’s sleep.
There are so many different factors that come into play when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep, but for many people it begins with one simple thing: going to bed at the same time every night.
Sometimes your body needs to be retrained into falling asleep without all the tossing and turning because it never has any consistency.
What’s preventing you from going to bed at the same decent hour every single night? It might be the “oh I’ll just get one more thing done” philosophy some of us have. If it is, you’re going to have to be firm with yourself. If you have set a 10 pm bedtime, then at 10 pm, simply don’t accept any more excuses from yourself. If it’s not finished by then, it’s waiting until tomorrow!
You might be staying up past your bedtime because your phone is right next to your bed. Those constant notifications are just too tempting! Stop using your devices at least an hour before the bedtime you have set for yourself, turn off the notifications, and place your phone out of reach. A good night’s sleep is simply too important!
4. Get in some movement every day.
We’ve become a society of people who spend the majority of their time sitting and it’s not good for us. Our bodies were made for movement. That doesn’t mean that we have to go from being couch potatoes to running a marathon in a week. In fact, that’s a really bad idea.
As with all the ideas we’ve presented though, you can still take baby steps when it comes to getting more physical activity too. Live on a 3rd floor apartment? Take the stairs instead of the elevator each day. Walk your kids to school every morning? Take the long way home.
Work behind a computer all day? Do stretches regularly while you work and every hour or so, take a 5-minute break to stand up and walk around a bit. Or how about getting one of those desks that convert from sitting to standing? If you have a one-hour lunch break, choose to spend 15 minutes of it walking or doing some simple yoga moves. You don’t need high intensity workouts right now–just pick one small change to make and add a timer into your phone to remind you of it each day.
5. Invest in some time for yourself.
Self-care may have become an overused term but maybe the reason it’s talked about so much is because it’s so needed. Of course, most of us would love to indulge in spa days on a regular basis but that’s not usually possible. It’s amazing how much of a difference 5 minutes can make, though.
Pick a time each day to regroup. If you work in a stressful work environment, the best time for you might be just before you go back to work after lunch. Or you might need a few minutes to let the stress of the day go before entering your home and greeting your family.
Choose the time that makes the most sense to your own particular situation and simply take 5 minutes to do some deep breathing. Make a conscious effort to feel the tension drain from your muscles.
Each of these steps may seem small, but they can make a difference. By the end of just one week, your body will be well on its way to better health.
Randa Derkson is a busy mom of two, obsessed with trips to Disney, Culinary Nutrition Expert, and sick of the overwhelm when it comes to health. She’s the head nutrition expert at RandaDerkson.com where she’s committed to making healthy living easier.