TOP TIP TUESDAY – How To Live a Healthier Lifestyle (it's not as hard as you think!)
There comes a time in our lives when there’s a sudden “click” in our heads, or rather, a realization that enough is enough..it’s time to make some healthy life changes. Luckily, some of us actually go through with it, whereas many don’t. How many times have you heard the cliché slogan “New Year, New Me”? But the reality is, you don’t need a new year to start fresh and commit to making healthier changes in your life. Whether it be a Saturday mid March, or a Tuesday end of September, you have the capability and power to make any kind of improvements in your life. Keeping this quote in mind, “temporary solutions do not create lasting changes”, try to focus on long-term changes and steady progress rather than unhealthy quick fixes, in order to find a healthy balance in your life.
Here are 4 simple and essential steps you can take to become healthier and happier versions of yourselves:
Step 1: Eat natural whole foods
Try to focus on only eating the most natural, nourishing foods you can get your hands on. This means plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. These kinds of foods are the best way to consume a variety of different nutrients and vitamins that your body needs. An example of what a healthy lunch could consist of is: garlic quinoa (whole grain), lean mince meat (protein), with an avocado salad sprinkled with some nuts and seeds (veggies & healthy fats). Eating natural whole foods will result in a healthy body weight, as well as a healthy mind.
Step 2: Do things that excite you and make you happy
This is something I cannot stress enough. Someone once told me that the things that excite you are not random. They are connected to your purpose, so follow them. Take time out of your day every single day for some “you time” and do the things that make you happy, even if it’s just for 30 minutes each day. Whether that be drinking a warm cup of tea whilst reading a book, lifting weights, doing arts & crafts, or going for a walk on the beach. Life can get a little tough sometimes, and not to mention repetitive and boring. We sometimes get too focused on our daily routines of work work and more work, and tend to forget to make time for ourselves. It is so important to find the little things in everyday life that bring us joy and then do them every single day. I guarantee you, you will start to seem some positive changes in your attitude and happiness.
Step 3: Exercise
The benefits of regular exercise are endless. Everyone benefits from doing it, no matter what your age is. According to a Swedish study, when people built exercise into their workday, they accomplished more at work, were able to take on more responsibilities, and were sick less often. Regular trips to the gym are excellent, but let’s not forget that some people can’t afford a gym membership. Or for some people, they simply can’t find the motivation to go to the gym several times a week. Luckily, exercising can be done everywhere and anywhere. You don’t need a fancy gym to become healthier and fitter. You can simply just incorporate more physical activity throughout your day, like for instance biking to work or walking to the grocery store instead of driving. However, if you can afford a gym membership, but just can’t find the motivation to go and run on a treadmill for 30 minutes, 4 times a week, that’s no problem at all. Don’t do it. My advise is, find something that you’re passionate about. When you find something you truly enjoy, you’ll be more likely to commit to it. Instead of avoiding working out, you’ll actually find yourself looking forward to it.
Step 4: Zzzz
Getting 8-9 hours of sleep every night is crucial to maintain healthy body composition. According to the website Mind Body Green, “Your body perceives lack of sleep as stress, which raises cortisol, increasing sugar cravings and fat storage”. Ever notice how you crave sugar and carbs the day after you haven’t slept well? Another important reason to get enough sleep is to let your muscles recover. For those that exercise several times a week, letting your muscles recover after intense training is essential. Here are a few practices you can do in order to build better sleeping habits: schedule your sleep, avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, make your bed extremely comfy, put away all electronics 1 hour before bed, and exercise regularly.
Making life changes can sometimes be overwhelming. But never overlook the power of taking small steps daily or even weekly. Remember, slow progress is still progress. The key is to just start. And in the words of Jim Rohn, “Big achievements come one small advantage at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time”.