We all know the basic habits we need to adopt in order to stay healthy: drink more water, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly; but all of those things are much easier said than done.
With busy schedules, proper health management tends to fall by the wayside. However, without taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to take on any of the other things that life throws your way, and, most of the time, all it takes is a few small steps in the right direction.
Eat the right foods.
Knowing what kinds of things to eat, how much, and at what times, can be tricky. But to maintain a healthy eating strategy it’s best to stick to the tried-and-true staples that most experts agree are the building blocks of a strong meal plan.
Foods that are high in protein are proven to help keep you fuller longer, which means less snacking throughout the day.
EAT: Lean meats, Greek yogurt, eggs, and spinach
There are plenty of benefits to incorporating foods high in antioxidants into your meals. Antioxidants are great for helping replenish cells, an essential function to keeping your body healthy and happy.
EAT: Blueberries, dark chocolate, and green tea
Your food regimen needs to be full of foods high in vitamins, which are vital to proper organ function, bone strength, and many other functions.
EAT: green veggies, oranges, dark greens, berries, and salmon
Work it out.
What you eat is 80 percent of staying healthy, but the other essential component is physical activity. You can completely change your eating habits, but if you aren’t maintaining a fitness routine, you probably won’t see the results you want.
You don’t need to exercise two hours each day, every day of the week, to stay healthy. Incorporate small bursts of exercise, about 15 minutes each day, with a few days of longer, more strenuous activity, and you’ll start to see a difference.
Risk and reward
If you need a little motivation to get your new routine in motion, try giving yourself a small reward every time you hit a new milestone in your workout. Maybe you treat yourself to that concert you’ve wanted to see for adding an extra mile to your run or a new pair of shoes for adding reps to your weightlifting. Whatever it is, don’t forget to acknowledge your successes—you’ve earned it!
The last thing you want to do is burn out your motivation after being just a few weeks into a new routine. Listen to your body. If you feel you’re doing too much, too fast, you’re probably right. Build up your workouts gradually and you’ll find you have much more drive to keep working toward that goal.
Take care of your mind.
There is perhaps no more important component to getting healthy than taking control of your mental health. Any new goal, whether it is to get in shape, eat better, or feel more relaxed, starts with how you feel about yourself.
Get the full 7-8 hours.
With a busy schedule, it might seem impossible to get a full night’s rest, but this is completely essential to your body working at its full capacity. Lack of sleep means a lack of motivation, in addition many other more serious health concerns.
Declutter your digital life.
Spending too much time glued to your computer screen is a surefire way to not only lose sleep, but also increase overall stress levels. Promise yourself that you won’t spend too much energy on work e-mails or typing up important proposals, and step away from the laptop.
Make time for yourself.
We all like to be surrounded by friends and family, but every once in a while it’s important to make time for you, too. Treat yourself to a trip to one of your favorite quiet spots, a nice dinner, or an hour doing an activity you enjoy. This will help you feel renewed and ready to tackle new challenges.