“You don’t have to be extreme. Just be consistent.”
At a time when comfort food is as tempting as ever and a gossip girl marathon is the perfect escape, we may need to work a little harder at eating our greens and getting those burpees in. Pandemic or not, treating your body well and doing everything you can to feel your best should always be a priority.
Trust me, I get it. We’re all just trying to survive here. However as we do that, here are 10 manageable health goals that you can incorporate into your daily routine:
Eat vegetables with two meals a day
You can never go wrong with a side of creamed spinach, a kale pesto or romaine lettuce wraps. Leafy greens pack a whole lot of vitamins, minerals and fibre and are low in calories. Make them a part of meals you already enjoy and soon enough, you’ll start to enjoy them too.
Speaking of vegetables, drink them
Drinking my veg has made operation consume-more-greens so much easier and sweeter, might I add. My go-to smoothie includes spinach, avocado, strawberries, raspberries, cinnamon, fresh ginger, a spoonful of oats, 1/2 banana, natural yoghurt and almond milk – topped with chia seeds. Just don’t overdo the fruit and steer clear of artificial sugar to avoid taking your smoothie from healthy to might-as-well-drink-a-can-of-soda.
Why not occasionally take your sweat session to the grass? Go for a walk, take that HIIT class outside and be sure to try different online workouts regularly. Some fresh air, SPF not forgotten, will make your workout that much more enjoyable.
Drink more water
Can we honestly have this conversation without a reminder to hydrate (and mind your business)? I genuinely enjoy drinking water, but in case you need to inject some method to the madness, flavour your pitcher with cucumber and raspberries, drink a glass before every meal, use a marked water bottle and on Friday’s, for every cocktail you have, drink a glass of water (this helps in more ways than one as your latest hangover might have reminded you).
Get 7 hours of sleep
Sleep is important for managing your stress levels, stabilising your blood pressure, preserving your mental health, helping you stay productive and managing your weight. Some of the ways I try to not only sleep enough but to also sleep well, is by having a cup of camomile tea before bed, journalling and reducing screen time an hour before I catch those zzz’s. I fail on the screen time a lot, but the 0.1% times I ace it, I feel the difference the following morning. Whatever you do, make sleep a priority.
Change your mindset
As someone who has chased weight loss over the years, I know for sure that mindset is the key to unlocking lifestyle change status. Shifting my focus from wanting my body to look a certain way to being the healthiest version of myself has encouraged me to develop habits that stick and changed my relationship with food from deprivation to balance. I feel more energetic after a work out which pushes me to exercise on the days that laziness beckons. My body feels stronger and that keeps me motivated. Certainly more motivated than checking my mirror daily for abs.
Have a meat free day
Plant based diets decrease your risk of heart disease, keep you leaner and contribute to all round optimal health. While I do not aim to be fully vegetarian, reducing my meat intake (especially red meat) and having one to two days that are strictly dedicated to whole grains, vegetables and legumes goes a long way.
Substitute your snacks
Spending more time at home means dangerously close proximity to your fridge and pantry. Substitute the chocolate, crisps and pastries with oat biscuits, almonds and popcorn. Still as delish (in moderation of course) but with less calories.
Besides the mental benefits of unplugging from your laptop, taking a break from sitting in a sedentary position all day prevents stiffness, relaxes tissues, lubricates your joints and reduces fatigue. Aim for a 5 minute stretch session every hour.
Add some colour
Eat your way to a healthier immune system by indulging in a variety of fruits and veggies from the five main colour groups. Easy on the eye and oh so good for the body 😉
Take care of your body kids…after all, it’s the only one you’ve got!