You want to lose weight. You want to get your heart in better shape. You want to reverse Type ll diabetes. You want to be healthy. Wherever you are on your journey to better health and fitness, keeping on the straight and narrow is difficult at times.
Building healthy habits doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a day to day roller coaster ride. Sometimes it runs along evenly and you round the curve, other times you are up and down and wonder why you should even keep trying. Don’t quit. You must be in it for the long-haul. You are learning a new way of life and sometimes that takes a minute.
Building a consistent routine that will become a way of life is essential for long-term success. There is no magic pill to replace the hard work and effort you will have to put in, but that’s OK.
There are important habits aside from just fitness that are equally important to your health. The food you eat, the amount of sleep you get, and your stress level all play a role in how good (or bad) you feel.
Dos and Don’ts for Healthy Living
There is a long list of healthy habits you can adopt, however, trying to do them all at once is a certain recipe for doing none at all. Pick one habit a week and get really good at it. Then move to the next.
Here are a few things that will start you off on the right foot:
- Snack on fruit. Specifically, apples are great for weight loss and heart health.
- Get enough rest every night. Sleep helps your body rejuvenate and rebuild. Loss of sleep can sabotage your efforts to lose weight.
- Do not multitask during lunch or breaks. Take at least 15 minutes to enjoy your food, your thoughts and the scenery. Multitasking leads to overeating.
- Get a support person or support group to help hold you accountable. Share your plan and ask for their support.
- Move your body. Every little bit helps. If you only have 10 minutes chose a 10-minute full-body workout.
- Make plans and create challenges. Plan to exercise every day at 5:30 pm and make a 28 day squat or plank challenge for yourself. Record what you can do on day one and again on day twenty-eight.
We all Have to Start Somewhere
Everyone has a different fitness level and ability. Don’t compare yourself to the person working out next to you or the instructor on the television. Instead, focus on your own exercise and performance.
When you are getting back into exercise and beginning to build your healthy habits, it’s best not to overcomplicate things. A few simple moves can give you a complete workout.
Focus on pushups, planks, squats and lunges. These 4 exercises target the large muscles and your core helping you to build muscle and stability. Do pushups and planks one day, then switch and do lower body the next day.
Don’t forget to stretch every day. Stretching is an excellent way to relieve muscular tension from your workout. It’s also a good way to destress. Stretching slows down your heart rate and helps you to relax.
Healthy habits aren’t just for exercise. You cannot be healthy without a healthy diet. It isn’t possible. Many people struggle with eating healthy foods because they try to change their diet all at once.
Start small. Add an apple to your breakfast meal. Then eliminate the toast or cereal. Add fruits and vegetables to all your meals before taking away that go to rice or pasta you usually make. Once you have learned to enjoy them, you can choose them over the carbs.
We all know that diet and exercise help you lose weight. However, it is a process. Weight loss happens slowly but will progress steadily as long as you are moving in the right direction and making the right choices.
There will be days you cannot motivate yourself to exercise no matter how hard you try. Those are the days you must remember that moving your body counts. Do a short walk or lightweight bicep curls while watching Netflix. You don’t have to go all out every day. Learn some simple yoga moves that you can practice before you go to sleep at night.
As you continue your journey, there is one thing that will ensure your success, even if you fall off the bandwagon. You have to keep coming back. Whether it is a busy schedule, an injury, or a lack of motivation that has required you to detour, get back on the right path as soon as possible. It only takes a month for all that hard work you have put in to diminish.
Now, go start your journey. The rewards are tremendous.