Not feeling great? You’re not alone. Everyone has their own set of excuses about why they don’t exercise. “I’m too tired…I feel okay, I don’t need to exercise…I don’t have time to work out.” The list is just as long when it comes to healthier eating. “Eating healthy costs too much…the junk food is for my kids…being heavy runs in my family.” These excuses and more merely set you up for failure. And when you make excuses, you let those situations win. It’s your life to live. Take control.
Why not reinvest that time that you spend making up excuses? You’ll feel better and more confident with your newfound attitude. When you accept responsibility for your life and stop complaining about your current situation or what happened in the past, you refocus on where you want to be today and how you see yourself in the future. Here are ten ways to better health.
1. Increase Exercise. Don’t lie down if you can sit. Don’t sit if you can stand. Don’t stand if you can walk. And don’t walk if you can run. Remember, lean muscle burns more fat. You feel better and sleep better to boot.
2. Make the Right Choice. Everyone knows that when you choose the less healthy of two options, you stay mired in the downward cycle. Lift yourself up one bite at a time.
3. Avoid White. White flour, white sugar, white bread, white rice. Choose whole grain breads, oatmeal, dried fruits and lesser processed sweeteners like raw honey and agave syrup.
4. Stay Colorful. Isn’t it interesting how the brighter the color of many fruits and vegetables, the better for you they are? Mother Nature definitely knows what she was doing.
5. Protein Power. Keep healthy protein options around — skinless turkey and chicken breast, lean beef and seafood, hard-boiled eggs, nuts and seeds. But take it easy on the cheese, unless you choose low-fat or non-fat options like string cheese and cottage cheese.
6. Eat Consciously. When you munch mindlessly at the computer or while watching TV, you tend to eat more and enjoy it less. That ice cream is gone in minutes and the self-loathing begins.
7. Drink Water. Sugary soda, alcoholic drinks, and even supposedly healthy fruit juices are packed with calories. Diet sodas have no nutritional value, so why drink them? A glass of water before eating, gives you a feeling of fullness so you eat less.
8. Snack Better. Learn to like baked chips, not fried. Enjoy fresh fruit of the season rather than sugary snacks. Buy lower fat and sodium popcorn. Enjoy dried fruit, but in moderation because while nutrient and fiber-rich, it is also calorie-dense.
9. Eat Slower. Take the time to chew your food well and you will eat less. Remember, it takes around 15 minutes for our bodies to feel full. You’ll feel better, your food will digest more fully and you won’t feel as bloated.
10. Meditate Mindfully. Take time daily to get in touch with your inner self. Breathe deeply and slowly. Your newfound tranquility will put your mind at ease and smooth out the rough spots of any day.
Take some time to reflect on what works best for you. And if wellness is your thing, NCU has degrees in corporate wellness or health psychology you may wish to pursue. To learn more, visit www.ncu.edu/programs-degrees/education/masters-corporate-wellness or www.ncu.edu/programs-degrees/psychology/health-psychology