I have had been fortunate to have a fit body for most of my life. As an avid exerciser, bodybuilder and fitness competitor for most of my younger years, I developed good habits and a strong commitment to personal health that have served well now that I am a mom of three .
I don’t have the time for the gamut of exercises and strict diet I had back in my “glory days.” But I maintain seven specific habits that have played a critical role in my staying slim, healthy, and strong. These are the real reasons that I maintain good fitness and health.
- I move my body whenever I have the chance. I get up from my seat and walk around the house, the yard, the grocery store, and when I do I perform isometric exercises throughout the day. Walking from my car indoors, I purposefully contract my bottom muscles with each step, standing in line I contract my stomach muscles or bend my leg back and contract my hamstring muscles (muscles in the back of the thigh), sitting down I extend one leg out at a time and flex my quadriceps muscles (front of the thigh), and many others – which will be the subject of a vlog coming very soon.
- I seldom eat after 4:00 in the afternoon. At dinner with my family, I just have a glass of water or Perrier while we sit together and enjoy one-another’s company. Sometimes I have a small bite of something here and there.
- I drink black coffee first thing in the morning. I happen to love the taste, and caffeine revs up the metabolism, suppresses appetite, and is very satisfying
- I begin each day (after my coffee) with a homemade green smoothie. I add carrot juice, almond milk and about 1.5 cups of raw lettuce, like a spring mix, and sometimes broccoli, kale, spinach or whatever greens I have in my fridge. This makes me feel full in the morning, but more importantly, it packs an enormous punch of nutrients and fiber with a very small number of calories. This comprises at least three servings of vegetables in one sitting. Important note: I don’t do this for the taste. This is almost like taking medicine sometimes. Drinking this helps me look at food as fuel and nutrition as opposed to purely pleasure.
- I drink lots of water throughout the day. There is a reason we are constantly being reminded to do this by fitness magazines, doctors and wellness professionals. Distilled water is ideal, although not necessary. Drinking about two quarts of water a day will keep you hydrated as well as help to quickly flush out excess sodium, and with that, excessive bloating.
- I perform deep breathing and meditative practice throughout the day. I belly-breathe as often as I think of it – and always when I feel stressed. I try to use any menial or repetitive chore throughout the day as an opportunity to concentrate my attention in the moment and fully experience the task without allowing my mind to race into the future or linger in the past. Doing this is very freeing and creates joy.
- If I take a bite of something, especially if it is high in calories, and it does not taste good or as good as I had hoped (like a hunk of chocolate) I will spit it out (discretely and in private, of course). There is no reason to ingest the calories if it doesn’t taste really good. This practice also discourages me from takin the second bite.
There you have it. They are pretty simple and easy to follow. It just takes practice and diligence to incorporate some or all of them into your life. If you change nothing else in your life and do these things, you will be slimmer and healthier at the end of the year.