By Angelica Gavaldon
As I have gotten older, I have realized that sometimes less is more. As a former pro athlete, the mindset I was brought up with was: “The longer and harder I trained, the more of an edge I would have over the rest of my competition.” But as I have gotten older, I have also learned there are many ways to stay fit and healthy without such drastic measures. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to just feel better mentally and physically, these simple tips can help you make a positive impact on your health:
Eat Smaller Portions
When eating at home, try to make it a habit to eat the proper portions. You can easily eyeball it. For instance, one cup is about the size of a tennis ball and 3 ounces of protein is the size of the palm of your hand. However, you can feel free to eat vegetables and greens without measuring them out. When ordering at a restaurant, share a plate and order a small salad to start. Or, you could order appetizers and try one sample of each. If you want dessert, only have a bite or two with a glass of wine.
You can still enjoy a healthy meal without sabotaging the taste by just making a few changes to how you cook. You can still make your favorite recipes by making creative substitutions. For example, steam instead of fry and replace butter or oil with a cooking spray or olive oil. If a recipe must have a heavy fat, just try to use less and opt for healthier fats.
Even if you don’t have a big chunk of time during the day to work out, you can introduce more activity by walking in small increments. For starters, park your car further away from your office and take advantage of instances where you can walk instead of drive, even if it’s just 5 minutes. You should also take the stairs whenever possible and instead of sitting or standing during your break, choose to walk for 10 minutes.
My father would always say that “punctuality is the politeness of kings”. It’s a sign of disrespect to be late, so I always make it a point to be early, just like he taught me. Plus, when I am rushing, my stress level rises and put me in a bad mood. To make sure I am not running late and stressed, I try to set the tone early in the morning. For example, instead of waking up my son ten minutes before school, I make sure I give him enough time, so neither of us feel rushed.
Life is fast, but if we make changes internally, we can slow it down. By doing so, we have a time to pause and breathe. The beauty of it is that a deep breath can make a difference in how we feel in the moment and throughout the day.
You do not have to make all of these changes at once. Gradually introduce them into your lifestyle and soon you will be feeling happier and healthier.