Want to be in better shape but you don’t think you have time? Well, think big, but start small. These ideas, excerpted from an article I wrote for the Women2Women Michigan magazine, can enhance your health without your having to join a gym or go into therapy.

Hint: something is always better than nothing. Just like calories, exercise is cumulative. “Move more, eat less,” is the secret to shaping up. Add some self-nurturing and you have a winning formula. It’s easier than you think.

1.  Reach for the sky. Start out your day with five or ten minutes of yoga or gentle stretching to prepare your body and mind for the day.

2.  Go for the burn. Choose “bad” parking spots that force you to walk more. Leave the choices spots for the lazy or physically impaired. The more steps you take, the more calories you burn.

3.  Get out. In the middle of a busy work day take a short walk, get some air, refresh your body, and clear your head.

4.  Move up. Climb one or two flights of stairs (or more) when you can rather than always relying on elevators.

5.  Leave yourself some wiggle room. If you have a desk job, get up and move often. Find a few office yoga techniques or stretches to perk up your body and brain.

6.  Get wet. Stay hydrated; drink more water and less caffeine. Avoid carbonated beverages and “energy” drinks.

7.  Look up. Be positive. Smile more; your brain will think you’re having fun (your body tends to feel the way your face looks).

8.  Eat neat. Eat more fruits and veggies. Avoid comfort foods (the gooey, the chewy, the crunchy, the munchy, the salty, the faulty). Eat only when you’re hungry, quit when you’re full. Eat smaller portions; eat slower, too.

9.  Get your move on. Find an exercise you enjoy and do it regularly for at least ten minutes. Often, by that time, you’ll give yourself another ten minutes or more.

10. Get your groove on. Nurture yourself, especially when the chips are down so you don’t reach for the chips! Read something inspirational every day. Take bubble baths, try aromatherapy. Sit for ten minutes in a quiet space with relaxing music and chill. Savor a piece of good chocolate, or whatever else works for you. Enjoy at least one small indulgence daily; you deserve it.

Simple Action: Practice these small life-enriching Fit Bits faithfully and they will make a big difference for you.

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