Labor Day has come and gone which means fall is right around the corner! Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cinnamon bread, really pumpkin and apple everything. It’s time to commit to 10 healthy habits that you can start NOW because next comes Halloween and eating your kids candy while they sleep. (Don’t lie, you know you do it too!) Those treats lead into Thanksgiving meals which flows right into the holiday party season. I just made Christmas seem a lot closer didn’t I?
Once September hits, a lot of hard work put in to get our summer bodies slowly slips away with tailgating, parties and indulging in the good stuff. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to indulge a bit, but there are 10 healthy habits that I commit to and you can start now to help combat the potential bulge that comes with the end of the year. They aren’t all rocket science, but actually thinking about them and getting them done is what counts!
1. Drink more water.
The best way to start drinking more water is to wake up and have a glass first thing in the morning. It hydrates your body as you start your day and will help your body to crave more! Don’t stop with the morning. Keep a water bottle or cup with you at all times. This helps you actually drink more throughout the day. If it’s with you, then you’ll go for it. Also replace a sugary beverage like a soda, juice or extra coffee with a glass of water. You’ll save yourself some calories and give your body what it truly needs.
Not sure how much you should drink? Take your weight and divide by 2. That’s actually how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day! If that number seems too daunting, start with 64oz. That’s 8 glasses of water a day!
2. Eat breakfast every day.
I swear by breakfast. It gets your metabolism going and helps your body get off to a good start. Fueling your body with something healthy in the morning also helps you to make better choices and crave healthier foods throughout the day. I highly recommend prepping some breakfasts for the week like healthy, paleo banana muffins, sweet potato breakfast casserole, overnight oats or anything else that may pique your interest!
I know that many people swear by intermittent fasting, so if you’re doing that, just make sure you eat as soon as your eating window opens!
3. Start a gratitude journal.
I did this for the 90 Day Challenge last fall and loved it. It made me think about the great and positive things in my life. Talk about giving you a boost of love, gratitude and confidence all by just thinking about the good that you already have. I slipped away from doing this and recently started back up. This time, I’m not going to stop! Just take a moment every day to write 5 to 10 things that you are grateful for. You won’t regret it.
4. Plan out some of your meals and snacks.
Sit down on Sunday or before you go to the grocery store and plan out dinners for the week. You don’t have to be a strict meal planner, but it helps to have an idea of what you’ll be cooking. That way you have all of the ingredients and aren’t tempted to just grab fast food on the way home. I shared my planning process and how I meal plan for the week (and a few quick healthy recipes), so take a look and see if that helps! The more planning that goes into your weekly meal prep, the better choices your going to make.
Don’t stop with just dinners! I highly recommend planning out some snacks in advance too. Carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter, a smoothie, a handful of nuts or trail mix, string cheese, the list goes on. Having these snacks portioned out and ready helps keep you on track. No more reaching for a bag of chips or a cookie someone left in the breakroom! Okay, maybe every once in a while, it’s all about balance after all!
5. Be active for 30 minutes a day.
30 minutes a day. It doesn’t sound like much when you say it like that, but as a mother, I know how precious 30 minutes is to us. If you’re just getting started with a fitness routine, it doesn’t have to be high intensity exercises. Get out and go for a walk. As walking becomes easier, see if you can pick up the pace and then gradually turn it into a jog 30 second, walk for a couple minutes, so on and so forth.
Adding 30 minutes of physical activity is so important for your health. It will decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, increase your energy and metabolism and in time, help you to lose weight! If you’re wondering how to get started, looking for a fitness routine or just have questions, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I’d love to help you out!
**Also, I post a workout of the week every Wednesday on Instagram if you’re looking for something new to try!**
6. Practice self care.
Don’t fall into the trap of taking care of everyone before you take care of yourself. As a mother, it’s so easy to make sure everyone else’s needs are met without ever doing something for you. It’s time to change that because YOU are important too. Several of the items on this list are great ways to practice self care like exercising, getting more sleep and meal planning. Here are a few more ideas of things you can do to practice self care:
- soak in the bathtub by yourself. Maybe read a good book and apply a face mask while you’re at it! (I really like these masks from Amazon!)
- start a journal a write every day.
- invest in your hobbies and do it simply because it brings you joy!
- meditate or practice yoga.
- remove notifications from your phone. It helps to cut some distracting noise from your life.
- go to therapy. If this is something you think you need, invest in it! I used to go to a therapist and it’s life changing.
7. Read a bit everyday.
It’s good for you and it’s another way to practice self care! It doesn’t always have to be a book. Read some blogs, newspaper articles, something that you want to read just for fun. Reading has so many benefits from mental stimulation, stress reduction, vocabulary expansion, improved focus and even better writing skills. Set aside a few minutes every day to read something that brings you joy.
8. Spend time outside.
Fall means that the heat of summer is behind us, but the chill of winter isn’t quite here yet. (Of course all of this depends on where you live. It’ll be hot in Houston for months to come.) Try to spend a little bit of time outside every day to soak up some Vitamin D. Spending time in the sunlight boosts your mood, helps muscle functionality and even lowers your blood pressure. You’re also most likely to be active if you’re outside! Go for a walk or run. Play with your kids. Talk to your neighbors and enjoy the day.
9. Get 7-8 hours of sleep.
You think I’m crazy don’t you? It’s impossible. You have too much going on, plus kids, bedtime routines, actually eating dinner for yourself and any other craziness that may happen. It’s just too hard to go to bed at a reasonable time. I’m here to tell you that it may take some time and a mindset change, but it is possible. Even when I was waking up at 3:45am to be at work by 4:45am, I was getting nearly 7 hours of sleep every night. It’s all about adjusting your schedule to fit your body’s needs. Your body needs sleep and 7 to 9 hours is the actual amount it needs for you to perform at your best.
Here’s what I recommend. Start attempting to go to bed a little bit earlier every night. Just 5-10 minutes earlier each night and over time you’ll get to a more reasonable hour. As you start to go to bed earlier, your body will crave sleep at that time and you’ll be tired. I go to bed at 9:30-10pm shamelessly. It’s amazing and my body is tired at that hour every night now! If anything, at least think about trying to change your routine to get a few more minutes of sleep. You’ll be glad you did!
10. Think of a habit that you want to break and come up with a plan to get there.
This is a big one. We all have habits that we’re not proud of. Maybe you want to decrease your soda intake or quit drinking them all together. Maybe you want to stop going to bed so late or actually start the fitness routine you’ve been thinking about for months. There are so many different ways that we can improve our lives. Now think of that one habit that really makes you cringe. Take the next step forward and change it. Change for the better!
Time for me to get real with y’all. I have a TERRIBLE sweet tooth. In fact, the amount of sweets I eat is kind of embarrassing. “But Amy, you’re fit and healthy and can obviously eat those sweets. Don’t worry about it!” I’ve definitely heard this, but let’s be real, it isn’t good for me. One day those sweets are going to bite me in the butt. Literally. I don’t want to have to worry about my blood sugar or heart problems when I’m older because of this. So here’s what I’m going to change. I want to cut down my sugar intake and BE AWARE of how many grams of sugar I’m putting into my body daily. I’m not going to cut desserts out of my diet completely, but I want to limit myself to one treat a day. Seems silly, but that’s hard for me. I’m willing to commit to it to better myself.
Now it’s your turn. Take these 10 health habits to start now and think about how you can apply them to your life.
What areas to you need to work on?
What is the one habit you want to change?
If you’re feeling brave or want some accountability, drop the habit you want to break in the comments! We can support each other on this healthy living journey!