Being healthy is a lifestyle. A lifestyle is made up of large, over-arching themes and smaller details. Today, I’m concentrating on the smaller (but very important) details. Read on to learn 5 things you can do today to be healthier!
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We all know how important drinking water is. For our body to work correctly, for us to feel our best and most alert, and even for fat loss, staying hydrated is one of the best (and easiest) things we can do. However, it can be easy to forget to drink enough water throughout our busy days. To help make getting enough H2O the priority it should be, drink an entire water bottle before you leave home in the morning. This is especially important if you like working out in the AM, like me! Starting your day with 20-30 ounces of water will not only make you feel better and more focused throughout the day, but it insures that you are already well on your way to getting the right amount of water. Earlier this summer, I challenged myself to drink an entire Nalgene bottle before leaving the apartment in the morning and have been doing it ever since!
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It’s very common to reach for the salt shaker while you’re cooking or if you think your food needs a little extra something. A little salt is OK, but too much sodium is not, and unfortunately, a lot of the processed foods we eat already contain plenty of our daily sodium intake. Instead of adding salt to your meals, try a spice that not only doesn’t contain sodium, but has health benefits too! Sprinkle cinnamon (loaded with anti-oxidants, might lower the risk of heart disease, and lowers blood sugar levels) on your oatmeal, add curry (might reduce risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, prevents cancer, and improves heart and bone health) to your salads or sauteed veggies, or put some rosemary (boost immune system, improves heart health and brain function through improving the circulation of the blood) on your potatoes or roasted veggies. Experimenting with these and other spices is a win-win—your taste buds and the rest of your body will thank you!
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Most people associate salads with health (which they should!), but most salad dressings are full of calories and unhealthy ingredients. Keep your salads healthy but topping them off with Apple Cider Vinegar. Not only is ACV extremely low-cal, it also has tons of health benefits. It’s known to reduce symptoms of sickness (like stomach aches, sore throats, and stuffy noses), as well as act as an aid in weight loss and detoxing. I introduced ACV to my boyfriend earlier this summer and now we put it on our veggies and quinoa every night.
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So you run 5 miles a day? Spend each morning in the yoga studio? One of the great things about exercise is that there are so many different types to choose from. One of the not so great things is that once we find a workout we are comfortable with, we often tend to cling too tightly to it. Workouts are not significant others! Trying something new is not cheating; you’re cheating yourself if you don’t! Exercise in general is awesome, but once your body gets used to a workout, the health and fitness benefits are not as good as they could be. So tell your workout routine you’ll take a rain check on your date and try something new! Take a new class at the gym, try some of the thousands of free workout videos available on YouTube (my favorites are Millionaire Hoy and Fitness Blender), add strength training to your workout plan—anything you can do to switch up your typical exercise routine will work your body in new ways and get you closer to being as fit as you can be!
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I studied abroad in Rome last spring (check out all of my adventures here). I spent four months in the country known for pizza, pasta, wine, and gelato, and I definitely got to know all of them 😉 I was always worried about gaining weight, but when I got back to the United States, I realized I didn’t gain a single pound. Why? Because in Rome (and Europe in general), people walk everywhere, which is why they can eat this and still look amazing. It’s harder to walk as much in the United States because our culture is different but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a conscious effort to get those steps in. Try the old trick of parking in the farthest spot in the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator, and volunteer to run that office errand—every step counts.
Being healthy doesn’t need to require tons of time and money, but it does require us to dedicate more time and thought to health and fitness than just a half-hour at the gym. A healthy lifestyle requires us to be motivated and passionate about being as healthy and fit as possible throughout our entire day. I hope these tricks will help you kick-start or improve your healthy lifestyle!
What health and fitness tips do you have? Share them in the comment section below!