In last Friday’s post, we discussed the need to Make the Decision!!! The decision to get healthy, that is. No need sitting on the fence and saying someday you will become healthier. Make that day today. As a follow up to last week’s post, I promised to provide a few simple disciplines, that when practiced every day, can drastically improve your health. Here are three disciplines that have changed my life and can also change yours:
1. “I work out 3-5x a week to keep my body strong.”
This is a quote I read to myself the 5and2Guy way. I read this each morning to remind myself that I need to exercise at least three times this week. No, you don’t have to go to the gym for three hours to meet this requirement. All you have to do is exercise at least 30 minutes to be considered meeting this goal. I would recommend that if you need to lose weight, that you perform cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you can squeeze in a workout on Tuesday or Thursday, perform a light weights full body routine to hit every muscle. Remember, the goal is at least 3x a week. If a cardio workout seems to be too intimidating, just try walking for 30 minutes on MWF. If you don’t want to be outside, get a treadmill and walk on it while you are watching your favorite show. If you do this 3x a week for a month or two, try increasing the walk to a slow jog. Then work your way up from there!!!
2. Swap Unhealthy Snacks for Fruits & Nuts
Go to the store and buy apples, pears, oranges, and bananas. Well, at least those are my suggestions. The point is that you need to buy some healthy fruits that can help with that sweet tooth. From Monday 9am to Friday 5pm, avoid sweets. When it is time for snack, eat a couple bananas, an apple, or make a fruit salad. This may seem weird at first and might feel like it is not doing the trick. But do it for a couple weeks and watch how things change for you.
If you are more of a potato chip eater and have more of a salt tooth, then substitute some mixed nuts for that bag of chips. Mixed nuts are very good for you and can really fill you up. I know that when I am starving, I can quickly eat a cup full of mixed nuts and I am satiated. It definitely hits the spot. If you think Snickers really satisfies you, try some mixed nuts. Here is an affiliate link to the ones I love:
Try swapping out your unhealthy snacks for a few weeks and watch how your body starts to prefer the healthy snacks over the unhealthy ones. If you are still hungry after some fruit or nuts, eat some more. It is better to eat more of the healthy snacks than even a small amount of the unhealthy snacks. This is an easy way to become healthier and still get your snack on.
3. Stop Drinking Soda
Soda is the absolute worse!!! And, yes, I am yelling it. You can claim you love it, but it doesn’t love you. It is pure sugar and packs on pounds faster than anything else I can think of. One rule of thumb is that you should NEVER drink your calories. Well, if you are drinking any sodas: Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew, etc…, you are piling on calories and pounds that you don’t need. Simply giving up soda will make a huge difference in your life. As a matter of fact, if you do nothing else, at least stop drinking soda.
As an alternative, try some flavored waters. Personally, I drink mostly plain water. Between the hours of 1:30pm and 9:30pm, I fill my glass practically all the way up and then splash in a little sweet tea on the top. It mixes through and gives the water a little different flavor. Since I don’t really drink sodas any more or submerse myself in sweets during the week, this little bit of sweet in my water is like a treat. No, I didn’t start with a splash on top. I started with 3/4 cup of sweet tea and 1/4 cup of water and have worked my way to loving my full glass of water with a splash of sweet tea on top!!!
Maybe water is not your thing. Maybe you enjoy sweet tea. Too much sweet tea is not good for you either, but I would suggest that over soda. Each time you make your sweet tea, add a little less sugar to it if you are making it by the pitcher. If you buy it, do what I did and work your way down to a half and half kind of mix. When you go to a restaurant, ask for half sweet and half unsweetened tea. This can really help and tastes great. Okay, maybe it won’t taste great at first, but as you work your way up to it, you will definitely begin to enjoy it.
There are a million things you can do to become healthier and get in better shape. My goal today was to provide you with three simple disciplines you can implement to improve your health. In order to get started, take one of these disciplines and begin implementing it right now. Don’t start all three at the same time, as it will be too much at once. Just take one and work it into your daily routine. After you form a positive habit with one, typically about 3-6 weeks, take another discipline and begin implementing it. Implementing these new habits, one at a time, will give you the best chance at success.
I know today is Friday, which means we will be leaving the 5 days of discipline and entering the two days of fun, but make a note now. Start implementing these disciplines Monday morning and do them 5 days a week. Just be consistent and make a promise to yourself, and your family, that you want to be on this earth for as long as possible, and that you are going to make a positive change. It is the small things we do each day that add up to big results. Your big results are waiting on you!!!