Getting healthy always sounds like a great idea, but the whole eating clean and exercising daily can seriously get in the way. Sometimes (aka 99% of the time), chips sound better than carrots and a Netflix binge sounds better than burpees. But we’re also big fans of a life that feels good in a body that feels even better. To get this balance, we’ve developed some sneaky ways to kick up the health game — without a salad-only diet and the gym every day (or ever!). If we’re speaking your language, read on for our tips on improving your health while maintaining your favorite things in life (like cheese and the couch, obviously).
1. Hydrate like woah
Drinking water is one of the laziest ways to stay healthy, so we’re all about it. It helps with digestion, makes your skin vibrant, increases energy, rids toxins, prevents headaches, and the list goes on. Try keeping a Swell bottle or something equivalent on your desk and see how many times you can fill it up each day. Do we hear a little office competition brewing?!
Side note: If you hate peeing every hour in the middle of the night (#same), limit your consumption to earlier in the day. If you hate the taste of plain ol’ H20, make your own spa water with a little lemon, mint, and cucumber. You fancy!
2. Meatless Monday
We’re not going to tell you to forfeit easy chicken dinners or a cheeseburger splurge, but limiting your meat consumption is another simple way to get healthier. Mainly because if you’re not eating meat, you’re likely filling your plates with other healthier stuff (or at least that’s the goal here!). Plus, less meat limits the chance of heart disease and is generally good on the environment.
Make Mondays the day to make a veggie chili, a big hearty salad with quinoa as your protein, or quesadillas full of healthy vegetables. See how creative you can get, and who knows — you might pick up a few new nutritional recipes along the way.
3. Class Club
If you were never a book club gal, embrace the workout club or the class club. Get a group of friends together and give every person the chance to pick a new workout class for the month. Each month, you’ll all attend that workout class together (at least once) — likely making fools of yourself and LOLing along the way.
Not only is this introducing your body to new movement, which is a healthy challenge, but you might find something you’re actually intrigued by. Plus, it’s just a fun way to see friends while staying committed to moving your body.
4. Walk and talk
Not getting in your 10,000 steps a day? Ask your boss or colleagues to start adapting ‘walk and talk’ meetings when devices aren’t needed. Or start taking all your calls from your feet.
You can even take this to your friend group by suggesting ‘walk and talk meetups’ on weekend mornings. Who said you have to be sitting down to gossip about The Bachelor anyways? Walking to brunch counts, people, just get those steps in one way or the other!
5. Eat half
Most of the proportions in America are… out of proportion. Instead of serving yourself an entire serving size of whatever you’re eating — or the size that you’re used to — cut it in half. Leave the other half in the fridge or wherever it belongs, and tell yourself you can go back for it 30 minutes after eating the first serving.
Let your food fully digest and your body will begin feeling full from less food (aka the amount that we actually need). Chances are, you’ll start going back for that other half a lot less often. And the best part? You won’t even feel deprived.
6. Keep a food journal
Please don’t drive yourself crazy counting calories (unless that’s your thing), but simply get a journal and start jotting down what you eat. Without changing your diet, you’ll slowly begin to realize exactly how much you’re consuming everyday, and this practice will naturally highlight the bad habits.
As an added bonus, you’ll witness trends with the foods that are making you feel like sh*t. Shocker: The 3pm handful of candy is likely one of them! Getting more mindful about exactly what you’re putting into your body is an almost painless way of getting your health on track.
7. Learn to love smoothies
Smoothies are a crazy fast way to pack in a bunch of nutrients, so get on board! Especially if you’re not the best at eating greens otherwise, mixing in spinach hides the flavor while still giving you the nutrients.
You can even prepare them ahead of time by doling out a half cup of berries, handful of spinach, half a frozen banana, and even 1/4 avocado in small containers or bags. Just grab in the AM and blend with almond milk or coconut water! You can eventually up the wellness with healthy supplements like collagen, flax, chia seeds, etc.
Just remember, a smoothie should generally be a meal replacement — not a snack. We prefer them for breakfast!
8. Small substitutions
Cutting out your favorite food entirely is a sure way to end up binging on said food come Friday night. Instead, we’re all about substitutions where we don’t really notice. Try using unrefined coconut sugar instead of refined white sugar when baking. Sip on flavored sparking water instead of soda. Think of the foods that you use out of habit, and research healthier options that you’ll hardly notice.
Also, pro tip for any Wendy Frosty lovers out there! This combo does the trick and is actually nutritious: 1 frozen banana, spoonful of peanut or almond butter, spoonful of cacao powder, 1 pitted date, a spoonful of vanilla protein power, tablespoon of chia seeds, and 3/4 cup of almond milk. You’re welcome!
9. Consider a dog
Dogs are more than a cute Instagram or something to snuggle with, they’re actually amazing for maintaining an active lifestyle. If you’ve been thinking about adopting a pup and craving a change, dogs can help you get outside more often. It’s way easier to force yourself on daily walks or hikes when a cute dog’s happiness is at stake.
10. Attach a cause
If motivation is your problem, attach being active with something that you care about. Whether that’s running a 10K to support Alzheimer’s or doing beach or forest cleanups, commit to something that’ll not only get your butt off the couch, but impact your happiness too.
For more workout inspo, check out our day with Kelsey Wells: