The Waters in Pike RoadGetting in shape is quite possibly the most common New Year’s resolution, and usually involves joining a gym or going on a strict diet. Gym memberships are a great option, but they’re not always for people with busy schedules, and strict diets do not have lasting results. Sometimes, your only opportunity to get healthy is at home or during the work day. Try some of these simple (and free!) tips to achieving your best physical health in 2015:

  • Spread out your time. According to the CDC, three 10-minute workouts have the same benefits as one 30-minute session. Instead of trying to do your workout all at once, break your exercise time into small chunks of vigorous activity throughout the day.
  • Work out on the go. Sneak in some exercise by incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a brisk walk on your lunch break, park further away from work in the mornings, or walk or bicycle for errands when possible.
  • Don’t underestimate the basics. Some of the most effective exercises are simple moves you already know, such as pushups, planks, crunches, jumping jacks, squats and lunges. These are stationary exercises that do not require any expensive gym equipment, and you can even do them almost anywhere. The average American watches television for 34 hours each week compared to only two hours of exercising, so next time your favorite show is on, try doing some squats or jumping jacks while you’re watching.
  • Improve your diet. Dieting is a lifestyle, not a phase. Crash diets and detoxes can be both harmful and unhealthy, and the results generally do not last. Instead, just add more grains, fruits and vegetables to your diet, and eat several small meals throughout the day to sustain your energy and ward off hunger. Healthy and fulfilling snacks include bananas and peanut butter, fresh fruit and yogurt, carrots and hummus, and nuts such as almonds and pecans.
  • Cool down with meditation or yoga. Physical exercise is important, but your mind needs a healthy boost too! Meditation strengthens the brain by improving concentration, focus and productivity, and helps to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. Take just a few minutes out of your day and find a quiet place to relax, reflect and practice deep breathing.
  • Go outside and enjoy the view. Take a break from the daily grind with a change of scenery and some fresh air. Walking is a frequently underestimated exercise, and studies have shown that walking briskly for just 15 to 20 minutes a day decreases the risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke and early death.

Our metro Birmingham, Auburn and Pike Road communities offer ample opportunities for you to reach your physical goals.  From state-of-the-art amenities (per community) to lighted sidewalks, our beautiful communities will help you reach your health goals in 2015. If you’d like to learn more about finding a home in one of our communities, visit the Harris Doyle Homes website today.