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10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

“Get active,” they said. “It’s as simple as that,” they said.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of this tiring argument. But hey, the gym is way too crowded and pizza has just arrived, looking all steamy and irresistible. Tied down by our schedules or seduced by the world’s most sinful pleasures, we choose not to try. The truth is, developing healthy habits is a galaxy far, far away from easy, but that’s the whole point. After all, success is only sweet when it’s earned.

With a clear understanding that there’s no such thing as “just try, and you’ll see”, I offer you quick tips on how to start introducing healthy changes into your day-to-day routine. They demand a little time and sweat, but won’t give you beginner’s anxiety and frustration. Most importantly, they truly are simple to adopt – whatever your lifestyle choices might be. These 10 habits will prove sustainable and highly addictive, and, in time, they will motivate you enough to change your life completely.

1. It’s All About The Breakfast

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    We all have that one girl on our Instagram feed who’s ultra-fit. Day after day, she shares her pics straight from the gym, with her stomach still sweaty from the workout and a protein smoothie in her hand, looking just as irresistible as her toned abs. #Fitnessgoals, the caption says. But what Miss Perfect isn’t telling you is that she actually follows a dietary concept called the 85/15 rule.

    This simply means that around 85% of your daily calories should come from healthy food choices – food high in protein, like chicken, eggs, legumes and fish, nuts and olive oil for healthy fats, and plenty of fruit and vegetables throughout the day – and you can fill in the last 15% of your calories with your favorite snacks and junk food.

    Moderation is the true goal here, and the routine is effective simply because it offers a reward. But, how do you get there?

    Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic claims it’s all about the breakfast, and other professional athletes agree. In order to start introducing healthy eating habits, you have to start at the beginning – a bowl of nutrient-rich oatmeal, two tablespoons of honey, generously chopped nuts and seeds, a fruit infusion, coconut water and milk (non-dairy, if you are lactose intolerant) are just too tasty for anyone to say “no” to.

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    2. No Water, No Life

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      A large cup of water is an indispensable part of a lot of athletes’ morning rituals as well. It’s a boring tip, I’m aware, but it’s only because it actually works. As frequently mentioned, two liters a day is the goal you should shoot for if you want to stay properly hydrated throughout the day. It is, however, an average measure, which means that some people need less, and some – particularly caffeine addicts – need more. Consulting your doctor might be a good idea.

      Now, you might ask, “Why before a meal?” Well, water gives you a sense of fullness that keeps you from eating more than you actually need to. As for its general effects and benefits, I don’t believe that the ultimate elixir of life needs any particular introductions.

      In addition to keeping you energized throughout the day (energy levels tend to drop with dehydration), water increases metabolism, primes muscles, gives a natural makeover to your skin by relieving it from dryness and blemishes, and helps the heart pump faster and without any unnecessary effort.

      3. Love Your Veggies

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        Fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamins A and E – by themselves, veggies are packed with beneficial nutrients that help dramatically lower the risk of almost every common health issues you can think of, from high blood pressure and heart disease to cancer and diabetes. But, even if they weren’t so good for you, they would still be better from their alternatives, which is why a plate half full of greens is a plate full of health.

        What’s even greater is that when prepared in an imaginative way, veggies are a delight to eat. Broccoli cheese soup makes even the bleakest of diets seductive, while still retaining the much-needed amount of health-promoting vitamins and minerals. If you’re just learning to love flexible dieting, a carrot grated directly onto your chicken breast sandwich will make it impossible to resist.

        Don’t listen to what your burger-loving taste buds tell you – surprise them with unique, straightforward, and utterly brilliant flavours of Asian-style sesame and garlic green beans, sautéed mushrooms, or cheesy Brussels sprouts. As long as your nutrition is diverse and you stay moderate in your choices, feel free to take the best of both worlds.

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        4. Pack Your Almonds

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          Healthy eating habits are so hard to develop, not because wholesome food is tasteless, but because it takes time to make it delicious. Besides, it’s much easier to stop at the nearest drive-in or have your specialties delivered to the door than to roll up your sleeves and get creative. If you are someone who rarely takes it slow, eating healthy is almost impossible.

          Most commonly, that’s why we all fail. Even if determined not to eat processed food at home, we usually fall for it during lunch breaks. On the other hand, preparing homemade meals for your lunchbox the night before is, let’s be honest, a drag. Luckily, there is a quick, yet better alternative you can try out.

          There are three elements you cannot afford to ignore in these cases: nuts, fruits, and whole wheat toasts. Hopefully, you don’t have to be reminded to buy fresh fruit every couple of days. In addition to those, always have a bag of almonds and a pack of miracle bread in your bag wherever you go. Insanely nutritious, wonderfully yummy, and gentle on your stomach, this combo will soothe you whenever there’s no other healthier solution for your hunger pains.

