“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Who doesn’t know the legendary tale of Scottish King Robert Bruce? The Scott leader and warrior lost six times against the King of England, before earning a decisive victory in his seventh attempt. Then there is the more recent tale of Dashrath “The Mountain Man” Majhi, who tore down an entire mountain in 22 years to carve a passage through it.
While both these figures were born centuries apart, they have one thing common. Despite the immense odds that were stacked against them, both Majhi and Bruce took small but definitive steps towards their objective and eventually, succeeded.
So, if you think that it is probably too late to start eating healthy or improve your fitness, you are probably mistaken! You don’t need strict diet plans or lofty gym memberships to get healthier. Instead, all you need to do is make small changes in your nutrition, activity and attitude towards life.
By setting health goals and then breaking them down into smaller, achievable steps, you can effectively cultivate healthy habits and achieve long-term changes in your life. To help you jumpstart your fitness journey, here are small, realistic lifestyle changes and habits that you can consider.
Hit the Track
A research paper published by Dong Seo University, Korea, suggests that an early-morning aerobic workout on an empty stomach may help boost energy levels and speed up weight loss. Exercising first thing in the morning helps prepare the body for an all-day fat burn and enables the body to dig into its fat reserves for fuel.
Moreover, when you go for a workout in the morning, the exposure to sunlight in the early hours of the day may help reset your body’s internal circadian rhythm.
Take the Stairs
It is commonly believed that we would need to perform specific sets of exercises to burn calories effectively. Unknown to us; however, our body continually burns calories even while performing seemingly mundane activities such as walking or taking the stairs.
For example, a 73 kg person would burn an approximate 4,940 calories in a year, if he merely took three minutes to climb the stairs briskly every day at the workplace (while carrying a backpack that weighs up to 7 kg).
Hence, he would be able to burn the equivalent of 11.5 Hershey bars. On the other hand, if he continues to stand in an elevator for three minutes, it would barely burn up to 10 calories in a day, or approximately 2,480 calories over a year. As you can see, you would be burning up almost twice the number of calories if you chose to take the stairs over the elevator.
Skip Dunking on Happy Hours
Alcohol consumption has typically been linked to some health concerns including weight increase, liver failures and cancers. Even when consumed in small amounts, say a glass of wine or a pint of beer in a day could increase the risk of developing breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal stages.
So, at your next office party or a happy-hour event with friends, you should consider skipping the alcohol altogether. You may opt for lesser harmful choices such as mocktails or fruit juices. Even when it comes to eating out, it is advisable to limit your portion size.
You can either opt for smaller plates to serve the dishes or ask the attendant to pack a third of your meal to go.
Brew Your Coffee, But Don’t Have It First Thing in The Morning
Every morning, when we wake up, our body starts pumping out the hormone cortisol, which is a natural equivalent of caffeine. For most people, the cortisol levels peak sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 am.Here, if you consume a cup of coffee to kickstart your day, it may blunt the natural effects of cortisol, according to a study published by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Maryland.
Therefore, you must hold off your hands on the coffee for at least an hour after you’ve woken up.
Start Small to Gain Large
In life, you don’t need to push mountains or separate the sea to achieve your health goals. You don’t need expansive meal plans and expensive gym memberships to get fit. Instead, it’s the little choices that you make every day in your life that determine your overall well-being.
Just like these life choices, your preparedness for unexpected medical emergencies is defined by the decisions you make beforehand. For example, investing in a Mediclaim policy for family helps you extend a comprehensive financial cover over your family and yourself.
These health plans offer several benefits including cashless medical treatment, hassle-free claim settlement, tax benefits on the paid premium amount and additional cover for maternity benefit and preventive healthcare. With a Mediclaim policy in your kitty; therefore, you can go for the best possible treatment in an emergency, without burning a hole in your savings.
Remember, the key to a healthy mind and body lies in making small, incremental improvements each day. In order to improve your overall health; therefore, you must make healthier dietary and lifestyle choices, appreciate what you have in your life, and prepare for any emergency with a Mediclaim policy for family.