You don't need lots of time and effort to feel and become healthier. There are some easy things you can do to shrink that belly, feel more energized, and live a longer, better life. Here are some easy changes that almost anyone could make.
8. Go for a walk. You don’t need to go to the gym and pump iron for 2 hours everyday to become noticeably healthier and leaner. Just take a walk around the block. A short walk everyday can make a world of difference. Humans were made to walk, not to run marathons. It's a great, easy, quick paleo exercise.
7. Take something out of your diet. Don’t try to take out your favorite treat, or something that you’re not sure you could deal without. If you NEED your bagel in the morning (ahhh!! Gluten!!!), then don’t make yourself miserable. You’ll resent the concept, likely cheat, and then feel dejected if you do cheat. So take out something that you don’t need, and cut it for a week or two. It will give you some confidence in your willpower. See how you look, feel, and perform. The decide if the change is permanent.
6. Put something IN to your diet. Again, don’t add spinach to your diet if it makes you sick just thinking about it. Don’t mind broccoli, kale, or asparagus? Throw it in with your lunch or dinner for a couple weeks and see if you notice any differences.
5. Stretch. I don’t stretch enough. I have a bad back, so I should stretch MORE than the average person, not less. Stretching relaxes your muscles, which increases blood flow, and can lower blood sugar levels. (For all you fellow dorks out there, I think skeletal muscle is the key tissue for insulin sensitivity, and therefore myriad diseases). It also improves your posture, which is good for your muscles and bones.
4. Watch less TV, and make it productive. I’m always shocked at how many shows people watch. With DVR, I feel as though the hours spent in front of the TV has increased. When you do watch TV, stretch or do some sit-ups/push-ups while you watch. Buy some dumb bells and do some curls while you indulge in the fake lives of people you’ll never meet. Better yet, go to the gym to watch TV: most gyms have plenty of TVs nowadays. Walk on the treadmill while you watch.
3. Read something relaxing. Reading celebrity gossip magazines and news stories can be depressing: infidelity, divorce, murder, etc. Read something nice that makes you feel good, like Economics in One Lesson! (Kidding, though that’s serious for me). It will lower your stress levels, which is great all around for your body.
2. Write. Keep a journal, and write in it every once in a while. Writing can be therapeutic. It allows you to get everything out of your system, and enables you to confront anything that’s bothering you on your own terms. It will lead to lower stress, which is always good. Write a letter or an email to a boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse or parent. My girlfriend and I write random emails every once in a while. It’s always nice to get an unexpected surprise when you open your email in the morning, too.
1. Get more sleep. I know that most people would LOVE to get more sleep. But I think most could achieve this with some planning. Cut back on TV time. Cook dinners ahead of time (I like to cook several meals for the week on Sunday). Take that vacation day when you need it in order to catch on sleep.
None of these changes require much effort or major lifestyle changes, but would make a noticeable difference in your health.
Do you have any suggestions for the rest of us? Did I miss an easy one? Please share!