          5. Use Chopsticks, Practise Patience

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            So, your workout session has been long and effective, you’ve just taken your shower and now you feel like you’ve finally reached all of your fitness goals. And there’s a frozen yoghurt in the fridge, too, the one you’ve been thinking about in order to chase away the burn from your outer thighs. Unfortunately, the moment of sweet, sweet victory lasts for about a second, and before you know it, the glass is empty. And then, you reward yourself with Nutella, straight from the jar.

            For food lovers, that moment of pure delight is often too short, so we keep on eating to prolong the enjoyment. Eat slower, count your chews. Although obvious, this hack is usually unsustainable, since at the end of the day, we don’t exactly have the willpower needed for overcoming our urges.

            But what might work is ditching the fork and going Asian-style instead. Years ago, a mate gave me chopsticks for my birthday to encourage me to practise patience and it’s a piece of advice I’ve been passing on ever since.

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            6. Some Walks You Have to Take Alone

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              If regular exercises are not your strongest suit or you really don’t have any time to spare for frequent visits to the gym, you can still use your boots for walking even if you’re absolutely ignorant of everything that’s currently going on in the fitness universe. Stretching your legs at least three times a week is not a habit that needs to be developed – it’s an ability that separates you from the spiritless and disconsolate.

              Ditching your car might be the hardest thing on this list and possibly a habit that will take the longest to develop. If you’re driving to work, park at least a 10-minute walking distance away from the office. Not only will your heart be healthier, but by the time you finally reach home, your mind will be clearer and ready for new, exciting adventures that await you in your family nest. Ultimately, staying in shape is not all about being healthy, but being cheerful and enthusiastic about simple pleasures as well.

              7. Sweat Those Excuses Away

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                As a student, I’ve been in continual struggle with my bodyweight. Additionally, studying sessions were not particularly gentle on my back. Perpetual all-nighters were making me tired and snappy, while my kitchen remained pretty much unused. Until, one day, when I hit a wall and decided that enough was enough. My first goal – a 20-minute exercise routine.

                Having experienced the non-stop working regime firsthand, I no longer believe when people claim that they don’t have half an hour a day to commit to at-home physical training, because it’s simply not true. Getting ready, going to the gym and getting back home is a different thing, and it often lasts longer than the training program itself, but doing a routine in your own room every other night before going to bed is absolutely sustainable.

                YouTube is brimming with such routines and I guarantee you that you’ll work, sleep, and eat better once you’ve included them in your schedule. Along with a 10-minute worth of breathers and a 15-minute long shower, it’s a habit that requires an hour of your time and the one that will fully transform your mindset, health, and without any exaggeration, your life.

                8. Think In Mantras

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                  Meditation is something that has helped me out a lot in life, and it’s quite an easy habit to pick up. Though inseparable from physical exercising, healthy living concerns both the body and mind. I’ve found my peace through regular training, since it helps me clear and reset my mind as well, but incredible benefits of spiritual relaxation cannot be denied.

                  There’s plenty of meditation styles to choose from, from counting your breaths to just focusing on what you feel as you sit and letting each sensation and thought slowly pass away on its own. Beginners are advised to go small until they catch the pace, which is great news for busy people. For most, 10-20 minutes a day is quite enough to calm your mind, refresh your focus, and get ready for new battles.

                  9. Hug Your Pillow

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                    You’ve guessed it right – no health article can avoid discussing the massive importance of regular sleep, and mine is no exception. It is, after all, what balances our arduous daily efforts out and what allows us to dream on. And, when it comes to restoration techniques, nothing beats a good old ticket to slumber land.

                    The rules to improving your sleep cycle are clear and easy to follow. Go to bed and wake up every day at approximately the same time, be clever about naps, make your chambers tech-free and comfortably dark, and avoid coffee intake after 6-7 p.m.

                    Heavy sleepers, myself included, have all those brilliant alarm clock apps to lean on, while newfangled methods for reversing sleep cycles work even for the most notorious of night owls.

                    10. Have Fun! (Seriously)

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                      Last, but not least, remember to take deep breaths, soak up the sun, drink the stars and, celebrate your victories – however tiny they are. A healthy exterior starts from a healthy interior, where our universes are endlessly complex and beautiful. Once we learn to cherish their fragility and nurture their strength, the world will be a healthier place for all.

                      As you can see, it’s not that difficult to start adopting simple habits that can, eventually, lead you to a much healthier and happier lifestyle – just tough it out in the beginning and find a good source of motivation.

                      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/psco/ via pexels.com

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                      Nemanja Manojlovic

                      Editor at MyCity Web

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                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                      Boundaries are limits

                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                      • When do you want to be alone?
                      • How much space do you need?

                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                      Sample language:

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                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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