If you’re one of the many people who’s New Year’s resolution was to “get in shape” or “make healthy choices” this year, you probably know that it’s often easier said than done. We sometimes tend to set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, and that can include losing a substantial amount of weight by a certain time, going on crash diets, or working out too hard.
By setting unrealistic goals for ourselves, we’re setting ourselves up for failure right off the bat. In reality, the best way to live a healthier lifestyle is by making small changes gradually, rather than restrict ourselves with crazy diets and workouts. Here are are few simple, realistic ways to be healthier in 2018.
1. Snack Smarter
Snacking throughout the day can often be one of our biggest downfalls, as most snacks are high in sugars, fats, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients. Instead of reaching for a bag of Doritos next time you’re hungry, try substituting unhealthy chips for a healthier version, like baked or vegetable chips.
These tend to contain less fat and calories than regular chips, and you’ll still be satisfying your craving. Other healthy snacks to incorporate into your diet include nuts, fruit, vegetables, and hummus. Not only will you feel full and satisfied, but you’ll feel better than if you snacked on something unhealthy instead.
2. Walk or Bike When You Can
If you live relatively close to your work or school, try walking or biking a few times a week instead of driving! Not only will you be saving money in gas, but walking or biking can help burn extra calories as well. If you don’t live in a walkable city, try going on a hike at a nearby trail or park.
It is recommended that we get roughly 30 minutes of exercise per day, but for people who work full-time, getting in a vigorous workout isn’t possible during the week. Walking and biking are easy ways to get in your day’s worth of physical activity, so be sure to set aside some time after work each day to go for a long walk or bike ride.
3. Stay Hydrated
Most of us don’t drink as much water as we should be, so take extra steps in 2018 to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated. It is recommended that adult women drink between 8-9 cups of water per day, and approximately 13 cups for adult men. That may seem like a lot, but not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, constipation, and fatigue.
If you have trouble keeping track of your daily water intake, there are plenty of water bottles on the market that provide measurements to keep track of how much water you’re drinking (Nalgene makes some great ones). Drinking plenty of water can also help clear up acne and help skin glow, so if you’re someone who struggles with skin issues, make sure you’re getting enough water.
Staying healthy in 2018 doesn’t have to be hard. By simply eating healthy, drinking water, and getting regular exercise, you will start to see changes in your body and feel better overall!