One of the biggest problems people (and myself) tend to encounter when it comes to personal fitness and healthy lifestyle habits is the struggle of a time balance between everything that is important to us. It’s difficult to make some of the changes we aspire to, when we already feel like our plates and calendars are completely full!
I always find myself wishing and hoping that I could lose those extra few pounds, or eat a little bit healthier, or squeeze in more time to workout – but naturally…your friend wants to get drinks after work! Or, you had trouble falling asleep last night, so you definitely need to sleep in and hit snooze instead of the gym, just this once! Or one of my personal biggest excuses – I don’t have time to workout and shower/dry/style my hair, and I have xyz event to attend later.
These are some really great habits that are simple and easy to adopt into your (already busy) daily routine that really will make a difference in your overall health and fitness – and they’re a perfect way to get started on whatever healthy lifestyle resolutions you may have for yourself this year!
PS: This picture is my insanely gorgeous & talented cousin Julia, who is an incredible surfer, yoga instructor and all-around #girlboss! She is one of my biggest inspirations in a lot of major ways – but the top of the list is definitely her healthy lifestyle habits!
1. Stretch Every Morning: There’s no excuse not to do this – you definitely have 120 seconds to stretch your body, move around, and get your muscles ready and prepared for the day. This is healthy for a lot of reasons, whether you are working out or not, and it will help wake your body up and loosen up from whatever fitness regimen you are doing, making your muscles more prepared for continued growth and toning.
2. Drink Detox Waters + Smoothies to Start Your Day: Fruit infused waters are incredibly cheap and easy to make. Cucumbers, mint, strawberries, lemons…these are all easy-to-get items that take only a minute to slice up and throw in a water bottle to put in the fridge overnight before bed. They’re a lot more refreshing, they’ll help you drink more water (and add a yummy taste!) Don’t miss my list of infused waters and their benefits here! Smoothies are also a great way to get your metabolism moving in the morning without a heavy breakfast. Adding in protein powders or pairing with a banana/yogurt/protein bar are all great ways to get a filling but low-calorie breakfast.
3. Skip Heavy Meals & Eat Small Snacks Throughout the Day Instead: Having small, portioned healthy snacks throughout the day is easy to do and will keep you feeling more alert and less bloated and full + it will keep your metabolism moving. I know to some people it sounds like work to pack a bunch of snacks, but all it takes is a little planning! Be on the lookout for my post about healthy snacks to take to work – but there are easy options like pretzel sticks, grapes, nuts… this will help keep you feeling full & satisfied, and will satisfy any cravings you might be having out of boredom for unhealthy snacks!
4. Make the Gym A Weekend Priority Too: You don’t have to go to the gym every single day, and you don’t have to go all weekend either – but it needs to be just as much of a priority to you as your other weekend activities. Even if you only have 30 minutes to spare for a quick routine or class – the weekends tend to be when we are the least healthy from alcohol, food, and lack of activity – meaning this is the prime time to be combating some of these behaviors with a little exercise!
5. Try Different Routines – Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut! A lot of people get frustrated because they’re doing everything right, going to the gym on a regular basis, and they stop seeing results. This is likely because you’re not changing up your routine. Doing the exact same cardio length/level/machine every single day will work for a very short period of time. Switch machines, go to a class, try different motions or at the very least try different programs and settings on your machines! (If you’re like me, you’re limited to a few types of motions because of old knee or ankle injuries…this doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up, and you will see results a lot faster if you move new muscles in new ways!)
6. Drink Insane Amounts of Water: I preach this a lot, like here & here, but that’s because it is my number one favorite health habit. There isn’t anything easier in the world to do to make yourself healthier. Water has so many benefits that listing them is almost fruitless…boosts metabolism, keeps you full and helps cut meal portions and cravings down, eliminates toxins, hydrates your muscles…and like I said in #2 – if you get bored of water, add some fruit infusions to them to keep it interesting! I always find myself chugging it when it has a little bit of flavor.
7. Don’t Stress When You Can’t Fit A Full Workout In: Workout when you can, where you can. No one always has time to hit the gym for a full workout + shower + styling hair, along with whatever other chores/errands/social activities you have to do that day between classes or work. What we always seem to overlook are the spare moments we have where we could still squeeze in some amount of activity on those days – but we get it in our heads that if the gym isn’t happening, neither is exercise. Have 45 minutes before you meet your friends? Lay down a yoga mat or blanket and do a quick and sweat-free ab routine. Binge watching your new Netflix addiction? Do some lunges or abs every 15 minutes from a timer on your phone.
8. Do The Little Things: Take the stairs more. Walk more often. Turn house cleaning into an iPod dance and lip-sync party (my new personal favorite: doing dishes + listening to “Perfect” by One Direction – no judgement!). Utilize commercial breaks of your favorite shows to stretch or work your abs. There are a million very small fragments of time throughout our day that fitness can seamlessly be worked in- you just have to get creative, and commit yourself to doing it! Those little things add up to become the difference in those 5-10 pounds you really want to lose!
Most importantly, of course – have fun with it. Fitness and personal health is a super important goal, but it can be frustrating, exhausting, and mentally draining – especially if you don’t feel like you’re seeing the results you want. The important thing is to keep at it, and if something isn’t working, change it!
I hope these tips were helpful – what are some of your favorite little ways to stay healthy without making a major time commitment?