People often think that there’s a quick fix to losing weight or hitting your health/fitness goals, and the answer is that there isn’t: It takes a lot of hard work and habit changes to lose weight safely and sustainably. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you can’t make small changes now to change your mindset and bad habits!
- Park farther away — Instead of hunting someone down for their parking spot and circling the lot for 10 minutes, park a little farther away. It will actually save you time in a lot of instances, and you will burn more calories! I’ve found that I can sometimes run into the store and pick up the items I need before a parking spot hunter even makes it to the front door!
- Take the stairs! If you’re physically able to take the stairs, go for it! Maybe just start by getting off a floor early and taking the last flight up, or going past your floor and taking one flight down. Eventually, you may decide to start walking up or down the entire way, or skipping the elevator/escalator (we have a lot of those in the DC Area) outright. Once you start to make this change, you may notice that you find yourself taking the stairs more often everywhere you go, and shoot – it may even save you some time!
- Walk for 10 minutes during your lunch break — You don’t have to spend your entire lunch break exercising (if you have the type of job/body that allows you to do this). You can start out your lunch break by just walking for 10 minutes. If you’re taking your break indoors, give those stairs a shot again. If you can get outdoors, the fresh air may just perk you up to push through the remainder of your day!
- Take 1 minute to meditate each day, or just sit quietly and reflect — There are 24 hours in a day. Why can’t you give yourself just one minute? It’s amazing how you can feel more relaxed after just one minute of meditation/reflection. Seriously! If you’re feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed, give yourself a minute to hit the reset button, and also give yourself a positive affirmation or two.
- Keep an extra gym bag in your car/office — it’s harder to make excuses for not hitting the gym, going for a run, etc. when you have some tools right at your disposal. Who knows? Maybe you have a day where you’re allowed to leave a little early, and you decide to use that bonus time to get in some exercise since you already have everything with you!
- Keep a water bottle at work! This one can be a real game changer! I don’t know about you, but I work in an environment where people always seem to have extra snacks and sodas in the break room. When I keep myself hydrated throughout the day, I’m far less tempted by these treats, plus, I am prepared for whatever workout I may have after hours, plus, water just has a bazillion positive benefits for your body.
- Have an accountability buddy — This is a big one. You have to be able to motivate yourself, but when you have a friend who is down to work out with you, eat healthy with you, or just check in on you, it really helps on days when your self-motivation is in struggle mode. An extra benefit is that you have a buddy to try out new workouts and post-workout meals with you. 🙂
- Walk in the evenings — Sometimes a nice stroll after work, before making dinner, or even after dinner can be a big help when it comes to settling down for the evening. I’m not talking about some crazy power walking, folks. I’m talking about a nice leisurely stroll. Think “long walks on the beach”-paced walks. Money. Want to level up? Go on that evening walk with your accountability buddy!
- Skip the sugar! This one is big! Think about what your biggest sugar craving is. Think about something you may sweeten before consuming on a regular basis. Can you eliminate the added sugar from that item? I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (gummy worms are my weakness though), but I know that coffee is something I consume almost every day, and that it’s something I used to add sugar to every day. Swapping out sugar for honey and even skipping sweetener altogether has really helped me cut back on my sugar consumption, and it pays! I definitely notice the difference in my energy levels, and I have often felt like adding sugar back to certain foods makes it too sweet for me to consume. Go figure!
If you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, know that you can do it as long as you stay focused and recognize that real, healthy, sustainable change takes time! Start small, and set realistic goals. You got this!
If you’re just getting back into the swing of things after a fitness/health hiatus, see if you can incorporate some (or all) of these tips into your life for one week. Can you do it for two?
What are some tips or tricks you use to live a healthier life that are easy to do, but make a world of difference? Have you incorporated any of the items here into your life? Have you noticed a difference? Interested in learning more about creating healthy habits? Check out this article and this post to get you thinking.