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December 08, 2018 3 min read

No hidden message lies in a doctor or personal trainer telling you that you need to get healthy or fit. Hopefully you come to this realization yourself, but when you have a qualified individual tell you your health is in jeopardy, it’s usually because they noticed something. Exercise tends to have one great side effect: looking better. Very few people will ever tell you they don’t want to look better, and while most exercisers may be working out to look better, exercise also has another great side effect: a healthier body.

It’s normal to want to look better, lose weight, or get stronger, but if that is your only reason for working out, you are missing the point. Your health should be at the top of your fitness priority list.

The more you focus on your health, the easier it will be to get the most out of your workouts anyway, because then you eat the necessary protein, drink enough water, and avoid the foods that are going to prevent you from seeing any of the abdominal  muscles you’ve been strengthening in the gym.

It’s no secret America and most of the World face an obesity epidemic. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and hypertension threaten many as well. The list of diseases and ailments grows, but you can take control of your own health my making a few small changes. You don’t have to eat like a bird to keep yourself from becoming obese or developing diabetes. You don’t have to drink water like a fish to ensure you have enough in your system. You don’t have to give up wheat, meat, dairy, or eggs to be healthy. Here’s a list of a few small changes you can make for a healthier life:

Kick The Can. Soda is delicious, and the marketing professionals in charge of making sure we see a can of pop everywhere we look are great at what they do. Great branding for soda (regardless of how good the fizzy treat tastes) shouldn’t become more important than your health. Did you know one can of the leading soft drink contains more sugar than you should be consuming in one whole day? Think about that for a minute. That one can of sugar contains more than the recommended daily amount, including all the food you eat all day. Kicking the can and replacing your soda with water is one small and easy change to eliminate countless empty calories and unnecessary sugar.

Bye Bye Beef. Another great small change you can make is to begin using ground turkey whenever you would normally use ground beef. Beef is always higher in fat that turkey, and your body doesn’t digest it as well. Turkey is a great lean protein and if you are going to be making chili, tacos, or spaghetti, go with turkey.

Choose Whole Wheat. White flour has little nutritional value. If you can choose whole wheat or whole grain whenever you eat soft tacos, bread, or pasta, you will be a “whole” lot healthier.

Crank Up The Cardio. You should be incorporating some form of cardiovascular work in your life to keep you heart and lungs healthy. To get the most benefit, crank up the cardio a little. If you like to go for a walk, either extend the length, start walking with small hand weights, or start doing some light jogging until you can run consistently. If you like to bike, add some interval training to your route. Give yourself smaller bouts of higher intensity work. The same goes for running and elliptical work. Your heart rate needs to get higher so your heart grows stronger. You will burn more fat and get a boost your cardiovascular system with this small change.

Begin with these small changes. They may be drastic to some, but you have to start somewhere. Before you know it, you will wonder how you ever did things differently. Then it’s time to make some new, bigger changes!