When I first started on my health and wellness journey I was a broke college kid with social anxiety. I was too afraid to go to a gym, not to mention I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t even afford free weights to use in the comfort of my own home. So these are some tips that I implemented to help get me going on changing my life!
Walking is one of the most beneficial things to living a healthy life. If you can’t or are unable to walk outside, try to find other ways to get your steps in. Here are some helpful tips to getting more steps in, especially if you work an office job: set reminders to get up and walk every hour, park farther away from the store or your office, always opt for the stairs over an elevator, and walk on your breaks. When at home watching TV, get up and walk during commercial breaks, or between episodes on Netflix. Take the dog for a walk or play outside with your kids!
Stretching is often overlooked when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. It often seems minuscule in the big picture. But, stretching not only helps with flexibility and mobility, but also with posture, back pain, preventing injuries, as well as, stress relief and mental clarity! Incorporating a few minutes of stretching each day, can really benefit your health in the long run, along with helping you feel better all better.
Lift Household Items
When I first started working out, I was a broke college student. I had no money to go to the gym or buy weights for at home. So, I found things around the house to lift. I started with soup cans, then I progressed to milks jugs filled with water. I even did squats with my backpack full of text books. I was in no way professional, or open to sharing that part of my journey. But, honestly it was effective. I could feel the burn. Eventually, my mom let me borrow some of her dumbbells until I could save up enough money to afford my own. There truly is no shame in where you start out, we ALL start somewhere.
Cook at Home
Cooking at home is a huge money saver! It also enables you to know exactly what ingredients are going into your foods and gives you more awareness around what you are putting into your body. My best tip for cooking at home is coming up with a menu, or meal planning for 3-4 days at a time. A life saver for me more recently has been the grocery order pickup! This lets me preplan everything I need for the week for meals, and order it and pick it up without having to browse and search for things. How many times have you been looking for something but bought 5 other things along the way because it just “looks good”?! Me every single time I grocery shop. Grocery pick up saves me time and money because I hardly waste any food!
Reduce Screen Time
This one you already know! But, I bet you are resistant to. It’s so normalized nowadays to be on our phones, or turn the TV on when you get home. All the screen time is not good for our sleep cycles and our eyes. Being aware of how much screen time you have is the first step into reducing it. If you catch yourself on your phone or binging too much Netflix, try to take a break, go for a walk, read a book. Another helpful tip, is getting a pair of blue light glasses, like these, to wear at night when looking at screens. They help you wind down for the night easier, helping you get a good night’s sleep.
Reading is one of those things that we know is good for us, but don’t remember why and therefore often don’t prioritize it. But, reading reduces stress, aids in sleep readiness, fights depression, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, improves brain connectivity, increases vocabulary and comprehension, increases your empathy with others, and prevents cognitive decline as you age. I personally think school and being forced to read books that don’t necessarily interest you and the stress surrounding school, ruins reading for a lot of people. Up until the past two years, I couldn’t even remember the last book I read for pleasure. I’ve been prioritizing reading more, and I’m so glad. It gives me something else to do besides scroll on social media and watch Netflix. I like to switch it up and read both fiction stories that captivate me, as well as non-fiction books that I can learn something from!
Spend Time Outside
This one is my favorite – spending time in nature! Being outside literally makes you happier! I love where I live for this reason the most. I love the seasons and experiencing each season in a new way. In the winter, I go snowboarding. In the spring and fall, I go hiking. In the summer, I’m on the water. I thrive in nature.
Journaling has many benefits. From helping you sort through your own thoughts, to keeping you on track with goals. Some people benefit from writing one line a day. Some people are list makers. Here I am, blogging… I suppose that could be a form of journaling. If you have never been much of a traditional journal-er, try expressing yourself in one way or another. A word a day, even in the notes of your phone. The process of thinking about journaling helps yourself get more clear about whatever it is that may be on your mind.
Cold Shower/Hydro Therapy
This one is so hard for me in the cold winter months… BUT, taking cold showers have many proven scientific benefits. Cold showers may heighten your immune system and make you more resistant to illness. This is also great for muscle soreness and muscle recovery. Researchers also found that cold showers may help relieve symptoms of depression. It can put you into a trace-like state. I usually take a normal hot shower, and then before I’m done, I turn the water to cold and stand there for as long as I can. My max has been two minutes. But in the winter, I’m lucky if I can make it more than 10 seconds.
Listening to podcasts are a great way to learn something new, get out of your own head, and do it all while multitasking. There are tons of podcasts out there in the world for whatever your interests may be. I listen to a variety from health & wellness, to true crime, to current events, to business development, and more! If you have never tried listening to a podcast, I encourage you to explore that realm. Listen when you work, or do household chores, or are on a long commute.
Guided meditations have CHANGED the game for me. I struggled for many years with insomnia. When I would lay in bed, my brain would just not turn off to go to sleep. I tried so many thing and getting and STAYING asleep was such a challenge for me from the time I was a teenager up until about a year ago. I use a FREE app called “Insight Timer”. There is everything from guided meditations, to calming music, to sleep stories. When I can’t sleep, I turn it on and within 15 minutes I’m asleep 99% of the time. If you have trouble falling asleep, or falling back to sleep in the middle of the night. Try listening to the sleep meditations on the app – it transformed my life.
I’m trying to incorporate more stillness and meditation into my daily life with deep breathing exercises. But I’m not as consistent with that.
YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO DRINK WATER… SO JUST DO IT.
You should aim for 100 oz MINIMUM a day. I aim for 128 oz – a gallon. Water helps your brain, your skin, your digestion, your bowel movements, your heart, and literally everything. If you struggle drinking water, some tips that worked for me were: getting a big water jug (with a straw) and carrying it with your everywhere, adding in flavoring or lemons, and setting reminders on your phone each hour to take 10 chugs. Honestly, when I started being conscious of my water intake, I told myself if you can chug a beer, you can take 10 chugs of water. After a few weeks of forcing myself, it became a habit. My body actually craved water and if I didn’t have it, I would feel so thirsty! The peeing every two seconds also slows after a few weeks. Your body will adjust, and you will feel better!
So, those are my FREE tips to living a healthier life! I hope you find this helpful and interesting! Let me know what you think. I’d love to chat more with y’all!