This article is a guest contribution by Alexis Hall. She is the founder of SingleParent.info, where she provides support and advice for the many families out there with only one parent in the household.
With every New Year, a healthier and more fit life tends to be what everyone aspires to lead. While sticking to a lifestyle change isn’t always easy, if you start small, chances are you’ll be amazed at the results. Here are a few ways you can find the time to live a healthier life without breaking the bank.
Meal prep. Make it easy to eat healthy meals during a busy work week by planning ahead. Prepare dinners, lunches, and even breakfasts on the weekends so you don’t have to work as hard to make healthy choices.
Fit in that workout. If you plan on sticking to an exercise regiment, you’ll need to pick the right time of day for your lifestyle. This means being realistic about your energy levels and responsibilities throughout the day. For instance, if you like being outdoors, perhaps the afternoon is the best time of day for you. However, if you’re a busy parent, maybe a morning workout in a home gym is more suitable. If you just can’t make it work one day, try squeezing in some exercises during TV commercials, parking far away so you can walk, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Make it fun. Chances are you won’t dread or put off working out if you look at it like you’re indulging in a hobby instead of a chore. So be sure to use it as a time to listen to your favourite music, book, or podcast, and take in the scenery. If utilised right, exercise can be a way to blow off steam, relax, and get some much-needed alone time. Additionally, alternative methods like yoga, meditation, and swimming can help with addiction recovery. This is because these activities allow you to focus your mind and can relieve stress and anxiety, both of which are triggers for relapse in many individuals who are in recovery.
Stay hydrated. According to Shape.com, “It’s important to drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day to keep our bodies functioning properly.” So leave those sugary sodas behind and save money by drinking out of a reusable container instead of plastic water bottles. Green tea is also a good option as it is known to jumpstart your metabolism.
Eat out less. If you start meal prepping, chances are you’ll find yourself at a fast-food joint less and less. Limiting the amount of times you eat at a restaurant will not only save money, but it will mean you’re eating healthier because cuisine at restaurants tends to be oversaturated with carbohydrates. Plus, you’ll enjoy those times you splurge even more if you’re not going out to eat as often.
Juice. Juicing can be a great way to sneak vegetables into your diet. There are a ton of tasty and easy recipes out there to try, and they’re always a good addition to a healthy breakfast.
Dress to impress. You will feel better about yourself if you take the time to pick out and wear clothes that flatter your body. Perhaps wearing a workout-inspired look will get you to the gym and have you wanting to see more results.
Get plenty of sleep. The Huffington Post says that, “A decent 7-hour sleep is recommended for healthy living.” So schedule in a good chunk of uninterrupted time every evening to get some rest. Set alarms and make sure you are giving yourself enough time to wind down after a busy day.
Use healthy substitutes. When cooking, try to use oil instead of butter, whole-wheat flour over white flour, and natural sweeteners like cinnamon instead of sugar. These substitutions can go a long way to improving your diet and overall health.
Lastly, be sure to hold yourself accountable with a food diary or workout buddy. Set goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself or take on too much at once as your mental health is just as important. Everyone wants to be at his or her best, and with just a little extra thought and preparation, you can.