Staying healthy can be a hassle, however the benefits are always rewarding. Whether it’s to lose weight, feel more confident, or simply better yourself, being healthy is something that takes a lot of attention, determination, and motivation to follow-through. Fortunately, being healthy doesn’t always have to be hard. As a matter of fact, there are some simple things you can do to minimize the effort and maximize your results
Drink. More. WATER!! While following the pursuit of healthiness, I’ve learned that drinking water is one of those things that are so incredibly simple, yet often overlooked. I used to drink water only when I absolutely needed to. Sounds weird, but there are multiple reasons why I pushed it aside: for example, buying a water bottle at my school is stupidly expensive (and they’re not even normal-sized water bottles–they’re minis). Also, sometimes I get so busy and caught up in my life that I push it aside. Of course I’d drink water when I was thirsty, but when I wasn’t thinking about it, I replaced the thought with something else.
Drinking water is, for obvious reasons, crucial to your existence–and it turns out, you probably aren’t drinking enough. Typically, people should be drinking eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day (commonly known as the 8 by 8 rule). It seems like a lot, and I know for a fact I wasn’t drinking that much when I wasn’t paying attention to it. But it turns out, it’s actually quite easy to meet this goal.
The easiest way to drink more water is to make it more accessible to yourself. I now fill up my own water bottle with lots of ice and bring it to school with me so I can sip it throughout the day. Victoria’s Secret sells some really cute bottles. I use an MnM Mars one.
Either way, the benefits water provides are endless. Water help keeps you awake, less hungry, and quenched. Often times, dehydration gets confused with hunger, so by drinking more water you are literally minimizing your unnecessary cravings. Also, chewing on ice settles your stomach! The more you know. :)
The next thing you can do is exercise. Every single health nut will tell you by burning more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Sometimes, however, this is quite difficult. Rather than solely focusing on the calories you eat, try to consume a regular amount of food while tacking on 30 minutes to an hour of exercise each day. Personally, when I’m not in season for a sport, I like to try and run for an hour every day. With that, I like to do some push ups, sit ups, and squats. It usually takes my body only 2 weeks to start showing results after doing this repeatedly. But sometimes I’m too busy for that–and though it seems like the end of the world, it’s okay to skip a workout. As long as you are making an effort to get exercise in at least 3-4 days of the week, you’re toning up and on your way to a healthier version of you!
Exercise doesn’t always have to be something like running or lifting either–as a matter of fact, simple things like jumping rope and jumping jacks are so good for your body because they really increase your heart rate and burn calories. Plus, you can do these things in front of the TV. Time flies.
Another tip I learned, if you absolutely cannot fit any of these things into your day, is to add them to your routine. By this, I mean while you’re waiting for your shower to warm up, do a few crunches and push ups. While you’re brushing your teeth, do calf raises. Right before bed, do a three minute plank. Simple things like this can really make a difference. Just make sure you work at your own pace, allow yourself rest days so your muscles can recover, and constantly replenish your body with food and water.
Diet is another important role to healthiness. By this, I do not mean living off of rabbit food. Actually, dieting doesn’t have to be a part in this at all. Just be more innovative with your food–rather than reaching for a chocolate bar, try a protein bar instead. There are some really good ones by Nature Valley, like the peanut butter and almond butter bars. They taste so good, and are so much more beneficial than a bowl of ice cream.Preparing your meals the night before so you know in advance what you will be eating is also a good technique and makes healthy food easily accessible. For example, if I’m trying to eat healthier I like to pack my lunch with an almond butter sandwich, some type of vegetable (usually carrots), a small dessert like potato chips or Oreos, and a banana. You don’t have to complete cut out junk food, but simply moderate it into smaller portions. Also, do not starve yourself. People often confuse healthy eating with barely eating, and by barely eating you are really hindering your body. By eating a deficient amount of calories, you are locking your body into starvation mode. This means that the next time you reach for a snack, your body will cling onto it and turn it into fat from fear of not getting enough food in the future. Also, by starving yourself you risk the chance of developing an eating disorder. The goal of being healthy is to get nutrients, vitamins, etc., etc., from your food to make a glowing, healthier you. Not enough calories will make your hair fall out, your skin pale, your nails flimsy, and so on. Moral of the story is to eat. :)
Once you get your eating down, make sure you also go to sleep at night. Believe it or not, sleeping is linked to weight loss. If you are getting 6 hours of sleep, the chances are you hindering your health! Not only are you setting yourself up for a terrible morning, but if your goal is weight loss, you are ruining that too. Sleep is very important to your overall health, and try and aim for 8 hours a night.
Finally, a healthy alternative to dessert is tea. If I’m craving something sweet, I make one of my dessert teas (Teavana has SO many) and they’re delicious, zero calories, and relaxing. I love to drink decaffeinated tea before bed,
Though all of these things are simply and important, the most vital technique to getting healthy is being happy. The more positive you are, and the better your outlook is on life, the easier it will be to stay motivated, and the more confident you will feel.
I’m not an expert, just a teenager. These are simple things I do when I’m trying to stay healthy. Below I have some websites to help you with your research from more qualified people. I’ve learned a lot from researching, and I’m sure you will be able to as well.
This website is great for deciphering how many calories you should be eating, and a target BMI for your weight range.
Still not convinced about how great water is? This will change your mind.
Should you be eating more protein in your diet? Find out here.
Not sleeping is detrimental to weight loss–check it out.
Healthy eating for teenagers like me!
Girls, want some cute work out clothes? Victoria’s Secret has a great selection.