It occurs to me, though pretty infrequently, that not everyone in the world is immersed in healthy eating, working out and beet burgers quite the way the community of healthy living bloggers are. People post about Green Monster Smoothies, TRX Workouts and running half marathons and the like, but there isn’t nearly enough information out there (in my opinion) for those who are either just starting out or just renewing their interest in healthy living. I also know that too much information, too much change can intimidate people and squash motivation. To that end, I’ve put together what I consider to be a few FAIRLY easy changes to make in life to start down the path of health (which I HIGHLY recommend!)
1. Drink more water.
This was a very difficult one for me, as I am a Diet Coke addict and often find water to be a bit mundane. Recently, I discovered a way to trick myself – I purchased a new Camelbak Groove! Due to my love of straws, I am sucking down agua like never before. In the morning, I generally slice up a bit of lemon to flavor my beverage, and in recent days, I have been known to down upwards of eight bottle-fuls! Another way to ease into this is by drinking sparkling water/club soda – it still fizzes like soda! Benefits of drinking water include:
-weight loss/management: water not only makes you feel full and curbs hunger, but it also flushes out your system and rids you of fat breakdown by-products.
-immune system boost: aside from being an immune booster itself, it also keeps you hydrated and energetic for your workouts, which ALSO helps bolster immunity.
-hydration = more alert, better brain function and healthier skin! There is definitely a noticeable difference for me on days when I drink tons of water versus the ones when I don’t.
2. Get more sleep.
Another tough prospect for me, a self-proclaimed night owl. But it really does make a difference in terms of your overall alertness, how frequently you get sick and your ability to work out (especially if you do it first thing in the morning!) At this point, I’m afraid I may have gone too far and I get too many zzz’s, but they say that between 7-9 hours is best for most people, and you can find out what your optimal night’s rest is by going to bed at a decent time on the weekend and not setting an alarm, so your body can tell you how much sleep it needs. This is a link to a great article about some surprising benefits of sleep that will get you snoozing at a normal time of night!
3. Eat Breakfast.
It seems counterintuitive that eating could aid in weight loss/management. BUT, eating breakfast is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle, in my opinion. Getting some calories in your body first thing in the morning (especially if they come from lean protein!) can help jumpstart your metabolism, as well as keeping you full throughout the morning so that you don’t get to the point of ravenous and start downing cookies at 11am. Also, if you work out in the morning, it’s important to get some food in your system not TOO long afterward to optimize the benefits from your sweat session. This article from WebMD addresses specifics about what kinds of food to eat. Some of my favorite post workout breakfasts include a whey-protein smoothie, eggs (with cheese, salsa, veggies mixed in) or oatmeal!