Optimizing your fitness starts with making a few changes to your daily routine. While these may seem like minuscule steps, you’ll see a major difference in your fitness and overall health by incorporating them into your life.
Watch How You Eat
When you eat quickly, you may overeat because you’ll be full before your brain receives the message. Research shows that eating quickly hinders the release of hormones that alert your brain that your stomach is full.
Focus on eating each meal slowly. Take longer to chew your food, and take breaks between bites. For example, you might put your fork or spoon down after each bite. By focusing on how you eat, you could wind up eating less.
Monitor What You Eat
While it’s OK to have “cheat” days, indulging every now and then so you don’t get discouraged, you should watch what you eat most of the time. Ideally, you want to avoid packaged foods as much as possible. Shop from the perimeter of the grocery store, where you can find seafood, yogurt, fruits and vegetables. When choosing fruits and vegetables, opt to eat a rainbow, meaning selecting items of various colors, which have different nutrients from each other. For instance, orange and red veggies contain beta-carotene, while green vegetables are known for having vitamins C and E.
Ultimately, by controlling what you eat, you’ll feel better overall and have more drive to work out.
Stop Making Excuses
If you catch yourself saying you’ll work out tomorrow because you’re too busy, redirect your thoughts. Although life is busy and it’s not always easy to squeeze a workout into your day, make daily exercise a priority. Stop making excuses and, instead, re-evaluate your schedule so that working out is more convenient.
You don’t have to complete a 1-hour workout each day. On days when your schedule is packed, work out for 15 to 20 minutes. You don’t even have to finish the entire time in one block. Break it down into smaller increments that work into your lifestyle. On days when life isn’t as hectic, go for a longer workout.
Drink Enough Water
Most bodily functions require water, and you’re constantly depleting the amount in your body and can’t store it. Therefore, make adequate hydration a priority every day. Although how much water you need varies based on your weight, fitness level and other factors, general recommendations call for at least 15.5 cups if you’re a male and 11.5 if you’re a woman.
Incorporate Movement as Much as Possible
In addition to a daily workout, keep yourself moving. For instance, opt to take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators when possible. If you can walk to the store or on other errands, do so. Go for a walk on your lunch break. Put a bit more oomph into dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes or completing other chores.