By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
“Low hanging fruit” is a colloquial term used to describe an object or goal that takes little effort to obtain. Identifying the low hanging fruit in your life is vital, because it provides you with a more straightforward path to stay on track with your goals. Health doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as easy as switching out a couple of foods in your diet. Sound too good to be true? Trust me; it’s not. Here’s how to get healthy, with five easy tips that you can incorporate into your lifestyle today.
As the old adage goes, “you are what you eat.” But incorporating healthier food does not necessarily mean completely cutting out your favorite junk food. Instead, it entails strategically incorporating servings of fruits and vegetables into your everyday meals. Doing this doesn’t take too much planning on your part. For instance, if you are out at a restaurant, merely asking your waiter to replace your side order of fries with leafy greens can make a significant calorie difference.
If your palette is more on the sweet side, then try including more fruit into your diet. Fruits aren’t called “nature’s candy” for nothing. Opting for berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries have particular benefits that aren’t in your average Snickers bar. By consuming one serving of berries, you can improve your blood sugar, help your body fight inflammation, lower your cholesterol, and more.
Integrating nutrition-packed food items into your diet is simpler than you think. All it takes is the will power to swap one thing from your plate.
Our bodies were made to move. I know going to the gym can be a struggle. From finding the right time to go, picking a workout routine, and discovering a quality gym in your neighborhood, it can all be so overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
Gyms weren’t always around. Before French gymnast and vaudeville-strongman Hippolyte Triat launched the first commercial gym, human beings stayed active by playing outside and engaging in activities to get their blood pumping. In today’s day and age, working out does not have to be restricted to a gym. With access to fitness instructions at the tip of our fingertips through our smartphones, we can often attain similar results from the comfort of our own homes. (Have you tried the Lifeline Jungle Gym XT?)
If you are a relatively busy person, engaging in a quick 30-minute workout every morning can still get the job done. Remember, it’s not how long you work out; it’s how effective you are that really matters. So, if you can do an intense in-home HIIT circuit, or even do ten minutes of jumping jacks in your living your room, you can stay on track with your health goals.
Adding vitamins into your diet and replacing supplementary items such as snacks and drinks can also make a huge difference. Keep in mind: the average person can consume 100-300 calories in liquids a day. In some cases, that’s the equivalent of a hearty meal.
Fighting the temptation to indulge in sugary calorie-dense beverages can be hard. So, instead of completely axing these drinks out of your life, replace them with healthier options instead. Green tea, Vitamin Water, and aloe vera water are just a few beverage options that are cheap and easy to filter into your diet. Furthermore, if you’re a person who enjoys a quality alcoholic drink, don’t worry; there are healthy cocktail recipes available, too.
What you snack on is also an important aspect of your diet to tackle. With vending machines propped up in every corner of the office, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to not give into your decadent desires. To aid you in your journey, try this healthy snack idea: exchange your regular pack of chips for a plastic Ziploc bag full of fresh vegetables. After a while, you might actually find yourself craving the freshness that vegetables such as carrots and celery sticks offer.
Health is holistic. You must make it a point to make daily efforts to establish and maintain healthy habits. These habits can include getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, staying hydrated, keeping up with your daily hygiene routine, and remaining consistent with your health decisions.
Why are healthy habits important? Because they help you be your best self. Have you ever tried to function at 100% efficiency when you haven’t eaten all day, or when you’re running on only 3-4 hours of sleep? It just doesn’t work. If you are finding it difficult to see what healthy habits work for you, listen to your body. Practices that work will make you feel better; those that don’t will not. It’s as simple as that.
The people you spend your time around help dictate your behavior. If you want to become a healthier person, prioritize individuals who support your health goals. By engaging with people who are on the same track, or further along than you in their own health journey, you can create a robust support network. On the other hand, interacting with negative individuals has the power to hinder you from reaching your best goals, due to their unsupportive nature and negative attitudes.
The best way to find like-minded, health-conscious people is to go where health-conscious people are likely to congregate—like the gym, healthy cooking classes, fit clubs, and more. Having a wholesome social circle can strengthen you and motivate you to complete goals and reach new milestones.
We are all busy. Running from meeting to meeting, juggling our different professional aspirations, and making time for family and friends can be taxing on our physical well-being. Nevertheless, instead of giving up on your health altogether, try picking from one of these “low-hanging fruits.” Chances are, you’ll see that being healthy is easier than you think.