First fitness post in the HOUZZZ!
Ok gang. Day one and I thought it might be fun to talk about what it means to be “healthy”. Loaded topic, right? Let me just preface this by saying that I am in no way a fitness guru nor am I a health expert. I’m simply a 40 something mom, making my way through the world, trying to do the right thing for my family and myself.
That being said, we all know that we’re supposed to eat right and exercise more but what exactly is the right way to eat and does exercising more mean you need to flex your pecks on a daily basis with the Marky Mark wannabes of the world? With all the fad diets and exercise trends swirling around us like a tornado, how do you know what’s right? How much exercise is enough? Should we be eating meat? Not eating meat? Cutting out gluten? Jumping into the caveman food chain? Maybe going completely organic is the answer.
Here’s what I think: being healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Little actions go a long way towards making us feel beautiful both inside and out. All in moderation, right? Below is a list of some simple steps that I like to use in our family for improving health. No gimmicks, no magic. Just small changes that make a big difference in our lives.
You ready for this? Let’s do it!
- Turn off the screens and get outside. It’s beautiful out there! Take a walk around your neighborhood or grab the kids and go for a nature hike in the woods. Even an hour less a day in front of a computer or tv can make a huge difference.
- Cut down on your sugar intake. I’m talking sodas, Starbucks, cookies, cakes etc. Do this however it works best for you. Maybe you have a “two soda a day ritual”. Or maybe you treat yourself twice during the day; Starbucks in the morning and a cookie after dinner at night. Try cutting it down to one. You can do it.
- Eat more vegetables daily. Now I’m not asking for miracles here but I know that for many of us, vegetables are an afterthought most days. And, no, french fries are not a vegetable. If your vegetable typically consists of iceberg lettuce and a tomato on your burger, maybe try adding a spinach salad or some steamed broccoli on the side of said meat patty.
- Eat out less and eat in more. Don’t get me wrong. I love to eat out as much as the next gal. There’s no clean up, it’s tasty and it’s easy. However, it’s also expensive with ginormous proportions and many times, not nearly as healthy as you think. I did the nutrition calculator for a chicken burrito from Chipotle and it came out to 1250 calories, almost 55 grams of fat and over 2500 mg of sodium. Yikes! Now I’m not saying don’t eat out at all. I’m merely suggesting that if you normally find yourself out for, say, 5 meals a week that the next go round you lower it to 4 and make yourself a lunch from home one day. Money saved, calories saved, done.
- Make a point to exercise. I’m not by any means demanding you up and buy a gym membership so that you can join the fitness obsessed muscle men, lift weights and drink thick, high caloric protein shakes by the gallon. I’m merely suggesting that you add a little extra movement to your day. It could be as little as walking the stairs to and from your office each day instead of using the elevator. In the immortalized words of Nike: Just do it.
- Do something nice for someone else. Did I surprise you with this one? Being healthy isn’t just about taking care of our bodies. It’s also about taking care of our minds and our well being. Pay it forward to the person behind you in the coffee line or send your friend a card in the mail to let them know what they mean to you, just because. I promise it will make you feel as good as it does them.
- Get your annual physical. When was the last time you did this? I know I’m guilty of avoiding visits to my doctor at any cost. It turns out that getting checked out when you’re feeling well is just as important if not more important than going when you’re sick. After all, don’t you want to catch potential health issues before they send you to the hospital? Your body is a machine and just like a car it needs regular checkups.
Bottom line; you can totally do this! Let me know of any additional ways that you all inspire a healthy lifestyle for your family in the comments below. Variety is the spice of life. Together we’ll inspire each other! And Mark Wahlberg, if you’re reading this, I love you man. No hard feelings.