Yogini and nurse at Toronto Sick Children's Hospital, Christine Rahman, gives us 10 great tips on staying healthy and finding your routine.
In today’s fast-paced, busy world, everyone’s looking for instant results. This means that, all over the planet you will find companies taking advantage of this mentality: “Healthy fruit juices”, “10 Minutes Workout for Flat Abs”, “How to Lose 5 Pounds in 5 Days”, “How to eat your way into skinny"… the headlines, the magazines, the books, the TV shows etc. are absolutely endless. There are [supposedly] ‘quick fixes’ for everything. I am here to tell you what you probably already know, these are lies. The truth of the matter is, there is no magical fix that gives you immediate results when it comes to a healthy you. Healthy living is a lifestyle, there is no ‘quick fix’ and more importantly, healthy does not have a “final destination”. Health is a life long journey with SO many rewards and adventures along the way.
There are many excuses given for not being healthy, which include, but are not limited to:
- I am too busy
- There is not enough time in the day
- I am not fat, I don’t have to think about health
- I am too old
- I am stuck in my old ways
- My parents did this and I turned out just fine so I am doing it with my kids
- It is too much work
- I feel just fine, I don’t need to change anything
What do I say to this? Time to take the challenge and update your lifestyleinstead of your Facebook status!
'The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time, is right now.’
And so, to help get you started with your commitment, here are...
10 HEALTH TIPS FOR RIGHT NOW!
1. DRINK WATER
NO JUICE. NO POP. NO SPORTS DRINKS. NO VITAMIN WATER. As Michellene Kandert**, owner of Lotus and Lettuce says, 'they are all poison when it comes to your health'. If it is mass produced in unlimited quantities, do not drink it. If it is advertising any sort of health benefits with a label reading 30g of sugar in a cup, do not drink it.
**Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist & Yoga Teacher
2. TAKE THE STAIRS
Stop using elevators, escalators and anything else that makes it ‘faster & easier’. Even just a little bit more fitness can increase your metabolism and offer you a boost of energy better than any sugar bar or energy drink.
3. PREP YOUR FOOD
Find an hour (minimum) once a week. Cook chicken, cut it in cubes and freeze it. Prepare your smoothie ingredients,insert into a freezer bag, freeze them, and in the morning toss them in the blender with your favourite liquid (water, almond milk etc.). Cut up veggies and keep them in the fridge. Make hummus, guacamole and/or your own nut butter for a week of healthy meals and snacks.
4. PLAN YOUR MEALS
We eat the worst when we are hungry, and that is why they always tell us not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Write down a list of quick healthy meals you can have on the go or when you are starving after a long day at school, work, or chauffeuring around. Plan your meals for the week on your day off. Planning will help keep your healhier meals more attainable, organized and help you stay committed.
Photo Credit: Denby Royal (link to recipe HERE)
5. BYOF - BRING YOUR OWN FOOD
Pack your breakfast, lunch, dinner or whatever meal falls next when you are away from home. Prepare your meal the night before, NEVER the morning of. Stop eating out 5 times a week. If you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) like many of us, first eat your prepared meal then meet your co-workers/friends for a drink. BONUS *** This option can save a lot of money !
6. GET INTO THE RIGHT KIND OF FITNESS
Walking on your treadmill for 60 minutes is not what I am talking about. Being active does now have to equal taking lots of time. Doing a 20 minute high intensity interval training workout (HIIT), with your own body weight, has double the benefits of watching a TV show while you walk on your machine. Find out which type of workout is most effective for you and your body.
7. LEARN TO READ LABELS
Look at ingredients and learn to properly read them before you buy something that is claiming to be healthy. Just because a granola bar says “gluten-free” , “vegan”, “paleo”, “healthiest food ever”, DOES NOT MEAN IT IS. If you can’t pronounce 5 of the named ingredients on the list, it is most likely not good for you. Sugar hides in labels under many different names (maltose, sucrose, glucose, corn syrup etc.), as do unhealthy oils (soybean, vegetable, canola etc.), so don’t let yourself be deceived.
8. WATCH LESS TV
This includes Facebook videos, Youtube, Tumblur, Instagram videos, Netflix, TV shows, Popcorn time, DVD’s, Reddit, Pinterest … Wow we watch a lot of tv. Seriously, press stop, go do 10 burpees and 25 jumping jacks. Instead of all that time in front of a screen, you could: prep your food, hang out with your friends, read a book, go on a hike, join a fitness class, have a glass of wine, explore the outdoors, write a novel ...
Everyone says it, but we don’t do it. Sleep restores the body. It’s the fuel when it comes to re-establishing body functions. Your body can’t properly metabolizes & digest without getting the beauty rest it needs. Your body is a machine, treat it that way. It needs breaks, vacation, time off, AKA sleep, to properly function the way it is suppose to.
10. FIND HARMONY IN YOUR LIFESTYLE
Balance is a myth. Eating 50% healthy and 50% unhealthy is not going to get you to your goals. It’s about harmony and being happy with your lifestyle. QUIT the cheat days, quit the fad diets, quit spending money on fast results, quit making up excuses. Stop the latest fads, and find out what truly works for you. And lastly, stop saying you do not have enough time, and make the time for a healthy you.
You free time up for Facebook, drinks with friends, movie watching, sleeping in, going out and everything else. I am not saying you need to lose these. I am saying it is time to free up space for your health. You have the opportunity to live longer, live healthier and live fuller if you start right now. I know these aren’t the magic tips you were hoping for. You have probably heard them 10 times before, trolling around the internet. But now, it is time to put them to practice so stop reading and let’s go!
Which item on the list do you find the most difficult to abide by? What other healthy lifestyle tips can you offer?