Advertising
Advertising

Lean Towards Laziness? Try These 10 Easy & Effortless Health Tips

Lean Towards Laziness? Try These 10 Easy & Effortless Health Tips

1. Use commercial breaks to your advantage

woman doing sit ups at home

    Alternate between push-ups, sit ups, and squats during commercial breaks. Or stick with one exercise, but aim to get in more reps as the number of commercial breaks increase.

    2. Catch up on shows ONLY while on the treadmill, climbing on the elliptical, or cycling on a gym bike

    Fitness

      With the summer temps soaring, take refuge inside and dust off that gym membership card. Rewarding yourself for going to the gym with your favorite TV show will make time fly when you are on the machine. I know I am overdue for some trashy Bravo shows, but if you aren’t brave enough to flaunt your obsession with the latest Real Housewives, OINTB, Game of Thrones, and Orphan Black are high on my list to watch. Before you know it, you’ve just spent 30-60 min in a sweat sesh instead of lounging on the couch!

      Advertising

      3. Schedule workouts with friends

      Workout with friends

        Having a buddy will hold you accountable to meet the recommended 150 minutes of cardio or resistance training per week. Plus, you will have time to catch up and spend quality time with your buds. Studies have shown that exercising two hours a week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by over 25%.

        4. Keep a set of workout clothes at work

        Woman tying shoelaces

          Having a set of clothes at work will ensure that there’s no excuse if you forget them. If you decide to nix the gym that day, having your clothes near your desk will be a reminder that it is time to hit the gym soon.

          Advertising

          5. Tote around a water bottle wherever you go

          Water bottle

            Aim to fill your bottle at least three of four times a day to hit the recommended 91 ounces (if you are a woman) or 125 ounces (if you are a man). Not only will you be better hydrated, but you will also get the added bonus of leaving your desk and walking to the water cooler. If plain water isn’t your thing, try infusing water with citrus, berries, or cucumber.

            6. Take five or 10 minutes on Sunday to prep a selection of ready to go snacks

            Snack

              I like to cut up bell peppers, carrots, and celery and throw in some sweet cherry tomatoes into a large Tupperware and toss with some lemon juice to keep things fresh in the fridge. Every day, I take a small portion of the veggie mix to munch on at my desk. Same thing with trail mix: combine a variety of nuts, dried fruit, and even dark chocolate in a large container (Mason jars work great here!) and put into a baggie for a satisfying snack. For some options that require no work, turn to yogurt cups or pouched tuna as perfect on-the-go snack options.

              Advertising

              7. Better yet, spend a few extra minutes to make big batches of foods for easy and fast lunches

              Healthy Kids Lunchbox

                Crank up the tunes and get meal prepping! Roast a large pan of vegetables (onions, green beans, and broccoli is my current favorite combo), cook up some whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, and prep some lean protein like chicken breast or lentils. Add your favorite sauce or dressing, mix together, and portion for versatile, healthful, and fast lunch options.

                8. Swing by your local corner store for grub

                Corner store

                  Chances are you don’t want to make multiple trips during the week to the grocery store. That’s where the local corner store comes in. Scour the shelves for nuts and peanut butter and head to the refrigerated section for yogurt or pre-made protein drinks.

                  Advertising

                  9. Stock up on frozen produce

                  Closeup frozen mixed vegetables

                    Convenient, cost-effective, and long shelf-life?! Sign me up! Throw a handful of frozen berries on top of your morning oatmeal or nuke a bowl of frozen veggies as a fast and easy way to get in your fruits and veggies at every meal.

                    10. Eat from small plates

                    Stack of Plates

                      We have already talked about loading up your plate, but let’s talk about the type of plate. Studies have shown that plate or bowl size affects serving size.

                      Start small and work to incorporate more of these easy healthful tricks each week. Though small, each tip can come together and add up to some significant benefits for your health!

                      More by this author

                      5 Things That Will Happen When You Eat Oatmeal This Is What Will Happen When You Eat Avocados Every Day Calorie Confusion: How Much Is Needed During Pregnancy? Go with Your Gut: The Science Behind Your Gut Bacteria Red Meat for Health: A Recent WHO/IARC Ruling

                      Trending in Health

                      1 8 Best Multivitamins For Men, Women And Kids 2 How to Stop Overeating the Healthy Way (Step-by-Step Guide) 3 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 4 10 Books On Health That Increase Your Eating And Body Awareness 5 Will a Weight Loss Cleanse Really Improve Your Health?

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on November 9, 2020

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                      Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                      Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                      If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                      Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                      1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                      Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                      Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                      Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                      2. No Motivation

                      Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

                      Advertising

                      This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                      If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                      3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                      Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                      A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                      A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                      The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                      4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                      One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                      We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                      Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

                      Advertising

                      You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                      5. Upward Comparisons

                      Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                      The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                      These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                      Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                      6. No Alternative

                      This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                      Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                      Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                      Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

                      Advertising

                      7. Stress

                      As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                      When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                      We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                      If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                      8. Sense of Failure

                      People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                      Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                      Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                      If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                      9. The Need to Be All-New

                      People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

                      Advertising

                      These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                      10. Force of Habit

                      Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                      Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                      These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                      There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                      More on Breaking Bad Habits

                      Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                      [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                      [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

                      Read Next