Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled to live a healthy lifestyle. I know I sure have. And it can be super easy to feel down on yourself every time you skip the gym or choose drive-thru for dinner. Especially when you see all the moms on Instagram who post videos of their insane home workouts and healthy meals (while somehow still managing to raise their kiddos), or the pics of the shirtless guys by the pool with abs for days.
If we’re comparing ourselves to some perfect image of health, it’s no wonder living a healthy lifestyle can seem so daunting.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Here are three small ways you can get started living a healthy lifestyle today.
1: Drink Up
If you think about it, water is pretty darn important. About 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water, and about 60 percent of the adult human body is made of water. So if you thought you were a meat suit running around, think again. You’re really more of a mermaid. YAS!
Here’s just a few of the benefits that come from drinking water:
- Can help increase energy and relieve fatigue
- Helps to flush out toxins
- May improve your skin complexion
- Aids in circulation and digestion
- Transports nutrients
- Helps maintain body temperature and absorption
Water You Waiting For?
Make it a habit to keep a water bottle on hand. Keep one at your desk, throw in one your gym bag, and even keep a glass on your kitchen table—wherever you need a visual reminder to drink up.
When was the last time you took a drink of water? (Take a swig now.)
2: Meal Prep
Unfortunately, it’s true what they say—beach bods are made in the kitchen. If your goal is to lose fat or build more muscle, eating healthy meals is a must. Fortunately, this is where meal prepping can be extremely helpful. Not only will this prevent the McDonald’s employees from knowing you on a first-name basis, but you’ll save on money and time as well. Think about it—buying food in bulk to prepare healthy meals will be much cheaper than grabbing fast food every night.
Meal prepping will also help you to stay on track with your healthy eating when you’re busy, because you’ll already be prepared with ready-made meals.
From Apples to Zucchinis
The premise for meal prep is simple. Start by setting aside one day a week for prepping, and decide how many meals you’d like to prepare.
For example, let’s say that every Sunday afternoon, you will prepare dinners to last Monday through Friday. To start, select a few healthy recipes beforehand to try out and be sure to have all your necessary ingredients on hand. From there, cook up enough food and chop enough fruits/veggies to last a week.
Rubbermaid offers a pretty good selection of cool containers that work great for separating your meals into convenient servings so they are good to go whenever you need them. Check out some other comparison brands for convenient storage ideas. You can even use something as simple as plastic baggies to store your veggies or snacks.
Cook Up Some Health
If cooking is your jam and you love trying new recipes, try switching things up each week with different healthy recipes like savory chicken stir fry, zesty taco quinoa casserole, or even grill up some healthy Hawaiian BBQ salmon burgers.
If you prefer an easier, healthy meal each day and you’re okay with something simple like chicken with a baked sweet potato or veggies, it can still taste anything but boring. You can cook up boneless, skinless chicken breasts beforehand, and then season them the day of. Monday could be a nice lemon pepper seasoning, Tuesday, drizzle your chicken in Buffalo sauce, make Wednesday’s chicken Cajun-style, and so on. You can also toss in a delicious and easy-to-make black bean, corn, and quinoa salad for an extra kick of flavor.
Git ’Er Done
Meal prepping is also great for multitasking. Listen to a podcast or audiobook while you cook, or get caught up on your favorite guilty-pleasure show. You can even start a load of laundry while you’re at it.
As an added perk, you’ll probably discover that you are actually cutting down on time spent in the kitchen. After preparing dinners for the week, you may find yourself throwing together the next day’s breakfast or lunch before cleaning up.
It’s a great way to get a lot done all at once.
3: Work Out a New Workout Program
Exercising is another way you can live a healthy lifestyle, and there are tons of great health benefits associated with regular exercise like weight loss and improved boosts in energy.
The great news is, there are so many interesting exercise options to choose from. So if you’re not a fan of running or lifting weights at the gym, don’t do it. Instead, pick something you really like.
Here’s a few fun options:
- Dancing—Bollywood dancing, ballet, ballroom—the list goes on and on with dance options. You could even take a twerkout or Zumba dance class at a local gym, or play an hour of Just Dance on your Xbox Kinect or Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii.
- Hiking—If you’re a nature lover, hiking totally counts as exercise. You could also go for long daily walks, try rock-climbing, or get into mountain biking.
- Yoga—There are so many different kinds of yoga classes you could try. If you don’t mind the heat, go with hot yoga. If you’re an acrobat at heart, give acroyoga a try. There’s even a thing called goat yoga with baby goats and it looks delightful. Seriously, look it up.
- The Sky’s the Limit—This is your chance to get really creative. Try hula-hooping, jump roping, unicycling, water aerobics, or even larping. (Stands for live action role-playing. Think of mock sword fighting in your favorite Zelda costume.)
- The C’s—Try a home calisthenics program or CrossFit class at the gym. These kinds of workouts will really build your overall muscular strength and endurance. And okay, it doesn’t start with a “C,” but let’s add karate to the list for kicks.
- DIY Workout—Invent your own mini workouts to do throughout the day. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Do calf raises when unloading the dishwasher. Get down and plank while waiting for your tea kettle to boil. Do tricep dips on your couch during TV commercials. Taking these little extra steps can definitely add up in a good way.
When All Is Said and Done
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, there isn’t a magical cure-all. But by taking little steps such as these every day, you really can improve your overall health, and by doing so, improve the quality of your life.
How do you live a healthy lifestyle? Comment below with your favorite examples.