When I am chatting with others I meet or conversations on Facebook or in online communities I belong it always surprises me how much I hear others say that they have no time to be healthy or work on their fitness. I totally understand a busy life, but when it comes to staying healthy and fit it is very important for us to slow down and fit it in. I thought I would bring you all some great daily tips for staying healthy. These are simple, and don’t take a ton of your daily time. I thought I would include some of mine, and some of Andrea Woroch’s tips who is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles.
Smile ~ A study on human responses to smiling conducted by the University of Kansas and reported in Psychological Science found that those who grin feel better emotionally and physically, especially during difficult situations. Smiling also helped lower stress and improved heart health. Smile at people you don’t know, and see what their reaction is. A smile is catchy, like a cold.. but way better for you.
Walk ~ The popular step counter, Fitbit, recommends taking 10,000 steps each day while the average American only takes 5,000. Add extra steps to your daily routine by opting for a parking spot at the back of the lot, going for a work-walk meeting with your colleagues, and skipping the escalator or elevator in favor of the stairs which helps you burn 40 percent more calories! Take your pets for a walk, because they need the exercise as well.
Stand and Stretch ~ Those who spend most of the day sitting — whether at a desk for work or after hours slouched on the couch watching TV — could be at increased risk for cancer and heart disease. When at work, make sure to get up every hour and move around, use a stand-up desk or take a conference call for a walk. Set reminders on your computer to get up a few times throughout the day to stretch your legs. I make a point of getting up to do things like dishes, laundry, let the dogs out, and even will get up and lay on the floor to pump out some crunches or a plank.
Watch What You Eat ~ Knowing calorie, fat and sodium content of food can help you better understand what to eat and what to avoid. This is especially important when eating out, since the calorie and fat content of dishes can be misleading. For example, a diner at Applebee’s might be surprised to learn the Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger has less calories, fat and sodium than the Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad. There are many great phone apps that help with keeping track of your calories or intake every day. I use the Fitbit one, but there are many others that help.
Bike It ~ Riding your bike can boost your energy by 20 percent, according to a study reported by Women’s Health magazine. Use your bike to get to and from work, run errands around town and meet up with friends for brunch on the weekend. I have just recently rediscovered my love for riding my bike. I have an older mountain bike, but still enjoy an evening ride with my hubby.
Workout at Home ~ There are tons of great sites that offer free workout videos at home with cardio and strength-training moves. Check BodyRock for high-intensity interval training workouts. If you’re looking for something more mellow, check out the free videos at YogaDownload and stretch your way to a leaner body! There are many fitness experts on Facebook that post daily workouts as well. A person doesn’t have to pay for great workouts anymore, if you just do a little research.
Share a Workout ~ You probably have a few workout DVDs collecting dust in your media center. If you’re sick of the routines, call up some friends and organize a DVD swap to get fresh workouts for free! Better yet, schedule a time to do the workout with a friend so you’re more motivated to get up and go. You might find that a friend has a workout that you have been eyeballing but didn’t have the money to buy. Great way to try new things.
Cheap Fitness Gear ~ There are tons of treasures waiting to be plucked up from garage sales in your area and it’s a great way to get cheap workout equipment like dumbbells, benches, jump ropes and even cardio machines. Review your daily newspaper for upcoming listings or simply go for a spin around town on Saturday morning to find signs pointing you to various sales. Many people run groups on Facebook for local swapping. I myself run a few and they are great for finding all kinds of goodies, cheap.
Step on It ~ People who use a scale on a daily basis were found to maintain their body weight which is crucial to heart health. According to a study reported on by Prevention magazine, daily weighers dropped twice as many pounds as weekly weighers. The article also suggests basic, cheap scales are preferable to high-tech ones that also purport to measure your body fat and muscle weight. Win win! I weigh myself every morning, at about the same time. Doing this helps me keep myself inline from day to day. I know my body will fluctuate, so take into account time of month or what I ate/drank the day before. But, I know if I see a number I don’t like, I can fix that by watching my intake that day.
Close Your Eyes ~ Getting a minimum of seven to eight hours of Zs is crucial for well being, brain power and weight maintenance. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, review your bedtime rituals. Make sure your TV and gadgets are turned off 30 to 60 minutes before bed as the light keeps your mind racing. Doing some light yoga helps to relax you as well. I love some light evening yoga, and using some essential oils to drift off to sleep.
Food Groups ~ Eating the suggested daily portions of vegetables and fruit are crucial to overall health. The more colorful your plate, the more nutrients you consume to fight fat and disease. When shopping for produce, choose organic wisely and avoid paying a premium for fruits and veggies with tough skins. You can also save by opting for frozen berries and vegetables which contain the same vitamins and nutrients than the fresh options. Making sure you get a well rounded daily intake either by juicing things you don’t care for, or eating a good mix of fruits, veggies, protein and good carbs.
Water, Water, Water ~ It is so important to drink plenty of water every day. You should drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. per day. Or at least try for the 8, 8 oz glasses of water. Water helps your body in so many ways, so don’t order a pop next time you go out to eat… just have water.
Research and Learn ~ If ever in question on anything in life, the internet is only a click away. Research is key, every day, to learn about ways you can stay healthy. Sites like Molina Healthcare are great places to find information on daily questions. I find that we research many things online, and there are days I can’t imagine what we did without internet.
Extra Time ~ There are always a few minutes here and there in your day that you can squeeze in something that will do your body good. Set you alarm for 15 minutes earlier than normal and do some yoga to start your day. Put the kids to bed 1/2 hour early so you can unwind and do yoga, or a workout video, or just have some alone time to relax. Hire a baby sitter once a week so you can hit the gym, or go for a run/walk or take a fitness class. Lots of ideas, all that is needed is you to implement one of them.
Whatever you do, daily, just make every day the best you can.