9 Ways To Be Healthier Now

A mother and her adult daughter speed walking together in a park(BlackDoctor.org) — Getting healthy doesn’t necessarily mean turning your whole life upside down. There are simple adjustments that can be made to your daily routine to get you trucking down the road to a healthier, happier you.

Try incorporating the following simple, yet effective health tips into your life.

1. Choose fruit to quell a sweet tooth. Fresh berries and yogurt, an apple with peanut butter or a simple fruit smoothie all pack nutrition and sweetness into a low-calorie package. Most of the time, these fruity treats do the trick.

2. Add fruit to pancakes, waffles, ice cream and other desserts. If you’re going to go with a sweet breakfast treat like pancakes, add fruit to it. Try pouring one serving of blueberries (per person) into the batter. Top the finished product with another 2-3 servings of fresh fruit: bananas, blackberries, strawberries, chopped apples, pears—anything you like. Pancakes doused in syrup aren’t exactly a healthy breakfast, but by adding some low-cal, filling, antioxidant-powered fruit to the meal, you can get in some good nutrition along with your sugar fix. Same goes with ice cream. Try to add one serving of fruit to a serving of ice cream. It “stretches” your dessert further and boosts the nutrition of the final product.

3. Practice good posture in front of the computer. Set up your desk so that your computer screen is higher (to discourage slumping and slouching). Try to keep your back straight and abs engaged (belly button pulled toward the spine). Good posture, believe it or not, takes a lot of work. Most of us don’t have the strength and endurance to maintain proper posture (while standing or sitting) for very long, so it’s something to work on developing. If you have trouble sitting with good posture, start small. Set a few reminders on your computer (or a sticky note on your planner) to remind you to think about it and readjust throughout the day. Your posture will improve, your core will be stronger and you just might experience less pain in your neck, shoulders and lower back, too.

4. Sit on a stability ball. You can make this one small change at home or at work. Sitting on a stability ball will help you sit with better posture and encourage you to keep your abs engaged for better balance and core strength. You can sit on the ball while you watch TV, use the computer at home, or sit at work. If you’re going to be sitting, you might as well make it work for you!

5. Commit to at least 10 minutes of fitness each day. This type of dedication can help you stick with a solid fitness program and be successful on the days you really don’t want to exercise. Every minute counts. Even five minutes can help pave the way to a fitter you.

6. Practice portion control. Measuring and consuming smaller portions of your foods is one of the easiest ways to make changes to your diet without feeling deprived. You can enjoy dessert, pasta and other comfort foods as part of a healthy diet as long as you watch your portions. When it comes to treats, read labels and serve yourself a single portion. At your favorite restaurant, cut down on the calories and fat simply by eating half of the meal and saving the rest for later. If you ate half the size of meals you’re accustomed to, you’d be eating half the calories, fat and sodium—a small change that will really add up.

7. Add veggies to frozen meals. Of course, cooking meals from scratch is an important thing if you want to eat healthier. But we don’t always have the time or energy to do that. Many people rely on frozen lunches, but most people don’t find them to be filling. If this is the case, try adding two servings of fresh or frozen vegetables to frozen meals. It boosts the veggie content and it’s EASY.

8. Walk through the office. Try to get up at least once or twice each hour—whether walking to a co-worker’s desk instead of e-mailing, heading to the cooler to get another cup of water, or choosing to use the restroom on the other side of the office. It’s a chance to stretch your legs and add a few more steps to an otherwise sedentary day.

9. Exercise in front of the TV. Don’t let the fear of missing your favorite television show prevent you from getting in exercise. Who says you can’t do both? Do a few core exercises while you are watching TV and before you know it, a half hour will have passed.