New year, new you. Perhaps you’ve already started to make the big changes in your life or set yourself a collection of small goals. We’ve rounded up 18 small changes you can make throughout the year to help drive you towards a serious, sustainable healthy lifestyle.
- Expand your recipe book.
By learning one new recipe each month, in a year, you’ll have 12 new recipes locked and loaded to keep you healthy, happy and well fed!
- Take the stairs.
You burn around 9 calories per flight (which admittedly doesn’t seem like much but over a year, those calories and that extra movement really adds up). Just two flights a day, up and down, equals 13,140 calories over 365 days!
- Take your coffee black.
Black tea or coffee eliminates around 70 calories of cream and sugar per cup, plus it makes for a great pre-workout energy boost.
- Leave your phone in the other room.
This one might seem a little insane to some people but sitting scrolling through your Instagram feed and playing games when you should be getting your 7–8 hours of shuteye is not a good idea. In fact, 20 minutes before heading to bed try and avoid all screens, you’ll get a much better night’s sleep without all that blue light.
- Get bendy.
Stretching feels good, even if it’s just before you step out of bed make sure you give yourself a good stretch to work out all the kinks.
- Stand to attention.
Sitting for hours on end can increase your risk of serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes. So, try to stand up and move around for at least 5 minutes each hour.
- Try strength training.
Resistance workouts help to build muscle, strengthen bones and promote longevity. Try cutting the cardio with at least two strength-training sessions a week.
- Start eating breakfast.
They say it’s the most important meal of the day and they aren’t wrong, a balanced breakfast can energise your mornings and keep you from making unhealthy, hunger-induced decisions at lunch. If your morning is too hectic with all the running around why not get something healthy delivered to your desk and take all the stress out of it.
- Quit the soda.
One 150-calorie soda per day means 15 pounds of empty calories over the course of a year. Try sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea instead.
- Find a sleep routine.
Try to get to bed at the same time each night to get your body on a solid sleep schedule. And, remember number 4: no screens before bed.
- Get Stepping.
Aim to hit 10,000 steps a day to start with and see what your general average is. Even if you don’t get there, it’s a good reminder to get up and walk. Either get yourself a fitness tracker or most phones now have fairly reliable pedometers built in.
Especially in the morning! Before you reach for coffee, down a glass of water to rehydrate your body and jumpstart your brain then make sure you’re knocking back at least a couple of litres throughout the day.
- Grab some fruit.
Fruit is sweet, delicious and a lot better for you than most sugar-laden desserts. Plus, you’ll get the added benefits of fibre and vitamins.
- Sign up for a race.
You don’t have to run a marathon (but you can if you want) even a beach run, or a family 3k is better than nothing and it gives you a goal to work towards as well as a reason to exercise.
- Meditate every day.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to ease anxiety and stress so try and squeeze in at least 10 minutes at some point in the day to help you wind down.
- Swap the fries for a salad.
Not every time, but at least 8 out 10 meals! Doing so can save a couple hundred calories and about 10 grams of fat, while adding some healthy greens to your plate.
- Carry healthy snacks.
Carrot sticks and almonds aren’t quite as exciting as a packet of chips, but they will keep you alert and stave off hunger between meals.
- Get a physical.
Seriously, get one. After all, a yearly physical is the best way to check in with your health.
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