You want to feel skinnier/healthier/more energized but you don’t want to turn your whole life upside down to get there. I get it. Life is stressful enough without counting every grain of rice on your plate! Here are some suggestions for small things you can do in your everyday life to start seeing big results!
I’m sure you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it’s true! Eating breakfast (or not eating breakfast) can set the tone for your whole day. So, why not start your day on a positive note!?
Starting your day with a healthy meal reduces cravings for the rest of the day and may actually reduce how much you eat in general for the rest of the day! Talk about an easy way to drop a few pounds! People who eat breakfast are 4 times less likely to be obese, and eating breakfast every day may reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 34%! If that doesn’t convince you to eat breakfast, I don’t know what will.
Aim for a breakfast high in protein and fiber for the best health-boosting effects.
Park in the Back!
You’ve eaten your breakfast (or packed it to eat at work), and now you’re pulling into your office parking lot. There’s an open spot right next to the door, and you are going to drive on by and go to the spot farthest away from the door! The extra steps it takes you to get inside will add up fast over the week. And who couldn’t use an extra minute to gather their thoughts before diving into email?
It may not seem like much, but that’s what this whole post is about! Walking a little farther every day will help you burn a couple extra calories on your way in and out of work (bonus points if you have to run through the rain!) and give you a minute to gather your thoughts. Walking can help you lose weight and reduce blood pressure. So once you get used to that parking lot distance, maybe you’ll want to start parking down the street!
Take the Stairs!
Whenever possible, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Not only will you get a bit of a workout, but you’ll avoid that awkward Monday morning elevator conversation with the random guy who has to tell you everything he did all weekend!
If you have trouble with climbing stairs (my knees start to get angry after about one flight), work your way up to it. Maybe take the elevator up and the stairs down. Or climb up one flight and take the elevator the rest of the way. Remember, small changes today!
Turn TV Time into a Fitness Game!
We’ve all turned a favorite (or terrible) tv show or movie into a drinking game at some point in time (stop lying, you know you have). Try turning them into a fitness game! Instead of drinking every time something happens, assign an exercise to it. Here are some ideas to get you started (this may be the most fun thing I have ever had to research!).
- Jurassic Park. Do five crunches every time you see the Jurassic Park logo.
- Die Hard. Do a push-up every time anyone is killed or injured. (Warning: Your arms may not work by the end of the movie!)
- The Big Lebowski. Hold a plank whenever they are bowling.
- Star Trek: Any of the Series. Do five squats every time they open hailing frequencies.
- Cheers. Do bicep curls whenever Norm drinks.
Turn Off Your Screens!
Playing on your phone/tablet/computer right around bedtime can actually disrupt your sleep patterns. The light from your devices may actually trick your brain into thinking that it’s earlier in the day than it is. Alerts going off all night, even if they don’t wake you up, also break into your sleep leaving you cranky and tired in the morning. Believe it or not, getting insufficient sleep can lead to weight gain, sickness, and strained relationships with everyone who has the misfortune of running into you in the morning. So make sure you are getting your z’s!
It may be crazy to suggest that you leave your phone in another room at night. I use mine as my alarm clock; so I can’t even do that. But there are things you can do to reduce their impact on your sleep.
- Use your device’s night mode. My iPhone has a setting under “Display” that filters out the blue tones at night. The more amber tone is less similar to daylight; so it may shift your brain’s concept of the time of day less.
- Use your device’s “Do Not Disturb” mode. Minimize your phone’s activity overnight by turning on “Do Not Disturb”. This will prevent your screen from lighting up every time someone “likes” your latest Facebook status but will still allow your alarm to wake you up. The iPhone even has a loophole to still allow those important 2 am calls from your mom/brother/boss to still ring (just mark them as “Favorite” contacts).
What small changes have you made to make your life healthier? Or where would you like a small change, but you’re not sure how to? Leave a comment to get the conversation going!