While most people would say that they want to become healthier, as we all know, saying it and doing it are two very different things. It can seem like an insurmountable task at times, especially for those people who might be severely overweight or have an ongoing or chronic medical condition.
The good news is that, after you receive the go-ahead from your health care provider, there are many small ways to begin improving your health, and most of these can be done throughout the course of an average day. Yes, joining a gym or an exercise program is a great way to get started on the road to better health, but it’s not the only way, and for those people who might be intimidated or unsure, having a list of little things can be a big deal.
If you’re ready to partially take the plunge and learn how to improve your health, check out this list for tiny ways to make a huge impact.
1. Drink More Water
It seems so simple, but some might be surprised to know that many people struggle with drinking enough water throughout the day. Perhaps it’s because we’ve gotten used to the strong taste of flavored drinks, but whatever the reason we should all make a conscious effort to hydrate with water over anything else.
Aim to drink 64 ounces of water each day. While this might sound like a lot, it translates into only eight 8-ounce glasses. Add sliced fruit or fresh berries to your water if you’d like a little flavor, just don’t add sugar or other sweeteners.
2. Keep a Movement Diary
Even those who might self-identify as couch potatoes move more in one day than they might think, so it is a great idea to keep a movement diary. Simply jot down the times that you engage in any movement throughout the day. This could be as simple as taking the trash out, or something more intense like walking your dog for 30 minutes.
Now might be a great time to invest in fitness tools like heart rate watches, as well. As you monitor your heart rate you’ll have a better idea of your fitness level, and seeing your heart rate decrease over time can also encourage you to keep going and increase the amount of exercise you do every day or week.
While it might seem logical to skip or reduce meals during the course of your day to try and lose weight, that can actually have the opposite effect on your health. The human body needs energy in the form of food to keep all of its systems operating, but a bag of chips or a fast food burger is not the best way to accomplish this.
Be sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast, and then plan to have a snack two hours later. This could be as simple as a spoonful of natural peanut or almond butter, a piece of cheese, or a handful of grapes. Then, plan to have another snack after lunch. Again, choose something healthy like a piece of fruit, a slice of whole grain bread, or a cup of yogurt. As your body gets used to being fueled throughout the day you’ll find that you feel better and that you eat less at meal times.
Health and fitness are not a destination but a journey. If you start with small steps that you can increase to big steps over time, you’ll find that the journey becomes more rewarding and a whole lot easier.