Making changes to become a healthier, happier you doesn’t always have to be difficult. Sometimes, it just takes a simple lifestyle swap or two to get you there.
By doing things gradually, we can form habits and behaviors that really stick. And over the course of a year, you can start seeing some legitimate changes to your health and wellbeing! From snack swaps to taking the stairs, here are some easy ways to become a healthier you.
Take the Stairs
When it’s possible, choose to take the stairs. It might not seem like much, but climbing a flight or two instead of standing in an elevator can do wonders. It will get your heart rate up, give your metabolism a little boost, and get your blood flowing.
Similarly, try parking a little bit further away from the office or the store. It’s a simple way to get in a few extra steps each day. All those steps really add up, making for some low-impact exercise that could have some high impact on your health over the course of a year.
Get Up and Move
While we’re talking about easy ways to add in some low-impact exercise, it’s important to also get up and move throughout the day. We spend so much time being sedentary — sitting at a desk, watching TV on the couch, driving a car — that it’s shortening our life spans!
To combat a sedentary lifestyle, find ways to get up and move throughout the day. Stand up from your chair every half hour. You could go for a quick walk around the block, go get some water from the office fridge, or simply do some stretching.
Slow Down at Mealtime
Did you know that it could take 15 to 20 minutes to start feeling full after you’ve started eating? That means that eating quickly could result in eating too much. By slowing down and eating more mindfully, you can tune into your hunger and fullness cues to avoid overeating.
If you find it hard to slow down, try mirroring someone else who eats at a slower pace. Or add in an extra step, like taking a sip of water or setting your fork down between bites. You’ll naturally exercise better portion control without explicitly counting calories.
Swap Social Media Scrolling for Meditation
Okay, I’m not saying you have to leave Instagram forever or anything. However, try swapping at least a little bit of the doomscrolling for some meditation time. Just 10 minutes a day can have a profound effect on your health and happiness!
Meditation will help you manage regular day-to-day anxieties and help clear a head full of jumbled thoughts. Sounds a lot more useful than all that time-sucking social media, right?
Simple Snack Swaps
I don’t know about you, but that afternoon snack attack really does a number on me. Of course, skipping snack time isn’t an option, but we can be smarter about it.
That means avoiding those sugary treats and salty snacks with empty calories and too much sodium. Your body needs real sustenance from real food. Beat the cravings with some healthier swaps, like veggies and hummus, fruit, peanut butter, or a handful of nuts.
Try the Easy Way to Get More Sleep
There are obviously plenty of reasons to get more sleep. Getting a full night’s rest can help your memory and attention span, protect your mental health, and have an overall better mood. Plus, sleep deprivation is associated with a myriad of health problems, like a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and weakened immunity.
Actually getting more sleep is more difficult in practice than in theory, so let’s do it the easy way: gradually. Go to bed just 5 minutes earlier. That’s easy enough, right? And then the following week, go to bed 5 minutes earlier than that. After just a few months, you’ll be sleeping a full extra hour every night!