10 ways to add healthy activities to your existing routine

Via Inner Peaks/Facebook

There is no exact “one size fits all” in regards to successful weight-loss strategies, but there are small adjustments that can be made in an everyday lifestyle that result in big health changes over time.

As a Certified Sport Nutrition Specialist, I believe a good starting point is moving more each day, eating more nutritious foods and finding strategies to keep stress at bay that work for you personally.

These subtle changes can actually be incredibly fun additions to your life and bring abundant fulfillment. There are plenty of opportunities to jumpstart a healthy New Year in Charlotte and endless ways to continue to thrive and improve your health throughout the year.

Cultivate a healthy mind and body by moving whenever you can, eating nutritious foods and challenging your brain. Here are 10 ways to do that without taking away from your work, social or Netflix time:

(1) Combine coffee and cardio

Meet a friend for coffee or tea and take your coffee with you for a stroll while you catch up. You are certainly getting more steps than you would be if you sat and chatted in the coffee shop.

Try: Walking or running at Little Sugar Creek Greenway

[Related: 14 yoga classes for $5 or less; 14 of the best free run clubs]

(2) Fast-casual nutrients

Late meeting again? That’s no longer an excuse to grab dinner from the drive-thru. If the hunger hits after a long day and the drive-thru is close by, consider that there are healthy alternatives.

Try: Clean Eatz

(3) Dinner out doesn’t mean a zillion calories

Don’t stress about a dinner out with friends. Meaningful moments with loved ones are important for your health, too, after all. And these days, eating out doesn’t have to mean making unhealthy choices. As a general rule, try to include and even focus on protein and veggies in your meals out.

Try: Eating the Baked Salmon Bowl at Crunch Bistro

[Related: 10 things to order when you’re trying to keep healthy eating in check]

(4) Rainy day? Plan B.

You may have had big plans to head outside and get some outdoor exercise playing your favorite sport with your spouse or a friend, but it started pouring or the temperature dropped too much for you. There are plenty of fun indoor exercise alternatives.

Try: Climbing at Inner Peaks

(5) Meditate the stress away

Stress that is not managed appropriately can lead to various health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Not to mention, it can be distraction and keep us from enjoying our lives.  

Try: Meditating at Yoga One

(6) Get your Vitamin D

Being outdoors boosts your energy and your immune system. It can also make exercising feel easier. The outdoors can even help with your mental health and help mitigate seasonal depression because of your exposure to light. Get out there!

Try: Play at Freedom Park

(7) Exercise your brain

Learning new skills not only keeps you entertained and challenged, but can also help you learn other things quicker over time. Learning more helps you eventually be a better learner! Take that class you have been wanting to take or teach yourself that skill you have always wanted to have.

Try: Learning something new at Pottery Central

(8) Crosstrain

Trying new fitness classes is a great way to mix up your workout routine. Keep the boredom at bay, meet some new people and enjoy the endorphins from the countless classes offered around Charlotte. You could even grab some healthy grub after.

Try: Riding at Cyclebar

(9) Go for a hike

Explore Charlotte’s backyard over a hike. Hiking can help improve your blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, strengthen your core and build leg strength. There are dozens of trails, walkways and paths in the area.

Try: Hiking Crowders Mountain State Park

(10) Try mall walking — or an artsy alternative

Get your steps in. Walking more is an ideal, low impact way to lose weight and get in shape. More steps can also mean better sleep. Touring museums is a great way to expand your knowledge on a variety of topics and — who knew? — a perfect opportunity to get in more steps.

Try: Touring the Mint Museum Randolph

[Related: The ultimate guide to museums in Charlotte]


  1. Here’s an obvious one:

    Walk or ride your bike to work or to a nearby destination. A mile walk is 20 minutes, and a 5-mile bike ride is less than 30 minutes.

    Charlotte might not be the greatest city in the world to bike in, but with a little route planning it can be done reasonably easily. BONUS: doing so helps train your brain to make mental maps so that you don’t always have to rely on GPS!


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