Starting a new life from the new year is much cooler than from the next Monday. But it is better to start right tomorrow. What new challenges and goals will you set for yourself? Start running in the morning, lose 5 kilos, tidy up your diet, give up bad habits, prepare for a marathon, or just become the best version of yourself?
If you wondered what the simplest things you can do to change your everyday life and which habit you need for your happiness – you’re in the right place! Here is a shortlist of habits you can implement tomorrow to make your life healthier.
Do not skip breakfast
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No, a cup of coffee is not breakfast. Excuses like “in the morning my body cannot absorb food” – just excuses. After all, this is the most important meal. The body depleted overnight needs calories, breakfast helps the body to wake up, and the brain – to get involved in work.
In the morning, the metabolism is more intense, and in the evening it slows down. This is the reason why at breakfast you can afford sweets without harm to the figure. In addition, the morning meal helps regulate glucose levels and keeps hunger under control throughout the day.
But lovers of starting the day on an empty stomach are at risk. Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast are more vulnerable than other people to such diseases as atherosclerosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, have higher cholesterol and weight gain.
Isn’t that a reason to review the diet and make a new good habit?
Get enough sleep
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Sleep is the best rest and best habit. While you sleep, the body and the brain recover after exertion. The body produces the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for setting up the human biorhythms (also known as the sleep hormone).
In addition to adjusting sleep and waking cycles, melatonin performs a bunch of useful functions: it slows down the aging process, strengthens the immune system, regulates metabolism, normalizes the activity of the nervous system and even prevents the development of cancer cells.
But the modern rhythm of life contributes to the fact that we often do not get enough sleep. We also do not have a clear timetable for awakening and going to bed. What is fraught with a lack of sleep? You can eat and perform the training program, but without good sleep, all efforts will go to the trash.
Lack of sleep will affect the hormonal system – disrupted the production of serotonin and increases the level of cortisol. People who don’t sleep enough suffer from headaches, mood swings, complain of memory deterioration and decrease in concentration.
And a violation of serotonin metabolism leads to the fact that during the day, there is a desire to “catch up” with something sweet – and here, hello, overweight.
Be accustomed to go to bed and get up at the same time, monitor the quantity and quality of sleep. Sleep in complete darkness, maintain a cool temperature in the room (about 19 degrees), set your smartphone aside for a couple of hours before bedtime, and avoid intense workouts.
If you want to know more about sleep and how to do it right – check this post!
Go for a morning run
Yes, you definitely wanted to run today, but … work, family, society – and here again there is neither time nor energy left. And again everything is postponed for tomorrow, from Monday or in the next life.
Yes, it is necessary to get up, and there is dark and cold. But then it turns out that the hardest step – from the bed to the door. It is pleasant to breathe cool morning air, and the city without people and cars is very beautiful.
Morning jogging has its own magic – the day seems longer. When others are just starting, you have already done a good job and are full of vigor and strength, the mood for the day is set, and you have free time for leisure with friends or family.
I added an aesthetic component to finally convince myself to run in the morning: the sunrises are beautiful, and the feeling that the world only belongs to you in the morning is even better.
Do not forget to follow simple rules: it is better to prepare running equipment from the evening. Just give your body some time to wake up (half an hour is perfect, you can do a little warm-up during this time).
Add strength training
Many runners dislike all training and absolutely for nothing. Strength training not only strengthens the muscles and ligaments but also is an excellent prevention of injuries, as it eliminates the imbalance that occurs with a frequently repeated load on the same muscle group. And strength training will make you faster, improve metabolism and reduce fat stores. Bonus – a beautiful figure with worked muscles.
No need to train like a powerlifter, performing technically challenging exercises with serious weight. It is better to give preference to multi-joint exercises. During such exercises a large number of muscles work – squats, deadlifts, bench press, lunges, etc.
If you don’t want to work with “iron”, you can use other methods: exercises with your own weight on horizontal bars and parallel bars, plyometrics, TRX.
Exercise without gadgets from time to time
GPS tracking, tempo control, statistics in Strava, music – these are already an integral part of the process.
But running on sensations also has its advantages. For example, you will learn the so-called conversational pace. This helps to prevent excessive stress on the cardiovascular system during exercise. The point is simple – this is the pace at which you can keep up the conversation at the level of sentences, not fragments of phrases.
This skill is especially useful for marathon runners and those who plan to become them: running at a conversational pace, you definitely will not go beyond the aerobic zone, and such training is ideal for developing basic endurance.
