While we all aim to be healthy, actually living a healthy life can be challenging. Our hectic schedules, which may include full-time jobs, managing a household, taking care of a family, and pursuing extracurricular activities, can make healthy habits challenging to stick with. Lori Smith Priest, an elementary educator and healthy lifestyle enthusiast, understands this challenge well. However, Lori has discovered that leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be time-consuming or come at the cost of other commitments. Here’s how:
Simple Tip #1: Drink more water.
Invest in a durable water bottle that’s easily portable and keep it filled throughout the day. Drinking more water won’t cost you more time or money (aside from the water bottle), and will prevent dehydration, increase energy levels, and manage hunger. Water’s also great for achieving skin with a healthy glow.
Simple Tip #2: Sleep longer.
Sleep is essential for cognitive and physical rejuvenation, and adults should be receiving between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. If that amount of sleep seems like a luxury, take time to consider how you might be able to squeeze in at least an extra 30 minutes. Jobs may dictate at what time we wake up, but we control when we go to bed. Is watching that extra TV episode or sending that last round of emails really necessary? Consider, too, that the more sleep your body gets, the more energized and productive you’ll be the next day at work. You may actually be able to get more done, or do a better job, by getting that extra 40 or 60 minutes of sleep.
Simple Tip #3: Replace one of your daily snacks with fruit.
The next time you’re in the grocery store, decide upon a type of fruit that will take the place of one of your daily snacks. If you’re prone to munching on a high-calorie granola bar on the way home from work, or can’t resist a bag of chips mid-afternoon, replace those with a fruit you find enjoyable to eat. Apples, grapes, pears, peaches, bananas, strawberries, and plums are all easy to munch on as you work or travel, yet offer the benefit of more nutrients and fewer calories. Though it’s only one small choice, it can make a difference.
Simple Tip #4: Learn how to make a hobby more physical.
Whatever your hobbies happen to be, consider how you could incorporate more activity into them. If you’re an avid reader, could you walk and read? Or walk and listen to an audiotape of a book? If you love building or tinkering with gadgets, could you work standing up, instead of sitting down? Even committing to taking a small break during your hobbies to stretch or pace can be helpful. While regular exercise is the best way to lead a healthier lifestyle, if your schedule simply can’t accommodate, integrating movement into your current commitments and passions is a start.
These are just some of the ways you can lead a healthier life. Be sure to check back in with Lori Smith Priest for more posts on healthy living!