Healthy Hacks

chanceAdopting a healthy life style can seem intimidating at first blush, especially when you’re trying to balance a busy schedule. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways that I’ve simplified my healthy lifestyle.

Think like a scout, and be prepared.

As the old saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plain to fail.” For me, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been planning ahead. Since I like to get my workout in before starting my work day, I make sure all my gear, gym clothes, shoes, packed gym bag, water bottle, etc., are laid out before I go to bed the night before. Not a morning exerciser? Keep a packed gym bag in your car or house so you’re ready to go when it’s time to hit the gym or studio.

Not only does being prepared help me stick to my workout routine, it also helps me make healthy choices with my diet. It’s easier to eat healthy meals and snacks when you have the right ingredients on hand. For me, this means taking advantage of some of the prepared items at the local grocery store. Yes, I recognize that I’m paying a premium for purchasing pre-cut fruits and vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, but for me, I know that I am more likely to eat these foods when there are already prepared.

Focus on small changes.

One of the mistakes I made when I first started adopting a healthier lifestyle was trying to do too much, too soon. By trying to change everything all at once, I quickly became overwhelmed and abandoned many of my lofty goals. Once I decided to focus on small changes, I found that it was much easier to sustain these adjustments. Living a healthy lifestyle is a long-term change.  For me, focusing on one small change at a time makes healthy living much simpler.

Being green can be easy.

We’ve all heard how important it is to include healthy greens in your diet. But incorporating greens in your diet doesn’t have to mean just eating salads day after day. Spinach is one of my favorite greens (the other being broccoli) and I’m always trying to include spinach in my meals. This could be scrambled eggs with spinach for breakfast, a spinach salad or turkey, cheese, and spinach sandwich for lunch, or adding a handful or two of spinach to a bowl of pasta for dinner. Not a spinach fan? That’s okay! Find a green you like and look for creative ways to add it to your meals.

Find a workout you enjoy.

My preferred workout is running, especially long distance running. The hours on the treadmill or the roads give me a chance to escape the daily grind and I love seeing how far I can push myself. While running is what works for me, it doesn’t work for everyone. Before running, I tried all kinds of workouts, looking for what worked for me. Once I clicked with running, it was much easier to keep on track since I enjoyed and looked forward to my workouts. If you want to simplify your healthy lifestyle, find the workout that enjoy and make it a habit.

Above all else, be true to yourself.

There is a wealth of information and advice out there, from shows like The Biggest Loser, fitness and diet books, and healthy living blogs. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing instead of what you want to be doing. Personally, I know I’m not a fan of kale. I’ve seen countless blog post and recipes raving about kale, but I just can’t get on board. Rather than force myself the eat something I don’t like because it’s good for me, instead I focus on those healthy foods that I enjoy. The same goes for exercise. Just because it seems like everyone is training for a marathon or doing CrossFit, doesn’t mean you have to these things. It’s great to try new things, but if don’t love what you’re doing; move on to something you do enjoy.

I hope you find these tips for simplifying you healthy lifestyle helpful. I know at times it can be overwhelming, but for me, keeping things simply has been the key to success.

This is a guest post from Maureen Costello

Healthy Living Tips