Setting off on a new lifestyle plan can be a little bit daunting. I often speak with women who have hit a ‘mental roadblock’ and really don’t know where to start, or sometimes, how to keep going. So today, I thought I’d talk about breaking down some of these changes into small steps.
Perfect your squat technique and do them everywhere
Don’t waste those minutes you spend waiting around. Learn how to do the perfect squat and start doing them whenever you have a free moment. Brushing your teeth? Do a couple of squats. Blow-drying your hair in the morning? Do some squats as you go. If you’re feeling brave, do them in the office as a way to get your blood pumping after sitting for awhile.
Sit on an exercise ball
To stay balanced on an exercise ball, you’re more likely to be using better posture. As sitting on one of these balls isn’t quite as stable as a chair, it requires a lot of hard work from your abs! Over time, stronger ab muscles can help reduce lower back pain too. Just make sure that, as the day goes on, you maintain good posture and don’t slouch!
Stretch. Every. Single. Day.
A good stretch can help increase the flow of blood to your whole body, which may make you feel more awake. It can also help with fine muscle coordination, range of motion and tension relief. It’s quite easy to reap these benefits when we stretch regularly, which is why it’s so important to make time for it, even on rest days.
Get creative with your downtime
A whole weekend spent in front of the TV isn’t all that good for you. I’m not saying you need to give up watching TV, but don’t let it be the ONLY thing you do on your precious days off. Instead, look for fun new ways to get out and be active. Hire a kayak and paddle around some waterways, or go for a hike. Catch up with friends by joining a social sporting competition instead of meeting for food. That way, you’ll squeeze in a little extra exercise here and there and will probably feel better for it!
Add more veggies to your plate
If veggies are taking up less than a quarter of the space on your dinner plate, it might be time to overhaul. Vegetables provide you with fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to keep your energy up and fuel your body’s processes.
Try out different preparation methods if you find vegetables a bit boring!
Buy a spiraliser and make zucchini noodles, or roast some vegetables and season with fresh herbs. You can also try some of my healthy vegetable recipes for some more ideas!
Eat at the dining table
When people eat in front of the TV, chances of overeating are much higher. Our favourite shows are such a big distraction, we don’t realise how fast or how much we’re eating. Sitting down at the dinner table with no distractions helps you to practice ‘mindful eating’, where you are more aware of when you’re starting to feel full and how much you’re actually eating.
Swap white rice for brown rice
To get the ‘clean’ white look, white rice can go through a lot of processing, removing the outer layers. Unfortunately, this processing can sometimes strip a lot of nutrients from white rice. Brown rice, however, doesn’t go through the same level of processing, which means it higher levels of nutrients are often retained.
If you’re not a huge fan of brown rice, try swapping white rice for quinoa or whole grains instead!
Curb your sugar cravings with a piece of fruit
Instead of reaching for snack foods that are full of sugar, take the edge off with a piece of fruit. Eating a banana or an apple with a little nut butter can take care of that sugar craving, while also providing you with some extra nutrition, such as fibre
These sneaky changes can help keep you on the path to better health. Small steps really do add up over time, so it’s definitely worth trying this approach.