A new year means a clean slate–a chance to start fresh and healthy living always tops new year resolutions. Often times, people think this means expensive gym memberships or a whole diet overhaul. No so! Healthy living is an ongoing process and you have to start somewhere. Here are three simple ways you can start living a healthier life right away without spending lots of money or making huge sacrifices or changes.
- Add either a fruit or vegetable to each meal. You might already be eating fruits and veggies, but make sure you’re including them at every meal. Keep in mind that all forms count! So, for example, your breakfast can include a cup of 100% juice or dried fruit added to your oatmeal. Add canned beans to salads, frozen veggies to soups and casseroles–it all counts as adding another fruit or vegetable to your meal. I point this out to make sure you understand that, especially during the winter months when fresh produce is less plentiful, you don’t have to spend extra money to accomplish this goal.
- Snack more! Yep, that’s right, I’m telling you to snack. However, I mean adding two healthy snacks to your day. Try adding a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to your day that consist of items like fruit and low-fat cheese or nuts and dried fruit. These kinds of snacks will help keep your blood sugar at normal levels and keep you from getting so hungry that you’re tempted to overeat come your next meal. Think a whole grain or complex carb and a protein for your snack and keep it at 100 – 200 calories.
- Add 30 minutes of activity to your day. No, I don’t mean you need to join a gym–you can go for a brisk walk, a run, do some serious yard work or go hiking. The point is to get up and move. Physical activity comes in many forms and you want to get your heart pumping and your blood moving. If you find yourself doing an activity you hate, you won’t continue, so find something you enjoy. If you like to dance try a Zumba class. If you enjoy the outdoors, hiking may be your thing. Just don’t become a couch potato.
That’s it–I know it sounds pretty straighforward and it is, but if you do those three things you’ll be doing something good for yourself and living a healthier life! May you have a healthy and happy 2013.