All too often we think we have to make a huge effort in order to change where we are at. We see it all over where people going on extreme fad diets or jump right into difficult fitness routines in an effort to reverse what months or even years of neglect have done to themselves. Typically those sudden and big changes are short-lived and can often lead to disappointment or even injury.
I’m a big fan of making little changes or hacks to our everyday life to effect a change. What we do consistently is what will become good, healthy habits and eventually become a regular part of who we are. So with that in mind, here are 7 little hacks you can do in your everyday living that can help you find better fitness and overall health.
Move more every day
In other words, just do something every day more than you normally might do. It doesn’t have to be huge, especially at the beginning of establishing good new habits. In fact, I’d suggest it shouldn’t be too big. When you start out big it may feel great, but even the next day or a few days in a row you may burn out quickly. That said, don’t be afraid to do some efforts beyond what you might think are possible, but focus on doing something, anything that gets you moving. Every. Single. Day.
Walk a Dog (or a family member or friend)
When I first started getting back in shape, I had to start small. My knees especially were shot, both because of past injuries and also the extra weight I had been carrying. As I started to lose weight with healthier eating, portion sizes and using FENIX for meal replacements, my ability to move with less pain in my knees began to return. So my first physical effort was simply walking the dog.
We’ve got a little dog that needs to get out and get moving too, so we became walking buddies on a more regular basis. First, it was just around the block. Then it was around the immediate neighborhood. As the weeks went by, it stretched even further and often twice a day and my knees felt great. Even without doing anything more than walking and eating better I was shedding pounds rapidly and feeling better inside and out.
If you don’t have a dog, enlist a family member, significant other or even a friend or two. Be honest and tell them you need the help sticking to the routine. Be accountable to each other and get out and move no matter what. Rain or shine you can put in a little time for your health and betterment.
Park further away
You’ve undoubtedly heard this one before, but to put it simply, it works. Quit wasting that time circling the parking lot searching for the closest spot. Why is it so hard to think of walking an additional 100 or 200 feet? Ok, maybe if it’s pouring rain I can see it, but the rest of the time why aren’t you relishing the opportunity to get in a few extra steps into your day? It’s really all about your mindset. Don’t shortcut the physical effort in the name of convenience. As a side bonus, park far away from other cars and you’re less likely to pick up a door ding or have an abandoned cart roll into your car. (Personal pet peeve!)
Have a desk job? Get up every hour for 5 minutes to move or stretch.
This is a big one for me. I’ve spent most of my career in front of a computer. I design, edit photos, do online communication, etc. Hour after hour I tend to slump into bad posture and seat position despite my best efforts. Not only is this sedentary it’s terrible on our joints, muscle and blood flow not to mention our eyesight.
A big answer for me was to set an hourly alarm to just get up and move around. Look out the window or take a short stroll around the office or even go outside. Have little routine of some pushups or stretches to shake up those muscles and joints. Again, just move and get out of that chair.
Take the Stairs
Skip the escalator. Only going up a floor or two on the elevator? Just take the stairs. Enough said.
Start the Day with Movement
Create a daily movement routine to start the day. It doesn’t have to be long or especially hard even. I recently saw a great video of a physical trainer and his 7-minute exercise routine that consisted of 4 different exercises repeated in a Tabata style of 20 seconds of effort, 10 seconds of recovery repeated 4 times for each exercise. That’s it. Even in his good physical fitness he was quickly breathing hard and the blood was flowing. All in 7 minutes a great routine to kick off the day right. Starting the day with movement reals so many benefits
Improve joints, relieve aches and tension, increase blood flow. We focus so often on cardio or strength and ignore this all too important need for good physical health. More than anything getting back to good stretching has helped me improve and avoid injury. Taking it even further try out some light yoga by downloading an app or local class to learn how. Get over the hesitation about giving it a try. You’ll thank me later.
Finally, just get outside. I’m a big believer in the power of outdoor therapy. Go somewhere new outside your routine. Far better than what some think they need after a long day to plop down on the couch and “unplug” but watching hours of TV. Find local places to walk either in town or if you can outside the rush of people. My favorite escape is to simply pick a direction and walk somewhere new. Even better if I can get up in the mountains or away from people to clear my mind and refresh my thinking while I exercise my body. It doesn’t have to be long or far away, just get out and explore.
See this post by Medical Daily about the benefits of getting outside.
I can promise you that if you make little changes in your everyday habits you will see far longer lasting changes in your life. Those healthy habits will build in you a renewed enjoyment of being active and a motivation find even more ways to become a better you!
Founded in 2008 as Organo Gold, ORGANO™ is dedicated to bringing the benefits of the earth’s nutritional riches to people throughout the world via its premium products that can be used daily to help to achieve a more energetic and healthier lifestyle.