Everyone wants to get healthier and fitter but for some people, they’ve got so much to do in their day that the thought of setting aside time for going to the gym and preparing food is just a luxury however, there are things you can do that are quick and can do everyday to ensure you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle. How many of these quick things do you do?
1. Drink more water
This one is a bit of no brainer but you’d be surprised as to how many people are not adequately hydrated. Ample hydration is not only important to peak athletic performance but for every day to day living too. even a 1-2% reduction in body weight in water can effect concentration and performance so it is important to make sure you’re drinking enough but how much is enough? A simple way to know if you’re adequately hydrated is to check your urine frequency and colour. If you’re going to the toilet often and you’re passing a near clear liquid, then you’re adequately hydrated. If your pee is infrequent and darker in colour then this is a sign that you’re probably dehydrated. It is important to note that some medication and even vitamins can have an effect on urine colour so frequency of going to the toilet can help. If you find it hard to drink regularly, just keep a 2 litre bottle of water with you and sip at it throughout the day and aim to finish a whole 2 litre bottle of water by yourself!
2. Eat your greens
Here’s another one we just don’t get enough of and you’d be surprised how many times I get asked for diet advice with the caveat that “I don’t like vegetables”… The harsh truth is that green vegetables such as broccoli green beans, leafy greens such as kale etc are packed full of nutrients that help you in so many ways including in giving you energy, helping you with digestion and other bodily functions and helping fight off disease. Aim for 2 servings of greens per day.
3. Get more good fat
Fat got a really bad rep in the 70’s and 80’s to the point that health advocates would try to eliminate all fat from their diet but some fat is important to our health. Fat soluble vitamins require fat to be transported and assimilated in the body. Fat also provides other important functions such as heart health, skin health and even brain health. Good fats are usually high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. Good sources of fat include olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish such as salmon and mackerel. If you are not a fan of fish, you can take fish oil supplements. Avocado’s are a good choice too!
4. Take a good multi vitamin
According to experts, our soil is just not as nutrient dense as it used to be meaning the food we eat doesn’t have as much nutrients, vitamins and minerals as it once had. Most of us do not eat enough nutrient dense food to begin with or sometimes, we may be busy or stressed out and our vitamin requirements may differ. It’s a good idea to supplement with a good, natural, vitamin supplement. There are many on the market but it is advisable to stay away from the cheaper supermarket brands. My wife and I used to take Double X by Nutrilite and thought that was fab but it’s only available through Amway distributors.
5. Eat smaller more frequent meals
Eating more regularly throughout the day (grazing) is a great way to keep yourself from getting too hungry that you eat too much. Although it has been deduced that eating more frequently has very little effect on raising one’s metabolic rate as was earlier suggested by the supplement industry, it is still advisable to have 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to 2-3 big meals because smaller more frequent meals keeps blood sugar levels more evenly regulated and can help with weight loss.
6. Eat more whole food
We live in a world today with fast food, microwave meals and ready prepared meals. There’s so much crap out there that it is both unbelievable and difficult to know what to eat! Clever marketing has led people to believe that even processed foods labelled as “low fat” are good for you but most contain too many chemicals and hidden sugars. It’s best to eat whole foods where possible. Keeping things simple and basic is the best way to go about. Whilst having some processed foods such as wraps or wholewheat/wholemeal breads aren’t going to kill you, make sure the balance is tipped in favour of natural, whole foods.
7. Move more
Here’s yet another thing we just don’t do enough of. People’s lives have become more and more sedentary from desk based jobs to drive through everything. It’s important to move more, not only for the sake of burning more calories throughout the day but our bodies were designed to move. Our skeletal system benefits from movement and our spine transports nutrients between discs through movement. So instead of taking the elevator or escalator, take the stairs. Walk anywhere it takes you less than 5 minutes to drive to and when you go to the grocery store, park farther away from the entrance than you usually would (and let’s face it, it’s easier to find parking farther away!)
8. Have a 30 minute workout
Health experts recommend that we should aim for 30 minutes of physical activity per day that gets us to breath faster or break a sweat. You’d be surprised what can constitute as exercise and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean going to the gym! Even a 30 minute session with your partner in the bedroom counts as part of your 30 minutes a day! Household chores and gardening count too but if you need to, dedicated 30 minutes a day to having a workout whether it’s outdoors, in a gym facility or at home, you owe it to yourself to dedicate 30 minutes out of your 24 hours a day to yourself
9. Eat Breakfast
You’ve heard it being said before, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for good reason! When you sleep, your body is is devoid of food (unless you suffer from a sleep disorder where you sleep walk to the fridge and eat food) and as a result you wake up in a fasted state (hence the term Break-fast). Eating a breakfast rich in protein and complex carbohydrates is a great way to replenish depleted carbohydrate stores in the body for energy and regulate blood sugar levels. A good suggestion for a healthy breakfast is oatmeal/porridge with a sprinkle of blueberries and an egg white omelette with a black coffee (make sure you start your day with a big glass of fresh water though first!)
10. Have a green tea
Green tea is packed full of antioxidants which help fight free radical release in the body. Free radicals are nasty things that cling onto our cells and damaging them in the process. too much free radical release which is often caused by stress and the environment can aid in disease formation, illness, premature aging and even in cancer formation. Not only is this refreshing drink full of antioxidants, polyphenol found in green tea is also said to aid in fat metabolism and fat oxidization meaning it’s great for fat loss. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, try swapping one of your coffees a day for green tea!