The Little Things

Little_thingsSometimes we forget to focus on the little things in life that can help us stay fit and healthy, and only focus on the BIG things. What’s the problem with this? Well, there are a few reasons why this can be an issue and hold people back from reaching their goals.

Why we should pay a bit more attention to the little things:

1. The “big” things are harder to accomplish – by setting your sights on the “big” items such as; running a certain amount of miles, lifting larger weights, working out 4-5 times a week, eating only “healthy” foods, etc.; you are setting your goals and expectations quite high which leaves a lot of room to fail. It is human nature to feel bad when you don’t reach your goal even though it is ok to slip up now and again.

2. The “big” things take awhile to get to – A lot of people out there are yo-yo dieters and exercisers, meaning they don’t eat well or don’t exercise for months at a time and then go full blown into a strict diet & intense exercise. This generally is not sustainable and just wares people down. If you go at 100% everyday you will get worn out and you will either get injured or just get tired of it and will once again fall off the wagon. It’s better to gradually work your way into a healthy diet and fitness regime to truly make it part of your lifestyle.

3. The “little” things can add up! –  Below is a list of little things you can do throughout your day or week to gradually build up to a healthier lifestyle without causing your mind and body to go into shock. Plus think about how may more steps you’ll take during the day if  you choose to take the stairs rather than the elevator, choose to park further away in the parking lot, make a conscious effort to go on a stroll once in awhile. Those steps do add up, so you shouldn’t forget about the little things!

Some of the little things you can do to help improve health & fitness:

Take the stairs instead of the elevator – start off doing this twice a week and build up to doing it everyday. This might be at your apartment, at work, a store, or anywhere with an elevator.

– Park in the furthest spot in the parking lot – why waste time driving around to find the closest spot, park further away and enjoy the walk to the store or work.

– Replace that soda with tea or water – are you a daily soda consumer? Start by replacing soda on one day a week with unsweetened iced tea or water. Build this up throughout the weeks until you are soda free!

– Stretch – sitting at a desk all day can wreak havoc on your body. Take a couple 10 min. breaks during the day to stand up and stretch out.

– Healthy Snacks – bring healthy snacks to keep at work so when you get the craving you have something nutritious to munch on. Say “no” occasionally to the office treats that get brought in all too often (this doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat them, just try saying no 1 out of 5 times to start and keep track of it).

– Walk more – whether it’s going on a walk for the sake of walking, walking a pet, or even making a conscious effort to walk around the house while you are on the phone with a friend, put more steps into your day.

– TV workouts – do some exercises while you watch TV! You can do squats, lunges, sit-ups, pushups, dips, walk/run in place…the possibilities are endless. Here are some more ideas

– Start working out – Find a workout you like doing and start doing it. Start out slow and work your way into a steady routine. It’s not always easy to do it alone, so find a workout buddy or fitness professional to work with who can help hold you accountable and help make the workout more fun.

Feel free to add a comment below for some other little things people can do to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Now, please note this article does not suggest you should toss the “big” things out the window, those items should be your long term goals, but it’s the little things that can be the short term, more measurable goals and the ones that will help you shape that healthy lifestyle in a sustainable manner. And don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. When you reach your smaller goals give yourself something such as a massage, a new shirt, trip to the movies, or start putting money away to save up for a new wardrobe once you reach your goal weight.

Start with the little things and before you know it the big things will be knocking on your door. Not to mention the gradual changes will help you maintain the healthy lifestyle and keep you away from that stressful yo-yo lifestyle too many people live.

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