You want to live a healthier life.
You aspire to be someone who looks different, who feels differently, someone who is stronger, faster and fitter than you and you can be all that.
You just have to take the first step. But maybe you don’t know where to start.
This is where you start. With 21 things that you can do today to take that first step!
1. Replace one meal with something healthier
It’s by far the easiest way to start building a better eating habit.
Start by something as simple as switching your breakfast from cereal to a chicken salad or if you’re vegan then maybe a berry salad.
2. Go on a Walk
Clear your mind, get your heart pumping more blood and feel the sweat dripping down your spine.
Okay, I might have exaggerated it a little but talking a walk in a park or even on the sidewalk of a busy street has helped me calm down, think clearly and make tough decisions.
It leaves me happier, every single time.
3. Relax your eyebrows and Smile
We might not notice it but ever so often we can see the tension mount up on our eyebrows. Take notice and relax them. You’ll feel an instant sense of calm. Top it up with a smile and you will feel happy.
4. Take a nap
A nap, when taken at the right time can do wonders for your health.
Maybe the half an hour after lunch. Pause and take a nap before you get back to work.You’ll be able to take better decisions, perform at a higher level and maintain the peace of mind that is required to produce good work.
5. Throw away/Donate all processed food
We all have done it. Binge eat on things we know aren’t good for us just because that’s the only thing available in hand.
Get rid of the temptation and make it easier for yourself to stick to a healthier lifestyle. Throw away or donate all processed food. No excuses.
6. Spend time with a friend
Sometimes all we need is to spend time with somebody we really care about. This one isn’t going to burn your calories, apart from what you would’ve naturally burnt.
But it can do wonders for your mental and spiritual health.
7. Switch off your cell-phone. I Dare Ya!
Unplug and experience life as in it’s essence. Embrace the real world, talk to real people, connect with them on a human level and go primal!
Screens are shutting us out of the real world and this madness has to stop. Take the first step.
8. Buy a standing desk for work
The perils of sitting for long durations has been thoroughly discussed and the verdict has be a collective no-no.
Do yourself and your spine a favour and get a standing desk.
9. Join a gym with a friend
Joining a gym is easy. But having to drag yourself there 4-5 times a week is the hard work. That is the grind you’ve got to go through and the easiest way to get through the grind is to do it with a friend.
Find someone who is as passionate (or more) about improving your fitness levels as you are and join a gym that’s suitable for both of you.
That is how I got started. Now two years later, my friend has shifted to a new city but I’ve developed the habit of working out day in day out.
10. Go to bed an hour early today.
Want to build up an early morning routine? Don’t cut down on your sleeping hours, rather just get to sleep an hour early.
Moreover, you’re probably too tired from the daily grind to get anything productive done at the night.
11. Cut down your caffeine to one cup of coffee a day.
Caffeine is one of my guilty pleasures. I love Coffee.
As amazing as it works for maintaining attention and keeping us alert, prolonged and frequent use of caffeine can diminish it’s positive effects and cause health issues.
Cut down on your caffeine consumption to one cup of coffee a day. This includes giving up on all other beverages that have caffeine content.
12. Don’t drink beverages with added sugar
Sugar is killing you. Probably faster than smoking.
The best way is to cut down on everything that has added sugar in it.
However, it can be tough to go cold turkey as everything from bread to tomato ketchup has added sugars that we don’t realise is there.
Start with the obvious ones. Cut down on Sodas and you’re already half way there.
13. Cook your own meals
A lot of my work requires me to make technical decisions, financial decisions and a lot of figuring out on what to do next and all of these add up to a lot of mental activity.
Cooking is my way of taking a break and just working on something that is more physical than mental.
Moreover, months of cooking at least one meal per day has made me realise the huge range of options we have when it comes to good food that actually helps us live a better life.
And good, healthy food can taste good! Try out smoothie recommendation below.
14. Go play football! Specially if you suck at it. 😀
Can’t force yourself to workout on a treadmill or do you find the regular cardio exercises boring?
Go play football!
It’s fun, you’ll burn a whole lot of calories and you’ll make new friends. And if by chance you do end up scoring a goal, that’s a boost for your confidence. 😀
Bottomline : It’s fun. Go do it.
15. Set a morning routine
No, I’m not talking about waking up early. Studies have shown that it helps but that’s not what I’m talking about.
My advice is to set up a post-wake-up routine. Set up a routine of things you do just after you wake up that will get you started on the right foot.
This takes out the guesswork and keeps you productive.
Here’s what my morning routine looks like:
1. Wake up
2. Freshen up
3. Drink a lot of water
4. Spend time with my family, discuss the day.
5. Prepare my post-workout meal
6. Leave for gym
7. Workout, Steam, Shower.
8. Go straight to one of my favourite cafes.
9. Eat on my way there. Plan what all needs to be done today.
10. Order a cappuccino and get down to work.
16. Make a Berry Smoothie!
Berry smoothies are awesome. They’re clean, gives you a lot of needed vitamins and minerals and can be made in minutes.
There are a lot of recipes you can go with but our favourite one’s can be found at Greatist’s High Protein Smoothie Recipes.
17. Start a fitness group on Facebook
Okay maybe joining a gym is a big step. We understand that.
But it has been proved that reaching fitness goals becomes easier when done in groups. That’s why you’ll see pushing yourself beyond your limits in a spin class.
Start a Facebook group and invite your friends to join in. Share your goals and push each other to reach them.
18. Appreciate yourself
Billions of dollars of advertisements and brands have convinced us that no matter how we look, it’s not good enough.
The path to a healthier body starts with self-acceptance and being comfortable in your own skin.
If you find yourself frustrated with every single thing that isn’t perfect about you, then things need to change.
Stand in front of the mirror and appreciate yourself for the things that are great about you. These can be the small random acts of kindness you’ve shown in the past few weeks, your eyes, your smile, how your friends come to you for difficult advice, all the people that love you.
In short, show gratitude for the things that are great in your life and work hard to change the things that aren’t.
19. Take a Zumba Class
My mother and sister have been reluctant to join gyms or set up a “fitness” ritual and as a lot of us do, they were struggling with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
But that was before they started taking a Zumba class from one of my sister’s friends. They take class three times a week, they have a lot of fun and they burn a load of calories.
And now that they are putting in so much work in the physical activity, their food choices have improved a lot too.
20 . Set a Goal!
It’s time to make a decision. A decision that will change things in the long term. A decision that will set the distinction between who you are and who you want to be.
Want to lose 100 lbs? Want to build 30 lbs of muscle? Want to runs 5k?
- Set a goal.
- Make a realistic plan to achieve it.
- Work hard.
- Be Patient and give it time.
- You’ll fail. Stay on it. Don’t give up.
And there it is. The quickest 21 things you can do today to push yourself forward towards a healthier lifestyle.
Try just 3 of these every day for the next 7 days and you’ll thank me a week from now.