13 changes you can make to improve your fitness, your physique, your health, and your life!
Why 13, you may ask? Well, changing habits and behavior, on the road to any fitness or health goal, is sometimes a daunting task. I have found that trying to completely overhaul everything all at once, can be overwhelming. However, if you make one change every week, for a year, you will have made 52 changes that will ultimately change your life! This will be the first article in this series of four, so I will give you 13 suggestions each time.
1. Eat a big green salad (not just iceberg lettuce) with lots of veggies every day at either lunch or dinner. Add beans for carbohydrate and chicken, salmon, tuna, or eggs for protein. Be smart about the type and amount of dressing.
2. Get to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. Increase it by 15 minutes a week until you are getting at least 7-8 hours a night.
3. Park your car at the far end of the parking lot when you go to the supermarket or mall, so you can burn more calories.
4. Take the stairs whenever you can. Elevators and escalators are for those who really cannot walk the stairs. If you have to go to a very high floor, take the elevator, but stop a few flights short of your destination and use the stairs the rest of the way.
5. Eat your meals more slowly. You will be less likely to go for seconds.
6. Prepare your lunch and snacks to bring to work, saving you time, money and calories!
7. Keep a food journal and write down everything you eat or drink. I have had people say this takes too much time, but then I ask them, “would you rather be overweight and unhappy?” This usually does the trick!
8. If you are not currently lifting weights, you need to start! You can get stronger, increase your metabolism and lose body fat. Who wouldn’t want that?
9. If you are currently ONLY using the elliptical trainer for your cardio workout, you need to stop! Replace it with the treadmill, stair climber and the rower.
10. Eliminate ALL fried foods from your diet. French fries (sorry, even sweet potato fries), chicken or eggplant cutlets, and donuts (fried cake) all should go. Potatoes and breaded cutlets can be baked and will be just as delicious.
11. Give up the fancy Starbucks sugary and creamy hot beverages. How did you drink your coffee and tea before Starbucks came along and hooked you on their evil beverages? Save yourself some calories and money!
12. Get outside and play! Who said playing is only for kids? Go for a hike, ride a bike, toss a Frisbee, or get a basketball and shoot some hoops.
13. Don’t go through your fitness journey alone. Team up with a workout partner. You will motivate, support, and inspire each other and exercising will be more fun.