Keep It Simple | 7 small lifestyle changes for a healthier you

If you are working for that summer body or simply just trying to get back into a healthy lifestyle, you learn that results don’t come quick or easy. It’s frustrating and you basically just want to scream and plop down onto the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Am I right? Yes, I’m right. I go through that process every single day. But hey! Don’t give up. We are all on this train together.

So instead of focusing on some crash course diet or trying to convince you to head to the gym every day for 60 minutes, I rounded a few very simple things you can incorporate into your everyday routine, without having to think too much about it. By opting for simple habits, you could change up your entire lifestyle.

1. Park in the back

Don’t waste your time scanning through the parking lot to look for the closest spot. Park in the back and walk. Walking is a great activity and doing it anywhere and everywhere you can is beneficial to the body. Walking can aid in weight loss, lightens your mood and lead to a longer life according to the Arthritis Foundation.

If you are just getting back into the exercising game, walking is a great first step. Start slowly and work your way up to more intense adventures. Sage Hills is a great area that you can make as challenging as you want. It provides some amazing views, but won’t feel overwhelming.

2. Take the stairs

This goes hand in hand with the last tip, but stairs are another great, simple addition to your everyday routine. Skip the elevator and take the stairs everywhere you go. They carry many of the same benefits that walking does.

3. Give up the sugary drinks

I understand that soda or juice can be really refreshing on a hot day, but reach for the water instead! Yes, it’s boring but so much better for you! And after you drink it for awhile, it won’t be as boring. If you really need flavored water, try adding fruit such as lemon or berries. But the sweet stuff like Gatorade, juice, or soda has so much sugar that it’s actually really ridiculous and pretty gross. Men are suggested to have only 36 grams of sugar a day, women 24 grams of sugar.  Check out this video that shows just how much sugar is in some of your favorite drinks. FYI: A 12 oz. can of coke has 10.2 teaspoons of sugar.

4. Eat breakfast

Eating breakfast is similar to putting a hefty log into the fireplace. When the log is big, thick, and good quality, the longer the fire will burn right? Apply that same theory to breakfast. Eat a big breakfast full of fruits and veggies, whole-grains, protein and healthy fats. Check out some of these healthy breakfast options.

Always short on time in the morning? That still isn’t a good excuse to skip breakfast. Overnight oats is a great alternative and takes about five minutes to prep the night before. Here are some more healthy breakfast options.  

5. You should snack

Snacking isn’t bad if you choose to snack on the right stuff. Opt for the handful of almonds or carrot sticks. Avoid the chips, crackers, donuts, cookies and candy that stare you in the face when you open the pantry. Another way to determine if you are hungry or bored or even dehydrated is to drink a big glass of cold water and wait a few minutes. Sometimes dehydration can be disguised as hunger. If you aren’t very good at self-control around sweet stuff (not a lot of people are, myself included), then don’t have it in the house at all. Check out these eating habits of the most successful fit people.

6.  Unplug

Unplug from emails and social media when you get home. I know that can be easier said than done, but really just try it for a week to see if you notice a difference in your happiness levels.

7. Catch those zzz’s

Don’t underestimate the beauty of a good night’s sleep. Creating a sleep schedule that is consistent every night will help you feel more energized and help your body in more ways than one. Adults should get at least seven and half to nine hours of sleep a night.