Confession... I used to be a couch potato.
Yep, I know surprising right!
Things have changed a lot since then though. I now crave weekend adventures and will do anything to spend time in nature. I am an avid hiker, I frequent CrossFit classes, and I ran a marathon a couple of years ago.
So how did I go from couch potato to an active healthy lifestyle?
I made the decision to change every single day. I made a decision to start living my life instead of viewing other people’s pretend lives on TV. I made the decision to live.
Most people know that living a healthy lifestyle isn’t rocket science… move your body and eat more vegetables. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
But yet, it’s not always easy. So, here are 10 simple steps you can implement TODAY to start living a healthier lifestyle.
Practice Gratitude. Gratitude singlehandedly can change how you view your world. I know that's a powerful statement but I wholeheartedly believe it. Research has even shown that grateful people have improved self-esteem, deeper relationships, improved mental & physical health, and enhanced empathy. Start and/or end your day by listing three things you are grateful for.
Move Your Body Daily. You don’t have to go to the gym for 2 hours a day to be healthy. But choose a movement each day that makes you feel good in your body and do that for at least 30 minutes. That could even just be walking more – park in the spot furthest from the grocery store, choose to take the stairs more often, schedule walking dates with your friends instead of happy hour, plan a group hike.
Set a Bedtime (and stick to it). Yep, even as an adult, you can benefit from a bedtime. I suggest counting back 8 hours from your wake up time and start there.
Live by: Know-No-Yes. The Know-No-Yes framework was coined by Will Marre and I love its simplicity. Know what is most important to you. Say ‘no’ to anything that does not serve that. And say ‘yes’ to anything that does.
Read a Book (any book). Any type of reading helps stimulate the brain and increase your mental capacity. Plus, it’s a great substitute for watching TV before bed.
Take a Tech Break. I know you are ironically reading this article from your phone or laptop but here me out. Disconnecting from technology for a while can not only help improve your sleep, but bring you into the present moment and allow you to experience true connection. In an age where we are the most connected across our planet than we ever have been, we are also the most disconnected from each other. So, whether if its no phones at dinner or a planned weekend to disconnect, you’ll thank me later. ;)
Eat Your Vegetables. (You should have expected this one, given the nature of my job.) Vegetables provide your body with important micronutrients, fibre, and when you add more nutrient-dense vegetables to your diet you will inherently eat fewer processed foods that don’t support a healthy lifestyle.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Did I mention hydrate? Drinking enough water is probably the simplest but most common recommendation I give clients. Because we collectively are not hydrating enough. Your body needs half your weight (pounds) in ounces of water each and every day to function optimally. If you weigh 160 pounds, that is 80 ounces of water or 10 - 8 ounces glasses per day.
Remember to Breathe. I think because we breathe automatically we sometimes take it for granted. When we are intentional with our breath we can alter our physiological state. Such as, in high stress or anxious moments – just 6 deep belly breaths can calm your nervous system. Having a regular intentional breathwork routine can be extremely beneficial for your mental health.
Play like a Child. I think as adults we forget that play is an important part of living a healthy life. When we play, we do something for the pure joy of doing it with no other agenda. I recently talked my partner into buying Crazy Carpets and sledding down the hill near our home. His initial reaction to my idea was… Why?! With a generous amount of skepticism. But it was probably one of the funnest (it’s a word I checked..) afternoons I’ve had in a while. So, go forth and PLAY!