In a bit of rut on your quest to become healthier? Or maybe you're just trying to save time and make your life easier?
Here are 15 health hacks to help you get as hot and healthy as possible:
1. Workout in the morning
It seems like less of a hack, and more of a daily to do, but working out in the morning can go a long way in boosting your energy, improving your eating throughout the day and making sure that your workout guarantees to get done and not pushed to the side when things come up.
2. Reduce your carbs at breakfast
Your blood sugar is low in the morning when you eat breakfast and consuming carbs in this fasted state may cause your body to crave them all day long. Instead, reduce your carbs and replace with some healthy fats and protein to keep you satisfied and keep cravings a bay. Check out 7 healthy breakfasts that will keep you full until lunch!
3. Take your workout clothes with you to work (and change before you leave)
If your current tactic is to leave work, come home, get changed and ready to go to the gym and then head out the door again, skip the middle man and take your gym clothes with you to work. Better yet, change into them before you leave the office. It does mean more preparation the night before, but eliminates the temptation that you’ll come home and not go out again when it’s time to hit the gym! Check out 5 things you need to know while buying workout clothes.
4. Get up 15 minutes earlier
It may be the difference between you having a rushed and stressed, or energized and productive morning, the difference between a full workout or half of one, or the difference between eating or not eating breakfast. And it’s only 15 minutes.
5. Drink water
Before you have a snack, eat a meal, go workout, or get in the car, drink 200-300 mL of water. Our body has this great way of tricking us into thinking we want something else (i.e. sugar, a snack, to sit on the couch and be lazy), when really we just are in the early stages of dehydration and need water.
6. Use your own weight for workout resistance
No weights? No problem. Don’t let this be an excuse for why you can’t do an at-home workout on days you can’t get to the gym. Your own bodyweight is a perfect alternative and will likely challenge you more than you expect.
7. Chew your food for longer
You don’t have to get it down to a puree mush, but most of us don’t chew our food for long enough as it is, so a little extra time won’t hurt. It helps break it down more for better digestion and aids in releasing digestive enzymes which in turn lead to better food assimilation and make you feel more satisfied and less likely to overeat.
8. Get outside every day
Not just to walk to and from your car, but genuinely spend some time in the fresh air and sunshine. 30 minutes a day is all you need to get your daily intake of vitamin D, which boosts energy, aids in healthy bone development and helps protect against cancer.
9. Train your brain
Close your computer and read a book, do a crossword, or tackle some logic problems. These brain stimulating activities (without the interference of the screen) are great for reducing mid afternoon brain fog and have been shown to help slow the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Check out 5 foods to eat that will improve your brain health!
10. Portion out treats
Seems like a no brainer, but literally, when you walk through the door from the grocery store, with your favourite bag of candy, divide it up into portions and place in containers or Ziploc bags. Now you can have your treat, but not the guilt of having too much!
11. Offer to bring the healthy food
If you’re headed to a potluck, where you know there will be heaps of junk food, offer to bring a healthy food option. It gives you something to eat, but you don’t have to feel like an outsider eating something special in your own little container.
12. Book your week of fitness classes on Sunday
If you tend to skip out on going to your fitness classes during the week, book them on Sunday for the full week ahead. You’ll be charged if you miss it, and you’ll feel like you already committed, making you more likely to show up.
13. Just run for 1 mile / kilometer
If you’re not feeling your run today, tell yourself you only have to go out and run 1 kilometer / mile. After it’s done, if you’re still not into it, turn around and you’ll have ran 2 kilometers / miles that day. Most likely though, once you’re out there, the hardest part is over and you’ll finish your run as usual. Check out our beginners guide to running!
14. Start a fitness challenge
You see them pop up on your social media feed all the time: 30 day abs challenge, 2 week squat challenge etc., but now it’s time to find one, commit to it and make it happen. Your results might be better than you were expecting!
15. Go to sleep
Make your bedtime and sleep into a routine that you stick to and that doesn’t involve screen time in the hour before you hit the hay. Incorporate meditation, sleepy time tea and your favourite relaxing activity, and don’t make it a habit to go to bed late. Sleep is the answer to a lot of things. Learn how sleep can help you with weight loss.