As the last bit of cookies and eggnog fully diminish from our kitchens and a new year and new decade get fully underway, the healthy, instinctual radar inside of most of us is inevitably starting to go off, if not already begging for attention. Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up or simply feel better, you might be surprised to know that modest changes in your daily habits can make a big difference, whatever your objective. Here are three quick tips so easy to adopt you just might make a case to keep that eggnog habit of yours year-round:

 

DRINK MORE WATER: Every day we lose water through bodily functions like breath, perspiration, and urination. Even being slightly dehydrated can make us feel groggy or lethargic. Following the tried and true 8×8 rule (eight eight-ounce glasses of water) per day can be a great guideline and goal for your intake. Just remember to adjust accordingly if you’re extra active. If drinking water is hard for you, make it fun by picking out a cool water bottle that makes it easy to track your intake and that you can carry with you wherever you go.

 

INCORPORATE EXERCISE INTO YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES: Even 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week can help you lose weight, improve your cholesterol and even lower your blood pressure.

At work, set a reminder on your calendar to take a five-minute “walk break.” Do this 3-4 times throughout the day and you’ve done 20 minutes of exercise. Bonus benefit, you’ll relieve stress and come back with a better focus for work.

At home, exercise during commercials when watching TV:

    • 10 Squats (stand up, sit down, repeat)
    • Hold a plank or modified plank position for 30 seconds
    • Couch/chair pushups or dips
    • Repeat each commercial break

 

TRY SOMETHING NEW IN YOUR DIET: Adopting healthy eating habits can not only help prevent disease but can also improve your mood, confidence and energy level. Try eating one new fruit or veggie each day and set a goal to pack a balanced lunch 2-3 times a week instead of getting fast food. These small changes will make BIG differences.

 

Michelle Jost
Association Director of Healthy Living
Valley of the Sun YMCA