Like so many others, my list of goals for 2016 includes getting healthier and more active. I want 2016 to be my year to become the best version of me: health, work, and everything else-wise. In 2015, I really began to take a look at my overall health and fitness and honestly, I was a bit discouraged by what I saw.
Since getting surgery for scoliosis at 13, I’ve never been able to let my routine slip much with my workout routine since it does quickly become a concern for my spinal health. However, that doesn’t mean that I’ve put as much dedication and hard work into my health as I should have.
The truth is, I let my health slide. It wasn’t until this past summer that I began to really feel the energy and enthusiasm to get my fitness level up again. I began planning weekend hikes rather than just lunches on patios and walking the seawall became my go-to afternoon pastime.
I am looking at 2016 as an opportunity to delve even further into my personal health. I want this year to be the start of a new commitment to myself and my overall wellness. Since I am taking such a detailed look at my health in 2016, I wanted to share a few things that I have been doing lately to help you if you’re on your health journey as well!
6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Health
1. Drink More Water + Invest in a 1L Water Bottle
This may seem like an obvious one, but the truth is that so many of us do not own a 1L water bottle! I’ve been a water addict since I was young, so going without a water bottle was never an option for me – but in the last year or so, I’ve found that drinking my usual 2L of water throughout the day has been less and less a priority for me. I have now given myself a personal quota: 1L of water before lunch, and the second after lunch – but before I leave the office.
2. Swap out Coffee for Herbal Tea, or Just Have Tea As Well!
On and off throughout the last few years, I have challenged myself to swap out my morning coffee for a yummy herbal tea. When I say the word “challenge” I truly mean it, it’s hard to drop something from your daily diet that is thought of as such a staple. I love my morning coffee, but now and again I feel dropping it from my routine helps shake up my daily diet and give me more energy.
3. Take the Stairs
I’m the worst for this. Each and every day I tell myself that rather than take the elevator up to my apartment I’ll take the stairs – and each day, I take the elevator. Bad on me! But, one of my resolutions for 2016 is to skip the elevator and include the quick run up the stairs to my apartment into my daily routine. Challenge yourself to do the same (I mean, unless you live on level 30 or something!) to include healthy activities into more of your day.
4. Make Your Next Gal’s Brunch a Hike Date
Getting motivated to exercise can be a challenge, but one easy way to make it more fun and exciting to do is by turning it into a social situation. Rather than calling up your friends for a dinner out, or for a wine night – invite them out on a hike or a walk. Let them know you’re focusing on your health and would love their support!
Chances are your friends will be encouraged to take a look at their own health and fitness while also wanting to support you on your journey. This will create a really supportive circle for you and your friends in regard to all of your health and fitness goals.
5. Have a Fitness Buddy
Once you’ve shared that fitness is a goal of yours with your friends, it’s likely that one or more will want to join you on the journey towards better health. Fitness buddies are great to have. Having an open relationship with a friend to exchange healthy recipes, go to classes with, take hikes with, and share struggles is a really great way to power through obstacles and gain motivation. While some friends may come with you to a class here and there, it’s always more motivating and gives a sense of accountability to have that one friend who is taking health as seriously as you are.
6. Blend Up Your Breakfast
In the morning, it’s really easy to resort to unhealthy quick meals. Bagels, muffins, or fast food become our AM go-tos when really those foods are doing nothing good for our health. When it comes to quick healthy meals try blending up your breakfast! You can easily make a smoothie by adding your ingredients into the blender the night before and simply adding the liquid + blending it up in the AM.