You’ve tried this, haven’t you? Numerous diets and the ever-changing myths of eating and being healthy. But, for whatever reason, you haven’t succeeded yet. Changing habits, including how you eat, takes will power, and unless you are willing to cultivate it, you will wallow in the never-ending cycle of an unhealthy lifestyle. Luckily, there is still a glimpse of hope. You can make simple, effortless adjustments that will have big health benefits, and these tips are exactly what you need. (Image Credit: Jill Wellington/Pixabay)
1. Move more often
You’ve heard that a great workout routine is vital for your health, right? But whenever you join a gym or buy a home DVD, you never seem to go past the first week. If you are struggling, try and move more often around the house, office, or during play with your tots. Starting slow might be the remedy to slowly cultivating exercise into your day. To make it effortless, swap your coffee break for a power walk around the block, stretch in the morning before you jump into the shower, and play tag with your kids. If you have a dog, make it deliberate to take walks together, and graduate to jogging after a while. With time, you will notice how easy it is to workout without feeling like it’s a boring chore.
2. Find ways to relax
After a long day at work, all you want to do is come home to a relaxing environment, but this is often not the case for most people. If your house has too much light, for instance, it could be the reason why you are unable to relax and wind down for a quiet evening. Start by eliminating blue light, then ton down brightly colored walls. Tone down loud sounds such as music, especially if you are susceptible to migraines. Invest in essential oils for migraines such as lavender and rosemary and use them in your bath when taking that long, well-deserved bath. Peppermint is also commonly used because it helps relax your muscles and relieve pain, so you get relief faster.
3. Take time away from gadgets
How much time do you spend on your phone, answering emails, and binge-watching Netflix? This is probably not the easiest habit to beat, but the changes it has on your sleep patterns and emotional wellbeing can’t be ignored. Social media is an integral part of our lives, but if you don’t take it in small doses, you risk increasing your anxiety, fear, depression, and loneliness levels unknowingly. If you get urges to check your social media every few minutes, or jump with anticipation at the slightest phone beep, you might be addicted to your gadgets.
These urges are linked to instant gratification and dopamine production. The danger with this is that if you don’t get the instant gratification and does of dopamine, you start to internalize beliefs that you are unpopular, unfunny, and uninteresting, which increases your anxiety, loneliness and makes you susceptible to depression. Instead of chatting with your friend, go out and have a good laugh over ice cream of coffee. Switch off your TV and catch a movie with your kid as you spend special time with them. Read a book instead of Facebook posts or go for a karaoke competition just because.
4. Reverse engineer your eating
Think about how you serve your meals. If you are like most people, you start by piling carbs, sprinkling some proteins, and adding veggies as an afterthought. Instead of following this model, start by filling your plate with vegetables, at least half of it, and divide the other half between carbs and proteins. Carbs are filling, but they make you hungry faster, so you are always snacking on more carbs. After you reach your daily limit of carbs, everything else is turned into sugar and fat, which pills up in all the ‘wrong’ areas. Making this simple switch will help you lose weight and give you more energy.
5. Commit yourself
It doesn’t matter how many blog posts you read about changing your health habits if you don’t act. Action is the antidote that makes it all possible, so commit the change and make a simple single-step each day until you reach your goal. Research has shown that writing down your commitment increases the chances of achieving your goals. Also, attaching an emotional reward to achieving your goal will keep you motivated and on track.
If you really want to make a change in your health and your quality of life, you must change your habits and commit to making better choices.