At some point or another, you’ve probably gone on a three-day juice cleanse or signed up for a fitness boot camp in hopes of getting healthy. And chances are you didn’t quite get the results you were after. Why is there no quick fix to live a healthier lifestyle?
It’s because extreme measures aren’t sustainable, and they’re hard to incorporate into your day-to-day life. We know the frustration is real, but don’t fret. We’re here to teach you a better (more realistic) way to get healthy.
Read on to learn how to implement healthy habits into your daily routine.
Addition is Easier than Subtraction
Cutting out carbs, banning sugar, and always saying no to mac and cheese sounds hard, doesn’t it?
It is—which is why we aren’t asking you to go on a restrictive (and honestly, miserable) diet.
The truth is, you don’t have to cut out your favorite foods to be healthy. In fact, we’d even argue that the occasional bowl of mac and cheese is what makes life worth living. Instead of focusing on taking away “bad foods,” we suggest shifting your mindset to embrace adding in more healthy options. Here are a few suggestions:
- Have (real, whole grain) bread for breakfast, but serve it with a smoothie
- Choose a salad at lunch, but make it tasty and filling by adding fun toppings and protein
- Eat mac and cheese for dinner, but serve it with a side of broccoli
That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Think About How You Spend Your Time
As the saying goes, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. When you’re trying to establish healthy habits, this advice goes a long way.
Think of it this way: if you spend eight hours sitting at your desk, that’s already a third of your day. This means you need to find ways to make those eight hours healthier. For example, if you’re working from home, consider:
- Purchasing (or making) a standing desk
- Investing in blue light glasses to protect your eyes from hours of screen time
- Buying ergonomic computer accessories to protect your wrists and hands
Don’t Sleep on Your Bedtime Routine
If you’re trying to up the ante on your daily health, don’t forget that the evening is still a part of your day.
Getting enough (quality) sleep can make a huge difference in how you feel, so be sure to set yourself up for snoozing success. This can include:
- Investing in a new mattress
- Turning off electronics an hour before bedtime
- Purchasing your partner an anti snoring mouth guard (if you know, you know)
- Monitoring your shut-eye with a sleep tracker
Step it Up
While there’s nothing wrong with workouts that make it hard to get up the stairs (maybe sometimes you can skip leg day), they aren’t something you can do all the time. Walking, on the other hand, is an activity you can do day in, day out. It’s easy, low-impact, and can make a big difference in how you feel. Generally speaking, if you want to stay active, aim for at least 10,000 daily steps. You can accomplish this by:
- Parking farther away from the grocery store
- Giving Fido an extra lap around the neighborhood
- Taking a break every hour to stretch your legs
- Making requests to your coworkers (or roommates) in person rather than sending an email or text
Most smartphones have built-in step trackers, but if you want to go above and beyond with daily goals, regular reminders, and in-depth data gathering, buy a FitBit or Apple Watch.
Good Habits Make Good Choices Easier
They say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. Once you get into the routine of implementing the tips above, we promise it will get easier. After a while, you won’t even think about eating more fruit or taking more steps—you’ll find yourself doing so automatically.
What could be easier?