Despite some of our indulgences, it’s safe to say we all have a desire to be healthy and we all take steps to improve our overall health. We cut things from our diet, we develop a training routine and try to eat better. But small changes won’t make a difference in the long run. Being healthy means living a healthy lifestyle. Throughout the day you need to make the smart choices and putting in that extra effort that will greatly benefit your lifestyle and have you living a healthier lifestyle.
Step 1: Drink a glass of water.
The first thing you should do when you wake in the morning is have a tall glass of water. Most of us are usually pretty thirsty in the morning so this might already be a part of your routine, but there are surprising benefits to drinking some water as soon as you hop out of bed. In the night, your metabolism slows as your body sleeps therefore, it needs some time to get going in the morning. If you start your day immediately with some breakfast, your metabolism is going to be slow at breaking that food down. A glass of water is like an alarm clock to let your body know it’s time to start working.
Step 2: Get some exercise.
Of course, exercise is an important part of any day and the struggle is to find a time to squeeze it into your schedule. Well, instead of trying to work it into each new day, start your mornings with it. After you have your glass of water, head right out for a jog or trip to the gym. It might feel strange and even uncomfortable exercising on an empty stomach but it has been shown this technique can help with weight loss. It’s a great way to get it over with early and start your day with some energy.
Step 3: A balanced breakfast.
What we eat obviously has a massive impact on our overall health, and breakfast isn’t known as the most important meal of the day for nothing. Some people think grabbing something small on their way out the door is being health conscious and means they can have a bigger lunch, but that’s the wrong approach. Take some time to have a proper meal with protein, fibre and some fruit. Don’t grab a bagel or muffin on your way, instead start with something delicious and balanced to get the day off on the right track.
Step 4: Remember posture.
Once you’re at work, it’s easy to get caught up in the tasks of the day, but even when you’re just sitting at your desk there are plenty of health-related things to keep in mind. One thing people often forget about is their posture at work. Office chairs are not always designed with your back’s health in mind. Sitting with bad posture day in and day out can lead to some pretty painful and debilitating conditions later on. Boomers especially have to be aware of such things. Keep a good posture as you work and talk to your company about changes that might need to be made to your work station.
Step 5: Keep drinking water.
While you’re working away, remember to keep drinking water. For most people, it’s a cup of coffee sitting next to them at their desk all day but you’ll be much better off with a bottle of water. Again, keeping hydrated can help to keep your metabolism working all day long and helps to burn off any calories you might be taking in during the day. It also helps to keep your energy up and prevents you from crashing when that caffeine inevitably wares off.
Step 6: A small lunch.
At lunchtime, you want to aim for a meal that more-or-less resembles your breakfast. Most people tend to go for the easiest option for their lunch which is often the least healthy option. Stay away from the fast food and food court lunches, all that grease will make you sluggish for the rest of the day. Instead, plan ahead and pack a lunch that is balanced, nutritious and delicious (yes, it is possible). Believe it or not, but when you fuel your body with these kinds of things, you body just functions more efficiently.
Step 6: Easy on the caffeine in the afternoon.
Some days you just feel like you can’t shake off last night’s sleep. No matter what you do, you feel like you’re falling asleep and can’t seem to get the energy up. Most of us use coffee as a cure for those days, but once noon hits, it’s time to say good day to caffeine. While coffee isn’t a highly recommended beverage at anytime of the day, to avoid an angry mob I won’t suggest you give it up entirely. However, caffeine in the afternoon is doing more harm than good. At that point, it isn’t helping you stay awake for the rest of the day, it’s guaranteeing you’ll have another terrible night’s sleep.
Step 7: Snack healthy.
Yes, even when trying to live a healthy lifestyle you can still have the occasional snack. For some of us, it can be a little tough making it to supper time without a little something. But as always, moderation and smart choices helps to keep it healthy. Those bags of chips and candy bars aren’t doing you any good. Instead, go for the healthier option of nuts, fruits and veggies, and even the occasional dark chocolate. It might not sound as appetizing, but if you stick to this healthier path of snacking then in time those junk food cravings will disappear.
Step 8: Take the occasional break.
We all have busy days at the office, some days it just doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to get everything done. However, even when you’re in a race against the clock, taking the occasional short break is not only good for your health, but also your sanity. We all need those moments to just get away from the desk, stretch and maybe take a walk. It gets the blood flowing and actually helps to get you a little more productive for the rest of the day. This is especially important if you’re working in front of a screen all day as your eyes need the break as much as your mind.
Step 9: Plan for the next day.
With the work day done and you’re happily back home, you might want to do a few small preparations for the next day before you relax. Preparing your lunch for the next day, doing any necessary grocery shopping helps to avoid those meal time dilemmas about what to eat which all too often ends with fast food. This little bit of prep for the following day will be worth it in the end.
Step 10: Portion control your dinner.
When it comes to your dinner, a nice balance of protein, grain and veggies is the smart way to go, but the thing most people have trouble with is portion control. That’s right, you just might be over-serving yourself at dinner, taking more than you need. You might feel hungry at dinner time and you might even lick the plate clean, but then do you have that uncomfortably full stomach afterwards? Most of us eat too fast to realize when we’ve actually had enough. It takes time for our body to register that we’re full so if we don’t give our body time to let us know, then we overeat. Try smaller portions and see if that satisfies your hunger.
Step 11: Avoid alcohol and screen too close to bed.
As you’re settling down for the night, some of like to unwind with an alcoholic beverage. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as it is done in moderation and safely. However, it’s best to keep those drinks to earlier in the evening rather than at the end. Studies have shown that alcohol before bed can cause an uneven sleep and is harder to burn off when you’re asleep. Have a drink when you get home but stick to a warm glass of milk for your night-cap.
Step 12: No screens in bed.
In today’s age, it’s not too often people go long without looking at a screen of some sort. Whether it’s watching television, on the computer or on your handheld device, our faces are always buried in some screen. But come bed time, it’s best to retire the screens for the night. The brightness on your eyes can make it harder to get a solid sleep. Take a book to bed with you and give your eyes a much-needed rest from the screens.