Want to improve your health and fitness?
Forget deprivation. Throw out the diets. Bury the shakes.
You don’t need to say ‘no’ all the time to get healthy. In fact, saying ‘yes’ is probably better for your sanity, especially when you really, really, really want it.
Ok, I’m talking about food and exercise here, just in case you were getting the wrong idea.
Weight-loss, health and fitness. They’re long term games not short-term fixes.
All diets could work – but they don’t because they aren’t sustainable.
So what’s the point in losing three dress sizes this month when you’re going to add an extra four the following month?
Instead focus on small changes every day.
They’ll add up, believe me.
It’s about quality over quantity and being able to enjoy the buffet breakfast, a slice of cake or a couple of glasses of wine – just not all at once!
Check out the these mini hacks to get you fit and healthy in no time without the bullshit.
41 Mini Hacks To Improve Your Health And Fitness
1 – Drink more water
Carry a water bottle with you and sip through the day.
Aim to drink at least 2 x 500ml bottles (more if you’re exercising). If you can’t stomach the taste, give coconut water a try or add a few slices of lemon and orange or try cucumber and mint. If you’re exercising you will need to drink a little bit more.
2 – Include a serving of fruit with your breakfast and morning snack (apple, banana, strawberries)
Fruit is good for you. Enjoy your two servings a day.
Craving something sweet? Reach for a piece of fruit rather than that chocolate bar calling your name.
3 – Fill up on salad at lunch time
Have half a sandwich and the rest enjoy a crunchy salad (rocket, beets, goats cheese, sunflower seeds – hmmm, yummy!) with your lunch. The lunch will last longer and you will be more satisfied.
4 – Take the stairs whenever you can – that includes at the shops, at work, in the park.
In fact, fall in love with stairs and use them at every opportunity.
What’s so good about stairs?
Butt workout, lung capacity.
5 – Aim for 10,000 steps per day (or even a 20 minute walk)
Getting 10,000 steps isn’t easy.
It’s not difficult either but you have to put in the effort. I might go for a 10km run and I still won’t reach those steps unless I ensure I walk around. Shopping often helps. Browsing through all the specials at the department store helps me get my steps in, as does chasing my son in the park as he rushes in front on his balance bike.
6 – Get away from your desk and computer at lunch time – walk, sit in the sun, talk to a colleague
Sitting on your butt for eight plus hours sucks for your health. So does standing for that amount of time.
It’s all about finding that balance.
Make sure you take regular breaks – go to the bathroom the long way, refill your water bottle in the kitchen several times per day, walk to a colleagues desk instead of phoning, take fifteen minutes at lunch to walk in the fresh air.
7 – Get some vitamin D every day – especially if you work inside
Each week I realise how unhealthy my work environment is. There are 150+ people on the floor, breathing in the same recycled and air-conditioned air, people sneezing and coughing, and computers releasing static all over the place.
I feel energised coming into the office but by the end of the day I just want to run away and not come back.
If you work in an office that doesn’t have windows that open make sure you take the opportunity in the morning, at lunchtime or after work to get out in the sunshine. On your days off, spend as much time outdoors as possible. Just remember to slip, slop and slap.
8 – Stretch like a cat
In the morning, during the day and before going to bed
9 – Meet your friends for a walk instead of a drink
10 – Limit your alcohol intake to a maximum of 2 drinks at the weekend
Alcohol dehydrates and gives you a headache. Plus hangovers are much worse the older you get.
I drank a lot in 2016.
Wine that is.
At the end of the year, I’d just had enough.
Without even thinking about it I stopped. I’m no longer craving a glass of wine after work every night, instead I opt for water or a glass of milk or cup of peppermint tea.
Sure I still have the odd espresso martini when I’m out or a cider on a hot day but I no longer feel the need to drink to be social. It might have something to do with returning to triathlon training. Who knows?
11 – Switch off
Ideally remove all electrical items from the bedroom – yes that includes your phone. I’m so guilty of this one. My phone is next to me constantly. It’s become an addiction.
12 – Treat yourself to something you enjoy once per week (bath, read a book in a hammock, glass of wine at your favourite restaurant, pedicure, whatever tickles you fancy)
13 – Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper
14 – Finish the day off with a cup of peppermint tea (helps digestion)
15 – Start the day with a glass of water with half a lemon and teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
16 – Enjoy two meat-free days each week
17 – Choose fish twice a week (cod, salmon, trout, orange roughy…yummy)
18 – Enjoy two servings of vegetables with your lunch and dinner
19 – Snack on veggie sticks in the afternoon with some greek yoghurt or humus (carrot, cucumber, capsicum, celery, broccoli, zucchini)
20 – Indulge in your favourite dessert/meal (but only once per week)
It’ll give you something to look forward to and you won’t feel deprived which means you’re less likely to binge
21 – Remove sweeteners/sugar from your drinks (black coffee/tea, water)
Sugar is the enemy. It makes you feel full of energy one minute and then flat the next
22 – Brush your teeth after a meal to avoid snacking
I know that my weakness for sweets is of an evening after dinner. To prevent me reaching for the chocolate at the back of the fridge I go to the bathroom and brush my teeth with some extra minty paste.
Cravings be gone!
23 – Sign up for a new fitness activity (dancing, jumping, rock climbing)
24 – Join a team sport to get fit and make new friends
25 – Sign up for a fun run or triathlon in your local area (and get your friends involved!)
26 – Go out dancing on a Friday night (just avoid the alcohol)
27 – If you watch TV, use commercial breaks to do some strength training
28 – Include at least one strength training session per week (awesome for bone density)
29 – Take the weekends to explore your local city/countryside
Play tourist in your home town.
You don’t need to jump on a plane to travel. There are probably many places you haven’t seen within a 100km radius of your home town.
30 – Write down two things that you’re grateful for each day
We get so caught up in our hectic lives and we forget to be thankful for the important things – the roof over our head, the food in the fridge, the family and friends who love us unconditionally and the job that supports our lifestyles.
Start being grateful and seeing the great in the things around you and your happiness level with significantly improve.
31 – Offer a smile on the street (it’s free and can change someone’s day)
32 – Find a charity to support (volunteer, give cash or give away clothes/toys/books/etc)
33 – Learn to say ‘No’ if you really don’t want to do something/have no time and stop feeling guilty about it
34 – Avoid the middle aisles of the supermarket
That’s where all the processed and junk food hides (if they need a healthy section what the hell is the rest of the crap they stock?) – stick to the outside aisles— fresh fruit and veg, meat and chicken, dairy and frozen section.
35 – Make your own curry sauces/pastes/etc
They’ll have less sugar, salt and preservatives. You can freeze them for multiple uses so that you don’t have to make a new one each time
36 – Pre prepare your lunches for the week on a Sunday afternoon and freeze them. No excuse to spend money or buy junk food!
37 – Eat breakfast every day – even if it’s just a protein shake or veggie smoothie. Your body needs food to kickstart.
38 – Learn to cook from scratch
Start with simple dishes like stir fries, omelets, or soups. Then move on to harder dishes like roasts.
39 – Going sunbathing (slather on the sunscreen) and walk instead of lying on your towel – you’ll get an even tan and work on your fitness!
40 – Stop worrying if you mess up, that’s life. Deal with it and get back on track tomorrow.
41 – Take a moment for silence and reflection
We’re so busy these days constantly running around from work to home, giving our time away to our employees, family and friends, that we often forget about ourselves.
Pencil in 10 minutes into your day to sit in silence and just breathe. Try not to think about anything else.
Just count your breaths if you find your mind drifting.
What are you doing to improve your health and fitness every day?