Being healthier is one of the hardest yet easiest things we can do. Simply put, there are so many ways to micromanage our behaviors and habits that it’s overwhelming. If you’re looking for a few easy life hacks hat don’t require your constant monitoring, read on.
Make a commitment to exercise at least twice a week.
Pro tip: download the Mindbody Online app to find yoga studios close by. The app also shows you any reviews and the class schedule, so you can sign up and pay with one movement. If you’re dying to practice more and are living behind the “I don’t know where to go!” excuse, this is the best way to finally force yourself around it.
Make this time your time. Maybe you choose to practice in a class setting more often, but make it a time that you look forward to. Find out the meet ups for different styles. Maybe one class you’ll go to will teach traditional Ashtanga, and the next time you’ll flow in a Vinyasa class. Or you could try out that Hot Yoga class that you’ve been dying to explore! Make this time something that is both enjoyable to you and a learning experience.
Try your best to eat less dairy.
There are many people who preach that milk (and subsequently dairy products) are flat out bad for you. I’m not one of those people. I will, however, tell you that by cutting out the food group, you’ll simply feel better. Why? Eliminating dairy products will leave you feeling less bloated or puffy, something you may not have noticed you felt before. I can tell you that I’ve been dairy free for a few years now. Nothing makes me feel worse than eating a food I really craved (alfredo sauce, eyes on you) and feeling like absolute sh*t afterwards.
So how can you safely move away from your dairy love? Pay attention to your coffee creamer by checking the back to see if it’s lactose free. Pro tip: many International Delight flavors are! Try out some yogurt alternatives like soy or coconut yogurt. From my experience, you won’t even notice the difference. Perhaps the easiest switch of all, instead of buying milk, opt for almond milk. Check out this Yoga Journal article to explore a variety of nut milk alternatives.
Start reading more and internet surfing less.
What is your first move once you get home from work? If you’re anything like me, it’s checking Facebook and Instagram. And it’s probably the same posts that you saw on your lunch break. Challenge yourself by reading something you’d have never seen on a social media app. My favorites: Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison, 11/22/63 by Stephen King, Landline by Rainbow Rowell.
Why is reading so important? For one, it stimulates your brain and boosts your memory. You’ll also develop a more refined focus and can begin to pay attention to specific subjects longer. Reading can also reduce (or even prevent all together) dementia and Alzheimers. Think of it this way, the brain is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Also, you’ll look way cooler reading a book than you will scrolling on your phone. #AlternativeFacts
Make notes of your goals and personal bests.
My favorite way to do this is by taking pictures. I love setting up a mini photoshoot for poses I think I’m doing well. (Doing well – think alignment. There is no perfect pose.) By saving these pictures, I have a visual timeline of myself progressing. I’ve found that this is the most inspiring way to push myself. I’m challenging myself to do better than myself.
You can also do this by chronicling what poses you found to be challenging during a specific practice. Maybe on one day you found Chair pose felt like the hardest thing ever but Dancer’s pose was cake. Maybe another practice the two switch. It’s a tangible way to watch yourself improve over time.
Header Image via Pineapples.