It’s in the back of all our minds. Deep down within our subconscious, we all strive to live healthier lives. But for whatever reason, things are insanely difficult when it comes to prioritizing our health and wellness.
Despite knowing that leading healthier lifestyles will benefit us greatly in many aspects of our lives, we instead place importance on trivial things like partying, excessive drinking, junk food, and just all-around being lazy couch potatoes.
Most people live life thinking they’re too young to get sick. They proceed to take unnecessary risks and make very poor decisions, which ironically, eventually lead to medical conditions in the long run. Of course, this needs to change, and all before it’s too late.
The bottom line is, we must all strive to make healthier life decisions, whether that’s making better food choices, or starting a fitness program. And we have to start now, so we have no regrets later on.
We understand one of the hardest things about living a healthy lifestyle is knowing where to start. With these simple lifestyle hacks, we hope it gets much easier for you.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five ways to trick yourself into living a healthier life.
1) Wear gym clothes at home
We live in extraordinary times when we’re mostly stuck at home, trying to stay indoors to avoid exposure. During this global pandemic, people have taken more to doing home workouts instead of physically going to the gym. However, some people still find difficulty working out and just moving.
The importance of exercise cannot be understated. It’s one of the most essential aspects of living a healthy lifestyle.
By removing a common obstacle — getting dressed to workout — you can prime your body and mind to exercise at home every day. Try this next time — instead of wearing your regular house clothes, wear your gym clothes at home.
The trick utilizes the psychological association theory, which reinforces connections between stimulus and behavior. Simply put, wearing gym clothes is associated with being physically active, and the idea is that wearing your gym clothes at home should get you over that mental hump and make it easier for you to start your daily workouts.
2) Turn off the lights early
Darkness is essential to sleep. The absence of light sends signals to the brain that it’s time to rest. At the same time, darkness triggers the production of melatonin in our bodies — which is a hormone synthesized by the pineal gland whose primary function is to put you into a state of quiet rest that helps promote sleep.
We all know how important sleep is to good health. Turning the lights off early in your home will trigger your body into entering a state of rest, which provides a conducive environment for getting to sleep earlier in the night.
Sleeping earlier will prevent you from late-night snacking, which of course, is a bad idea. But also, sleeping early will ensure you get enough sleep overall, not to mention, it will help you save on electricity.
Go to bed early and see obvious physical and mental effects it will have in the long run.
3) Chew your food properly
For some odd reason, people are always in a rush. We always want to get things done so quickly, that we often forget to slow down and appreciate the moment. It’s no different when we eat.
When our meals are right in front of us, we tend to just scarf it down like it’s trying to get away. Obviously, that’s not the best way to consume food. It’s time to start slowing down the eating process, and allow enough time for the body to send a signal to the brain that it’s eating, or that it’s full. One way to achieve this is by chewing food properly.
The gut is lined with cells designed to send a message to the brain that tells it to stop eating once the stomach is filled to a certain degree, but these messages take some time to be released and to reach the brain. This is why eating too fast can lead to overeating—the food arrives in the stomach almost all at once. Eating slowly gives these cells enough time to process and send these signals, which allows you to recognize when it is time to stop eating.
Rather than just shoveling into your mouth to fill your stomach, chewing your food will allow you more time to savor the flavors.
4) Don’t buy snacks
The next time you do your groceries, skip the snack section. Snacks throw a monkey wrench into your eating habits, because they’re usually unhealthy, and the calories they contain are often unaccounted for. If you’re naturally a snacker, we understand it’s going to be difficult. But not buying snacks is definitely the first step.
The best way to eat healthily is to buy healthy, and that means you don’t buy chips and other unhealthy junk to keep at home — not even to keep for your next rest day. If it’s in your house, your mind will drift to it one way or another. Avoid temptation by eliminating it from your household altogether.
When you go grocery shopping, make sure to do so on a full stomach. Hunger hormones literally affect your judgment and buying behavior, and you end up with more food than you actually need as compared to shopping when you’re hungry.
5) Replace a part of your daily commute with walking
For those of us who commute to work or school each day, this is a great way to sneak in a meaningful workout without even trying.
The everyday commute has become such a normal part of everyday life, that it’s basically automatic. The thought of walking to work doesn’t even cross our minds, but really, it’s what we should be doing.
Going for a short walk is a relaxing, therapeutic activity for when you’re not in a rush to get somewhere. It gets the blood flowing, and you can let your mind drift off as you let your feet take you to where you need to go. Furthermore, walking is a greener alternative to transportation that lets you skip the traffic, and you can keep the loose change you use as fare and save it for your other needs.
Walking is one of the most effective workouts because it’s simple, and easily accessible to everyone. You don’t need fancy equipment. You just get up and move your feet.