Let’s face it, we all know that we could improve our weekly routines to stay healthier, be more fit and feel less stressed. Unfortunately, often our busy schedules, overbooked calendars, and multiple commitments get in the way of being the best version of ourselves.
Here are 5 easy ways for you to get healthier, fitter and happier.
And they don’t take an entire lifestyle shift to add them into your daily routine right now.
1. Eat 20% Less: We all eat more than necessary!
Start by never getting seconds. One serving per meal is all anyone needs from a nutritional standpoint.
Use a smaller plate or bowl. If you want to eat less tomorrow, go buy yourself some smaller dishes.
Make your protein the side dish. Fill up your plate with your salad and veggies and serve yourself a smaller than usual piece of protein.
2. Exercise Daily: Do something every day that includes movement.
Exercise for 20 minutes per day. No matter what. Take a walk, stretch, ride your bike, do yoga, jump rope, swim. The choices are endless, and as Nike says: just do it. If you find an exercise or two that appeals to you, it won’t feel like a chore.
Two words: incidental exercise! Take the stairs instead of the escalator, rake your own leaves, garden, wash the car, walk or bike to work or better yet park your car 3 blocks from the office every day.
3. Meditate: A great way to unwind, relax or set the tone for your day.
Try sitting and meditating for just a few moments at the start of your day. You can set an intention and make the whole day brighter. There are lots of different meditation options—pick the one that fits your needs.
Set a timer for 5 minutes, find a comfy spot, close your eyes, take a deep breath and give it a try.
Try a few different types and see what comes easiest to you. Chant, sing, listen, read poetry or just sit.
4. Get More Rest!
Start paying attention to your need for rest and sleep. Rest isn’t just about how many hours of sleep you get each night. Be sure to incorporate some rest and relaxation into your week too.
Take a hot bath at least once per week. Add any aromatherapy that smells good to you and treat your- self to some bath salts or bubbles. The warm bath water will soothe your muscles and relax your mind.
Add some candles around the tub and you’re practically on vacation! Don’t minimize the importance of getting enough sleep. Crawl into bed earlier than usual and see how you feel in the morning; you may just need to add an hour or two more sleep into your regular schedule.
5. Increase the Joy Factor!
Joy comes in all different flavors; finding ways to increase the joy in your daily life is easier than you think.
Listen to music. This can be relaxing or uplifting depending on your needs. Try playing some favorite tunes while you’re in the shower to start your day singing or tuning in to some classical music in the car on the way home from work to unwind.
Add an occasional massage into your life—this is a real treat that you know you deserve. It is a good way to honor your body and relax your mind. Plan some regularly scheduled time with good friends and family. Bring back the family Sunday barbecue or the monthly dinner date with your best friends.
Being with people you love and who love you makes all the difference in your overall feeling of happiness.
And remember, it’s okay to occasionally indulge in that juicy hamburger and an extra glass of wine as long as you regularly move your body, eat wisely and purposefully make time to rest and relax your mind.
-Dr. Sharon Ufberg
Dr. Sharon Ufberg is a senior health practitioner, having spent over 30 years in private chiropractic practice, licensed in both California and New York. During her practice tenure in New York City, she held the title of Adjunct Professor at Beth Israel Medical Center’s Continuum Center for Health and Healing in New York City. Dr. Ufberg has created and teaches online personal growth courses and privately coaches individuals as the senior consultant for Good Advice Works and Borrowed Wisdom, companies she created to assist people to turn their dreams into reality.
As a published writer, Ufberg interviews and blogs for Thrive Global and The Huffington Post, focusing special attention to women, personal health and wellness and philanthropic initiatives. She hosts her own NPR radio segment, Force of Nature, on WAMC’s 51% show.