We all want to start a new year on the best foot and many times that includes reflecting on our overall health. So, maybe you want to incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Also, you may want to focus on weight loss or modify your daily life habits for more wellness.
Growing up I was raised in a household where healthy living and a healthy diet were extremely important. Above all, I feel so lucky to have that foundation of a healthy diet and daily physical activity. Also, I've covered it if you are looking for easy tips for living a healthy life this year. Let's jump into how you can improve your overall health this year.
Easy Tips for Living a Healthy Life This Year
As you are reading these tips for living more healthy, one theme should jump out. So, all of these tips for overall health life improvement are small changes gradually. That is to say, healthy living doesn't happen overnight with a quick-fix diet or weight loss. However, it takes a series of conscious, consistent healthy decisions time and time again over an extended period of time. I wish I could tell you there is a magic pill, diet, or step that will change things forever but it's just not true. But, I do promise you that these steps are easy to start with and will help you improve your overall health, physical activity and incorporate a healthy diet.
So, let's jump into the 8 easy tips that will help you move towards a healthy life and lifestyle.
1. Start slow for a healthy life
Something has prompted us to get healthier when we decide we want to change. So, we try to jump into major diet and exercise changes. Tus, we fail. Likewise, I've been there too many times. I
Nonetheless, from experience, the only time the healthy habits stuck was when I implemented them gradually over time. That is to say, I chose for it to be part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
So, look at your health goals for this year. Then, break the goals into small segments to achieve a healthy life. What is at the core of those goals? Do you want to focus on a healthy diet, physical activity, or drinking water? Certainly, whatever you want, make sure you can break it down into one small thing you can start.
For example, try making a goal of increasing your water intake by one cup. Also, if you want to eat more fruits and vegetables start a goal of one more incorporated per day. Moreover, you can switch a sugary creamer for nonfat milk. You can also switch to collagen creamer with vitamins and minerals.
Do you want to cut down on processed foods? Start small with one snack and swap processed foods for a healthy diet item. Whatever you choose, make sure it's small enough that you can implement and maintain for months to come. Moving slowly will ensure long-term success for a healthy life.
If you want to learn more about my eating habits and changes, check out these posts.
- WHAT I EAT IN A DAY (PESCARTARIAN, DAIRY/SUGAR FREE)
- JUICE CLEANSES & HOW TO JUMPSTART A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
- MY CURRENT EATING HABITS (PESCARTARIAN, DAIRY/SUGAR /GLUTEN FREE)
- HOW TO MAINTAIN HEATHY HABITS FOLLOWING SURGERY (OR INJURY)
- A BALANCED APPROACH TO EATING
- NUTRITION BEFORE AND AFTER CANCER
- EASY MEALS: CROCK POT CHICKEN CHILI
- MEAL PLANNING MADE SIMPLE
At this point in my life (post-pregnancy), I am still eating meat and dairy. But I am definitely making an attempt to reduce my processed sugar intake. Also, I'd like to swap empty carbs for more whole grains. Most importantly, listen to your body so you can have the best overall health and health benefits of your lifestyle changes.
2. Add at least one more vegetable to each meal
So, growing up my mom didn't feel a meal was complete unless we had at least 3 vegetables. Throughout the day, fruits and vegetables were incorporated into every meal. Also, we saw the health benefits first hand. Even now when she comes to visit she is always making sure we have multiple vegetables in each meal.
To clarify, sometimes we found it annoying as kids. However, it set the foundation for me to see fruits & vegetables as a vital part of my diet for a healthy life. Also, you'll feel full when you incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal. Specifically, you get the health benefits of the vitamins and minerals in the food as well as the nutritional elements. So, try to balance your plate as you shift to healthier living this year. Do this by adding just one more fruit or vegetable to each meal.
*When I used the word "diet" I am referring to eating habits, not a prescribed set of food limitations.
