Getting healthy can be overwhelming for many people especially if they feel they need to do everything at once.
But we can take small steps every day, even every week, or month to help us build health so that we maintain our good health in the long run.
Below are a few small steps you can take to build better health:
1. Before You Get Out of Bed, Stretch!
It depends on what stage you are in your life, but if you can take one to two minutes to stretch before you get out of bed it will help you tremendously with starting your day off on the right foot.
I was having problems with my back so I started doing these stretches before I get out of bed and it’s made a world of difference in my mobility.
Again, not everyone has time to do a big long stretch (hello, kids!), but if you can stretch just a little every morning it will help you get your day started and moving better throughout the day.
2. Drink Water Before Coffee.
Another small step to take is to drink water before coffee or tea. Drinking a cup or more of water with lemon juice will help wake up your body from its long sleep and help get your body moving from the inside out.
I try to drink a litre of lemon water before breakfast which helps me reach my goal of drinking two litres of water a day.
Start with a small glass of water and take it from there.
3. Eat a Hearty Breakfast.
Personally I believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s one that many people either forget about or don’t make time for because they’re rushed in the morning.
When we eat a breakfast that contains fat, fibre, protein (and greens if you can!), our bodies will stay full for longer and we won’t crave sugary foods mid-way through the morning.
Great options for a hearty breakfast include:
- Oats with nuts, seeds and berries
- Eggs with greens, avocado and a slice of sourdough toast
- Leftovers from dinner
4. Add More Veggies to Your Plates.
When it comes to building health, just adding a few more vegetables to our plates can help.
I like to eat my salad with my main meal (as opposed to after my main meal) because it forces me to eat more greens and veggies.
I do this with the kids too.
One night we had pasta and kale salad for dinner.
I put a bit of pasta and a bit of kale salad in each bowl and both kids ate up the salad.
If I had just filled the bowl with pasta, they may not have had room for the salad or wouldn’t have necessarily felt like eating it.
Adding more veggies to our plates is also a great way to edge-out other foods that may not be serving our bodies well.
Instead of telling yourself that you can’t have a particular food, add more veggies to the plate first.
Eventually, you may lose the craving for the other foods, while at the same time gaining more cravings for vegetables.
5. Stretch While You’re Watching TV.
This is a weird one right? But it’s so important! So many of us plunk down and watch Netflix after dinner, or after putting the kids to bed.
This is after sitting all day at work, sitting on the train or in the car on the way home and then sitting at the dinner table.
We definitely don’t need more sitting!
The next time you turn on the TV to watch your favourite show, get down onto the floor (and off the couch) to do some stretching while you watch TV.
This will also serve as a nice stretch session before you go to bed and, over the long-term, will help with overall mobility.
I don’t want you to read this post and think: “Great more things I ‘have to do‘ while trying to do everything else.”
Look at it as taking small steps to build better health.
You might consider splitting the small steps into weekly challenges for yourself that build over time. So for example:
- Week 1: Stretch every morning before getting out of bed.
- Week 2: Stretch + drink water before coffee
- Week 3: Stretch + drink water before coffee + make baked oatmeal for breakfast and eat it all week.
- Week 4: Stretch + drink water before coffee + eat breakfast + add more veggies to your plate all week.
- Week 5: Stretch + drink water before coffee + eat breakfast + add more veggies to your plate all week + stretch while watching TV.
I’ve found that adding alerts to my phone helps. For example, I get a ding every day at 8:15 a.m. to take my Vitamin D drops.
Start slow and do what works for you.
I guarantee that by doing these five small steps you’ll begin to build better health and feel great over the longer term.