7 Simple Ways To Embrace A Healthier Lifestyle

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By Tamara Burgos

Last year, I let school, work, and social commitments take over my life, and as I tend to do, I put myself at the bottom of the priority list. Doing this took a toll on my health and I could have avoided it. The only exercise I did was running twice a week. I wasn’t eating enough, my meal schedule was all over the place, migraines became a weekly thing, and I was always tired. On top of it all, I decided to attempt to stop eating meat and did not replace the protein I was losing by not eating meat with any other food. Within five months, I lost weight, gained a little back, and lost it all again. My skin felt dull and my hair wasn’t shiny and glossy as it used to be. 

As we’re entering the second half of the year, I’m proud to say I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been. Migraines are gone. Even though I’m even thinner than I was before, I feel and look fitter, I’m more energized, my skin and hair look amazing, and most important, I’m happy.

I didn’t really have to do an extreme makeover to my lifestyle and daily routines. Simply adding and subtracting a few things made a massive difference. Here are seven tips and tricks I swear by and advice you to follow:

1. Exercise daily – Even for 10 minutes.

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I cannot stress enough how important this is. Even if you do it for just ten minutes. Take some time to exercise every day. It takes a while to get used to, but it’s worth it. Not only is working out good for your body in terms of fitness, but also to keep your blood flowing and oxygenate your brain. You’ll have a much more productive day after working out. If you’re thinking, I don’t have time for that, keep in mind that 10 or 15 minutes aren’t even that much, but can make a huge difference. That’s easily the amount of time you spend scrolling through your Instagram feed every day, right?


2. Make sure your diet is balanced

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Personally, having a more balanced diet consisted of re-incorporating meat to my meal plan, eating more times a day, and being more flexible with what I eat (not restricting myself so much.) It may be different for you. Perhaps you are a vegan, vegetarian or prefer to follow a Mediterranean diet. Do what suits you best. Just make sure that you are getting enough nutrients in your body so that it functions properly and you see the benefits of eating healthy in your mind, body and soul. Learn to treat yourself (this should not be confused as binging on a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a box of Pizza while watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix), but do allow yourself to enjoy something that isn’t particularly healthy but tastes amazing every once in a while.


3. Drink more water

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I don’t think I need to elaborate much on this. You’ve already read all the articles. Just do it. And if you need help, get a funky water bottle to increase that hydration motivation.


4. Do not obsess about ~*everything*~

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As important as it is to follow a diet and exercise regime, do not fall into obsession and spend every minute of every day counting calories and calculating how many minutes you have to run on the treadmill to burn that latte. Just be mindful of what you’re eating and don’t be fooled by calories. Be aware of fats, sodium, crabs, sugar and everything else. Read the labels, know what’s going inside your body, what kind of nutrients you’re feeding it with. However, remember to enjoy your food and your workout for what they are.


5. Listen to your body

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Extremes – on either side – aren’t good. If you feel too tired and need a lighter workout, then do some stretching exercises. If you’re craving something, learn to interpret the signals that your body sends. This article by BBC explains the correlation between food cravings and what your body needs. If you’re hungry, then eat something. Don’t deprive yourself. Avoid pushing yourself too much if you know it’s going to do more harm than good. But don’t make it an excuse not to move or eat healthier.


6. Get enough sleep

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Some of us need 7-8 hours, others more or less. Learn to know your body and figure out how many hours allow you to feel energized and fully functional in the morning. The Sleep Foundation and Mayo Clinic have some really great tips and helpful information to establish a healthy sleeping pattern for yourself.


7. Take time to unwind

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Physical health does not only depend on diet, exercise, and sleep. It is also extremely important to take care of your mental health. Take a few minutes a day to spend them by yourself. Do something that helps you relax and enjoy your own company. Read, write, or draw something. Go for a walk. Play some Taylor Swift songs and have a dance party. Watch a YouTube video or an episode of your favorite series on Netflix. Just remember to take some time off and clear your mind.


Tamara is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. The views and opinions expressed in Contributing Writer articles reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the site. 

To apply to become a Contributing Writer, click HERE

{featured image via unsplash}

 

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