3. Build physical activity into your daily routines.
Growing up, my mom taught me that you didn't have to "want" to move your body. It was non-negotiable. Each day we got some type of physical activity whether that was a walk, yoga, or playing volleyball in our front yard with neighbors. Also, we did it no matter what kind of day we had or how much we didn't feel like moving our bodies. Moreover, build physical activity into your daily routines for improved overall health. I aim for 10 minutes of movement a day Sometimes I do more. But I never do less and 10 minutes is achievable no matter how busy my day is.
When it comes to your intensity level, listen to your body. You can modify the movement accordingly instead of skipping the physical activity. So, this could mean you do a gentle walk instead of a HIIT workout. Moreover, you can also do yoga stretch flow instead of a pilates class if your body is not up for the high intensity.
Regardless, keep in mind that sometimes you need a rest day. And res if you are sick as it's important. Listen to those signs, too. Also, the big lesson is to slowly make it a daily habit no matter the intensity or duration. For more suggestions on exercise during and after cancer, check out this blog post.
4. Plan your meals around protein for a healthy life
Certainly, this was a big shift for me when I started seeing a nutritionist last year. Also, I thought I knew nutrition based on my upbringing. But, it turns out I wasn't eating even half the protein I needed and was constantly hungry. Nonetheless, I found it easier to eat out and feel more full when I shifted my meal planning to center around protein.
Almost all restaurants have some form of healthy protein (eggs, chicken, turkey, etc). So, when you plan around the protein and add veggies, the fat and carbs become just a small side making your overall meal much healthier. Also, when I am out running errands I have learned bring or look for better high-protein snacks. These include protein shakes, cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, turkey jerky, etc.
5.Find an accountability buddy
On the other hand, accountability is a huge part of success. One thing that helps ensure your healthy habits stick is setting up an accountability plan. For instance, that could be a partner or a friend - someone who is aware of your goals and will help keep you on track. So, Mac does that for me and I also surround myself with friends who share similar overall health goals. Also, it's easier when healthy eating and fitness are incorporated into your social outing. These accountability partners will also be there to celebrate your milestones and success.
6. Meal prep EVERY week
This one is hard, but the payoff is tremendous! As a result, meal prep will set you up for success throughout the week. Also, with meals already made, you won't be left to make unhealthy decisions. I like to grocery shop on Saturdays and meal prep on Sunday. I eat the same thing for breakfast/lunches for 5 days. Also, I try to prep veggies for snacking and dinners. An added benefit to meal prepping is it reduces stress for me during the week. So, it allows for more time in the evening for fitness and self-care. For more on meal prepping, checking out this post.
7. Schedule time for self-care
So, if we wait to "have time" for self-care, it will never happen, at least that's the case for me. Also, I find scheduling self-care helps me ensure I am taking care of myself mentally and emotionally. For instance, I set reminders on my phone, block time on my calendar. Also, I utilize my accountability partners to ensure I am not letting this part of my health suffer. Check out this post for a self-care menu of ideas.
You can begin living healthier today with these simple foundational steps. So, start smooth and slowly those small changes will snowball into success and large change for a healthy life. Also, save this post to come back to as you continue your change.
8. Go to bed at least 10 minutes earlier
This may be the last tip but it is not the least important for a healthy life. So, sleep is when your body recharges. If you are eating well, moving your body, and taking care of your mind but not sleeping you doing yourself a disservice. Likewise, with all the other changes, start slow. Routine is everything especially when it comes to sleep. Start your bedtime routine 5-10 minutes earlier each night. So, before you know it you'll have an extra 30 minutes of rest.
I hope these tips have been helpful and give you inspiration for your healthy living this year. As we enter a new year I am also implementing these tips for increased physical activity and a healthy diet. I hope you will join me. If you implement any of these healthy living tips, be sure to tag me on instagram @mycancerchic and follow my Healthy Living boards on Pinterest.
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Breast cancer survivor, lover of style, beauty and all things pink! Inspiring you to thrive through adversity.