When we think about losing weight, we also think about the hardships of portion control, a bland diet and the strenuous 40 minute workouts at the local gym, or even, the home exercise programs we’ve purchased; promising ourselves we’d complete after a long day at the job.
I get it. It’s hard. Even with much motivation and initiative sometimes our spirits are down, our energy drained and our interest in staying in shape begins to wanes. Here are 8 simple tips on how you can incorporate staying in shape apart of your daily routines.
- Sleep: Begin your day by getting at least 7 hours of sleep. This will keep your energy up and prepare you for the long day ahead. This is by far the easiest thing you can do, I mean, we all like sleep right?
- Stretch: Begin your day with 5 minutes of stretching. This not only loosens your joints but it gets your blood pumping. Make sure to get a full body’s worth of stretching exercises. This includes your legs (front and back), arms (up, down and outward), your back, torso, elongate your body (by standing on your tippy toes), and your head (left, right, up and down).
- Drink Water (Lemon/Lime Included): Preferably after breakfast, drink a tall glass of water with a sliced lemon or lime included. I say preferably because a tall glass of water before grabbing a bite usually leaves a funny after taste . The tastelessness mixed in with the after-taste of toothpaste and/or mouthwash doesn’t taste very well. Try it and you’ll see. Water is not only essential, it helps with leaving you with healthy, glowing skin and hair. The lemon/lime in the water can also help with your digestion (nothing profound but helpful). And it’ll give that bland water taste some flavor.*By now you should feel a burst of energy. But of course, good nutrition will determine whether you’ll continue feeling this way for the remainder of the day. Without getting in too much depth about what you should be eating, I’ll note, you should be eating!
- Eat Breakfast: Avoid the mid-morning/mid-afternoon hunger run that ‘s sure to leave you choosing all the work types of foods in order to satisfy your hunger. It also makes it easier to put yourself on a food schedule. When your body is placed on a schedule, and knows when to expect food, you’re likely to wane off cravings. You’re also more likely to prep your meals. This leaves me with my next suggestion.
- Schedule Meals: Again, this is a great way to not only put your body on a schedule but it encourages you to better prepare your meals. It’s good to eat at the same times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Preparing your meals ahead eliminates impulse purchase of foods you know aren’t good for your nutrition. As for snacks, you can bring an apple, peanut butter and celery, carrots, yogurt, whole wheat/whole grain crackers with some form of low-fat cheese or whatever it is you prefer. But again, you should be eating.
- Eliminate The White Stuff: As we age, it becomes harder to fight the bulge. This includes belly fat. Anything made with white flour dough is your love handles best friend. Do you work behind a computer desk for a good portion of the day? Do yourself a favor, eliminate as much processed starch as possible. Sitting for a good portion of the day means your body isn’t burning as much of those unwanted calories as you’d like. It’s also going to your stomach. Replace them with whole wheat and whole grain products. Another reason? Your body digest these products better. Try eating a bagel, slice of cake, white bread, pasta etc….how do you feel? Weighted down, right?! Again, eliminate the white stuff. You’ll be happy you did it later.
- Walk: Speaking of sitting behind a computer desk all day, it’s also great to get up and talk a walk from time to time. If your job allows it, take a brief 10 minute walk. Perhaps on your lunch break. Can’t leave the premises? How about walking to another department to say hi to a colleague. Or perhaps that 5 minute total body stretch you may have missed this morning. You may want to do this in a vacant conference room or perhaps the ladies room. Whatever it is, just remember to get up and do something!
- And Finally….Work Up A Sweat!: Don’t groan. I don’t mean going to a top rated aerobics class filled with overzealous gym devotees. I mean, just moving around enough to work up a sweat, just what it means. On average, you need a minimum of twenty minutes per day where your heart rate is elevated. To begin burning fat? A minimum of thirty. If you think about it, this really isn’t a lot of time. This can be accomplished by doing a brisk 20-30 minute way around your neighborhood. Do you commute to work? How about leaving your car at home or eliminating public transportation. If your commute is quite a distance you can also decide get off a few stops earlier and walk (briskly) the rest of the way home. Just remember to work up a sweat!