If you’re like most active girls, you are a genius at balancing work, study, and play—as well as the ever-present demands of home life. With so much going on, it can be hard to lead as healthy a lifestyle as you would like. To help you out, here are eight tips for building a healthier life that you can start putting into practice today.
Transition to Whole Foods Gradually
Food is the fuel that keeps you going. The better you eat, the better you’ll feel! Traditionally, people grew much of their own food and cooked fresh meals every day. Today, we are always on the go and have slipped into a convenience lifestyle of instant meals and quick fixes.
To improve your diet, start by finding healthier alternatives for the foods you eat now. For example, instead of a white-bread sandwich for lunch, try a white-wholemeal blend and then move to 100% wholemeal bread. Soon, your taste buds will change, and you might even find yourself enjoying a loaf of sourdough rye!
Here are some of the most common foods that you can start substituting today:
- Instead of fruit-flavored yogurt, try plain Greek yogurt
- Instead of dried fruit, try fresh fruit
- Instead of individually-wrapped cheese slices, try cottage cheese
- Instead of processed sandwich meat, try roasted chicken breast
- Instead of a muesli bar, try a seed-and-nut mix
- Instead of flavored chips, try plain corn chips
Once your taste buds start to adjust, healthy eating won’t seem that hard at all!
Change Up your Beverages
Just like with food, consuming healthier drinks is all about finding alternatives that you enjoy. Filtered water alone really is the healthiest beverage you can drink, but enjoying your water can sometimes take a little creativity. To start with, mix a little water into the drinks you enjoy now (including sodas and fruit juices). Then increase the dilution until the other drink is merely flavoring your water. From there, you can flavor your water in healthier ways by squeezing in a little fresh lemon or lime juice (not from a bottle) into the glass or by slicing cucumber and fresh mint into your water pitcher.
In the winter, traditional and herbal teas are a wonderful way to get more water down and have the added benefits of the tea leaves themselves. If you enjoy your teas sweet, consider adding a little raw honey or stevia in place of sugar.
Take Some High-Quality Supplements
Even the best of diets needs a little boost—especially if you work out regularly. To complement a diet high in fresh foods and lean protein, add a plant-based multivitamin and Omega 3 fish oil capsules for the full range of micronutrients and essential fatty acids that your body needs to function at its best. For your workouts, you can increase your endurance and prevent muscle loss by taking a high-quality amino acid supplement.
Get Moving Any Way You Can
Ok, so we’re not all gym junkies or marathon runners. For those of us who struggle to do much exercise at all, it’s important to include as much “incidental” movement into each day as possible. Standing up at the desk, walking up the stairs, and playing with pets or children are all easy ways to incorporate more movement into your life.
If you have half an hour or even fifteen minutes that you can dedicate to exercise a few times a week, going for a walk around the block or doing some quick exercises in your living room can make a huge difference to the way you feel. For those who have the time but struggle to get motivated, check out these practical tips to help you get started.
Nurture Your Mental Health
Above and beyond what we put into our mouths, our thoughts and attitudes have a huge impact on our health. Negative thinking, stress, and anxiety can stop us from enjoying life and affect everything from our digestion to our ability to sleep!
To improve your thought life immediately, try starting each day by following a guided meditation and naming three things you are thankful for. You could even write these things in a gratitude journal. During particularly stressful periods, natural supplements like matcha powder and CBD oil can help you to feel more relaxed.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Your oral health is a reflection of your overall health and you might find that your gums and breath improve as your diet improves. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene and following a few practical tips can also help to improve gum health and prevent cavities.
Apart from the usual advice for oral hygiene, spacing out your meals and swishing your mouth out with water after eating can do a lot to reduce plaque buildup and improve the pH of your mouth. You can also swish your own saliva around as often as you remember for a natural anticavity mouthwash!
Change One Thing at a Time
Feeling overwhelmed? Remember that just as bad habits are created over a long period of time, good ones can take time to become established. To make a healthier lifestyle sustainable, it is a good idea to change one thing at a time. Choose one good habit to start with and keep it up for 30 days—without fail. After the 30 days are up, the habit will most likely have become part of your daily routine and won’t require much effort at all. Imagine what would happen if you introduced one good habit every month—after a year, you will have made a huge amount of progress!
Celebrate Every Success
When you do slip—and we all do—simply get back up and keep going. By celebrating each success and not beating yourself up over your failures, you’ll start to have more and more good days and will feel better too! Sometimes, rewarding yourself for your successes can help with your motivation. Set yourself a healthy reward like a delicious matcha latte or some snickerdoodle protein cookies for when you achieve your goals and enjoy each step forward in your health journey.
For more tips on women’s health, diet, and supplements, be sure to check out our articles in Supplements 101.
About the Author
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry, collaborating with industry insiders and designers, getting insight on the latest trends. Click here for more articles by Tess DiNapoli