It is the middle of August and school is back in swing. The summer is officially wrapping up. That means that fall is just around the corner. Now is a great time to get back in healthy lifestyle habits. Over the summer we are all on crazy schedules, between vacation time, traveling, eating delicious fried foods at your local fair and going to cook outs, we all need to get our health plan re-prioritized. I love the summer festivities as much as the next person, but some times it is nice to get back in a healthy routine.
So where do you start? What do you start thinking about first? Let's begin with food ... what you choose to put in your mouth.
- Make the choice to bring a healthy lunch to work. Believe or not this is huge. Eating out can be such a stumbling block to your health. Take the extra time to plan some easy, healthy lunches to take with you to work. If you are stuck and can't think of anything new then CLICK HERE for some great ideas. You can prepare these foods ahead of time and then pack them up so they are easy to grab when you head out the door.
- Pack healthy snacks for the day. Most of us all get hungry between meals and that is perfectly normally. We should be eating 3 meals a day with 1-2 snacks. So picking healthy snack options is so important. Something that provides fiber, nutritional value and some protein will help keep you filling full until your next meal. For some good healthy snack ideas, CLICK HERE.
- Meal plan during the week and schedule your grocery shopping. In order to be able to put together healthy lunches and snacks for the week you need to take some time to head to the grocery store. Always make out a list of things that you need and stick to that list. This will help ensure that you are choosing healthy options and that you are not spending too much money. For some good tips to navigating the grocery store, check out this post from earlier in the year - Navigating the grocery store in a healthy way.
- Only have healthy foods on your counters. This might not seem like a big deal, but what you have visible in your kitchen will have a huge influence on what you end up eating. For example, I had some delicious, candied popcorn out on my counter from a party last week and every time I walked past that popcorn I would eat some. It got to the point that I had to put the left-overs into the cabinet so that they were out of sight out of mind. Needless to say, after moving that popcorn my strong desire to eat it ALL quickly faded. Set yourself up for success and have healthy food items within easy reach if you are hungry.
What you eat is of course important, but your physical activity has a huge role to play in your overall health as well.
- Schedule your work out time. If you want to start a new habit, then you need to set a time to practice that new habit. This applies to working out. Pick a time each day that you are going to do some intentional exercise. It doesn't have to be the exact some time everyday (if you schedule is varied), but you need to plan at the beginning of the day to exercise at a certain time. If it is helpful, set an alarm or a reminder in your phone to encourage you to get up and exercise.
- Find some time of special class/activity that you really enjoy. I think this is important. Find a class or some type of activity that you enjoy and pay to participate. I have taken up prenatal yoga classes and every Tuesday night I spend 1.5 hours at the yoga studio doing yoga and it is awesome. I look forward to those classes each week and it is such a treat to get to take that time for myself. If could be a class at a gym, spinning at a studio or even joining a running group in your local community.
- Get some new work out clothes/shoes and get invested. When you spend a little money on something you are just a little more invested. Go ahead and get that new pair of running shoes and then schedule regular times to run. Find a running buddy and enjoy this social time in your new running shoes/outfit. Also signing up for a race can provide great motivation in helping to ensure that you are actually training and getting ready for the event. So whatever it is you decide to do, get invested!
So I have something fun for you ... a GIVEWAY! Take a couple minutes and fill out the form below. I have a gift card to Marsh Supermarket for you (this give away is not sponsored by or associated with Marsh). Write out 2 goals that you have for yourself to help make your health a priority. I want to encourage you to set goals and then work on accomplishing them! Good luck and I am excited to get lots of entries!