Why wait until the new year to make some easy habits for a healthier lifestyle?
Sometimes when we think about making “healthy lifestyle” changes, tomorrow is always better, or my personal fave, when people say ‘Oh I’ll start on Monday’. Well Monday always comes, but the changes never do. If you over think, it could be overwhelming, and it doesn’t have to be.
The same old tired, yet still healthy and beneficial comes to mind when we first think about making healthy habits.
- Eat healthy
- Drink lots of water
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Don’t smoke
- Stay out of the sun
Now clearly all of these things are important, but it’s also a very broad generalization of things that can be broken down into smaller bits to make it easier to incorporate into our busy everyday lives. Although, I don’t feel we need to get too crazy by cutting out the booze, wink, wink. Here is where I’ll play the “everything in moderation” card.
Slow and steady changes make the progression that much easier, and before you know it…..these new healthy habits, become your healthy lifestyle.
Let’s break it down~
The Right Food Choices
To me perspective is everything. I personally try to avoid the D word…..because when someone says diet, people tend to have images of themselves being hungry or “hangry” all the time, counting calories, weighing their food or depriving themselves of that one special craving. To that I say:I’m talking about making some simple changes that can be easily put into practice on a daily basis. What are these changes you say? Well, I’m so glad you asked.
Let’s start with a trip to the grocery store. Limit your middle of the store purchases. Boxed, canned and frozen items are usually processed and loaded with all thee unmentionables. You know what they are….sodium, carbohydrates, fat, sugar etc. Yikes!
Instead, stick to the perimeter of the store, that’s where all the good stuff is. Load your cart up with fruits, veggies and nuts. I have a bowl of raw almonds and walnuts on my dining table, just walk by grab a few, great crunch and a quick little snack. Now that you have all these fruits and veggies….wash, slice n’ dice and store in the fridge for an easy, healthy go to snack. Blueberries, cucumbers, carrots, pomegranate seeds oh my…..all within easy reach. Access and availability are key for when we get the munchies and want something quick.
Water, water and more water!
As every body type is different, so is the amount of water we should drink on a daily basis. Easy formula to follow: take your weight in pounds and divide by two to get the number of ounces of water you should drink every day. Easy peasy, right? I try to make sure I have a glass of water or water bottle with me at all times, even when it’s adult beverage time….. I’ve got a water back! It’s all about the balance.
My kids are grown and have been carving their own path in life for a handful of years now. There is NO time for “empty nest syndrome”, we are still young enough to do all things and go all the places we dreamed of in the midst of diaper changes and late nights worrying until they were home safe and sound. I jokingly say this is my life part 2, and I’ve got places to go and things to do!
Any physical activity is a good start. When I was a young single mom, working and going to school…… I figured I was getting enough of the whole exercise thing, I mean, I was full time busy plus, right? Thankfully, youth was on my side. Now that I am (much) older, I made the decision years ago to make physical activity and exercise a part of my every day. I walk three to five miles every day, go to the gym three times a week and I have a trainer to hold me accountable for those three days and to make sure I’m doing the exercises correctly. I have two herniated discs, bad knee and a weak wrist, Mr. Sanchez makes sure that I do not cause any further damage to myself…..and for that, I love him.
Gym isn’t your thing? More of a hiker, rock climber, dancer or perhaps a yogi in training? That’s the beauty….classes with like-minded people are EVERYWHERE! Get out of whatever rut you’ve put yourself in and GO!
Why people are still smoking is beyond me……guess what guys, the data is in, it WILL kill you! Kick it, your future self will thank you. Now that we’ve covered not smoking, we can move on. So, besides eating right, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water, sunscreen is key. I haven’t slathered myself in baby oil and baked in the sun for decades. Looking back, I can’t believe I even did it in the first place. Now I slather moisturizers, serums and lotions to help keep me preserved. Find what works best for you, and if I may make a suggestion…..buy in bulk. Some of my favorite products have been discontinued over the years, both disappointing and very frustrating. I now buy several bottles at a time, lesson learned.
The food we eat plays a huge role in how we age. A diet consisting of mostly meat and dairy (especially red meat) and not enough fruits and veggies could increase your body’s “biological age” and contribute to health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and possibly even dementia. Scary, right? So, even though we’re in our 40s, eating poorly will age you on the inside and put you at a higher health risk than that of those who follow a plant based diet. You can totally Google it!
Speaking of Googling, have you ever done research on the number of all the different diets out there? It’s mind boggling. For me, I have chosen a more plant based plan. Doesn’t mean I push all my thoughts and beliefs for being vegan on anybody and everybody who will listen. I do however, suggest finding a healthy plan that works best for you. My personal research has shown me over and over again, that a plant based diet can and has in multiple cases, undo a lot of what ails you. Diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension the list goes on……nixing animal products from your life could quite possibly get you off all your meds with all those nasty side effects. It truly is, that simple. There are multiple cases of people doing 14 to 30 day challenges, giving up their old way of eating, (which usually landed them on all the medication in the first place) and replacing old habits with fresh beautiful leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes and yes….even a little pasta. Why chain yourself to medication, if you don’t have to?
Having An Open Mind
We’re still young, with a lot of life and years ahead of us, why not strive for healthy choices to have the highest quality of life possible? I refuse to sit back and watch life just pass me by. I want to see, feel and taste every moment to the fullest, and if I can achieve that by ditching a few old habits, I’m all in!
Getting the information is easy, we just need to make the decision for some healthy lifestyle changes, get off our butts and GO!