Some people are more than ready to jump into a new routine this week. After a week or two of overindulging in food, drink and time on the couch, they're ready to get back on track with regular exercise and fewer desserts. But there are more than a few people who prefer to ease rather than plunge into better habits. After all, that time on the couch was nice and relaxing – why give it up?! If that better describes your attitude this week, these tips are for you.
- Drink tea. You might be tempted to go for a big cup of coffee to keep you awake, but tea can actually keep you going longer. If you have to start the day with caffeine, switch to a fragrant herbal tea later.
- Make your lunch. This gives you control over what you eat, both the type of food and the amount. After all, how many times have you gone out for lunch with the intention of getting grilled fish with rice but instead get a chili cheeseburger and fries?
- Return to a familiar exercise. Trying something new can be intimidating. Instead, go back to an activity you know. That way, you already have the equipment and your body will know what to expect the next day.
- Take a walk. There's not an exercise much easier than walking. Even a 10-minute walk has been proven to have beneficial effects on the mind and body.
- Limit treats to once a day. There's no need to go cold turkey, but cut down on the leftover candy and cookies to once a day.
- Get off the couch. It's really easy to spend the whole evening – and every evening – watching television. But interrupting those mindless hours for some kind of activity will help you eventually break this bad habit. Clean something for 10 minutes, play a card game with your kids or simply sit on the floor and stretch during commercials.
- Reach for an apple. Among the fruit's many good qualities is that it's full of fiber, which makes you feel fuller. Apples are cheap, easy to find and easy to pack for work or weekend outings.
- Add one tip a day or week. All these tips may be too much for some people. Try adding just one a day, or even one a week, to ease you into a healthier lifestyle.