How To Start Following A Healthy Lifestyle
There are many benefits associated with following a healthy lifestyle. It can increase your confidence and self-worth, improve your overall health and fitness and even has a positive effect on your mood and happiness. However, making the switch to a healthy lifestyle can often seem like an impossible task, whether you’ve come to rely on unhealthy habits and coping mechanisms or are simply unsure of where to start.
Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle is always within reach – and making a few small changes at a time can have a huge difference, helping you achieve your goals in no time at all.
With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks that you can use to start taking your fitness more seriously and embark upon a healthier lifestyle.
Identify unhealthy habits. The first step towards living a healthier, happier life is acknowledging areas where you might have a problem. After all, you may have picked up on unhealthy habits without really realizing it. For example, going to bed late every night can affect your sleep schedule, meaning that you are never as rested as you need to be. Alternatively, you could rely on processed foods as they are often quicker and easier to prepare than fresh meals. Identifying these issues means that you know exactly what changes need to be made.
Stock your refrigerator. Healthy eating often goes hand and hand with a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, you should ensure that you make an effort to change your eating habits – and the easiest way to do this is by making sure that you stock your refrigerator for healthy eating. Essentially, this means swapping out chocolate and candy for alternatives such as fresh fruit and vegetables. This means that whenever you head to the kitchen for a snack, you will be met by delicious and healthy food instead of overly processed food.
Cook up a storm. Healthy eating does not mean that you have to eat salad after salad; in fact, there are thousands of delicious recipes you can enjoy when focusing on healthy living. Therefore, one way in which you can focus on transitioning into a healthy lifestyle is by spending more time in the kitchen, experimenting with new foods and ingredients instead of reaching for the takeout menu or a microwave meal. This is also a great way to develop new skills.
Taking preventative measures to care for your health. Another way in which you can begin to live a healthy lifestyle is by being aware of any health issues that you could face and finding ways to prevent them or minimise their impact. For example, there are specific steps you can take to avoid getting an ear infection, such as keeping your ears clean and dry.
Walk, walk and walk again. There are many benefits associated with walking more often; it can improve your cardiovascular fitness, balance, dexterity and endurance levels. Furthermore, walking also encourages you to spend more time outdoors, which is excellent for both your health and happiness. As a general rule, you should try to take around 10,000 steps a day. If this is not possible for you, don’t worry – give yourself a smaller, more manageable target and work on increasing it over time.
Find an exercise that works for you. Incorporating exercise into your routine is a great way to transition into a healthier lifestyle, but it’s crucial that you focus on activities that work for you and your needs. For example, there are plenty of guides online that detail the best kinds of exercise for people who may deal with low mobility or poor vision. Finding a workout routine that works for you protects you from overexertion or injury and helps you see positive results sooner rather than later. It also makes it easier to put together a killer fitness regime.
Ensure you look the part. Investing in new exercise wear can help you feel more motivated and confident when working out. Furthermore, purchasing the right exercise gear, such as trainers and sneakers, also provides you with appropriate support and can help you avoid nasty injuries. For example, Asics Runners are perfect for those looking to get into exercise, as they provide you with quality support and cushioning.
Add to your exercise routine over time. When you haven’t participated in any exercise for a little while, reintroducing it to your routine could seem incredibly daunting, especially if you feel as though your fitness and endurance levels are not up to scratch. Therefore, it’s important that you start small – focusing on small bursts of exercise instead of throwing yourself straight into a complex and lengthy routine. As your fitness levels increase, you can always build up the intensity of your workout to match.
Remove yourself from stressful situations. While stress can be unavoidable, it’s essential that you don’t put yourself under stress unnecessarily, as this can have an incredibly negative effect on your overall health and happiness. For example, prolonged stress can lead to a lack of sleep and poor motivation. Therefore, one way in which you can begin to live a healthier lifestyle is by removing yourself from stressful situations or finding healthier ways to manage your stress. This could include asking for additional support at work or letting go of friends who drag you down as opposed to lifting you up.
Schedule in some self-care. While it may not essentially seem that way, self-care should be considered an essential part of your routine and can help you live a healthier, happier life. Therefore, it’s important that you add self-care to your schedule in as many different forms as possible. Remember, self-care could include curating a skincare routine or something simpler like giving yourself a break when you need one. Alternatively, you could even try to practice mindfulness.
Put together a sleep schedule. Your sleep affects your health in more ways than you may initially realise, meaning that it’s vital you work on improving your sleep schedule. Thankfully, there are various steps you can take to achieve this goal. For example, you can avoid using your phone or staring at a screen before bed, which often makes it harder for your brain to shut off. Furthemore, you could start to go to bed at the same time each evening, as a routine can help you drift off to sleep much easier as your brain and body will begin to feel tired around this time.
Give yourself a break. Following a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite snacks entirely or that you have to work out every day. In fact, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. This means that you can still enjoy a chocolate bar from time to time, so long as you focus on moderation. For example, you can treat yourself – but not necessarily every single day. Likewise, it’s perfectly fine to skip a workout on days when you aren’t feeling your best – so long as this does not become a habit itself.
Set yourself manageable goals. Looking at the bigger picture and setting yourself new goals is an important part of following a healthy routine, whether they pertain to healthy weight loss or increased ability to do specific tasks. However, it’s important that the goals you set for yourself are realistic and attainable – as this is the easiest way to remain on track and avoid feeling disheartened. For example, instead of setting yourself the goal to lose X amount of weight or fat, focus on the health benefits you can aspire towards instead. This could include goals such as feeling more energised, sleeping better, or increasing the amount of distance you can walk/run.
Remain positive. This is perhaps the most important step on the list, as in order to revamp your lifestyle, you need to be able to maintain a positive outlook. While your friends and family will likely support your journey, you also have to provide yourself with the motivation needed to make fundamental changes. Otherwise, you may find that you give up at the smallest of hurdles.
In short, there are various steps that you can take to start upon a healthier lifestyle, many of which revolve around replacing unhealthy habits with new ones that leave you looking and feeling great. However, the most crucial step of the process is simply believing in yourself and remaining motivated. This is the easiest way to stay on track. Therefore, it’s important that you celebrate each and every success along your journey and refuse to dwell on any mistakes and setbacks. Instead of giving up when you encounter a problem, think about how you can learn from it or how you can avoid it in the future.
It’s also important to remember that healthy living is a change of lifestyle, not something you do for a few weeks and then abandon. However, by incorporating change gradually over time, this shift will not feel as dramatic or hard to conquer. Therefore, it’s equally important that you do not rush the process and try to change everything about your habits and lifestyle overnight. Instead, try to introduce a few minor changes a month – knowing that big results will follow.