The thought of waking up at 4 am to work out 6 days a week, changing your diet overnight or losing a certain amount of weight by a particular date can be overwhelming in itself. All before your health and fitness journey has even begun. Who says a healthy lifestyle needs to be a drastic change? It doesn’t have to be. Often the smallest changes you can start implementing today are the most effective ones and provide long-term benefits your body will thank you for.
Here are 5 quick and easy habits you can start today.
It may sound obvious, but drinking enough water is essential for brain function, energy levels, digestion, does wonders for your skin, flushes out toxins and provides many more health benefits. Lack of hydration can leave you feeling sluggish and tired. A lot of the times thirst and hunger can be confused, staying hydrated can also prevent overeating or snacking. It can be easy to forget to drink water, especially during a busy day. Keeping a glass or bottle of water close to you at all times is the best way to set yourself for success, making it easy to keep hydrated all day long.
Stretching isn’t just for those who exercise. As soon as you wake up in the morning, take a few minutes to stretch yourself awake even if it’s lying in bed to get you started! You can try adding a simple stretch or yoga routine and when you’re ready to work your way up to more. Not only does stretching help to increase flexibility, but it also stimulates circulation and can help to relieve any built-up tension.
3. Increase Activity
You don’t have to work out for hours to benefit from being more active. Simple changes you can implement into your everyday life include taking the stairs instead of the lift or parking further away from your destination and walking. If you study or work from a desk, set a timer each hour to remind you to get up, move and get a drink of water. Also make sure you take your lunch break away from your desk, going for a short walk after your meal will also help you digest and clear your mind and increase focus. Once you feel ready, you can introduce an exercise routine that works for you. Slowly increasing the amount and time and amount as it becomes easier each day.
Only recently the importance of sleep for health and overall wellbeing is being understood. When you sleep your body is resting, recovering and repairing. This is how your body recovers from daily life, exercise and what it needs to get you through the day. If you are sleep deficient, your body goes into a state of stress. This causes more stress hormones to be produced and makes it harder for your body to relax and fall asleep. Many people find it hard to switch off at the end of a busy day, getting a good quality night’s sleep is extremely important. Some steps to help you unwind include putting your phone and laptop away at least half an hour before you go to bed, get a diffuser with lavender essential oils or have a cup of hot herbal tea. Whatever you choose, creating a simple evening routine will help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
Snacking in between meals can sometimes be seen as a bad thing. However, snacks can help provide energy during the day, decrease your hunger, curb cravings and keep you from overeating at main meals. The key is making healthy, nutrient dense snack choices that are delicious and you still enjoy. Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are great as they provide your body with nutrients, fibre and protein without any refined sugars. Making sure you have healthy snack options handy throughout the day is the best way to set yourself up for success so you’re not tempted to reach for those sweet lollies or salty chips.
Making your own corn chips are a great option, baked instead of deep fried and seasoned lightly instead of heavily salted they’re satisfyingly crisp and non-greasy snack!
Baked Tortilla Chips.
Simply slice corn tortillas into triangles and spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Squeeze a little lime and sprinkle with Paprika and Himalayan pink salt. Bake chips for around 10 minutes at 160 degrees until lightly browned and crisp. The chips will continue to crisp as they cool. They are perfect dipped into hummus or guacamole!
The key to sticking to healthy habits is taking small steps when something becomes a habit you don’t need to stress or think about doing it. Creating sustainable healthy habits will make your long-term goals more achievable and help you reach them. By starting with these quick and easy tips you’ll notice a difference in no time, and your body will thank you for it.
Chantel is a food stylist, photographer and content creator based on the Gold Coast. With a background in Biomedical Science, she is passionate about whole food Nutrition and Fitness. In her spare time, you’ll find her creating delicious, healthy recipes and exploring South East Queensland’s best Cafe’s.