[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ust a few simple habits can make the difference between a fit person and a couch potato. We want to share 8 simple yet effective habits that will help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
SMALL STEPS TO BIG CHANGE
Waking up early is one of the best ways to be more productive. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are early risers. Getting up earlier is going to take time to adjust to, but once you make it a habit, you will never look back.
- The best method is to do it gradually. If you normally get up at 8 a.m, don’t suddenly force yourself to wake up at 6 a.m. Try 7:45 first.
- Do you have a tendency to hit the snooze alarm? Put your alarm clock across the room. It will force you to leave your bed to turn it off.
- If you sleep through your alarm, consider buying a no-mercy alarm clock. Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels will literally force you out of bed.
- Get excited. The night before, think of what you’d like to do in the morning. The first task listed should get you excited enough to part with your comfy bed.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It nourishes your skin, boosts metabolism and helps you feel energized. So how much do you need? Experts recommend men should drink about 13 cups of total fluids a day and women about 9 cups.
- Keep a glass of water by your bedside and drink it as soon as you get up every day.
- If you dislike the lack of taste, infuse your water with fruits, vegetables and herbs. I recommend adding slices of lemon and lime to make it more enjoyable.
- Invest in a water bottle that you’ll actually use and take it with you to work or college and sip it throughout the day
- Keep track of your water intake with apps like Daily Water Free or Waterlogged.
Aim to get your exercise done and out of the way before a million excuses start to form. Not only morning exercises are easier to stick to, it also boosts your mood and may help you sleep better.
- Pack accordingly the night before. Put out clothes, sneakers, and earbuds and get to bed early.
- Have a delicious breakfast ready and waiting
- Mix up your routine so that your fitness routine doesn’t bore you and you’re actually excited to workout!
- Don’t have time? Squeeze HIIT into your morning routine. Besides convenience, high-intensity training has been shown to be more effective than other forms of training.
Many of us resort to eating fast food or unhealthy snacks because we don’t have the time to cook. A simple solution to this problem is to prepare ahead. Come up with a meal plan for your week so you know exactly what to buy at the grocery shop and you are less likely to eat out. Spend extra time on Sunday and cook several portions at once. Then when you are hungry simply reheat them.
- Vary your menu each week and don’t be afraid to try out new meals
- Get Menu Planner. With this app, you can import your favorite recipes from various food websites, plan out your week and create a grocery list with one tap
- Embrace frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruit is great for making quick morning smoothie while frozen vegetables can be easily cooked and used for side dishes or thrown into pasta or rice.
Fit people don’t diet. Obsessing over every calorie is no way to live. Most successful fit people make health a lifestyle and enjoy all the foods – but in smaller quantities. You don’t want to feel deprived. In fact, the worst thing you can do is be too strict and then rebound by overeating because you’re not satisfied.
Follow the 80/20 rule. This means you eat healthy 80% of the time and 20% you eat what you want. This might mean having a 150-calorie treat daily or saving it all up for a big meal out on the weekend.
You never know when you will be in need of a snack. When we find ourselves starving and without food, that is when we tend to make poor choices and end up eating a whole chocolate bar in one go. A good idea is to keep a serving of nuts in your bag and snack on these instead.
Learn more about healthy snacks in our article of which “healthy snacks” are that bad for weight loss.
Many people struggle to fall asleep because their mind is racing with thoughts of what they have to do in the future. Spend a little time before you get in bed to write out a to-do list for the next day. Not only will this reduce stress, but it will help keep you organized and more productive
- Prioritize tasks by importance, That way, you immediately know where to begin your work the next morning, improving your productivity
- Get the most important or difficult task done first. It will make the rest of your day seem like a breeze by comparison.
- There are a million tech tools to help you get organized. Evernote is my favorite. It lets you capture, store and search for any type of information you can imagine. Todoist provides an easy way to create to-do lists.
Getting a good night’s sleep is an often neglected aspect of your health. Sleep is critical for a strong immune system, metabolism, anti-aging – the list goes on! You should always aim for between seven and eight hours of sleep per night.
- Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime. The blue light emitted by your device is especially disruptive. You can minimize this by turning the brightness down or using light-altering software such as f.lux.
- Be smart about what you eat and drink. Limit caffeine and avoid eating big meals at night.
BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR NEW HABITS
Each of these habits may seem small by itself, but over time they can have a snowball effect on your health. But don’t try to adopt all these habits at once. Pick one and adopt it in your life. Once it becomes a habit, pick the next.
Do not be fooled by the commonly held perception that new habits take 21 days to form. New research shows that the average time it takes for a new habit to stick is 66 days! It takes time, but don’t be discouraged. With consistency, it will happen and rewards may even change your life!
And learn more about the power of habit on our blog.