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Getting a handle on health goals can often be done with simple changes done regularly. Small dietary changes can lead to big results over time, and small adjustments in your activity level can greatly improve your overall fitness. Awareness of when and how to make these changes is critical.
Add Raw and Fresh Foods
Instead of cereal and toast with jam, try a piece of peanut butter toast with fresh fruit. Split an apple with your roommate and boost your Vitamin C level and your fiber intake. Instead of orange juice, section and eat an orange slowly, savoring each bite.
We’re supposed to get five servings of fresh fruits and veggies each day. If you’re nowhere near that, try adding something raw to each meal or snack until your taste buds crave it, then bump up your intake.
Cut Back on Sugars
Even if you’re already staying away from sugary sodas and candy, there are a lot of hidden sugars in many of our favorite foods. Again, it’s a matter of changing your mindset and mouth-set to be aware of hidden sugars and learning to eat foods with less sweetness.
Skip the fruit-flavored yogurt and add fresh berries to plain yogurt. To get accustomed to the tartness of plain yogurt, sprinkle granola on top to add a bit of tangible sweetness.
Make Your Workout Automatic
If you get a dog, you likely have at least one daily walk in your future. Even if you can’t get a dog right now, try to arrange your day so you can get exercise first thing in the morning.
Before your day gets busy, get out and walk, jog or cycle.
If you don’t have a gym membership, remember that a decent pair of sneakers and weather-appropriate gear make walking easy. Treat yourself to a good-quality water bottle and fill it before you go to bed so you can walk and hydrate as soon as you get up.
Look For Natural Solutions
If you struggle with occasional back or joint pain, look for a pool in your area where you can walk along the edge, jog in the deep end, or do water aerobics. Getting in the water can lift your spirits and allow you to stretch more deeply than you would on land.
For those who struggle with seasonal allergies, keeping a food and activity journal can help. For many, considering natural homeopathic allergy remedies can also reduce the discomfort of allergies while protecting your natural immune response.
A food journal can also help you get a handle on chronic pain. Track what you eat daily and how you feel before bed, then try pairing back on processed foods, including anything that contains white flour and sugar. These foods contribute to inflammation, which can make your pain worse.
Add Stress Management to Your Schedule
It’s been a very nervous year. You may struggle to fall asleep at the end of a long day, or you may wake up anxious and spend your day exhausted. Finding a way to wind down at the end of each day is critical to getting on top of stress.
There’s no such thing as a stress-free life, but it is possible to use stress to help you
- build resilience
- develop a more creative brain
- increase your self-confidence
If you can’t seem to get a handle on your stress load, start with exercise. Get out and move your body through space as possible and hydrate as you do so. Even if you accomplish nothing but lifting your spirits, you’ll be better prepared to tackle your problems when you get home.
Another step in managing stress is to find time and space to meditate. If you’re not comfortable with the word meditation, consider prayer. Read a page from a devotional book as soon as you get up to help your center. Once you’re in better brain space, many insurmountable problems become easier and more manageable.
Small steps can make big differences over time. If you really want to be able to do a 200-pound chest press but can only do 20 now, building up over the coming weeks and months will be healthier and safer than rushing it. Better habits plus incremental increases over time can help you build a healthier life.