It seems like whenever the warmer weather rolls around many of us try to become a bit more health conscience. Whether it be hitting the gym after work every day or starting a strict diet, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to make you miserable. And whatever your goals are, there are plenty of fun and enjoyable ways for anyone to be a bit more healthy.
Take a walk around the park.
With the sun setting later, you can still do outdoor activities even after you eat dinner. In fact the American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise to stay healthy. So, after you eat, plan a visit to your local park for a nice walk with the whole family to keep everyone active and to tire down the kids before they go to bed.
Plan your meals.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, you and your children can still have Taco Tuesdays and chicken nuggets on the weekends. Just make sure to prepare everything from scratch. Make a salsa from fresh tomatoes and substitute cheese for avocado, and for your nuggets cut up chicken breast, bread the pieces and let them bake for about 15 minutes.
It is convenient to go out to eat, but many restaurants add large amounts of salt and cook with unhealthy oils. This may make the food taste amazing, but when you cook meals at home, you have control over what you’re eating.
Plus, if you’re crunched for time during the week – plan your meals out on the weekend, that way you can freeze meals and reheat them later on.
Read the label.
Read the nutrition label on everything. Just because it says low-carb, sugar-free, or fat-free doesn’t mean it actually is. Additionally, when a manufacturer does remove fat or sugar, they may add something else to enhance the flavor like more fat or salt.
Be a smart consumer and do your research. Don’t waste your money on health gimmicks and if you can, make the meal yourself.
Drink more water.
You may hear this all the time, but it’s true.
Soda and soft drinks are loaded with sugar, which can lead to fatigue, headaches, and if you’re not careful, early onset of diabetes. Skip the diet soft drinks too. Diet drinks may not have the empty calories, but they still have the unhealthy additives.
Instead opt to drink water. Buy a filter for your home faucet and you’ll save money every time you need a drink. If you’re looking for a sweet fix, brew up some tea. Tea often has very few calories and contains many antioxidants you won’t find in a normal soft drink.
Still not satisfied? Cut up some fruit and put it in a pitcher of ice water and keep it in your fridge overnight. Fruit juice is a much healthier alternative than soda, however, it can contain just as much added sugar. So, be careful when making your selection!
Get more sleep.
You probably hear this all the time, too. However, it’s also true. Sleep affects everything from your moods to your waistline. Sleep also helps your body recover from the day and helps fight off sickness you may have come in contact with.
However, when you aren’t getting enough sleep each night your body starts to produce the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol can cause you to gain fat around your stomach and crave sugary sweets. Plus, when you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re probably too tired to exercise leading to even more weight gain. Even worse, lack of sleep also puts you at risk for a stroke, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Chronic sleep deprivation isn’t good for anyone. Don’t wait until the weekend to catch up on your missed hours. Treat your body right, and make sure to get enough sleep every night!
Technology is your friend.
There are a variety of apps, like MapMyRun, for both Apple and Android users that can help you effectively maintain a healthier life. Plus, seeing your progress first hand will help you see how far you’ve come!
There are also apps that track your exercise and allow you to give back. Charity Miles, for example, lets you to turn all of your hard work into money that you can donate to different charities. And if you’re looking for something a bit more in depth about your health, there are a an assortment of fitness trackers that monitor your sleep, steps, and even heart rate. Use technology as a tool to keep you motivated and going!
Having a healthy lifestyle doesn’t come without a few bumps in the road, and having goals will help you stay on the right path towards success.
However, constantly weighing yourself on a scale can set yourself up for failure. It is good to lose weight, especially if you have a health condition or are overweight, but don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t lose the 5 pounds like you’d hoped.
Instead, dedicate 2-3 days every week to the gym or dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to jog. Of course, these goals depend on what you want to achieve, but making daily tasks can help you reach your final objective.
Keep working towards a more healthy you!