Healthy living can sometimes feel overwhelming. There is so much information out there! What do you do? Where do you start? What are the next steps? So many questions and too many choices when it comes to health and fitness!
I believe it’s often the simplest and the smallest changes that create the biggest impact on our lives. Confucius said, “Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed.” I love that! So, if you are looking for some simple, powerful and evidence based wellness tips then you have come to the right place!
Here are some of my favorite health and fitness tips:
1. The Seinfeld Method
Have you heard of it? Jerry Seinfeld once shared how he maintains his motivation and stays on tract with his writing. He said that he writes a big red X on every day that he writes and seeing all those big red X’s on the calendar helps him stay consistent and inspired! You can use this method with anything you wish to accomplish whether it’s working out, eating vegetables, drinking water or reading!
2. Log your food
I know it can be quite the nuisance however, it’s a powerful tool that will fast track you towards your health and fitness goals!
3. Throw out all the junk
I mean it! Toss out all the processed and sugar filled foods! That way you are left with only healthy foods like nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and you won’t be tempted to eat anything that will get you off track.
4. Don’t drink your calories
As much as possible, avoid sugar filled and calorie laden drinks. Enjoy the majority of your calories from foods that will fill your body with goodness like whole foods such as grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables!
5. Use smaller plates
The size of your plate influences how much you put on it! When you use a small plate you’ll most likely place a smaller amount of food on it compared to when you use a big plate. Also, fun fact, using blue plates and bowls helps you eat less since most foods are not blue and it makes it appear like you have more food on your plate than you really do!
6. Eat slowly
Most food takes about 20 minutes to digest, so take your time! This will help you feel when you are truly satisfied and not be tempted to overeat.
7. Stay hydrated
Aim to drink 80-120 ounces of water a day! Drinking enough water promotes weight loss, improves metabolism and enhances your energy!
8. Take the occasional cold shower
There are so many benefits! Cold showers increase blood circulation, reduces muscle soreness, increases alertness, increase heart rate and oxygen intake and it’s great for your hair and skin!
9. Limit caffeine
Caffeine can effect quality of sleep which is paramount to your health so try to cut of caffeine by 2pm to protect your sleep!
The benefits of meditation are endless! It helps preserve the aging brain by increasing grey matter, it also helps reduce activity in the brain by quieting the DMN (default mode network) which helps focus the wandering mind. Meditation’s effects rival antidepressants for depression and anxiety, it is also known to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus which governs learning and memory and certain areas that regulate emotions and processing.
11. Exercise your mind
Do you enjoy puzzles? There are so many benefits to sitting down and working on a crossword, sudoku, word search or any other type of mind twister that allows you to slow down, think and concentrate. It helps de-stress, improve focus, memory, problem solving ability, increases productivity and your mood!
12. Slow down (and smell the roses)
The simple act of slowing down and smelling your food, coffee, a candle etc. can help you lower your stress and increase your mental health.
13. Prioritize sleep
Sleep literally effects everything from weight loss to heart health! Quality of sleep is pivotal to your overall health. So snuggle up and get a good night sleep!
14. Meal prep
Cook double, triple, quadruple! All right that may be a bit much but cook enough so that you have extras to eat throughout the week! Having healthy meals and snacks prepped will give you a major step up and help you stay on track.
15. You don’t have to buy everything organic
You can shop the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15. The Clean 15 are the top 15 foods with the least pesticides and the dirty dozen are the foods with the most pesticides. This is where you can find the lists.
16. Create a killer playlist
Music motivates and inspires and the right playlist can really up your workout game!
17. Consistency is everything
You do not have to workout for an hour or even two hours a day to get results. Sometimes, simplicity is best and consistency is truly your key to success. Do what you can with what you have and stay on the path and you will find yourself getting the results you desire.
18. Do group training
Working out in a class lends powerful results! There are so many benefits to working out in a class with like-minded people. It will help you stay motivated, inspired, accountable and it is really fun! Plus, studies show that endorphin levels increase substantially when exercising in a group! Yay endorphins!
19. Turn off electronics while eating
Not only will you be able to focus and enjoy the people you are with but you will be able to eat more mindfully, truly taste your food and be aware of your satiety level!
20. Write it down
Research suggest that writing down our thoughts and emotions can help reduce our daily stress and help us feel more grateful.
21. Hire a personal trainer
We all find ourselves at one point or another without motivation or desire to workout. It can be really hard to push ourselves especially if we are working out alone. A personal trainer can help with all that! Not only will they hold you accountable, educate you, make health and fitness fun and interesting, but working out with a trainer will help increase your motivation and intensity during your workouts!
22. Spend time outside
Soak in the sunshine! Spending time outdoors makes it easy to get exercise, it boosts your energy and immune system, enhances creativity and focus and gives you a healthy dose of vitamin D. The benefit are endless! So, go out and enjoy the great outdoors!
23. Drink less (or at least drink smarter)
Science says drinking alcohol can disrupt your sleep by preventing the chemical interactions that take place during deeper stages of the sleep cycle. So, you might be able to get a lot of hours of sleep but it probably won’t be quality sleep.
24. Dedicate a workout spot
This might mean utilizing a random corner in your house or just putting down a yoga mat right where you are! Simply changing up your environment from work time, sleep time, play time or relaxation time will get you in the right mindset!
25. Sign up for a race or competition
A special event is a powerful motivating tool that can help you stay on track as well as push yourself to the next level!
It’s SO important! If you don’t allow your body to rest you risk burn out and possibly injury. Rest is just as important as working out in improving performance, health and fitness. So, kick up those heels, grab a good book and relax.
27. Shop the Perimeter
Stay on the outside of the grocery store where fresh foods are provided. This will ensure a quicker shopping experience and it will help you center your meals around fresh ingredients and whole foods.
28. Spice it up
Skip the sauces and go right for the spices! Sauces tend to be processed and sugar laden plus most herbs and spices have tons of health benefits from improving your digestive system to protecting against cancer. Plus, it enhances flavor!
29. Go bananas on smoothies!
It’s one of the simplest ways to get more fruits and veggies in your diet!
30. Respect the sun
Use sunscreen often when you spend time outdoors! We all love a good tan, but we must protect our skin! Using sunscreen reduces the risk of skin cancer, protects against sunburn, helps avoid inflammation, prevents early onset of wrinkles and fine lines and stops DNA damage. The reasons are endless! So, grab your sunscreen and go outside!
It takes great flexibility, grace and dedication to be healthy. It’s not easy, but your health and fitness are worth it. So, think big, dream big and keep your eyes on the prize. You’ve got this!
Cheers to not getting overwhelmed, keeping it simple and focusing on what matters.