With the holiday season upon us and winter already here — thanks, Madison! — thoughts are beginning to turn to New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to lose weight, get stronger, or exercise more, wanting to get healthier is never a bad idea.
And although you have great intentions, getting healthier can seem overwhelming if you feel like you have a long way to go. But don’t fret — we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to make tons of changes at once to be successful. In fact, enacting small changes every few days or weekly, and adding upon them, makes the whole process easier to stick to.
Try these 10 simple hacks to get healthier today. Start with one, then pick another to add on next week, and keep going! Before you know it, you’ll be looking at a healthier version of you.
1. Ditch the quick fixes. All of those pills and detox teas promising to help you lose weight fast? They don’t live up to the hype. Throw all of that stuff in the garbage — or better yet, don’t buy it in the first place — and focus your energy elsewhere. We wouldn’t steer you wrong.
2. Swap a sugary (or “artificial sugary”) drink for a glass of water. If you’re a soda/diet soda fiend, try subbing one of these beverages for a glass of water instead. You won’t feel deprived right off the bat, and you’ll be taking steps to better hydration, which is key to optimal digestion, organ health and energy levels.
3. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. When the kids are in bed and you finally get to relax, you may get sucked into a Netflix binge, reading a good book or scrolling through social media. Although that alone time is so wonderful, try powering down earlier to get some extra zzz’s. Getting enough sleep is crucial to your health and energy levels.
4. Eat an extra serving of vegetables. Even if greens aren’t your favorite thing, try to sneak in just one extra serving of the good stuff into your day. Maybe it’s some spinach in a smoothie, peppers and tomatoes on a sandwich or using lettuce instead of bread on a burger — every little veggie counts.
5. Swap a prepackaged snack for a piece of fruit. Grabbing a bag of chips or a granola bar is oh so easy, but so is a piece of fruit. Sub one for an apple or a banana, making sure you have these healthier options available when hunger strikes.
6. Eat sitting down. Mom lives are busy, busy, busy, but do your best to sit down and eat today. When you do this, you’ll be more mindful of what you’re eating and how much.
7. Have your coffee black. Let’s face it — us mamas need our coffee! Consider dropping your full-fat, sugary creamers for just black coffee as an easy swap that will save you calories — especially if you’re a 2- to 3-cup-a-day person.
8. Meal prep one meal a week. If you’re always figuring out lunch or dinner on the fly, resulting in grabbing something quick and easy like fast food, make a commitment to prepping one healthy meal ahead of time. Check out some of our Crocktober recipes for some easy crockpot meals. Having something ready to go will take the guesswork out of the equation, and if you make a big enough batch, you’ll have plenty of leftovers for another healthy lunch or dinner later in the week.
9. Get in a daily walk. Not only will it do wonders for your mood, walking more throughout your day will help you increase your TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure. Making small, consistent changes in your TDEE will add up to a big burn over time. Wisconsin winters are rough, we know, so consider the mall or the treadmill or track at Harbor Athletic Club if the temps are just too cold.
10. Think Positively. An attitude of gratitude — that’s what we need! When you focus on the good, your mood will be better, you’ll be more likely to embrace each day as a new start, and you’ll have a better overall outlook on life.