Whether you’re looking to make a change because of a New Year’s resolution you’re finally getting around to, or you’ve become convinced it’d just be good for you, lifestyle changes don’t have to feel like an impossible feat. The simplest way people trip themselves up is by comparing themselves to others.
You know, the health food Instagrammers and weightlifting bloggers who have six-pack abs and toned muscles. Comparing yourself to other makes it so much harder to ever get where you want to be, because that mindset is negative. All you should allow yourself to think about is the work it’ll take to get from Point A to Point B.
Don’t get discouraged! Everyone starts out somewhere and has to take baby steps to find where they most naturally form a healthy lifestyle. It’s all about trying things until you discover what’s right for you. Check out some small lifestyle changes you can start making today so you can lead a healthier, happier life.
1. Start Your Day With a Cup of Water
If you’re in the habit of eating breakfast every morning, you know the feeling of arriving to work after you’ve eaten but are still hungry. That ominous 9 a.m. growling can start your whole day off wrong, so tomorrow morning, reach for some water before you break out the oatmeal. Drinking a whole glass of water before eating will help you feel full without adding any unnecessary calories.
2. Take More Walks
A few years back, everyone was getting obsessed with “getting their steps in” each day. People set their magic number they wanted to reach, and sometimes went to ridiculous lengths to get their steps in.
While you don’t need to jog up and down the steps of a skyscraper, getting a little more walking in can raise your heart rate and help develop your cardio skills. Take an extra loop of the hall before you walk to your desk, or use a bathroom on a different floor. Soon, those extra steps will begin to feel more normal and natural. It’s recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. Walking is a fantastic way to get your moderate exercise in.
3. Swap Sweets for Dark Chocolate
Some people have a sweet tooth they just can’t kick, which is when dark chocolate may come in handy. It’s been proven to prevent or delay diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Instead of stopping for a milkshake on the way home from work, eat a couple of bites of dark chocolate after your dinner. It’s a healthier alternative to bingeing on sweets that only hurt your health.
5. Practice Deep Breathing
Stress impacts everyone’s lives in different ways, but a great way to start a healthier lifestyle is to manage that stress by practicing deep breathing. Breathing deeply in routine methods has been shown to reduce blood pressure and release toxins from the body. You’ll find yourself more relaxed and better able to handle what you’ve got going on during the day. If you do it before bed, you could start sleeping better, too.
6. Eat More Good Fats
People trying to start a healthier diet often try to do that by reducing their total carb intake and eliminating fatty foods. The real secret is to get rid of the bad fats and keep the good ones. Good fats, like those in nuts and avocados, can improve cardiovascular functioning, reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
7. Pay Attention to Beauty Labels
When you think about how to check if something’s good for you, you probably think of reading nutrition labels on food. You should do the same thing for your beauty products. Whether you stick with just a simple shampoo and a rinse before work or have an hour-long makeup routine, check the labels on what you buy. Research the ingredients and switch to all-natural alternatives if what you find isn’t actually good for your body.
8. Get More Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t have the energy to not only help you feel awake in the morning, but all the other functions it does throughout the day. Getting the right amount of sleep helps your body reduce inflammation, maintain your weight and manage stress. So close out of your favorite streaming service tonight and head to bed early. Try to get around eight hours of sleep, if you can, to really feel the difference tomorrow morning.
Getting yourself into a healthier lifestyle can seem overwhelming at first. You might be confused about which to tackle first — eating right, exercising more or forming new habits like yoga or meditation. Everyone is going to tell you to try something different, mostly because there’s no one right answer. Try not to think about doing it all at once. Almost nothing ever works out that way!
Instead, try to make small lifestyle changes one at a time and stick with what works for you. You might try exercising a few times a week and love it, or you might practice deep breathing and feel changes in your mind-body connection. The goal is to be open-minded. You might find something new to love and add it to what you’ve already started. You’ll have that healthy lifestyle of your dreams before you know it.
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