Keeping fit and healthy doesn’t have to be a struggle. In fact, it can be quite simple if you have the right motivation. Keeping your body in tip-top shape doesn’t need to take hours of your day, nor does it require a membership at an expensive gym. Small changes in your everyday routine that are easy and affordable can lead to big results. Incorporating healthy habits into your life is a great way to stay active and keep your body feeling its best. Recovering from illness or beginning new habits may seem like a large undertaking, but there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Read on for some helpful ideas that will support you in developing good habits for a healthier lifestyle.
Eat a balanced breakfast every morning
Starting your day off right is essential for a healthy body. A large and healthy breakfast sends your body the signal that it is eating well and should be burning fat instead of storing it. Eating a healthy breakfast can also help you avoid overeating at lunch, which helps keep your calories in check. If you’re not sure what to eat for breakfast, a few easy and healthy options are: Whole grain cereal with low-fat milk Oatmeal with fresh berries Whole grain toast with avocado Low-fat yogurt with granola Vegetable omelet A bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup is a hearty and healthy way to start any day. Besides being a good source of energy, eating a healthy breakfast can also help with weight loss since it curbs your hunger throughout the day.
Take your lunch to work
Not only is taking your lunch to work better for the environment, but it can also save you money! By packing your lunch, you can be sure that each meal is healthy, fresh and free of additives like preservatives and artificial colours. Besides the health benefits, taking your lunch to work can also save a significant amount of time each week. There’s no need to worry about finding time in your day to stop at a restaurant or ordering takeout. Take a look at your schedule, and see how much time you can set aside each week to prepare a few lunches to take to work. You’ll be thankful you did! If you’re not sure what to pack for your lunch, try these simple recipes that are perfect for work:
- Curried chickpea salad
- Chia seed pudding
- Quinoa salad
- Black bean and roasted corn salad
- Avocado and grapefruit salad
Stretch after your workout
Even if you don’t make it to the gym every day, you can still reap the benefits of stretching. After a workout, your muscles are warm, relaxed and more flexible. That’s the best time to stretch and reap those benefits! By stretching after a workout, you help reduce the risk of injury and improve your flexibility, which can aid in joint issues caused by arthritis and muscle spasms. Stretching can also help reduce stress, increase blood flow and improve your breathing. By adding a few stretches to your workout routine, you can get even more out of your workout time. Not sure where to start? Try these five basic stretches:
- Chest stretch
- Back stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Quadriceps stretch
- Calf stretch
Make (and eat) nutritious dinners
If you enjoy eating out, making a healthy dinner at home may not be top of mind. Specialty diets like vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free can be tricky to navigate at restaurants. If you want to eat out, be sure to do your research to find restaurants that offer the type of food you want. With eating at home, you have control over what you’re eating, which can help you avoid foods that are high in calories, sodium and fat. To make a healthy dinner, you first need to know what constitutes a healthy meal. A healthy meal should have a portion of protein, a portion of carbohydrates and a portion of vegetables. Your meals should also be rich in nutrients and low in calories.
Go for a walk during your coffee break
This is a simple way to fit in a little extra bit of exercise during your day. Going for a walk during your coffee break can help relieve stress, boost your metabolism and improve your overall health. It’s recommended to get 10,000 steps per day for improved health. This can be done through a combination of walking and other activities, like cycling or gardening. If you can, try to shoot for at least 10,000 steps a day. By walking during your coffee break, you can easily get in 2,000 to 3,000 steps. That’s a quarter of what you need in just 15 minutes. You can also walk to and from your destination, getting in even more steps!
Try breathing exercises
Breathing exercises, or controlled breaths, can help release tension, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. There are several different types of breathing exercises, all of which can help in different ways.
- The 4-7-8 breathing pattern is a simple exercise that can be done anywhere. It involves inhaling for a count of four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds and exhaling for eight seconds.
- The Calm Breathing Technique is another simple exercise that can be done anywhere. It involves inhaling through your nose for five seconds, holding your breath for two seconds and exhaling through your mouth for five seconds.
- The Diaphragmatic Breathing technique is a type of breathing done while lying down. It involves expanding your diaphragm, which is the muscle that separates your lungs from your abdominal cavity.
- The Progressive Relaxation technique is done while sitting or lying down. It involves tensing and relaxing certain muscles, which helps to reduce stress.
- The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise is a variation of the 4-7-8 breathing pattern, but with a focus on the nose.
- The Solar Plexus Breathing Exercise is a variation of the Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise that targets the solar plexus (the abdominal area above the belly button).
As you can see, there are many benefits associated with keeping your body and mind healthy. If you’re not sure where to start, try picking one easy change to make in your daily routine. Before long, you’ll have added several healthy habits that will keep you feeling great.