Spring is here! Are you feeling inspired to renew yourself with some healthy changes? The best changes (and the ones that last) are the small things you do everyday that lead to a healthy lifestyle. There really is no magic pill or food or one exercise that will lead to radical transformation. Being healthy is all about changing habits. Habits that stick are the ones that are made gradually and repeated over and over for at least 3 weeks. When you feel like you have many habits that need to be changed it can seem overwhelming and you may wonder where to start. Here are 5 habits that you can incorporate into your life now that will have big payoffs!
- Move More. We all know that we should get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. But that may not be enough. What may be at least as important is simply not sitting down. Add extra steps into your day by getting up from your chair twice an hour and walking around your workspace. Try parking at the back of the parking lot when you are shopping. Always take the stairs. Better yet, go up and down twice! A pedometer can be a great way to measure your activity level. FitBit, which communicates with your phone and/or computer to show you your activity, calorie expenditure and sleep patterns is a great way to challenge yourself to be even more active.
- Watch Those Portions! Just as Americans have gotten bigger and bigger over the past few decades, so have our portion sizes. Restaurants routinely give us portions that are 2-3 times what a serving should be.After a while, we expect all our portions to be this large, even the food we eat at home. Recalibrate your view of portion sizes by measuring out your food when you are at home. Not sure what a good portion size is? Try this handy visual guide.
- Fill Half Your Plate with Veggies Filling half your plate with nutrient-rich, low-calorie veggies means you won’t have much room left for the higher calorie stuff. Go for non-starchy veggies such as broccoli, leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, peppers, eggplants and green beans.
- Eat Frequently When you let yourself get too hungry you are more likely to overeat and choose less healthy foods. By eating frequently you can make sure that you never get so hungry you make a poor choice. Plus, eating frequently keeps your metabolism going strong!
- Get More Sleep Sleep is a hot topic lately. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to be more obese. The effects of good eating and exercise also have less of an impact in those people who do not get enough sleep. Make this a priority! Try going to bed just a little bit earlier until you are getting 8 hours per night.
Have a healthy and happy Spring!