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Jul 14, 2023

Everyday Health

5 Quick Changes You Can Make To Improve Your Health Today

It can be challenging in the modern age to prioritize your health when work, family, and social life constantly demand your attention. Luckily, there are many small, simple adjustments you can make that can help improve your health and make healthy living a more central part of everyday life.

1. Create a Morning Routine

Having a concrete morning routine with an order of “to do’s” and times to complete those tasks helps get you moving and sets the tone for the rest of your day. Be sure to wake up with enough time to have a healthy breakfast, maybe read a few pages of a book, shower, and prepare yourself for the day to avoid feeling rushed and becoming stressed and overwhelmed before your day has even started.

Creating a routine will help reduce “decision fatigue” which many people experience when trying to start their day, making it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

Remember, it takes an average of around 60 days for a routine to become habit, so once you structure your morning routine, stick with it!

Bonus: try to complete your routine before checking your phone. Feeling constantly connected can add to the feeling of being overwhelmed. By prioritizing your alone time in the morning, it can help you feel fully recharged and ready to tackle the day.

2. Get Up and Stretch

Finding time to be active can be challenging, especially if you work at a sedentary job. If you find it challenging to stay active throughout the day, try setting a timer to get up and stretch every half hour.

Alternatively, whenever you feel yourself getting stuck or feel like you're out of ideas on whatever you are working on, get up and walk around for a minute or so. This not only increases physical activity but also can help reduce stress and improve concentration.

Bonus: Try a watercooler walk. Walk over to a watercooler, get a drink and walk around while you finish it. This will help you also hit that goal of 8 glasses of water per day.

3. Try Meal Prep

Planning a lunch to take to work every day can be time a consuming chore. It doesn’t help that going out for lunch is so easy.

To combat this, designate an hour on Sunday to plan and make all your lunches for the week. It is much faster and easier to cook a bunch of chicken and create an assembly line of wraps or salads than it is to cook just enough for the next day.

Bonus: include healthy snacks you enjoy like fruit or a granola bar and change it up every day so you don’t get bored and opt for takeout anyway.

4. Make a Grocery List and Stick to It

Many people will only make a mental list or jot down a few things they know they need and then shop around when they get to the store.

We have all heard that “you shouldn’t grocery shop while your hungry…” Well, the same goes for being unprepared. You end up seeing snack food that looks tasty and buying more than you would have originally.

Instead, if you see something you want, jot it down on next week’s grocery list and get it then. This leads to more mindful eating and helps limit over-spending on food.

Tip: This doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself by only writing down high-nutrient foods such as fruits and vegetables. If you would like some cookies or ice cream one week, write it down! Restricting your eating can lead to excessive binges and guilt.

A balanced diet can include more “fun” foods, as long as it is balanced!

5. Have Active Get-togethers

We spend a LOT of time sitting. From transit to work, sitting at a desk, then coming home to relax on the couch with a movie, or grabbing a drink with friends, most of our day is spent sitting.

A fun way to remedy this is to plan an activity with others that doesn’t involve sitting and eating or drinking. Instead of going to a restaurant for a drink, try mini golf, instead of coffee at a coffeeshop, take your coffee to-go and walk to a park!

There are many different activities to do with others. Get creative! Plus, not only does this help increase your physical activity level, but it also can make your social life more exciting or fresh to try doing new things together.

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