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November 24, 2018 3 min read

At a time when most of us lament about how busy and stressed we are, it's no surprise when we say we have no time to cook a healthy dinner every night or get to the gym. Even if you've visited Bay Area fitness stores and outfitted your home with all the gym equipment you need, it's not always easy to devote the energy to our own health. But it's a priority we need to make room for in our lives.

If making major lifestyle changes feels like a daunting task to you, you certainly aren't alone. However, progress isn't always about the big things; sometimes, the little things can make a huge difference. Deciding to incorporate healthier eating or a making a commitment to physical fitness using equipment from Bay Area fitness stores doesn't always have to involve an immediate 180-degree turn. In fact, there are a lot of small and simple swaps you can make that can help you to feel more energized and more confident in no time.

Pick Whole Foods Instead of Processed

Sure, frozen dinners and instant soups are convenient -- but when you rely on these processed foods, you're sacrificing real nutrients for preservatives, additives, and empty calories. Cooking every night can feel like an impossibility for many of us, which is why batch cooking and one-pot meals are a great option. When it comes time to snack, stay away from processed foods. Stick with fruits, veggies, nuts, or items you actually make yourself. Pretty soon, you'll find yourself reaching for fresh produce or homemade items even when other options are around.

Switch Out Your Soda For Seltzer

If you're a fan of sweet beverages, you're probably consuming way more sugar, caffeine, and calories than your body should handle. Don't assume that juice is any better, either. Try switching to unsweetened iced tea, naturally flavored seltzer, or fruit-infused water. That can help bridge the gap. You should also try to carry around a reusable water bottle or have seltzer always on-hand to ensure you don't have to rely on other options when you're at the office or out and about.

Bring Your Lunch Rather Than Buy

If you're scrambling to get out the door in the morning and have nothing in the fridge, it makes sense that you'd go to the nearest lunch spot rather than brown bag it. And because the number of fast foods in the U.S. has more than doubled since the 1970s, it's not surprising that the typical American diet exceeds the recommended limits for saturated fat, added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and calories. Those are very hard to escape when you go through the drive-thru. But with a little planning, you can bring a much more filling and nutritious lunch to the office at least a few times a week. You can pack leftovers from your make-ahead meals, bring some healthy and easy wraps or sandwiches, or some salads with grilled chicken and loads of veggies. As a bonus, you'll end up saving quite a bit of money every month, as cooking or preparing food at home will be a lot more cost-effective than buying fast food or microwaveable meals in plastic.

Sneak In Ingredients and Activity in Lieu of Big Life Adjustments

Sometimes, getting started can be the hardest part. You might feel overwhelmed if you set overly ambitious goals for yourself that feel too out of reach. Don't be afraid to take baby steps. For example, you can opt to climb the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Substitute squash "noodles" for real pasta the next time you cook a simple meal. Take a walk during your lunch break instead of scrolling through social media on your phone. Head to your favorite Bay Area fitness stores to talk to the knowledgeable staff there and find some great exercise tools for beginners. Any moves you make count as progress.

Need help getting started on your healthy journey? We're here for you. Visit our Bay Area fitness stores today for further assistance.

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