By Cora Petersen, ex-gymnast and health blogger
Do you ever feel like getting healthy is just too hard? I totally get it. For me, when I was first starting down the journey of health and fitness I just didn’t know where to begin. On one side, I was reading about all these models and how they eat 100% clean and spend 1-2 hours in the gym once or sometimes even twice a day! Um… No thanks? And then on the other side I saw the hundreds of articles about how to get fit in 7 days and the different ads for all those skinny teas that supposedly work like magic. Um… lying much?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a model. So, spending hours in the gym and kitchen everyday is unfortunately not in my job description meaning I don’t have time for that (though I certainly wish!!). But I also don’t have the time or money to waste trying all those fad diets and skinny teas that in the end, I know won’t work and will likely leave me deflated with worse health than before.
This left me with only one conclusion: I needed to come up with a set of ways to start my healthy lifestyle. Ways that would be maintainable and healthy but also affordable and realistic given my busy lifestyle. Basically, things that would work for all of the people out there like me who are just trying to balance health and fitness with the rest of their lives.
So, I researched everything from the different styles of working out to the best things to include in a healthy diet to small habits of healthy people. And then I spent a LOT time testing out the tricks I came up with until I had created a set of things that made living healthily enjoyable, easy, and affordable; without taking up too much of the time most of us don’t have. And now that I have this list, it’s time to share these tips with all of you so you, unlike me will have lots of ideas about how to start living a healthy lifestyle effectively and efficiently right out of the gate.
Working out is necessary to having a healthy mind and body by making you stronger and relieving stress, but it can be hard to get started sometimes. Here are some of the ways that I have found work to fit working out into my everyday life manageably and realistically:
- Start out small: If you find it hard to find the time or the motivation to work out, start out small. Going to the gym for 2 hours every day is not the only way to get healthy. Start out by going for a walk every day or spend ten minutes every morning when you get out of bed doing some exercises like squats, crunches and pushups. Then as you start to feel stronger start running for part (or all) of your walk or spend longer working out. Just taking 30 minutes out of your day everyday to do whatever kind of exercise you enjoy is enough to boost your overall health!
- Live an active lifestyle: I have found that being active in your day to day life makes all the difference in terms of getting fit. If you are going to the gym everyday and working out but then coming home to sit on the couch all day you aren’t going to make much progress. Not to mention doing fun activities helps you get healthy without feeling all the pressure to have a ‘good’ workout. Meet your friends to talk and hike instead of at a coffee shop. Or take your kids swimming and swim with them! There are so many little ways to create an active lifestyle and I find that to be the easiest way for me to get fit, especially when I lack motivation or time for the gym.
- Mix it up: I think a lot of why people hate working out is because they don’t find it fun. If they don’t enjoy it why carve time out of an already busy schedule to do it right? Well that is the awesome part. There are so many kinds of exercise you can do that aren’t necessarily sweating it out in the gym. If you think this applies to you, here are some other kinds of exercise you should try out: Hiking, swimming, boxing, yoga, dance classes, Pilates, spin and so many more. When you, workout you are doing it for you so you should enjoy it because ultimately this is meant to be an act of love towards yourself, because it is. It’s about finding what works for you so go ahead try some of everything!
Your body is unique to you so different things will work for you than those that work for me and you will also enjoy different things more than other people on their fitness journey. Embrace who you are and the journey!
What if I told you I have a list of secret tips that are easy to follow and make nourishing your body easier than ever? Well I do. After a long time of trial and error I finally came up with some specific ways that help me to stay healthy in the kitchen without having to spend hours working on meal plans, counting calories, or dealing with food related stress. And now I am here to share these wonderful little tips with all of you because after all, food is meant to be enjoyed and used as nourishment for your body!
- A salad a day: Having a salad every day, even just a side salad, will make a huge difference! Now I don’t mean a Caesar salad that is covered in dressing, cheese and croutons with the only veggie being romaine lettuce. I mean a mix of dark leafy greens with tomatoes, and peppers and carrots and purple cabbage and some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a dressing. If you are making that salad as one of your meals make sure to add a source of protein like grilled chicken or roasted chickpeas or seeds and nuts. Or if you don’t life salad, you can easily make it a nourish bowl by adding some quinoa in as part of the base with the greens and roasted sweet potato in there for some carotene and texture. Also don’t forget the avocado for those healthy fats!
- Drink that water: Yes, this is the most common tip but that’s only because its super important and a lot of people continually overlook it. Say no to the drinks like soda and coffee drinks that are basically just sugar and opt for water. Then when you do feel like having something a little different go for black coffee, a café latte or tea latte sweetened with honey (not sugar) and flavored sparkling water instead of those sodas if you love the fizzy stuff!
- Supplements: Fun fact: it is possible to reap huge benefit from tiny changes! One of which being the addition of supplements into your diet. Taking a supplement is a great way to get nutrients into your body quickly without having to change your whole diet. That way you start to benefit from good nutrition right away and then it will only get better as the rest of your diet continually become healthier! Some of my favorite supplements include cinnamon (metabolism and skin), Chlorella (detoxify), Maca (hormone support and energy levels ladies!) and apple cider vinegar (metabolism, skin, and detox).
If you aren’t sure how to go getting into the supplement habit, don’t worry, here are a couple of tips for you to utilize to help make supplements a part of your routine!
- Out of sight out of mind: It’s true, when you keep something out of sight, you no doubt will forget about it sooner or later. So, keep your supplements somewhere where you will see them and constantly be reminded to take them. I personally keep a bottle on my bedside table so that I remember to take them every morning when I wake up. But if you like to avoid all kinds of clutter try keeping them in the cabinet you keep your coffee cups, so every morning you see them first thing! If you don’t drink coffee don’t worry! It will work with any cabinet or drawer you open every single day!
- Have a routine: Taking your supplements around the same time everyday will help that to become a routine faster than if you take them at different times every day. I suggest right when you get up or right before you go to bed because the longer you wait the easier it is to forget!
- Start out small: Start out with just one or two supplements that you feel apply to your specific needs. You can find all the information about what the supplements do on Potent Organics shop page and I found it very helpful when I was first starting out. Then make taking those few supplements part of your routine and as you go you can identify other imbalances in your body and then add to your supplement list.
Okay guys! Now that I have shared all these juicy tips about how to start living a healthy lifestyle, I really hope you have a better understanding of where to start! Everyone can benefit from living healthily and being active in their everyday life and it is also something everyone, and I mean everyone, can achieve!
Have fun experimenting with new recipes and exercises! And there is no need to be afraid of the process! You are going to kill it and you will feel better than ever! So lets all start using these tips in our everyday lives because its never to late to live your best life!!