My friends at The Coca-Cola Company and Family Dollar asked me to provide 10 tips that I hope inspire and motivate you to try to live a healthier and more active lifestyle:

Fitness

  • Walk and talk. Everyone loves to catch up with friends and family on the phone. Why not walk and talk? Grab your cell phone and hit the pavement. Walk through a nice nature trail, your neighborhood or even throughout your house. Add walking up and down your stairs for an added cardio workout.
  • We all have to shop, so when you head out to stores, choose a parking spot further from the store’s door. You can also take stairs instead of an elevator or take an extra lap around the store before you leave. Those added strides will give you a little more movement each and every day.
  • Who doesn’t love watching her favorite T.V. show? During commercials, choose to get up and move. You can do some jumping jacks, lunges, sit ups, push-ups, walk around your home, go up and down the stairs – just keep moving until your show comes back on. Make a commitment to get in 10, 15 or 20 reps so that you have a goal that you’re shooting for. Commercials are usually between 3-5 minutes and during an hour show you could easily get a good 20 minutes of movement in.

Nutrition

  • Stay hydrated! All beverages hydrate so grab anything from water, tea, coffee or a soft drink. For people looking to manage their calorie intake, choose a low- and no-caloric version of your favorite beverage.
  • When it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, all calories count, whatever food or beverage they come from, including those from caloric beverages. Portion-controlled snack packs and 12 fl. oz. packages of Coca-Cola brand beverages are an easy and convenient way to enjoy your favorites in moderation on the go.
  • When ordering out at your favorite restaurant, try starting with a green salad or clear-based soup. Follow that up with a grilled or baked main dish like chicken or fish. And don’t forget a side – a baked potato and side vegetables are both delicious options. Finish your meal up with fresh fruit for a sweet ending. For beverages, consider low- and no-calorie beverages, including water.
  • Snacking is a good way to keep your metabolism working. Keep fresh cut veggies like carrots and sliced peppers, fruit, nuts, granola bars and other snacks in your sight and not solely in the pantry. Packing a few “to go” snacks in your bag or car helps you be prepared when hunger strikes no matter where you are.

Get and Stay Motivated

  • Develop a support system. It can be your family members, friends and/or a co-worker. Set up a buddy system and hold each other accountable. Show each other support and avoid criticizing or being a negative example to the other person. When you develop a team, it will make this journey to living an active, healthy lifestyle so much easier.
  • To accomplish your goals and to make a change in life, it’s imperative you write those goals down in a journal, on a notecard or a sticky note. Keep it visible so that you will constantly be reminded of this new commitment. A notecard by your bedside, a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or a daily alarm on your phone is a great way to stay motivated. Add some positive saying like, “I Can Do All Things” or “I Believe I Can Achieve.” You’re going to need these daily reminders and inspirational sayings to keep you motivated when you don’t feel like staying committed to your goal.
  • Know your purpose. Ask yourself, why do I want to make a commitment to living an active, healthy lifestyle? Remember, it’s not about vanity. At the end of the day, fitting into a smaller size pair of pants or wearing a bathing suit this summer is not going to make you happier in life. However, feeling good physically and emotionally, having the energy to spend more time with your friends and family or to be able to partake in more extracurricular activities will! It’s about vitality. Living life to the fullest will make you happier and developing that vitality starts with making these small healthy lifestyle choices on a daily basis, so go for it. You have nothing to lose but pounds.

Dominique Dawes is a paid spokesperson for The Coca-Cola Company.