You have probably noticed that when one makes a point to spend more time in nature that the desire for other healthy habits start tagging along. They are like the bonus features on the trail family lifestyle. Here are three healthy habits that have started following me home.
Stop Buying Junk Food
Tim and I decided many years ago that we would make it a point to not keep lots of junk food in our house on a regular basis. The time of being twenty-something and eating take out a couple times a week with no weight gain was over. I’m not saying that you will never find a bag of chips or package of cookies in our cupboards or ice cream in our freezer. We do enjoy these things. However, these items are not part of our regular grocery list. We operate on the simple fact that if you don’t have as much junk food in your house, you won’t eat it for snacks. Instead, we like to have more fresh fruit and vegetables, lower calorie savory snacks like tortillas and salsa, or high nutrition snacks like nuts.
Drink More Water
This is one of my biggest struggles! I don’t really like to just casually sip on water all day. I’d much rather coffee or flavored sparkling water. The problem here is coffee is dehydrating and sparkling water can get expensive if you buy it all the time. We hardly ever buy soda (see healthy change number one). I have to consciously tell myself to consume water. I’ve found that it helps to start first thing in the morning. I’m still working on this but I try to drink a small glass of water before my coffee. I readily admit that sometimes I don’t even think about it because, well, I haven’t had my coffee yet. It’s a work in progress. A second thing that helps is to have a favorite cup or bottle. I like drinking out of mason jars or my Camelbak water bottle that I got on Amazon. Even though I don’t reach my water goal most days, some is better than none. This is a simple health change that doesn’t cost any money that you can do right now.
Most of us could definitely use more movement during our day. I like having my FitBit tracking me. There are also free pedometer apps for your phone if you are not looking to invest in a smart watch. The baseline goal is 10,000 steps each day. But you can adjust the goal if you need. Start lower and then work your way up.
Here are the differences that you can make with a few healthy changes. A few years ago, Tim was spending a large portion of time in his car for work. He was working long hours and putting on a lot of miles. That resulted in less movement and more fast food consumption. Unfortunately weight gain followed. When that segment of work came to an end, Tim was determined to get back to healthy eating and go for walks daily. He didn’t do an intense program or spend hours in a gym. He made some practical changes to his eating habits and went for a walk in our neighborhood almost every day. With those changes he lost about 30 pounds over two years. He still maintains his healthy habits and has kept that weight off. Making these three healthy changes can pay dividends well into your future.
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