21 Lifestyle Changes

written by Cait Hess

1. Do sit-ups and push-ups

Get into the habit of doing them everyday and eventually you’ll be able to increase the number, and you won’t be able to fully wake up without doing them.

2. Exercise

Exercising for 40 minutes can reduce stress. In fact, studies show that working out on a regular basis can be as effective as taking anti-depressants like Prozac. Exercise releases endorphins which are responsible for increasing your minds ability to elevate mood and feel good. The more you are active, the better you will feel.

3. Invest in a good water bottle

Water helps energize your muscles. Drinking water throughout the day keeps you hydrated, and it helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Water helps control primary body functions, and it can even help control calories. Think of water as a nutrient your body needs; invest in a good water bottle and never leave home without it!

4. Grow an herb garden

During dreary winter months, fresh herbs can add vibrant flavor to your cooking. Even better, many herbs have health benefits. Grow a collection of many different herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, or mint. Even if you can’t accommodate a full-size garden, most of these plants do well on a sunny window sill or kitchen counter.

5. Pack your lunch

Packing a lunch will help you when you get those midday cravings. Beyond the cost savings, most meals packed at home are healthier than foods served at restaurants. When you eat out, you’re often faced with whopper portions and fattening extras, like the french fries that routinely come with sandwiches. But when you pack lunch at home, you can control your portions and choose healthier ingredients.

6. Everything in moderation

Save your calories for the foods that you love. Don’t eat something just because it’s there. Establish ground rules with yourself. Eat dessert, but only a sliver. Only use your small plates. Wait at least five minutes before refilling your plate to evaluate whether or not you really need seconds.

7. Avoid holiday traps

Decide to splurge on just one item at each party. Maybe it’s a delicious holiday beverage or Aunt Mae’s famous apple pie. That way you’ll feel less deprived and you can enjoy a special treat guilt free.

8. Invest in a crock-pot

The food will be ready for you once you get home from work, which will eliminate the impulse to eat out. It’s quick, easy and an efficient way to make healthy eating in a snap.

9. Eat your veggies

Make sure that half of every meal comprises veggies, and always eat them first. This is a great rule to employ if you eat out a lot. Chances are, you’ll be less likely to eat an entire basket of French fries out of sheer hunger.

10. Stop eating processed and pre-packaged foods

If you have a hard time sticking to a healthy diet, remember this one rule. One of the easiest places to find unprocessed, healthy, whole foods is to purchase most of your groceries on the outside edge of the store. The edges are where you’ll find produce, meat, eggs, dairy and seafood. These items are not processed, or if they are, they’re minimally processed. Of course, you will need to go into the center isles for some things, but staying on the outside of the store for most of your shopping will keep your cart full of nutrient-dense foods.

11. Trade your soda for seltzer

If you’re trying to drink less soda, transitioning to seltzer is much easier than going straight to water. Grab a tall, refreshing glass of seltzer water instead of the carbonated, artificial can of soda. It’s an easy way to lose a surprising amount of weight.

12. Drink your coffee black

You’ll save calories without the extra additives, and the coffee will jump-start your digestive system in the morning.

13. Keep a pair of dumbbells handy

Have a few go-to exercises and perform them when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed. Keeping a pair of dumbbells around your television or living room will make you compelled to do a few reps during commercial breaks or bouts of boredom.

14. Make produce visible

Keep apples and oranges in a bowl on your desk or on your kitchen counter. Research shows you’re more likely to eat them if they’re in sight.

15. Wear sunscreen daily

Dermatologists recommend and claim that it not only protects against skin cancer, but aging as well.

16. Skip That Second Cup

The caffeine in 2 cups of coffee adds 16 beats per minute to your heart rate.

17. Invest in a good pair of sneakers

Don’t seem to have the energy you used to? Though it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired, exercise! Choose a comfortable pair of sneakers that have support and conform to the shape and movement of your feet. Then you wont mind putting them on to take even a brisk walk. Ultimately, exercising daily can be more effective than a nap or an extra cup of coffee.

18. Limit your fast food intake

If you absolutely must order fast food, get the kids’ meal. Or order a couple things off the dollar menu. This will satisfy your craving without making you feel completely gross afterward.

19. Have a Banana

The potassium it contains can lower blood pressure. One per day is all it takes.

20. Get enough sleep

Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite. It can also alter the immune system. Studies show that sleeplessness is also linked to some serious health problems such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. Sleep is necessary for good physical and mental health.

21. Get a flu shot

Get the flu vaccine every year, it doesn’t guarantee you won’t get the flu but it reduces your chances by 60%.

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