13 Easy Habits for Busy (or Lazy) People

I bet if you took all of us as a group that are reading this article today, we’d have a pretty broad span of health-related goals for the New Year. But we all probably have two things in common: we are resolving to live a healthier life this year and the second thing is that we’re busy. I think our lives are getting busier and busier every year! At least it seems that way to me. Sometimes being healthy seems overwhelming and too hard to try and think about and incorporate certain things every day.

Here are some easy tips for being healthier for us busy (or lazy) folks!

1. Stock up on frozen veggies and berries to have on hand when you might need them. It's so much easier than having to remember to buy them fresh, and then also having to remember to cook them before they go bad in the back of your refrigerator.

Toss your frozen berries into oatmeal or eat a few as a sweet dessert. And cook up your frozen veggies as side dishes, in stir fry, soups, and more.

2. Buy a season (or a series) of a very addictive TV show. Force yourself to watch it ONLY while you're running on the treadmill, using the elliptical, or pedaling a stationary bike. Make it any show that'll keep you pretty riveted and desperate to find out what happens next.

3. Eat from small plates, bowls, cups, and jars to help manage your portion sizes. Because when you have a small portion on a big plate, you feel like you're depriving yourself — but when that same portion takes up a lot of real estate on a smaller plate, you'll think you're eating more.

4. Or eat from plates and bowls that are a different color than the food you have in front of you, also to help with portion sizes. Research has shown that people tend to eat more food when the food is roughly the same color as the plate, compared to people eating food that contrasts with the color of the plate.

5. Prepare a box of grab-and-go snacks on Sundays so you always have something healthy to munch on every day.

6. Make good friends with a slow cooker. Cooking with a slow cooker is basically the easiest kind of cooking. And you can make all sorts of healthy stews and soups and other stuff with them.

7. Carry around a big old water bottle wherever you go. Always be hydrating!

8. Lower your thermostat before you go to bed to about 65 degrees for a better night's sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends this temperature because some research has shown that it might help promote better sleep.

9. And eat some protein within half an hour after you work out, so you can build muscles faster. "When you work out, you break down muscle tissue and your body absolutely depends on protein in order to build that muscle back up. And muscle is the key to increasing your metabolism," Albert Matheny, C.S.C.S., co-founder of Soho Strength Lab.

10. Leave your blinds open at night, so the sunlight helps wake you up in the morning. This is especially helpful if you're trying to get into a habit of working out in the morning.

11. Prep all your workout gear the night before, so it's all ready for you when you wake up.

12. Go ahead and sleep in your workout outfit, if you have to. Even easier to wake up and workout!

13. Fill half your plate with vegetables for lunch and dinner, and then make sure you eat the vegetables first. Due to the high-fiber content in a lot of veggies, they can actually make you feel full and satisfied pretty quickly. Eating your veggies first before you get to the other stuff means that you'll be less likely to overindulge on things that are less nutrient-dense and filled with ingredients that aren't so good for you.

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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