Everyone wants to be healthier. The hardest part is knowing where to start. A total lifestyle overhaul is difficult and unlikely to stick. Instead, try starting with these simple tips for a healthy body. These tips don’t cost a thing and can be implemented immediately. After all, a few small changes can add up to big results.
8 Tips For A Healthy Body
1. Change Your Mind About Stress
Your perception of stress has a powerful physiological effect on how stress affects your body. Instead of shutting down when faced with a stressful situation, open up and approach the situation with excitement and curiosity. Stress and excitement result in many of the same physiological responses. Your heart rate increases, your breathing quickens. Simply shifting your mindset about stress can diminish some of the negative effects of stress on the body. Next time you are faced with a stressful situation, view it through the lens of excitement. Stressed about an up coming deadline? Shift your mindset to excitement that the project will finally be complete. This simple shift in thinking can have profound effects on your body’s stress response.
2. Stop Drinking Sugar
Sugar’s negative affects on the body are serious and far-reaching. Too much sugar negatively effects nearly every system in the human body. Excessive sugar intake can cause weight gain, liver damage, and metabolic dysfunction. A simple way to cut back on sugar in the diet is to stop drinking it. Eliminate soda, energy drinks, sweetened tea, and sugary coffee drinks. Try replacing these sugar rich items with sparkling water, fresh brewed unsweetened ice tea, and coffee with coconut milk. These simple swaps will make a big difference on both your health and your waistline.
3. Practice Self-Care
Showing yourself some love will keep you motivated to make healthy decisions. Treat yourself to a massage. Take a relaxing bath or shower. Try foam rolling after a tough workout or a day spent sitting down. Choose whatever type of self-care is right for you. Self care is the perfect way to thank your body for all it is capable of.
4. Move Up Your Bedtime
Sleep can do wonders for your mood, appearance, and productivity. In fact, when faced with a difficult problem, one of the best things you can do is sleep on it. During the week, it is often impossible to sleep any later so to boost your snooze time, try moving up your bedtime by even a half hour. An hour before you would ideally like to be asleep, start winding down. A great way to prepare your mind and body for a restful night’s sleep is to create a calming ritual before bed. Turn off all electronics, make a relaxing cup of chamomile tea, wash your face, and get into your PJs. Reading a favorite book or writing in a gratitude journal before drifting off to sleep can help ensure a restful night’s sleep.
5. Pay Attention To How Food Makes You Feel
Focusing on how food makes you feel can do wonders for your diet and energy levels. Foods that most often have a negative impact on mood and energy are gluten, dairy, and carbohydrate rich food. Pay extra attention at meals where these foods are consumed. Do you experience stomach pain after a bowl of ice cream? You may be lactose intolerant. Does a carb heavy breakfast such as a toasted bagel cause your energy levels to crash mid morning? Try swapping your carb rich breakfast for a protein rich, egg based option such as a frittata. Once you are able to recognize the items in your diet that negatively affect your mood and energy, you can choose to eliminate or limit your intake. Both your mind and body will thank you.
6. Focus on Ability Not Appearance
It can take weeks to see the physical results from a new workout plan. A better way to stay motivated and gauge progress is to focus on increased ability instead of change in appearance. Focus on the fact that you ran a mile for the first time in years. You are able to lift more than ever before. You can finally able to do a set of push ups with perfect form. Focusing on increased ability will keep you wanting more. Who knows what else your amazing body is capable of.
If you are like most people in the western world with a 9-5 that forces you to sit more than you would like, make sure you fidget during the day. Make any excuse to get up and walk around. Put your printer on the other side of the office. Get up and ask your colleague a question instead of emailing it. Take sometime to stretch at your desk. Use the bathroom on the other side of the floor. Any small movement you can incorporate adds up. Even small movements will help you stay alert and productive throughout the day.
8. Focus on Veggies
Prepare vegetables you are excited to eat and always eat your veggies first. These two simple changes will dramatically improve your veggie intake and you may even enjoy it. Try a New Vegetable Recipe and make the veggie dish the star of the meal. Keep delicious, prepared veggies in the fridge at all times. They make an excellent snack or addition to any meal. One of my favorite prepared veggies to keep in the fridge is Garlic Roasted Broccoli. Serving delicious vegetable dishes at every meal will make it easier to eat your veggies first. Load up on nutrients at the start of the meal and finish off with other dishes.