BChances are if you're reading this blog you've already made the decision to improve your health through fitness and healthy eating. Committing to making that change is the first step! Deciding where to go from there can be overwhelming. So, where do you start? Change doesn't have to be scary and it doesn't have to happen all at once! Incorporating small changes over time is an effective and totally doable way to commit to living a healthy lifestyle.
Here are 5 simple things you can do today to get on the road to wellness!
1. Drink more water
We all know our bodies need water, and lots of it, to thrive but few of us actually get the recommended amount. (Commonly suggested to be 64 ounces but some sources recommend up to one ounce of water per pound of body weight). Set a goal today to drink at least 16 ounces more than usual. That’s the equivalent of drinking just one additional bottled water-totally doable!
Add sliced citrus fruit, cucumber or fresh mint leaves to your water for flavor. Bonus! It makes it look like a pretty spa drink-and who couldn’t use a little more spa in their day?
2. Add one serving of vegetables or fruit
Mom was right (again!)! You need to eat your vegetables! A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent and possibly reverse many common chronic diseases plaguing Americans today. Adding healthy foods to your diet is a great way to get started on your wellness journey.
Next time you shop make a point to put one new fruit or veggie in your cart. Better yet, get the kids involved and let them pick!
We need a minimum of 5 servings a day (ideally 9-13) so have fun trying new or unusual varieties or combine old favorites in a new way. Toss a few veggies like spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms into your breakfast scramble or top your cereal with a combination of the delicious berries in season right now!
3. Make a healthy swap
Choose one food item that you could replace with a healthier alternative. Small swaps add up to big changes over time. Trading one item for another similar (but better!) food helps you stay away from feelings of deprivation or “I can’t” thoughts.
Swap out processed white flour for whole grain alternatives. For example, switch from white bread to whole grain bread free of high fructose corn syrup and potassium bromate. Or trade in your baked potato for a sweet potato or yam. Sweet potatoes offer the same easy prep at dinner time but with far more fiber, vitamin A and potassium.
Yogis know the power of the breath. Grab a bit of zen for yourself by practicing deep, even breathing. It’s an effective way to lower stress levels and allows you to let go of tension when the day gets hectic.
Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, slowly exhale through the nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times or as often as needed to feel the stress and tension melt away! Ahhhhh!
5. Go to bed on time
Easier said than done, I know. Once the kids are in bed it’s tempting to stay up late watching t.v. or catching up on social media. Your body needs 8 hours of sleep to function at its best. Sleep is your body’s time to repair damage and essentially recharge for the next day. Do your best to set a bedtime and stick to it. Binge watching Netflix can wait!
Give your electronics a bedtime. Shut them down at least an hour before your bedtime and enjoy a more restful night’s sleep!
Hi! I'm Erica, a fitness and healthy food loving wife and mother of three here to inspire you on your wellness journey!