Too often we get caught up in big plans and big ideas with our health and fitness. Which diet to pick? Which workout plan to follow? This worked for so and so. That helped such and such. We may feel the need to figure it all out, before actually taking our first step of action. I know I can plead guilty to that!
Well, how about stopping that. Instead of planning away, DO something to improve your health and fitness. Sure, a magic pill to *poof* turn us all into Olympic athletes or even our doctor’s star patient doesn’t exist. Healthy living takes work. You won’t achieve health with a blink of an eye – but you CAN start improving it…instantly. So do something. Today. Right now.
1. Fix your posture. It will help your body work more efficiently, keep your muscles properly aligned, relieve aches and pains, and help you look 5 pounds slimmer. Pull those shoulders back and sit/stand up straight!
2. Plan a workout. Scheduling time for your workout will make you much more likely to succeed at actually doing the workout. You may not be able to fit in a workout for another few hours, but at the very least, put that workout on your calendar.
3. Do a plank. A full body exercise that can challenge you anywhere. Well, except for maybe a public bathroom floor. Ick. Regardless, find a clean spot and start planking. What do you know? It can help with that posture, too.
4. Eat some produce. You know fruits and vegetables are good for you. Simply eating a serving (or two or five) will help you feel refreshed and healthier. Fit some into your next meal.
5. Drink some water. Nature’s cleanser. We’re meant to drink it. Often. Just do it.
6. Go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be an hour long session, but simply getting up and moving around regularly throughout your day has been linked to better overall health. Instead of sitting in your desk chair all day, take a few 5-10 minute walking breaks sporadically. Head out around the neighborhood when you get home. Basically, every bit of movement adds up. Move more. Even little bits at a time.
7. Pop a vitamin. While vitamins never take place of a solid, nutritious diet, many of us can all use a little help with a multi-vitamin. They even make them chewable now. Come on! You can take one.
8. Stretch. Regularly stretch out stiff muscles through the day. Take 10 minutes after that planned workout. Similar to posture, stretching will keep your body working optimally…which means, you feeling good.
9. Write down the positives. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Write down as many positives about yourself as you can. A healthy self-image is part of a healthy body.
10. Write down goals. Next up, write down your goals. Write down WHY better health/fitness matters to you. Knowing the why and the goal will drive you to taking action.
11. Visualize. You have the goal, but do you have the image. Picture your success. Picture positive results. It may seem hokey, but it works. And at the very least, it can’t hurt, now can it?
12. Stand instead of sit. Whenever you can, stand up instead of sitting down. It uses more energy. It can help with your posture. It all goes back to little changes adding up over time.
13. Take some deep breaths. Stress is a killer. It can deter your best laid plans. It messes with your hormones. It’s just not cool. Use whatever stress coping technique you have in your arsenal – such as stopping to take some deep breaths and count to ten.
14. Talk with someone who inspires you. Spend some time with someone you admire and that encourages you, even via phone or in an email.
15. List out past successes. MizFit Carla just shared an excellent post about holding onto success in a tangible way. I love this idea. Knowing that we have succeeded at various things in the past helps us believe we can succeed in other ways today.
16. Stop mindless munching. Eat without distraction. Plate up your food. Pop some gum if you can’t stay out of the office candy jar. Be aware.
17. Start a food journal. You don’t have to go off the deep end with meticulously tracking every morsel and gram of carbohydrate, but being aware of the food you choose to eat can go a long way in helping make better choices on a regular basis.
18. Do 20 squats. Quick and effective.
19. Do 10 push-ups. Quick and effective.
20. Don’t give in to a craving. Saying “no” even just once can reaffirm your willpower and that you can make healthy decisions. You don’t have to say “no” every time, but it does need to become a good habit in general.
21. Wear something flattering. Choose clothing that fits your current body and leaves you feeling good. Stuffing yourself in pants two sizes too small will likely end in discouragement…not motivation.
22. Plan, prep, and pack meals. Have a plan for healthy eating. Do some prep work to make those choices more accessible. When you’re prepared, it’s easier to stick with the changes.
23. Find a healthy alternative. We all have our favorite foods. For the more indulgent ones, research and find a recipe or alternative that provides more nutrition and can fit in a healthy diet.
24. Find an accountability partner. Search out someone that you can trust to hold you accountable and that wants to help you achieve your goals. There is power in numbers. Use it to your advantage.
25. Watch portion sizes. Natural nut butter is a healthy choice for unsaturated fats…but it’s still 100 calories per tablespoon. Watch those portions. Things add up fast!
26. Repeat a positive mantra. Find a motivational quote and repeat it to yourself when challenges arise in your fitness journey. It may just help you stay on track in that key moment.
27. Eat regularly. Try to break your meals up in a way that doesn’t leave you super hungry by the point of the next meal. Controlling your blood sugar and energy levels through regular meals and snacks keeps smart eating habits going strong.
28. Go to bed earlier. Sleep impacts so many things – including hunger and stress levels. Make sure you get enough rest.
29. Establish a reward. Knowing that your actions will lead to a reward of some sort can be very motivating. Just make sure you pick a healthy reward, like a massage and not a whole cheesecake to yourself. Deal?
30. Lose the all or nothing mentality. If you had some cookies after lunch, don’t decide to go out to El Burrito Grande for dinner to top things off with a pile of nachos, two margaritas, and 6 tortillas stuffed with cheese. If you don’t have time for a full hour workout, do a short one instead.
It all boils down to making wise decisions as often as possible. They all add up. Make the best of each and every day. That’s it. Cheers to healthy living!
Which of these help you stay on track with a healthy lifestyle? Which do you wish to practice more?