When we decide to get in shape and “get healthy,” many of us make big plans that entail overhauling our entire way of eating and living our life. We think we’ll go from regularly eating Big Macs and ice cream to only eating raw vegetables and water. We think we’ll transform from couch potatoes to marathoners in a matter of months.
Unfortunately, you need much more than will to make such a transformation. Often, setting such radical goals is just a way to set yourself up for failure, as it is unlikely that you can make such a big change in so short a time. Instead, finding ways to gradually improve your health (including your diet and fitness) will help you ultimately achieve success by making changes that will eventually become habit.
Here Are Just 5 Small Steps You Can Take To Improve Your Health:
Be More Active
No, we don’t mean start going to the gym everyday (though you can do that, too). We mean start incrementally adding more activity to your day. This can include things like walking up the stairs instead of taking the escalator, walking or biking to the market, spending more time in your yard or garden, or even finally starting some of those home-renovation projects you’ve had planned for months but haven’t started.
The more activity you add into your day, the more active your lifestyle will be in general without it seeming like you are doing “work.” You’ll get the exercise you need without feeling like you’re killing yourself on the treadmill.
Most people skip breakfast either because they don’t have the time to eat it or because they feel that they are helping their weight-loss efforts by cutting calories. However, skipping breakfast can actually slow your metabolism and make you feel sluggish for the rest of the day.
Eat a healthy breakfast each morning, and you’ll jumpstart your metabolism, regulate your blood sugar to control your appetite and cravings, and have continual energy throughout the day.
Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
Instead of trying to undergo a major diet overhaul in which you cut out everything “bad” and only eat things that are “good,” just focus on adding in more nutritious fruits and vegetables to your diet. It will be much easier to add these healthy items to meals instead of focusing on what you can’t have. Over time, you will find that you are eating more of the “good” things and fewer of the “bad” things.
Switch To Whole Grains
Like adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, switching to whole grains is an easy way to add more nutrition to your diet without making a major overhaul or feeling deprived. Instead of cutting out carbs, just focus on cutting out refined carbs like white breads and pastas. Replace them with whole grain versions so that you can still enjoy your favorite foods but you can get the nutrients that your body needs.
Drink More Water
Continuing to focus on adding more healthy items to your diet, be sure to drink more water for optimal health. Water can help you to control appetite and curb cravings. It can give you the energy you need and help you to properly process the nutrients in the foods you eat.
Water impacts every process in your body. Make sure you drink enough so that your body can do what it needs to do to stay healthy.
Health is a life-long journey, and there are no quick fixes. Deciding to begin your journey can be overwhelming if you try to change too much too soon. Focus on making small changes such as these to gradually improve your health, and over time, you will see the transformation you desire.
What other ways have you found to gradually transform your health? Tell us about them in the comments!