Sometimes it can all seem a bit daunting to try and improve your health. We all know that we could be doing better for our bodies, but making healthy choices is not always that simple or convenient. Here are some easy changes to improve your health in the short space of a weekend.
Improvements to your health are always a good idea, and can come with the greatest of intentions. But if you aim too high to start then you might not get anywhere.
If you try to make a huge change like cutting out entire food groups or exercising every day when you haven’t tied on your trainers in a decade, you might be setting yourself up to fail.
A little step at a time is a great way to start – and you might find that once you have made some small changes, some big ones naturally follow.
Small changes are easier to embrace and if you like them and they fit in with your lifestyle then you may find that turn into ongoing habits.
These easy changes to improve your health are quick, don’t cost much and anyone can try them.
Why not see which one works for you?
Five Easy Changes You Can Make to Improve Your Health This Weekend
Start Drinking More Water
The easiest change you can make is to start increasing the amount of water you drink every day. Experts recommend 8-10 glasses a day, which sounds like a bit, but is actually not that hard.
Buy a cute reusable drink bottle and have it with you all the time, pop it your desk or next to you in the car. Take sips constantly and you will find you drain the bottle in no time. Make sure you empty it and refill 2-3 times a day and you will have no trouble hitting your goal.
More water in your system will help to improve your energy levels as well as your digestion and clear up your skin. It acts as a detox and will help flush any toxins and the remainders of any bad habits that are still in your system.
Start a Food Journal
If getting started on a diet is a bit daunting at first, an easier place to start can be with a food journal. Most people who make poor eating choices do so because they haven’t yet paid close attention to their current eating habits.
We eat for all sorts of reasons; mood, hunger, boredom, thirst, frustration, and even pain. Many of us choose food based on emotion rather than a physical sensation, and we think of food as either comfort or reward, rather than just nutritious. We also tend to keep eating without realizing that our body has already been satisfied.
Start by writing down everything that you eat across the weekend, noting what, when, and how you are feeling at the time that you eat (including your hunger level and your emotional mood and thought processes).
At the end of the weekend look for patterns in your eating, and you might notice some good places you can start to change your habits.
Increase Your Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Americans tend to not eat enough fresh and whole foods, including fruit and vegetables. One of the simplest dietary changes you can make is just increase your colorful rainbow intake, even without having to quit anything else.
Some tips to help with this include:
- Pre-cut vegetables into sticks ready for easy grabbing and snacking
- Buy a big range of different types and every day try something new
- Aim for fruit and vegetables at every meal and snack across the day
- At main meals try to fill half your plate with vegetables such as salad, stir fry, roasted or steamed goodies, before eating anything else.
- Try smoothies of all kinds, or different soups.
- Experiment with salad dressings, herbs, spices and seasonings to help bring out the flavor
Switch from Processed Flours to Wholegrains
If fruit and vegetables are a bit scary to start with, why not try having your wholefoods in the form of grains?
We eat processed foods, especially grains, in many ways that have had all much of the nutrition (and the flavor) beaten out of them. In general, the whiter our grains, the more processed they have been.
If bread, cakes, and pasta are big favorites of yours, you don’t need to give them up to be healthy. Try some easy switches or add some new sorts of grains that you haven’t tried before – you’ll be surprised by what you might like!
- Swap white bread for wholegrain, rye or soy and linseed
- Switch your white rice for brown or wild rice
- Switch white pasta for wholemeal or gluten-free
- Try replacing mashed potato or fries with quinoa
- Add new grains like barley, chia or couscous
Start Some Gentle Exercise
Launching a full-scale fitness program from square one can work for some people, but may get put off early on in such an ambitious undertaking. Small steps can be better with exercise if you haven’t done anything in a long time.
Any exercise at all is better than nothing, and if you’ve been pretty sedentary up until now, you will notice some physical and mental effects of even a little bit of activity. And like all of these easy changes to improve your health, it can be so much easier to keep going with bigger changes once you get some momentum with the little ones.
Try this weekend:
- Walking for 20 minutes each day – outdoors is great but winter can be a deterrent, why not try walking around a shopping center near home instead?
- Put on some of your favorite music and dance around your house for twenty minutes each day.
- Go for a swim at your local indoor pool
- Jump on Youtube and check out a short yoga video, do some simple stretches and poses
- Round up a friend and take a class you’ve never tried before like Zumba, Barre or trampolining.
- Download a fitness app with short programs you can try at home such as 8fit or Aaptiv
You can do it! Little changes get the ball rolling and make everything seem possible. And if you need advice or inspiration, drop into Eric’s to talk to some of the friendly experts there today.