With the change of season comes the impulse to clean and replace the old with the new. Spring is also a great time to start healthy new habits and break with the old.
Here are five tips to help kick-start your spring health goals:
- Do some type of exercise every day
Don’t think about it – just do it. Pull yourself out of bed the second the alarm goes off. Autopilot over to the clothes you left out the night before, open the door and start walking. By the time your brain catches up, you will already have done 10 minutes.
The effect? Elevated metabolism, increased energy, appetite control and a big mark in your feel-good column of the day. You are more likely to make healthy food choices when you start your day off with some exercise.
- Make exercise fun
Choose your exercise right, that is, choose something that you really enjoy. It may range from a going to the gym or dancing to playing a team sport.
Training with others usually increases the fun. Take walks with friends and family. Invite them to your gym to work out and visit with you. Many gyms offer free passes for friends and family, anywhere from a single-use pass to a week-long pass, so do take advantage.
- Have lots of healthy foods available
It’s much easier to make a healthy food choice when healthy choices are available. Make a big fruit salad to keep in the fridge for when you need a snack. Have some of your favourite veggies ready to eat when you are hungry. Make an extra-large salad at night and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. (Just leave the salad dressing on the side, otherwise your salad gets soggy.)
- Eat breakfast
When you don’t eat breakfast, you go from dinner the night before until lunch the next day without food – that’s 12 to 14 hours without food. Your body may interpret such a long stretch without food as starvation, and it may slow down your metabolism as a safety mechanism.
- Limit alcohol
Alcohol has a lot of empty kilojoules, depresses your metabolism and stimulates your appetite. Try to limit your alcohol intake to weekends.