How many of you are familiar with the need to have something now? Maybe it’s fulfilling that craving for your favourite donut or your wish to loose 10 pounds NOW. Do you often wish you could be fit now, eat healthy now, get clear skin now, be overall healthier today – without all the work? Probably! Unfortunately, those things take time and effort…and consistent time and effort.
Unfortunately, our culture has created an expectation that immediacy or getting what you want NOW is good. And not only is it good but it is possible! We have created a culture that is intimate with immediacy and not with hard work, discipline or long-term commitment. When applied to health and fitness however, immediacy is not only unrealistic, but it is also impossible. The thing is, health and fitness is a long-term investment with a long-term payoff.
That being said, I don’t want you to feel discouraged. There are some ideas that will produce results NOW from choices you make today with the added benefit of long-term health and wellness. I believe with these 5 simple lifestyle changes you can choose health now with the expectation of immediate results and longer-term rewards!
- Get off the couch! Being active not only reduces your risk of many diseases and health problems in the long-term but it will improve your mood, flexibility, and energy today! Aim to be active (walking is fine!) for a minimum of 20 minutes every day.
- Reduce your sugar intake. I’m sure that you have heard enough about how bad sugar is for you. Cutting sugar completely out of your diet is difficult and has an abundance of long-term rewards. But my challenge to you is to start reducing your sugar intake (e.g. instead of 2 cookies have 1; or reduce sugar in your tea/coffee by a teaspoon; have 1 glass of wine instead of 2). Another option is to choose healthier sweetening options like dates, figs, coconut sugar, or raw unpasteurized honey (and no, that does not mean you can have more because it is still sugar!). Reducing sugar reduces inflammation and can increase your focus, energy and concentration because you are less like to have those blood sugar lows.
- Drink more water. Most of us are deficient in water. Since our bodies are largely made up of water this has a MASSIVE impact on your focus, concentration, flexibility and joint health. Make sure you are replacing each cup of coffee or alcohol you have with at least an equal amount of water and if you are exercising remember you also need more to replace what you sweat out. To make water a bit more interesting try adding in some lemon or lime juice! Besides replacing those things aim for 8 glasses (of 8oz.) a day.
- Change the way you think about food. Positive thinking actually works! Instead of telling yourself I shouldn’t or can’t eat that start telling yourself that you are able to choose this (healthy) thing instead. When you tell yourself that you are can have that thing but are choosing something different you will find yourself less likely to crave that something later – I mean, who doesn’t find themselves wanting that thing you are saying no to! When you think differently about food you would be surprised how quickly you can say no to unhealthy options or that extra serving and actually empower yourself!
- Laugh more. Laughter has been shown to improve mood, increase oxygen to your brain, reduce stress, boost immunity and more! Obviously laughter makes you feel good immediately – and because it reduces stress and boosts your immune system the benefits just keep on going! Hit up a comedy show, watch a funny movie, or hang out with friends who make you laugh. Check out some more benefits of laughter here: http://www.idoinspire.com/blog/bid/42141/Wellness-Benefits-of-Laughter-Physical-Mental-Social
It’s time to rewire the way you think about your health and body and choose to be intimate with long-term reward, discipline and hard work. I’m not saying this will be easy…but it will be worth it! Try adding these 5 things into your daily life and you will be surprised at the benefit you receive today.
For more info:
Psychology of food and eating: http://psychologyofeating.com/mind-over-food/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cravings/200906/change-your-food-attitude