The least appealing thing a personal trainer can say to you is that to be healthy you have to change your lifestyle.  Really, I should take that back.  This is only unappealing if you are not up for changing or ready for big changes.

Today I am writing to those people that are in this boat.  I am going to highlight 4 things you can do that are SO SIMPLE and will change your health for the better without completely inconveniencing yourself.

1. Change how you drink alcohol.  Alcohol, for many people, is a huge way to get in unaccounted for calories and sugar.  Change this and you will see big changes.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Simply drink less.  Set a limit for the number of drinks you will consume before starting.
  • Try vodka, club soda, and lime.  This is a great option or any other diet soda.  Be careful of vodka tonic, although it seems light, tonic is actually full of sugar unless it’s diet.
  • Try a light beer.  If you want to go super light try “Select 55” or “Bud 64.”  These are light on flavor, light on sugar, light on alcohol content, but still have the refreshing bubbles.

2. Move more in sneaky ways.  Move just a little bit more throughout the day.  This doesn’t have to be workout-intensity.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Do you have a treadmill in your basement?  Next time you watch a show, just walk slowly on your treadmill.
  • Do 10 squats right when you wake up and right before you brush your teeth.
  • Go up and down the stairs in your home 3 times each day.

Related: Exercise As A Lifestyle Stinks

3. Replace grains, starches, sugars, and carbs with veggies.  I am not suggesting to leave yourself hungry at meal times, but search for substitutes for common grains like rice, pasta, breads, etc.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Instead of rice, make cauliflower rice.  You can make this homemade (it’s a lot of work) or you can find it at your local supermarket.
  • Instead of noodles, make zoodles!  This is noodles made out of zucchini.  Also, consider making spaghetti squash.
  • Instead of a side of bread, fill your plate with mixed veggies.
  • Instead of chips, make kale chips!  They deliver just as much salt and crunch.

4. Begin and end your day focused on you by focusing on your breath.  Instead of focusing on your email, Facebook feed, or Instagram story, first focus on your body.  Here are a few ideas on how and when to do this.

  • When you wake up, sit up in your bed with your feet on the floor and take 5 big deep breaths.  Close your eyes and envision your breath entering and leaving your body.
  • When you arrive at your office, take 5 breaths before you leave the car.
  • When you arrive at home after work, do your breathing before you enter the house to leave the stressors of your day out of your family life.
  • Focus on your breath to wind down before laying down before bed.

Related:  Women, Weights, and Wellbeing

These tips are not designed to change your lifestyle, but hey, these are for people not looking to do a complete 360.  Sometimes all it takes are a few minutes a day to start nudging your body and your health in the right direction to gain some momentum!

I understand that many times in life–especially when you are driven towards goals unrelated to health–your health, exercise, and nutrition can be put on the back burner.  Never completely slip away from healthy habits as your health is the key factor in being able to fully engage and participate in your life!

Want to use exercise to help improve your health? Download our simple how-to guide here!


Julie Cates

Julie Cates is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Resistance Training Specialist® (RTSm). She is also a Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Master Specialist (MATm). Julie specializes in training new exercisers that have never exercised before. As a personal trainer, she is excellent at communicating the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each and every exercise in an effective and understandable manner. She also often works with individuals with chronic illnesses, joint issues, and muscle issues. Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology. In her free time, Julie loves to dance! Julie is still active in a dance company with yearly performances of tap , lyrical, jazz, and hip hop! Julie can be reached via e-mail at julie@matschaumburg.com. Follow her on Instagram at @julcates!

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