Health is always a top goal for the year so whether you hit your goals or you accomplished some goals last year, you’re going to find something in here that you can start implementing right away. Here are 12 habits that you can adopt take to up-level your health and fitness goals:
- Eat Breakfast Every Single Day. Breakfast is the most important food of the day so always make sure you don’t skip it. If you are in a hurry, you can eat your leftover dinner, what matters is that you’re putting something in your body within 30 minutes to one hour after waking up to fuel your body. When you do this, you will discover that you have more energy and more focus for throughout the day.
- Track Your Activity. You can achieve this by keeping a food journal. It’s been proven that people who keep an active food journal are more conscious about the food they’re putting in their body and they eat fewer calories throughout the day. Try tracking your activity and everything you put in your mouth for a week just to see how it feels. You can use FtBit, an activity tracker or start focusing on what are you doing every day to move your body, whether it’s a hard workout or you’re just dancing in the kitchen. When you start tracking your activity you will become conscious of what you’re doing and not doing.
- Cook At Home More. This one thing can really help you slash unnecessary calories. Every time you eat out you can plan on consuming an extra 200 calories than if you made the exact same meal at home. Just by cooking at home you are going to save calories. Some of my clients and a lot of the people I see, eat out one to two times a day. One time a day, 200 calories, that’s 1,400 extra calories through the week. If you find yourself eating out a lot, consciously choose to cut that back, start planning your meals, and start learning how to cook at home more often.
- Eat Healthy Snacks. Incorporating more healthy snacks into your day means you’re not going to want to hit the vending machine or the drive-through on the way home. Plan ahead and have healthy snacks in your refrigerator or in your desk ready to go. Healthier snacks can help you with energy and help you feel full for longer, it will get you through those mid-afternoon slumps when your blood sugar starts to drop and you start to notice yourself more fatigued and less focused.
- Drink More Water. I know in the wintertime it’s especially hard because in the summertime we are more active, more outside and in the heat, we need that water. In winter we actually need water a lot more because there’s less moisture in the air so you find yourself dehydrated and with dry skin. Water, more water can help you with that, it will help to hydrate you and combat that pushback on the lack of humidity and moisture in the air.
- Walk More. Yes, let’s just choose to walk more. When I first started out, I didn’t have time for workouts and I didn’t have a gym membership so I just started pushing my kids in the stroller in the afternoon a couple days a week. That might be it for you. If you’re not working out at all, you might choose to go for an afternoon walk two to three days a week. Or you can go join a gym, get on the treadmill, walk around the track or even be as little as taking the steps when you have the chance or parking at the back of the parking lots and walking that extra distance. Taking every extra chance you can to just get a little bit of activity in your day is going to add up big for you.
- Get Good Sleep. Sleep is very important. People who lack sleep eat more, they’re less likely to be active, they struggle with energy and they struggle with focus. Just getting more sleep can really help you in all different areas of your life. About 7 to 9 hours of sleep is recommended, but the average American only gets four to six. If that’s you, then start choosing to go to bed a little earlier and push your wake up time back a little bit if you can and make sure you are getting enough sleep to give you energy throughout the day.
- Meal Prep. This is something a lot of people struggle with. Even people who are eating healthy still find difficulty with this meal prep thing. They want to eat healthily or they do try, however, they’re not really great at planning their meals and snacks throughout the day. By learning to plan ahead of time, you will find out that you will gradually stop eating out and stop going to the vending machine. Plan your meals for the week or even for the day and it will save you time, money and calories.
- Relaxation and Self-Care. We live in a society with a lot of hustle and bustle and we hardly step back and give ourselves that time to rest and relax. Relaxation and self-care are so essential, it can help with weight loss because if you are overly stressed, your body sometimes won’t be able to lose weight. So try taking about 15 minutes in the morning to relax, or 15 minutes before you go to bed, maybe start a journal about your feelings, that can be helpful. Try reading, taking a walk, or incorporating a spa day on your day off or get your hair done. These are all ways that you can relax and start to just be present in the moment and not be so much about your to-do list.
- Reduce Processed Sugar. I recommend not eating anything out of a box or anything that has more than five ingredients. I like to play with the 80/20 rule, as long as you’re eating healthy 80% of the time, that 20% isn’t going to affect you so much. Start to recognize how much processed sugar you’re really putting into your body and different ways that you can cut back on them. Most drinks we take has a lot of sugar in them whether it’s soda or your coffee drinks, even smoothies have a lot of sugar, yes it is good sugar, but it is still sugar. Learn to read the back of the labels and see how much sugar is in the stuff you’re drinking and eating.
- Eat More Healthy Fats. Healthy fats can really help with depression and with inflammation. Fat is essential for our health so we need to have lots of healthy fats in our diet, but there is a difference in the different kinds of fats you’re getting. I recommend nuts and seeds, avocado, salmon, fatty fishes, olive oil, coconut oil. If you know you don’t get enough fat or especially if you don’t eat a lot of fish, then you might want to incorporate a fish oil supplement to your diet.
- Help Your Family Get More Active. This is something we do, especially in the summertime, a little bit in the winter. We like to just plan our weekends around being active, and just something that we can do as a family, so we’re bonding and we’re spending time together as a family and we’re still getting our workout in and activities in. This can really help establish some healthy habits into your kids and if you’re having trouble getting your husband on board, this can help because you’re spending time with them and you’re inviting him along for the journey. Same for your kids, the obesity rate in children is rising so the more you can get your kids active, the more you can help make sure that they don’t fall into that statistic.
I hope this has been helpful, you can take one, you can take all, or you can try to incorporate one new habit every single month.