Written by MindMate Staff
Going on a diet, taking up a sport, joining the gym - changing your lifestyle for the better can often seem like a big commitment. Oftentimes, the reason we find it so hard to change the way we live for a healthier way is because we assume that we have to do everything at once and make drastic changes. In reality, the best way to achieve lasting, effective results in your quest for a healthier life is by making a few small changes, which will over time add up to a big change.
Here's a few ideas to help you get started and show you how simple it can really be:
1. Walk to Work
An obviously easy way to start your journey to a fitter, more active lifestyle is to ditch that bus or car journey and rely your own leg power for your daily commute. Not only will you notice radical differences in your general fitness in just a few weeks, you’ll also no longer be at the mercy of delays or traffic jams. Of course, this might not be possible for everyone, but if your workplace is simply too far away to reasonably walk, why not invest in a bicycle? You can enjoy all the same benefits and gain an extra tool to enhance your fitness routine.
2. Buy a pedometer
Costing as little as $20 a pedometer is a much easier investment than a gym membership! Wear one daily as you go about your routine and track your steps each day. This will help focus your mind on keeping moving and give you motivation to beat your ‘step count’ each new day! You’ll be surprised at just how conscious you’ll become of being active when you’re every movement is being tracked.
3. Take the Stairs!
Sure, escalators or elevators might be quicker, but climbing stairs is a great way to burn calories and get in a quick workout with minimal effort. Best of all, if you develop the habit of always choosing the stairs you’ll be getting more exercise every day without even noticing, and over time you’ll achieve noticeable fitness results.
4. Rethink Your Refrigerator
Healthy eating is, quite simply, the foundation of fitness. You can’t achieve significant fitness results without first building healthy habits in the kitchen, and when you’re eating healthier, you feel healthier and it makes exercise more appealing and less effort. A simple way to start is to open your refrigerator and clean out as much of the junk food, bad fats and sugary snacks as you can. Then, be meticulous about creating a healthy shopping list and sticking to it once you hit the store. As tempting as those 2 for 1 offers on boxes of cookies can be, you don’t need them and you can save yourself money as well as improve your fitness by committing to eating well.
5. Walk while you talk
Next time you’re on a long phone call for work or speaking to family, try pacing the room while you talk. Once you get used to doing it, this can be an ideal way to stay moving at work or get in some extra steps, you’ll be surprised how much of a workout one conversation can provide!
6. Drink More Water
Did you know that up to 60% of your body is made up of water? Well there’s a good reason for that – water is essential for all everyday bodily functions, and especially important in fueling your muscles when you exercise.
An easy way to increase your H2O intake is to carry a flask or water bottle with you wherever you go. Try filling it up every time you make a cup of tea or get up from your desk at work. You’ll soon find that if there’s water in front of you, you’ll drink more of it without even thinking about it!
7. Do Some Chores
Believe it or not, doing a couple of hours of housework or strenuous gardening is actually great for your fitness! Why not give your garden a makeover or commit to some home renovations or even just a spring clean? It’s an ideal way to be productive and improve your fitness without even realizing it!
8. Rise and Shine
Set your alarm just 10 minutes earlier and you’ll buy yourself some time to squeeze in a quick workout before the daily grind even begins! Try some sit-ups, star-jumps, stretches or light aerobics and you’ll be fitter and healthier before the day’s even begun!
9. Join a Sports Club
This might feel like a big ask depending on your schedule, but taking up a sport as a hobby is a far easier way to get fit than hitting the gym. It’s much easier to be motivated when getting fitter is combined with a social incentive, sports clubs are a great way to meet new people and have fun. When you work out in a group, sometimes it doesn’t even feel like a chore!
10. Get 8 Hours of Sleep
When you aren’t well rested, everything feels like more effort than it actually is. In a sleep-deprived state, it’s often difficult to summon the energy to do the things you must do like go to work or run errands. That’s before you even get started on the things you ought to be doing like exercising. If you commit to getting a full 8 hours of sleep no matter what, you’ll find yourself more energized, focused and productive. This is guaranteed to help you get through everything you must do in your day and still leave you with enough left in the tank to work out too. Developing a consistent sleeping pattern will also help you to rest and recover more fully between your workouts, which will in turn improve your performance and strengthen your muscles.