As 2015 begins, many people’s goals include improving their health in some kind of way, and since health can range from physical to mental well-being, this list will be diverse and easy enough that you can start after you’re done reading!
1. Drink More Water – Water is essential to life on earth and we can’t survive without it. Our bodies are more than 50% water, so staying hydrated is very important. Proper hydration will result in better skin, better kidney function as well as healthier bowel movements, amongst a list other things.
2. Take the stairs – If you have the option of taking stairs versus an elevator/escalator, use the stairs. You will burn easy calories and actually feel like you’ve had a slight workout after you get to the top/bottom. Though the stairs are a great for burning calories, they are not a replacement for leg day (Yes, you still have to participate in leg day.)
3. Fulfill your sweet craving with a fruit – Often when you have a sweet craving, one or two pieces of fruit will help tame it and put it back in it’s place. Even a glass of water can sometimes do the trick. Try it next time and you can save yourself hundreds of calories a day.
4. End a grudge – It’s amazing how apologizing for something that you did or squashing a conflict almost feels like real weight lifted off your back. You feel great after, and releases the mental stress that negativity comes with.
5. Turn routine activities into workout time – There are many things you can do in your idle time or routine activities to improve health. I do calf raises while I’m showering (also not an excuse to skip leg day!) Some people do kegal exercises while they’re at work! (umm… Google it..) You can even waist train and do kegal exercises while you work. Seriously! There are all sorts of easy and creative ways that you can improve your health with by being consistent with daily routines. Exercise your legs by giving the kids elevator rides up and down when you’re playing. Go outside and play tag with them. Get creative.
6. Make a doctor and dentist appointment – You may not think about the doctor or dentist until something goes wrong, but you can avoid things going wrong by… Going to the doctor and dentist! Develop a schedule with your doctors and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and know your health status. Many ailments are prevented or controlled with early detection. If you don’t have a primary physician or dentist, do your research and find someone that you can build a rapport with to maintain good health and medical history.
7. Invest in vitamins and supplements – Vitamins are good for providing your body with the essentials you may not be getting from your everyday foods. Supplements give you a more complete effect or boosted effect to a workout, or daily function. You can think of these as health boosters.
8. Read a self-help book – Reading in general does wonders for your mental health and can lead you down positive paths that you never even knew existed. Self-help books can provide you with ideas and ways of thinking and almost serve as mental supplements. Self-help books range in subjects about anything you want to improve about yourself, from improving your focus, to being a better salesperson. Even if you think you know everything about a particular subject, different approaches can give you new perspectives and improve on your own formulas.
9. Exfoliate your skin – Many people don’t know the magic of exfoliation. If you take a bath with a bar of soap or shower gel alone, try adding a wash cloth or loofah to the mix. Exfoliating removes layers of dead skin that build on your skin over time and instantly improve the look and feel of your skin for a softer, more even tone and feel. Exfoliating your face has the same effect.
10. Plan a cheat meal – Diets and fitness plans aren’t meant to crash the pizza and ice cream parties. They’re designed to optimize your performance and help your body become the best it can be. Cheat days are great ways to have your cake and eat it too by eating clean for 6 days and letting loose on day 7. One day during the weekend is usually the best time to schedule your cheat meal. These are fun and they give you something to look forward to during the week. The sense of accomplishment when you successfully make it to day 7 mixed with the sense of satisfaction from having your meal that you’ve been waiting on the entire week is priceless!
11. Actually complete your fitness goals – People make fitness goals every. Single. Day. You might even make the same fitness goal every day and not even realize it! “Okay, this is the last time I’m eating fast food this week”… Sure… Prove it to yourself that you can accomplish your goal and actually finish it! I’m resisting cookies as I type this, so I know it can be done! So as I I’m going to go find some fruit to eat, and you’re going to get started on your own self-improvement journey!