Nobody has canceled the motivating power of music, but the favorite player also doesn’t hurt to be left at home sometimes. In addition to enjoying peace and quiet, such a run also helps to listen and hear one’s step (and, respectively, keep track of the flaws in the technique) and breathing. In addition, on an unfamiliar route, you will be more secure. By the way, most professionals run without music, and in some competitions, the use of headphones is strictly prohibited.
Move more during the day
Sedentary work can be a problem even for a runner. Training is great, but 8 hours of office work does its dirty work. This can lead to poor posture (we often slouch when sitting), back pain, scoliosis, cervical osteochondrosis, stagnation of blood in the pelvis and other not very pleasant consequences.
In addition, even after a couple of hours of sitting, calorie consumption is reduced and the level of “good” cholesterol drops by 20%. People with sedentary work have twice the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What to do? Try to ensure at least minimal activity during the working day. You can take short breaks for 5–10 minutes every hour. Just walk, stretch your limbs, perform simple but effective exercises. Do not ignore the break for lunch, get out for a walk in the fresh air.
Cook at home more often
In addition to the obvious benefits for the wallet, personally prepared dishes allow you to more accurately calculate the number of used proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Homemade food contains more healthy nutrients than fast food, which contains a lot of sugar, fats and fast carbohydrates, and restaurant food is fraught with hidden calories in the form of sauces and dressings.
In addition, cooking at home is much easier to control the serving size. You know exactly all the ingredients of which your lunch is made. You do not have to become a chef – you can find a lot of simple and useful recipes on the Internet. And there will be an occasion to buy beautiful lunchbox.
Optimize your diet
Stop drinking soda, replace cookies for tea with healthy snacks, stop buying coffee with a huge amount of syrup and whipped cream – everyone has his own list of harmful pleasures.
But there is one useful tip for everyone – add more vegetables, fruits, berries, and greens to your diet. Low-calorie, full of vitamins and trace elements, they are extremely useful – strengthen the immune system, help to normalize weight, improve the health of the digestive tract.
- fresh greens (parsley, dill, cilantro) contains vitamins A, E, C, K, PP and the whole group of vitamins B, as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and selenium.
- Apples help lower cholesterol, detoxify the blood, and control hunger.
- bananas replenish energy reserves, are rich in potassium useful for muscles, which makes them an indispensable snack for athletes for endurance.
- Orange – a source of vitamins C and PP, help quench thirst and rejuvenate.
- persimmon contains iron, vitamins, A and C, increases efficiency and has a tonic effect.
- Avocado is a powerful antioxidant, contains healthy fats that are necessary for the brain and nervous system.
In general, there is plenty to choose from.
Drink more water
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Only lazy people didn’t write about it, but it’s hard to overestimate the benefits of this habit. Water helps flush toxins from the body and also contributes to weight loss, suppressing hunger.
Drinking a glass of water before each meal, you force the stomach to work faster and avoid overeating. Very often we confuse hunger with thirst.
Water improves skin condition and dilutes the blood, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Articular cartilage is more than 65% water, which is why it helps maintain the elasticity of joints.
Water is also very good for the brain: if you have problems with memory and concentration, this can be a sign of a lack of fluid.
And separately about the danger of dehydration for runners: lack of fluid adversely affects the speed and performance. When running, the body sweats and loses water with greater speed than you have time to replenish your supply, and the longer you do, the more water deficit accumulates. Every percentage of weight loss from dehydration makes you 2% slower.
Water shortages cannot be completely avoided, especially in long competitions, but it is possible and necessary to reduce the risk of consuming enough water before and after training.
Plan and find custom solutions
To finally start to do everything and overcome procrastination. Effective time management allows you to streamline your daily routine, and also to distribute your time so as to combine workout and work, running and traveling, sports and family life.
Break complex tasks into smaller ones and move step by step towards a big goal. Make lists of affairs for the week and for the day – everyone has 24 hours a day and the ability to correctly distribute them costs a lot.
Final thoughts on 10 easy and good habits you need to change in your lifestyle that will make you healthier
Surely something from this list you already do, but something inspired you to change. If you want to put some of these habits into life, try the great micro-solution technique.
The micro-solution is a small promise to yourself, which will allow you to put any task into autopilot mode. For example, you want to lose weight and give yourself the first promise: to replace the carbohydrate side dish with vegetable dinner. This task is much easier to accomplish than the global and vague “eating right”. After you get used to this action, give yourself the following promise. Yes, it turns out longer, but it turns out.
This technique is perfect for realists and busy people. And those who have already tried many times to inculcate useful habits, but each time they threw them. It is better to work on yourself a little bit and reach your goals than live a two-week ideal life by a willful effort, and then rollback.
Cover photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash