When it comes to changing your lifestyle, contemporary culture tends to focus on sweeping changes.
In reality, small permanent changes trump the often temporary large ones. Tiny non-negotiable alterations to your everyday lifestyle can result in huge fitness success over time.
Here are seven small changes that you can start implementing tomorrow for ultimate fitness success:
Take the stairs
Remove “elevators” and “escalators” from your vocabulary. Committing to the physicality of taking the staircase (however many stairs you may encounter) can make all the difference in your overall fitness.
The beauty is that some days will just have a few steps while others will challenge you with more stairs. Ultimately, it balances out. After just a few months of stairs, you’ll be able to notice a marked difference in your endurance whether you work out or not.
Change your parking ethos
As a culture, we’ve grown used to looking for the “best” space wherever we go–“best” signifying “closest.” We’ll even sit and wait for someone to move their vehicle just to spare ourselves walking yardage. But when focusing on fitness, you actually want to walk as much as possible. So instead of spending time circling the parking lot looking for the closest space, park as far away as possible and enjoy the walk to the door. Bonus points for jogs and sprints!
Replace your cardio
So often we’re told that in order for cardiovascular activity to count it must be performed for 45-60 minutes. This is only partially true. Cardio needs to be 45-60 minutes if it’s sustained cardio or cardio in which your elevated heart rate generally remains the same. But HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is actually much more efficient in that it takes less time and more efficiently incinerates calories.
Cut the dairy
Dairy is an insidious weight loss inhibitor. But coffee creamer, milk, and ice cream can still be a part of your diet when living a healthier lifestyle. Simply making the switch to one of the diversity of cow’s milk alternative options like hemp milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, etc. will not only cut calories, fat, and sugars, but also provide additional nutritional benefits that bolster fitness efforts.
Grill + Bake > Fry + Saute
Even though the inclination when it comes to food is to pull out a skillet, firing up your grill or your oven is a terrific way to get healthier. Grilling is an excellent way to preserve nutrients in produce and singe excessive fat off of meats. Plus, it tastes great.
Slim down the cocktails
While it’s best to cut alcohol when jumpstarting a new plan, eradicating it completely isn’t necessary. Small tweaks like cutting back on sugar-filled wines and premade mixed drinks is a good start. Learning to make “skinny” cocktails instead gets you the relaxation and social benefits without sabotaging your efforts. Simply mix half of a shot with club soda and lots of fresh lime, lemon, or grapefruit and fresh herbs like mint or basil for a delicious, health-conscious libation.
Upping hydration is an important facet of any health efforts. A hydrated body, like a tuned-up vehicle, runs more efficiently. Of course, drinking a daily gallon of quality water is a big part of shedding pounds. But coconut water, infused water, kombucha, fresh juices, and organic fruits and vegetables all pump your cells with yummy nutrients. Premium hydration is best achieved via a marriage of these items.
Summarily, making huge changes to your lifestyle is fantastic. Committing to daily workouts and a new eating plan is great. But true change starts with the small things. Even on days, you don’t have time or energy to workout, climbing a set of stairs reinforces your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. On the days you really need pizza and chocolate, making sure you’ve properly hydrated can negate some of the caloric load of a splurge. Ultimately, small changes plus a true dedication to fitness equals a much healthier you!