Sometimes being healthy can be a major time suck. There's hitting the gym every day, making sure to cook healthy, and so much more that goes into maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But it doesn't always have to be that way. Between eating right and fitting in exercise, there are a few shortcuts you can take when being perfect seems unthinkable. Best of all, none of these shortcuts skimp out on health. Here's a look at the standard gold rules of a healthy lifestyle and the shortcuts that go with them!
1. Eat Fresh Fruits and Veggies
When it comes to diet, the ideal is to eat as close to the natural source as possible: fresher is better, and organic rules all. Let's be real though, sometimes prepping fresh veggies seems like a pain or we're not able to fit in enough fresh fruit between meals.
The shortcut: Rather than forgoing fruits and veggies altogether, always keep frozen produce stocked. In the morning, throw some frozen berries in a smoothie or on top of cereal or yogurt. At night, quickly heat up a serving of frozen veggies to go with any meal. Still without your fruit and veggie fix? Have a snack of unsweetened dried fruit and stock your pantry with canned fruits and veggies that haven't been doused in salt and sugar — think unsweetened applesauce and sugar- and salt-free stewed tomatoes. Even if it didn't fall off of the farmer's truck, these are all ways to get the nutrients that veggies and fruit provide.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Wouldn't it be great if eight hours of sleep each night was a reality? Proper sleep increases brain function and promotes weight loss. But if you miss out on a good night's rest, it may result in a host of problems including irritability, heart disease, and overindulging.
The shortcut: On days when you're short on sleep, make like your 5-year-old self and grab a nap. Studies show that naps lower the risk of heart disease and naps also help with memory. To help increase the amount of deep sleep you're getting, start small by getting to bed 15 minutes earlier than you normally do. Continue this pattern for a few weeks to add a full hour onto your sleep schedule! If the above still seems unimaginable, find a few minutes throughout your day to meditate; this will help clear your mind while also helping to decrease stress.
See how to shave hours off of your workout after the break!