No matter if you are just getting started your health and fitness journey or if you have been "at it" for a while, there are some simple swaps that you can be doing that will have a positive impact in your life.
Seeing real and lasting positive change is about taking the little steps each and every day to improve. Making dramatic changes when it comes to health and fitness is a bit of a trap. Go too hard too soon and you could increase your chance of injury or just run out of steam.
These are some very simple swaps that you can make in your everyday life that will benefit your health and fitness.
Swamp sitting for stretching
If you sit down all day long at work it’s a good idea to swap out some of your sitting for a stretching break. Pop in some wireless headphones and stretch as you chat on the phone or at regular breaks. Stretching helps with blood flow, flexibility and some say it even boosts your mood. When sitting practicing simple mobility exercises like circling your shoulders or ankles is great and also good for relieving tension.
Swamp dinners out for dinners in
This is an easy swap that helps you stay in control of what you are eating. Cooking your own meals means you are aware of everything that goes into your meals. From controlling the amount of ingredients, cooking method and portion control, preparing your own food has so many benefits.
Save dinners out or eating takeaway for special occasions. I know sometimes when we have a busy day, the last thing we feel like is cooking. I find prepping some meals or ingredients ahead of time the key to this. Try my simple guide to meal prep to help you get organised.
Swap soft/sugary drinks for naturally flavoured soda water
This one is a real "no brainer". Society as a whole is obsessed with sugar. Just a walk through the supermarket past the rows of sugary drinks will tell you this. There are so many options out there. Even "no sugar" or "low sugar" soft drinks still contain preservatives that aren't natural or good for our bodies or teeth for that matter! Invest in a soda water machine or purchase soda water instead and flavour this with your favourite fruits and veggies. Citrus, cucumber, mint, berries, there's lots of options!
Swap to wholegrains
Another simple swap is making a swap to wholegrains. Instead of white rice or standard pasta, try quinoa, brown rice, and grains like freekeh or barley. These all still carbohydrate (so do watch your portion size) they provide some additional health benefits over "white" or refined carbohydrates. For example, brown rice is much higher in nutrients than white rice. This includes fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Swap out the snacks
I recommend limiting snacks between meals and personally prefer eating three large balanced meals per day. If you do snack, swap out a high carbohydrate snack for something higher in healthy fat or protein. For example, nuts, olives, pre prepared egg muffins, or cheese. You can also incorporate some crisp veggies like cucumber, capsicum or celery.
Swap screen time for some steps
What do you do after dinner each night? Rather than going on auto pilot and watching TV or scrolling through social feeds after dinner, choose 2-3 nights a week to go for a walk with friends or family instead. Even 30 minutes of brisk walking can add 3000 steps to your daily tally. Besides, it's a great way to disconnect with screens and reconnect with your loved ones and wind down for the evening.
Make some of these simple swaps and see how you feel! I'd love to hear how you go and other swaps that you have been making!