If you’re anything like me, the concept of “healthy living” is essentially nothing more than an urban legend—a mystical state of utopian bliss, complete with organic vegetables, sunrise yoga, mountain spring water and homemade baking soda laundry detergent. And while it would be nice to attain this heightened level of healthy living success, you feel as though you’re just too busy, stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted to even think about attaining anything other than a takeout pizza and a nap.
But to assume there’s a distinct separation between healthy living and living out of convenience or necessity is a mistake that many of us make on a daily basis. “Healthy living can and should align with each individual’s unique wants, needs, and goals,” says Molly Kraft, R.N., a Registered Nurse, Healthy Living Coach and Nutritional Advocate from Youngstown, Ohio. “Just because you can’t plant a garden in your apartment or find a babysitter for yoga night, doesn’t mean you can’t live a healthy lifestyle.”
The following simple tips can help you start incorporating realistic healthy living goals into your everyday routine without feeling as though you’re doomed for failure right from the start due to lack of time, money or motivation.
Healthy Living Tip 1: Pay Attention to What and When You Eat
We all know it’s important to eat foods that are high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. But did you know that the time of day you choose to eat these foods can also affect your overall state of health?
According to Marc David, the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, “Timing is everything. Sumo wrestlers have known for centuries that large meals eaten in the late evening hours will give them the physical advantage they covet most—flab. Simply put, we calorie-burn less efficiently in the late evening hours.” If you want to start benefitting from healthier eating, “I suggest that you relinquish the Sumo diet immediately,” says David. “Eating little food during the day and much in the evening will never take you where you want to go when it comes to optimizing energy and burning calories.”
To help prevent evening binges, “…try grazing on healthy foods throughout the day,” suggests Molly Kraft, R.N. There are many nutritious snacks out there that are great for on-the-go, busy people, such as nuts, seeds, whole fruits, and pre-packaged organic veggies with dip. Our Smart for Life® protein bars, cookies, shakes, and even cupcakes make a great addition to an on-the-go healthy lifestyle as well, because they’re convenient, nutritionally-balanced, and can help suppress hunger. (They actually taste good, too.)
Healthy Living Tip 2: No Matter What You Do, Do Something!
Regular exercise brings with it an entire host of benefits, including increased muscle tone and flexibility, increased bone strength, protection against coronary heart disease, and elevated levels of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. And while there’s no misunderstanding these and other scientifically-proven benefits of exercise, there does seem to be some confusion about what constitutes regular exercise.
As it turns out, most experts agree that just 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise (something that makes you break into a little sweat) is all you need to significantly improve your health and fitness levels. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, playing a quick game of tag with the kids or walking your dog around the block are all ways you can incorporate 30 minutes of activity into your daily routine with relative ease.
It’s also important to note that you don’t have to complete your 30 minutes of daily exercise all at once. You can divide your exercise into three 10-minute workouts, or you can choose one 10-minute workout in the morning and one 20-minute workout during your lunch hour. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless when it comes to how easily you can incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine—all without having to join a gym, find a babysitter, or skip your favorite TV show. Nice.
These two quick and dirty healthy living tips are so easy, it’s almost impossible not to incorporate them into your day-to-day life. So if you’re excited about living heathier without having to sacrifice your hard-earned time and money, give these two tips a try; it may be just what you need to get your life headed in a new, healthy direction.
Disclaimer: This article is designed to give tips to readers about how they can improve or augment actions in their life that may lead to a healthier lifestyle; it is not meant to be all-inclusive or to be used in place of medical advice.