Seven days of changes to your routine may seem difficult, but these little switches easily fit into your daily schedule. Try starting with one fix a day, then continuing that habit all through the week. By the end of seven days, you'll have picked up seven healthy changes to your routine. Keep things up for a few weeks to make it a habit and maybe tackle a new set of challenges
Having positive thoughts can work wonders on your health. Research has shown that being optimistic boosts your immunity and increases your ability to cope with stress. Do yourself a favor and try thinking positively this week as you try the other 6 little fixes.
Take Ten Tuesday
Break up your afternoon routine by giving yourself 10, whether it's 10 minutes or 10 reps. Try sneaking in 10 jumping jacks while running around. Instead of sitting at your desk, answer a co-worker's email in person or take ten minutes to walk (not drive) to lunch.
Wet n' Wild Wednesday
Make Wednesdays a bit wild by drinking more water. Don't believe me? As it turns out dehydration has some unexpected symptoms (like bad breath and cravings). Sipping more water can clear your afternoon of breath mints and vending machine trips; leaving more time to liven up your day. You never know, this free time could make room for that afternoon salsa dancing class — or more "me time."
Having trouble making the switch from sugary drinks to water? Mix things up by sipping a tall glass of infused water. Just add cucumbers and mint or find other combinations you love. Anything to make Wednesdays not so "middle of the week," right?
Though this little trick won't give you more than 24 hours in a day, it will probably feel like you've stashed away some extra time. We all know the benefits of exercise, but it can be tough to make time in your schedule or pocketbook for a class. But taking the time to get yourself to the gym isn't necessary if you YouTube your workout. There are tons of free tutorials you can stream right there in your living room.
Along with eliminating all travel time, having a video workout allows you to try something new without feeling intimidated in a class full of experts. You can also pause your sun salutation for emergencies or break up the video into segments to fit in with your crazy schedule.
Ferment your Friday
Amp up your mental health with something fermented. Not only are probiotics good for regulating the millions of bacteria living inside of you, studies report some mental health bonuses from fermented foods. Research shows that those who regularly eat foods like yogurt, kimchi, kefir and kombucha reported experiencing less social anxiety than those who didn't. Conquering your fear of public speaking never tasted so good.
This seven-item list is about making little changes, not drastic life-altering changes. Snacking is a great way to make little adjustments for a healthier you. Try taking things a step at a time; eliminate artificial sweeteners for a week, or dip vegetables into hummus instead of a mayonnaise-based dip. For something sweeter, try freezing a fruit-filled smoothie into popsicle molds instead of having ice cream.
You don't have to give up your snacking habit, but snacking on fruit instead of candy or roasted chickpeas instead of chips will make your snacks more than just empty calories.
Salads are a no-brainer for a veggie filled lunch or dinner. But are you really getting everything you can out of your salad? Maximize nutrients by adding an egg. Researchers have found that eating a cooked egg with raw, colorful vegetables (found in your salad) helps your body absorb more of the nutrients found in the greens.
But be careful: Don't counteract your healthy week by overdoing it on the salad dressing. Try using the oozy yolk of a poached egg as a faux dressing. Not only will it amp up your nutrient level it also adds more protein to your meal.
Can seven days make a difference in the quality of your life? Absolutely! By focusing on one day at a time, you are one week away from a richer, fuller life.
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.