First of all. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are trying to Get Healthy is looking to others for advice and suggestions. But one person's definition of "healthy" is likely entirely different from what being Healthy means to you. Maybe they want to go 100% paleo and work out at the gym 7 days a week with the end of goal of ripped abs, whereas you just want to lose weight by eating a bit healthier, going to spin class once a week, and making a few lifestyle changes. The key to getting healthy and staying that way is figuring out what "being healthier" means to you, and how you, specifically you, can achieve it. How can you fit exercise into your schedule? What differences can you make with the food you eat? How much sleep do you need?
Forget the lemon + cayenne pepper cleanses and meal-skipping - here are 5 easy ways to change your lifestyle to a healthier one.
1. Variety is the spice of life.
We all get stuck in the grocery store routine. It's so easy to go to the same sections and buy the same foods because you know how much they cost and how to cook them. But an easy way to lead a healthier lifestyle is to banish this idea of grocery store routine shops.
Every time you go to the grocery store, you should be buying different items (especially fruits and vegetables). It's like the idea of crop rotation - you have to keep moving around and changing things to get those nutrients. If you always buy granny smith apples and then you always pick up some iceberg lettuce and then the next step is always picking up the same brand of whole wheat bread, you are always giving your body the exact same nutrients, and missing out on others. Expand your horizons!
2. Incorporate exercise into low-energy activities.
More often than not, we are stagnant. The majority of us sit in an office all day, and then we go home and are so tired that we just want to eat dinner and watch some Netflix. At the end of the day, we have barely moved except transporting our bodies from place to place. But rather than having to motivate yourself to hit the gym after a long day, try incorporating small (but effective) fitness routines into your everyday life.
Do squats for the entire duration of brushing your teeth. Do some leg raises or bicep curls while you watch TV. Do some calf raises while you stand at the stove. Or try one of these 5-minute workouts whenever you can squeeze it in:
5 Minute Ab Workout
5 Minute Arm Workout
5 Minute Leg Workout
5 Minute Pre-Shower Workout
3. Colour, colour, colour!
As a general rule (with a few exceptions, such as garlic, onions, and cauliflower), the more colour your food has, the healthier it is. When you're grocery shopping, skip the white bread, white pasta, and bland cereals; instead, opt for the lush green of fresh kale, spinach, and broccoli, the bright reds and yellows of bell peppers, and the deep maroon of raspberries. Different colours bring you different vitamins and health perks.
Blue/purple: contain lutein, fiber, vitamins A + C, and folate. besides fighting the damage that everyday living does to your body, they also lower your risk for stroke, urinary tract infections, and memory problems. also, they keep your immune system super healthy! thumbs up!
Red: contain lycopene, potassium, reseveratrol, and vitamin C. lowers your risk for heart disease and cancer.
Orange/yellow: contain beta-carotene, potassium, bromium, lycopene, and vitamin C. lower your risk for arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, cataracts, heart disease, asthma, and cancer.
Green: contain vitamins A + C + K, potassium, and folate. leafy greens help your liver detoxify, and lowers your risk for cancer, macular degeneration, and vision problems. also, if you're a lady, (which you likely are if you're reading this blog), green veggies & fruit help protect against ovarian cancer.
And remember... every time you go, buy something different!
4. Add a little kick to your morning cereal.
Deep down, we all know that our favourite morning cereal is lacking certain nutrients. But you don't need to change up your entire morning routine and start making yourself kalecarrotspinachweirdprotein smoothies to give your day a healthier start. Try adding chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax, nuts, and/or fresh fruit to your cereal every morning. It's dead easy (so no excuses!) and as an additional bonus, you won't find yourself hungry an hour later.
It has been proven that heavy technology use leads to increased stress levels, depression, and issues sleeping. So instead of plunking yourself in front of Netflix, playing games or checking Instagram on your phone, try something not technology-based. Finish that book you've been partway through for months. Go for a walk. Call or meet up with a loved one. Anything besides staring at that screen for a second longer.