Here we are at the end of January and I want to talk about health and wellness. Why? Because there is no time like the present to make simple changes in your daily routine to help. Last summer, I decided I needed to get back into exercising and taking control of my health and wellness and I haven’t looked back. I feel better, stronger and I’m happier.
Do you have to join a gym or do something drastic? No. Little changes matter. Can you join a gym and start working out? Absolutely. These changes depend where you are and can be adjusted for your own mileage.
20 simple changes you can make in your daily routine to help improve your health and wellness
1. Count your steps.
I’m addicted to my fitbit. I’ve paced the living room or jogged the stairs if I haven’t hit my step goal. But, I also find that I get up and move during the day if they are low.
2. Walk during a phone call.
It’s not always an options, but you’d be surprised how much ground you can cover during a 15 minute call.
3. Try a new green or vegetable
I know. I know. I had no idea I liked collard greens until like 2 years ago. Your tastes change. Also, try at least three bites to really make sure you of your opinion of it.
4. Take the stairs.
We took the stairs in Jamaica every time. Any chance I get to take them, I do. Elevators shouldn’t be the norm, but the option in certain situations.
5. Pack your lunch.
When Mr. Serious first started working, he bought his lunch. Not only is it going to add a ton of extra calories, but it’s expensive, too.
6. Add a variety of protein choice.
While most Americans are meeting their recommended daily servings of protein, the updated dietary guidelines encourage increasing protein varieties to include more nutrient-dense options. Suggested protein variations include seafood, soy protein, and nuts or seeds.
7. Take a 5 minute mental break
I try to get up at least 5 minutes of every hour I’m working (when the kids aren’t around…when they are, I’m up more than I’m sitting). Make sure you are giving your brain a break and moving your body.
8. Stand when you can.
You’ve probably heard it, but sitting is the new smoking. Stand up or even use a walking desk when you are working.
9. Increase your fruit + vegetable intake
Include a wider variety of vegetables in your diet, such as leafy greens and red and orange vegetables and add more whole fruits to your diet in order to maximize nutritional benefits. I do this with a smoothie in the morning. I’m getting a serving of whole fruit, a serving of almond milk and protein with my Juice Plus+ Complete/. Check out these amazing and yummy banana-free smoothies.
10. Swap that soda, tea or coffee for water.
Water is the best thing you can drink. So many times we think we are hungry, but we are really thirsty. Before grabbing for a snack, drink a glass of water.
11. Park further away.
Don’t park close to the door at the supermarket or at work. Park far away and walk in. Get those extra steps and your heart and blood pumping.
12. Use a smaller plate.
We don’t even use the big plates that came with our set. Our brains get confused with those big plates and we think we need more. Instead we give appropriate servings on a smaller plate and our brain sees a full plate.
13. Break a sweat.
Of course, the longer the better, but anything you can do is better than not sweating at all. Do jumping jacks or high knees during commercials. You don’t nee a gym, just get moving.
14. Go to bed early.
I’m so guilty of not going to bed early enough and getting enough sleep. Take one night and go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
15. Take me time.
It’s so very important to find something you love and do it for yourself. You have to do what works for you; bubble bath, read a book, book store, go to Target by yourself, or drink a glass of wine. You need time to have quiet and decompress.
16. Have and refill a water bottle / cup.
Find a water bottle you like and refill it throughout the day. Aim for 3 times (for a 20 ounce cup). If you have the water at hand, you will likely drink it more often. When you get up from your desk, even if it’s not empty, refill it.
17. Have an accountability partner.
Who is going to make sure you are drinking more water? Going to the gym? Getting up often? Find your person and build off each other. Find multiple people; one for home, one for work, one for the weekend.
18. Laugh and smile.
I find that being happy and feeling happy makes me feel healthy and well. It’s shocking how much your mind can effect your health and wellness. Be happy!
19. Get outside.
Yes. Even in the cold. Even when it’s hot. Outside you will move (unless you are at the beach, but you know what, even with our trip to Jamaica, I got hit my step goal every single day including travel days!
20. Choose a whole food snack.
Yes, those chips are good, but put them down and go for something whole, nutritious and not-processed. Go for an apple, an orange, banana or even a couple stalks of celery or carrots or even some cucumbers.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been taking the Juice Plus+ My Simple Change challenge to make small and easy changes daily to continue my path to keeping my body and mind healthy and well.
What is a simple change you can make to help improve your health and wellness? And, who will you recruit to join you?
* I received Juice Plus+ Samples to help with My Simple Changes. All thoughts are my own.