Of course, you want to live a healthy lifestyle. You want nothing better than to go to the gym every morning and practice a sport every afternoon while eating nutritionally calculated meals five times a day. But such fantasies are way out of reach because you need to work, take care of your family, and frequently have to eat out because of the time you spend with business concerns.
Fortunately, there’s no need to go through extremes to become better physically. Incorporating a few realistic habits into your daily routine can make your lifestyle healthier.
Whenever you need to get to a second floor or higher, take it as an opportunity to use the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator, which will get your heart pumping. This should be relatively easy to do if you already negotiate stairs in your multi-story home or multi-floor apartment building. If taking too many flights is difficult, try using the stairs only to the second floor and then switch to an elevator the rest of the way.
Rather than park as close as possible to the entrance of your destination, park in the furthest corner of the parking lot or a few blocks away. You’ll then have to walk a few steps when you leave and re-enter your car. Aside from the extra exercise, you also won’t be wasting time looking for a parking spot because fewer people will be parking far away. In addition, with fewer cars parked next to you, your vehicle won’t suffer as many dings.
A lifetime of eating, visiting the doctor, attending health classes at school, and reading cooking articles has given you the knowledge of what isn’t healthy to eat. Fast food, hot fudge sundaes, sodas, salami, cakes, and chocolate bars are just some of the offenders. But all these unhealthy foods taste so delicious that it’s hard to resist them. The easy solution is not to.
Instead, when you encounter food that might be bad to consume, allow yourself to eat it but not until 24 hours have passed. In the meantime, fill in with something healthy such as fresh fruit or lean meat. By waiting a full day, it becomes easier to skip something bad because you will have lost the craving for it.
If you’re going to meet that project deadline by tomorrow, you’re going to have to keep working through the day. You’re not even going to have time to grab a meal at your favorite healthy restaurant. Don’t chase away the hunger pains by consuming energy drinks, potato chips, or candy bars from the nearby office vending machine. Instead, always keep a stash of health snacks in your drawer, so you have something to munch on when you can’t get away. These foods can include raw and unsalted nuts, trail mix, and unsweetened dried fruit.
Sitting in front of a computer or desk for eight hours plus driving or taking public transportation to work puts you on your behind for most of your waking life. Beat this unhealthy trend toward inactivity by scheduling a short walking break every hour or so. Get up from your desk or computer, and walk around the office. Use the stand-up time to get supplies or files, deliver documents, or to chat with co-workers about your current project.
One source of unwelcome stress is trying to do too much in order to fulfill unrealistic goals. While reaching for something is a great way to improve, make sure it’s something you can achieve. For example, rather than trying to lose 50 pounds total pounds, go for a more doable one pound a week.
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