Now that it is March, the third month of the new year, all of the resolutions that were wonderfully typed up onto a document with an inspirational font have mysteriously gone missing and the health kick people were experiencing at the beginning of 2020 is no longer kicking. Keeping the health kick going can be difficult, especially when life throws fast food and drinks infused with sugar at you until you are left wondering where all the vegetables ran off to. Take heart, and know that vegetables are still kicking, and they have not run off the face of the Earth. The media tends to advertise a perfectly spun milkshake with caramel drizzle rather than a perfectly chopped carrot. This is discrimination against vegetables in the food modeling industry!
Jokes aside, unhealthy foods are easy, fast, and convenient. Cooking a healthy meal at home is time consuming to plan, cook, and then clean up afterwards. At fast food joints, healthier foods can be more expensive. The grilled nuggets at Chick-fil-a are more expensive than the classic nuggets, and ordering a salad is more costly than a side of waffle fries. It is so easy in 2020 to gravitate towards processed foods, get caught up in life, and forget to workout, other than the calories you burn running errands. Unfortunately, running errands does not count as a full-on workout session. The struggle to stay healthy in 2020 is a genuine obstacle that a lot of people face. Incorporating simple changes in your daily routine will help you jump over some of the hurdles to feel more fit, energized, and revitalized. Here are a few simple changes or additions you can make in your routine:
First and Foremost: Water
This may seem obvious, but it is also one of the most significant elements to keep present in your life. Drinking water may seem tedious and boring, but without H2O it’s a no-go. And in Arizona, aka the desert, staying hydrated should be at the top of your priority list. An effective way to keep water present in your life without it fading in the distance is to keep a reusable water bottle, such as a Hydro Flask, with you at all times wherever you go. It should be at your bedside table when you go to sleep, with you in the car when you are driving from place to place, and with you at work. It should be visibly seen with your eyes so you will not forget it is there. It should come to the point where you treat your water bottle like your phone. Your heart sinks and there is a pit in your stomach when you do not know where it went. Life freezes until you can get it back into your hands. With that being said, water is important and is certainly more important than your phone.
Exercise (Even if it’s just a little bit)
If you do not have an hour a day to dedicate to the gym due to the demands of life, that does not mean you can put exercising to the side entirely. Who said exercising has to take place at the gym and who said it had to be for an hour? You can work out in the comfort of your own home, if you can find a workout routine that works for your own body. Even if it is a few high intensity exercises for fifteen minutes, that is better than not doing anything that will challenge your physicality. If you need to walk on the treadmill while watching an episode of “The Office” there is no shame in that. It is better than watching Netflix lazily in bed. The human body was made to move, so jump at any opportunity to put your body to the test.
Produce Produces Power
The more produce you can incorporate into your diet the more physical power and energy you will gain. Eating a bag of chips can taste good and feel good in the moment, but afterwards you know you could have eaten something else that would have given you three-times more energy. Everyone has the ability to find fruits and vegetables that they like to some capacity. Once you know what you like, you can replace those processed snacks that do not produce as much energy with healthier options. One way to pack fruits and vegetables into your diet seamlessly, and without much manpower, is to put them in smoothies. An arrangement of fruit and spinach for a smoothie will do the trick. Smoothies can be a great snack or lunch and is an overall healthier food choice. The options are endless when shopping the produce section of the grocery store. Compile fruit to make a fruit salad, try cooking a vegetable stir-fry along with your favorite seasoning and see what you can come up with!
One of the most common reasons the resolution to stay healthy only lasts for a week is because people do not treat their health with intentionality. Get an idea of what days you know you will be eating out for dinner, so you can plan to pack a lunch that day and not go on a spur of the moment trip to Wendy’s. Set reminders on your phone to drink water if you need to. Make consistent times in your schedule for that fifteen-minute workout. Actively seek activities and opportunities that promote your health. If you need a class that meets a couple times a week to get you motivated to move, do it. But do not take a class you will dread; on the other hand, take one that makes you feel empowered and brings you peace in knowing you are not wasting your time and money.
Don’t Lose Track of Yourself: Journal
Keep a journal that records what you are eating throughout the day. This will help you keep track of what your eating habits are and what kinds of foods, good or bad, you are eating on a daily basis. You never really see what you eat in a day until you write it down on paper. The purpose of a food journal is not to be obsessive over your diet. The purpose is to uncover what your eating habits and trends are, so you can know what course of action to take to promote your well-being.
Staying healthy is not just about munching on carrots until your complexion turns orange. In fact, do not do that because if all you are munching on is carrots then you do not have the right mindset towards your overall health. Mental and physical health go hand in hand. As long as you are treating your body with the respect it deserves, you should be feeling confident and energized.
Give yourself a break and do not be too hard on yourself. Plan for one day during the week where you can have something that makes you happy. It can be chocolate or whatever floats your boat. Just do not go overboard. Moderation is key, even when you are rewarding yourself for good behavior.