I get it, not everyone is wired to wake up at 5:30am and head to a spin class, meditate for 20 minutes everyday, or juice all their meals. I want to inspire you to take some small steps today (ok, you can start tomorrow) that will have a big impact on your health, and your life in the long run. Some of these suggestions will resonate with you, and some will seem impossible. I challenge you to choose 2 or 3 of these ideas and commit to them for 1 week. Then choose 2 more, and stick to those for 1 week. Maybe you’ll find that some of these actions become habits that you adopt into your lifestyle with a push of dedication and willpower. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day when you adopt your new habits, and congratulate yourself on taking the first steps in changing your life.
1. Try doing small exercises throughout the day, even if you’re stuck at a desk. This may mean taking a walk during your lunch break, always taking the stairs, and doing some leg lifts (stand and lift one leg behind you repeatedly until you “feel the burn”) or squats to tone your booty. For your upper body you can do some wall push-ups (literally push-ups with your hands on the wall), or, if you have an infant, use your child as a weight and lift them over your head several times until your arms get tired. Then repeat!
2. Set up a “play date” with a friend(s). This is a set meeting that you can catch up with your friend, but you are doing it while exercising. You can walk or hike together. Maybe you play tennis or golf, or take an aerobics or yoga class. Enjoying the company of a friend without the presence of food or alcohol is a great way to get some necessary fitness in for yourself, and quality catch up time with your buddy.
3. Treat yourself to some new toys. Sometimes just having new equipment is a great motivator to get moving. Buy yourself a new pair of running shoes/ cross trainers. You should be replacing your exercise shoes every 6-12 months to prevent injury. A fun new water bottle helps to keep you hydrated. I received a bkr glass water bottle as a Christmas gift, and it’s fabulous!
4. Create or download a new playlist for your workouts. Some kick-butt music always inspires me to push myself just a little harder.
5. Physically write down your goals. You may want to lose 10 lbs, start taking a dance class, or sign up for a 5k. Whatever it is you aspire to do, you are more likely to actually complete it, if you write it down.
1. Eat breakfast. I’ve said this over and over, and I will say it again. Breakfast is the most essential meal of the day! Why? Your body has been at rest for a number of hours, so your metabolism has slowed. In order to jumpstart your metabolism, you need to fuel the fire. Even if this is only a hardboiled egg or a piece of fruit, get something in your system, so you’re less likely to binge on unhealthy snacks later in the day. And, no, a cup of coffee is not considered breakfast.
2. Pack your lunch everyday for 1 week. Bringing a healthy and balanced lunch to work is a great way to avoid sabotaging your diet halfway through the day. A sandwich on whole grain bread or hearty salad with protein, and a side of fruit with some nuts for an afternoon snack is a great place to start.
3. Try giving up gluten (anything with wheat) and dairy for 3 days. I guarantee you will immediately notice less bloating in your tummy. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
4. Swap your java for some green tea. I know this sounds nearly impossible. Perhaps you wean yourself off with one cup of coffee, then only green tea for the rest of the day. What’s so great about green tea? So much! It’s full of antioxidants, it alkalizes your body (balances pH), and it speeds your metabolism. You’re still getting a dose of caffeine, but without the jitters.
5. Add at least one serving of produce to ALL of your meals. Limit yourself to 2 servings of fruit per day, and 1 serving of starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas, beans, etc), the rest should be green or other bright colors.
1. Meditate. Meditation is often met with much resistance. I know it took me at least a year from the time I decided I wanted to meditate, to when I actually started practicing it. It is definitely a practice. Not every session is going to be moving and transformative. Often, your mind will wander, but just do what you can to bring yourself back to listening to your breath. Find a comfortable, dimly lit place to sit and start with 1 minute per day. Then move up to 5 minutes, and build from there. It helps to calm your mind, and relax your body.
2. Commit to no more over-commitment! When we spread ourselves too thin, we’re not useful to anyone, and we feel like a chicken running around with our head cut off. Politely saying “no” to certain requests that may create extra stress, anxiety, or even resentment, can save your mental and physical health.