My goal for you over the next few weeks is simple: I want you to thrive. Not try to “stay on track”. Not avoid “losing progress”. Not focus on weight loss. I want you to THRIVE. Your health is always important and although this is a scary time, it’s a reminder that we all could be doing a little more to live healthier lifestyles.
This isn’t about quick fixes or starving yourself or obsessing over getting in workouts or calorie goals. I wanted to share a few small things you can start doing TODAY to boost your overall health from the inside out. So, let’s dive in!
5 Ways to Kickstart a Healthier Lifestyle
No. 1 Prioritize gut health
Did you know that approximately 70% of your immune system is located in your gut? This means that a healthier gut can lead to a stronger immune system. Corona or not, I think we all can agree that a stronger immune system is something we all want. While we can’t completely prevent ourselves from getting sick, we can give our bodies the right nutrients to build a strong immune system.
Aside from your immune health, a healthy gut can combat other problem areas like digestion issues, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, slow metabolism, skin issues and more. A few things I’ve been doing to make sure my gut health is in check:
- Probiotic: I take a probiotic every morning and since doing so, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my digestion and motility (using no. 2). I like the Just Thrive brand and Dr. Formulated brand.
- Daily greens: I started having a daily green juice about two months ago and I will never turn back. Not only have I noticed a huge decrease in bloat but I also have more energy and clarity throughout the day. I would say I eat pretty “healthy” but I could always use more greens in my day and a good greens powder is a great way to get them in! They’re a great boost of vitamins and minerals and have so many benefits including boosting immune health and gut health. I currently rotate between Smart Pressed Juice (super delicious, I serve over ice and sip throughout my morning) and OptiGreens by 1stPhorm (IMO tastes exactly like what you think green would taste like so I chug this one lol)
Please note that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. If you have severe gut or digestion issues, please consult a professional.
No. 2 Stay hydrated
I encourage all of my clients to drink at least half their body weight in ounces of water each day, up to a gallon depending on their activity level. Whether you need to add lemon or infuse with fresh fruits, I want you to challenge yourself to try and drink more water for the rest of this week.
Proper hydration does wonders for your health, from the inside out! My favorite way to make sure I’m getting enough water is by filling up my Hydrojug and sip on it all day long.
No. 3 Keep your body moving
Movement is a wonderful thing. Whether it’s taking a walk outside or busting a few moves to an online dance class, our bodies crave movement and activity. I mean, there’s got to be a reason why most doctors and wellness professionals encourage 20-30 minutes of movement every day!
Over the next few weeks, you might not have full access to a gym or your favorite workout classes but don’t let that get in your way!
I’ve got a ton of home-friendly, limited equipment workouts on my fitness account @laurenelycefit. If you’re looking for a little more structure, my Home Workout Guide is only $10.99 and includes 6 weeks of strength and HIIT/cardio workouts (nothing more than 30 minutes).
ClassPass is also offering live streaming of classes online and a lot of gyms are starting to do the same thing! If you’re looking for more unique ways to stay active that don’t necessarily include working out, try some of the following!
- Set your alarm for the start of every hour. When your alarm goes off, put on your favorite song and just dance! Shake it. Twerk. Do the two-step. Whatever your body does, just embrace it.
- Go for a walk twice a day. Take a 15-minute walk after breakfast and then another 15-20. minute walk before dinner. Pop on a podcast or a guided meditation and just move those legs.
No. 4 Stock up on nutrient-dense foods & snacks
Do NOT stockpile. That’s not what I mean here. What I do want you to do is make sure you have plenty of nutrient-dense options available at home. We all love to snack and when we’re stuck at home for weeks on end, there’s a good chance your Oreos cravings will occur more than once. Occasionally and in moderation, these treats are totally fine. However, your body also needs proper nutrients to thrive and last time I checked, there aren’t many of those in Oreos.
Some of my favorite, easy snacks + nutritious items to have on hand, especially when hanging at home for a few days include:
- Frozen fruit: I use these in smoothies or let them thaw out for snacks or dessert! You can also blend your favorite frozen fruit with tequila to make 2-ingredient margaritas and that’s always a good idea.
- Protein powder: I have a major sweet tooth so when I’m craving something chocolatey or sweet and I’m not in the mood for fruit, I’ll whip up a protein-rich “milkshake”. Blend 1/2 serving of your favorite protein powder with a little nut butter, banana, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Yum!
- Everybody Eat crackers: these allergen-free crackers are soooo good and full of ingredients you can actually pronounce. No added sugar or dairy or gluten. Chive & Garlic and the Fiery Chile Lime are our faves! Dip in hummus, cheese dip, ranch or eat solo – you won’t be disappointed. Use code LAUREN for $2 off!
- Pantry staples: I always have a few boxes of Banza chickpea pasta on hand because ya girl needs pasta at least once a week. We also love Dave’s Killer Bread bagels (they freeze well!). Nut butters, almond milk, Laughing Cow light cheese wedges and Smart Sweets are also something that we always have around.
No. 5 Set Habit goals
Rather than setting a goal like “I will lose 10 pounds”, aim for goals tied to habits. I’ve talked a lot of habits on here before but in my opinion, the key to a healthier lifestyle is creating little habits throughout your day/week that lead to larger results. When I stopped focusing on the final product (i.e. fat loss) and started building healthier habits (going to sleep at 10:00pm, doing 20 push ups every morning, meal prepping every Sunday), etc.) – that’s when I started to see a difference. Not just in my physical appearance but in my overall mindset. By doing these habits every day, I was conditioning myself to thrive. These tiny actions were adding up.
Some sample goals would include:
- Turn off all screens by 9:00pm and read a book before bed/until you fall asleep (aiming for 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night)
- Drink a gallon of water each day
- Meal prep your meals for the entire week every Sunday.
- Text a friend or family member every time you complete a workout to celebrate your win.
- Perform 5 minutes of activity every morning as soon as you wake up. Think pushups, crunches, jumping jacks, etc.
- Lay out your workout clothes for the entire week every Sunday evening.
- Say one nice thing about yourself to yourself every single day.