By Ginger Reid
These days, it’s hard for many people to find the time or motivation to work out regularly and cook healthy meals, but it’s important to make time. You can lengthen your life by eating the right diet and exercising every day, plus you’ll feel better. The key is to carve time out of your schedule and change up your routine so that it doesn’t become stale.
Find a workout that works for you
Daily exercise is extremely important, so find a workout that you’ll want to stick with, such as dance aerobics or swimming. If you make it fun, there’s a better chance you won’t get bored or give it up after a month or two. Another way to amp up your workouts is to listen to heart-pumping music. Create a playlist of your favorite songs that will keep you motivated during your workouts, ensure you have a durable phone case and an armband, then buy a good pair of wireless headphones so that cords won’t be in the way.
Exercise your mind
In addition to physical exercise, mental fitness rounds out a person’s whole wellbeing. Keeping our brain active must be intentional, which means avoiding watching countless hours of meaningless TV programming or never picking up a book. Make it a point to have mental “workouts” on a regular basis. Pick up a new hobby or watch a TED talk video online on a topic that interests you. For seniors, the good news is that memory can be improved when mind exercises are employed.
Lifelong learning is another way to stay on top of our mental game. Consider taking online classes in a field that you’ve always been curious about. If teaching is a goal, for example, look into education degrees offered online that lead to both a degree and teaching credentials. Big benefits of taking remote coursework are that you can study at your own pace and wherever you choose — no need to travel to and from a traditional college campus.
Plan and prepare
It might not seem appealing to make a big grocery trip and cook several meals, but if you don’t keep food in the house, you’ll likely break down and do whatever is quickest on busy weeknights: fast food. Plan out a meal for each night of the week and either save the leftovers in reusable plastic containers or prepare food for several lunches at the same time. Chicken and veggies can be seasoned and prepared several different ways, and having a dish ready to go that you can grab from the fridge in the morning will save you time and money as well as keep you from reaching for less healthy options.
You can also be prepared by setting out your workout clothes the night before. This frees up time in the morning so you can just throw on your gear and go. Need new athletic wear? No sweat! Turn to stores like Kohls, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target or Walmart to find reasonable deals on activewear. You can also easily find Kohls coupons or Walmart promo codes if you shop online.
Once you have your diet, meal prep, and exercise routine in line, you may discover that these regimens help reduce stress in your day-to-day life. Just knowing that you’re working toward a goal is enough to bring you a little peace.
Drink plenty of water
Many of us don’t drink nearly enough water during the day, but it has several health benefits, including being good for your skin and helping you feel full so you don’t find yourself snacking. It’s a good idea to keep a large reusable water bottle with you all day and refill it as you need to; this way, you can keep track of how much water you’re drinking.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can affect your performance at work or school and can leave you feeling bad, which might lead to comfort eating–likely junk food–and lethargy, which can inhibit your ability to get in a workout. Set a reasonable bedtime and stick with it, and make sure you turn off your phone, television, and computer at least an hour before bed. According to Cleveland Clinic, looking at a screen before bed can keep you awake. You’ll also want to make sure your mattress is in good shape in order to get a good night’s sleep. And don’t forget to keep your bedroom tidy; clutter can often cause stress, which isn’t what you need when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Get the family involved
Getting healthy and staying that way is a decision you should make with your entire family. That way, you can all support one another and can go through the journey together, including exercising every day. Go for a long walk after dinner or play a game of softball in the backyard. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be getting in quality time with your loved ones at the same time.
Take on more active roles
If you’re looking to make some extra money, consider finding a job that lets you stay active, such as dog walking or housekeeping. MyNetDiary notes that cleaning is a great way to exercise, especially if you keep up a steady pace while vacuuming or mopping the floors. This will allow you to get in a workout while you’re earning extra cash.
Think about long-term improvements
Most importantly, when working towards your health goals, go slowly. Making gradual changes to your health increases your chances of achieving and maintaining long-term positive results. Trying to change your habits quickly, on the other hand, can actually hinder your efforts. Instead, try to work on one aspect of your goal for one month, then work your way up at a gradual pace. This will make it easier to kick your bad habits for good.
This year (and beyond), make it a priority to create a healthier you. Not only will you feel better, but you could add more years to your life. While these tips are a great starting point, you should also talk with your doctor about tailoring a health plan that will fit your needs.
Is shopping “green” a priority for you? Look to PrincessTigerLily.com for the best in green/organic and fair trade, as well as really well designed items and/or hard-to-find items!
Article by Guest Blogger Ginger Reid