The start of a new year is the time to reevaluate our life, set goals, and make the changes necessary to reach them. Physical health and well-being are often at the top of everyone’s list. Some may focus on increasing exercise or losing body weight, while others are looking to improve their diet, pick up a sport, or manage a chronic illness. Whatever your reason, your physical health and well-being are essential and living a healthier life does not have to be difficult.
Here are some tips to help you get and stay healthy:
Big changes don’t necessarily happen all at once. As excited as you may be about your wellness goals, a five-mile run on your first day or long weight-lifting session may do more damage than good by tiring you out and putting a lot of strain on your body if it is not used to such vigorous exercise. For long-term health, start small and work your way up to longer, more strenuous workouts. Always consult with your doctor before beginning a program of exercise. The key to getting into great shape is consistency; a daily 30-minute walk and some light weight repetitions will yield better results and solid habits than the occasional weekend warrior marathon.
2. Make Exercise Natural
If exercise is not something you enjoy or feel like it is hard to fit into your busy schedule, try to find ways to make it more fun or flow better with your daily life! Taking up a sport like tennis introduces you to other players and can be a social engagement with friends. Walking a dog twice a day is a natural way to increase your exercise while also checking off your to do list. Even making it a rule that you cannot sit still during tv commercial breaks can increase your daily movement. Use that time to fit in some push-ups, crunches, or a round of jumping jacks to get in some exercise.
3. Meal Plan
Having a plan for what you are going to eat each day can help you plan ahead, make smart choices, and stick to your diet. As you list your meals for the week, write down the ingredients you will need to make them. Make sure to add in healthy snacks to help you stay on track. Including a snack with a bit of healthy fat and carbohydrates during the late afternoon slump can help you power through your day. An apple with peanut butter or Greek yogurt with fruit and granola are great choices.
4. Keep a Journal
Finding a spot to record your food and water intake, exercise, and your thoughts and feelings can help you reach your goals. Research has shown that daily journaling can help you eat a healthier diet since you write down every item that you eat! Journaling is also a way to soothe the mind and process your thoughts, your emotional well-being is also an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
5. Find a Partner
Do you have someone to cheer you on in your healthy living? Whether it’s a spouse, sibling, child, or friend, it is essential to have someone in your court who is interested in healthy living and wants to help you meet your goals. Find a buddy who likes to take walks, go swimming, or play a game of tennis, or ask your spouse if they would be interested in signing up for some healthy cooking classes.
Getting and staying healthy is a big commitment but you can surely do it with the right strategies and a positive mindset.