45 Simple Swaps For Healthier Choices That Could Change Your Life
Whole grains for white, quality for quantity, Wii Fit for Mario Kart -- just one smart swap can pave the way to a healthier and happier life. We decided to go all out and provide 45 “this for that” tips (full list here), so there are no excuses when it comes to making healthier choices!
1. Planks for Crunches
Extra points for holding it for a minute straight!
2. Interval Workout for Relaxed Run
3. Incline for Flat Treadmill
In a perfect, outdoor world, flat roads rarely exist. (Sorry, midwestern readers!) Add some hills to that treadmill run by cranking up the incline, and feel the muscle-building burn!
4. Zumba for Elliptical
Trash that Cosmo-reading elliptical routine and surprise the body with a fun, calorie-burning cardio session. Sure beats staying stuck to a machine.
5. Dynamic for Static Stretching
6. Warming Up for Rushing Right To It
We know that barbell looks tempting. But before hitting the weight rack, do an active warmup to loosen up limbs and get the most out of the workout.
7. Standing for Sitting At A Desk
How often does someone complain about having to sit in a cubicle all day? We have a simple solution (no college degree required): stand.
Use a pile of books to prop up the computer, or purchase one of these.
8. Exercise Ball for Office Chair
Okay, we get it. Some people really don't want to stand at their cubicle. So stay seated, but on a Swiss ball!
It can help with balance and that six-pack. Fitness at the fingertips!
9. Gym for Napping
Falling asleep at the wheel? Pull over. Tired in front of the TV? Hit the gym. It provides a big boost of energy and burns calories.
10. Free Weights for Machines
11. Pull-ups for Biceps Curls
Isolating muscles is so 2012. Pull-ups are not only impressive (I can do two, thankyouverymuch.), but they work way more than one muscle. Talk about multitasking.
12. Squats for Leg Press
Forget staying seated to work out the legs. Amp up the training sesh and do some squats to strengthen all the leg muscles, with some gluteus maximus work in there too!
13. Personal Trainer for Guessing Games
14. Foam Rolling for Static Stretching
Need to get the knots out? Try using a foam roller instead of sitting and stretching to the toes. It's almost like a personal massage.
15. Exergames for Mario Kart
Mario may be booking it through the race course, but holding the remote control does next to nothing for our own heart rate.
Try out Wii Fit or Just Dance; they're designed to provide light to moderate exercise.
16. Rowing for Biking
How often can we row, row, row a boat indoors? Take advantage of the rowing machine instead of the good 'ol bike; it's a super upper and lower body exercise.
17. Stairs for Escalator
We've heard the tip a million times, so here it is for the millionth plus one. If the option's available, go the old-fashion route and climb the stairs to burn some extra calories.
18. Fun Workout for Dreaded Workout
Loathe the elliptical? Try the stair-master. Hate the bench press? Do push-ups instead.
We can still challenge ourselves without doing exercises we hate.
19. Active Date for Dinner and a Movie
Save a night at that French restaurant for retirement and go on a fun, active winter date with a special someone. Sledding can be just as intimate as duck confit, and it sneaks in a hill-climbing workout, too.
20. Parking Farther Away for Getting a Spot Up Close
There's no need to circle the parking lot five times looking for the perfect spot. Just park farther away and walk the extra 100 feet to Target. (Doesn't count as a trip to the gym, though!)
21. Walking Farther for Running Shorter
New to running? It's okay. Even if a mile is all that's possible, keep walking for a good cardio workout. Hold some light weights to up the intensity even more!
22. Working Out With a Pal for Exercising Alone
23. Hands-Free Running for Holding Handles
Hands off! On the treadmill, don't rely on the handlebars. They take some of the stress off the body and make that workout less challenging.
24. Cherry Juice for Muscle Medicine
25. Homemade Post-Workout Snack for a Protein Bar
26. Cooking at Home for Eating Out
Even if we try to eat healthy at a restaurant, that pesky bread bowl or sneaky salad may pack more calories than we planned for. Trust those top-chef skills and turn up the (skillet) heat.
Cooking at home will more likely result in a healthier meal, not to mention a happier wallet.
27. Whole Fruit for Fruit Juice
A glass of OJ's missing the pulp, skin and full fiber content of an orange. Skip the glass and go with the whole piece of fruit to reap the benefits of this sweet, healthy snack.
28. Pan-Fried for Deep-Fried
29. Local Produce for Supermarket Veggies
Take a trip to the farmer's market instead of Walmart's produce aisle. According to the USDA, local, seasonal fruits and veggies may be more nutritious. It helps out local economies, too!
30. Oil and Balsamic for Other Dressings
Ever flip that dressing bottle around and see a million ingredients listed? Think “less is more” and lightly dress a salad with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar -- no additives included!
31. Raw Spinach for Iceberg Lettuce
32. Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream
Sour cream can taste pretty good in a burrito. To get that same creamy coolness, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to amp up the protein and slash the fat.
33. Cinnamon for Sugar
34. Salsa for Cream Cheese Dips
You say tomato, I say salsa. Dip the chip into this healthy alternative to cheesy spreads. Plus, salsa packs a fiery, flavorful punch!
35. Frozen Grapes for Popsicles
It may sound a little weird, but hear us out. Stick a bunch of grapes in the freezer and snack on them a few hours later; it's like eating bite-sized Popsicles with no added sugar!
36. Sparkling Water for Soda
Need a carbonation kick? Say sayonara to fructose-filled sodas and fill up with sparking water.
Try a fun flavor like lemon-lime, or even vanilla. So long, Vanilla Coke!
37. Fresh Fruit for Syrup at Brunch
Every now and then, there's nothing like a good stack of pancakes. Cut calories by skipping Aunt Jemima and spreading those cakes with fresh fruit.
38. Air-Popped Popcorn for Chips
On a salt spree? Air-pop some popcorn and add a dash of salt; three whole cups is only about 100 calories. That's way more satisfying than six measly and greasy chips.
39. Red Wine or Beer for a Margarita
40. Brown Rice for White Rice
41. Whole-Wheat Pasta for White Pasta
Just like rice, whole-wheat pasta has a nutty flavor that's filled with antioxidants and fiber. White pasta just doesn't do the trick!
42. Oatmeal for Sugary Cereal
43. Biking to Work for Driving
If the office is a few miles away, skip the Sedan and hop on the bike (weather permitting). A little bike-ride can boost endorphins before the workday starts! (Paying for gas is no fun, anyway.)
44. Packing Lunch for Eating Out
Lunch boxes aren't just for middle school. Pack a sandwich or some leftovers to bring to school, work, wherever. It'll make that vending machine look far less appetizing.
45. Eating Three Meals for Skipping and Snacking
We should only eat when we're hungry, but being too busy to squeeze in a mid-day meal can leave us feeling tired and grouchy -- not to mention depriving us of essential nutrients to get us through the day!
This post originally appeared on Greatist.