When it comes to health, there’s no such thing as a quick fix. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment that will increase your chances at longevity and help ward off certain chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to become a healthier you AND stick with it for life.
1. Develop a Habit.
Looking for the fountain of youth? The closest thing you’ll find is the benefits you reap from consistent exercise. Studies have shown that regular high-intensity exercise has positive effects on your heart, mind, and metabolism. Good fitness habits are ones you don’t need to break.
2. Treat your fitness goals like a to-do list.
Setting goals helps to motivate and challenge you. Determine where you are now and where you want to be. Then create an actionable checklist to help direct you toward your goals and a healthy lifestyle. As you begin reaching each step, check it off your list and satisfy yourself with a sense of accomplishment. When your list is complete, measure where you’re at and start a new checklist.
3. Don’t fill your head with worries.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health when it comes to a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. Find ways to identify your top life stressors and nip them in the bud. Exercise is a terrific way to relieve stress because it bumps up your feel-good endorphins and leaves you feeling high on life rather than bogged down with stress. And it’ll help you sleep better to boot!
4. Choose exercises that you enjoy.
Everyone has exercises they enjoy, and some that they don’t. If you loathe your fitness routine you’re likely to give up on it. Conversely, if you choose activities and exercises that interest you, you’ll be motivated to stick with it long term.
5. Plan ahead.
Just like a wandering sheep without a shepherd isn’t going to find his food, walking into the gym on random days without a plan isn’t going to help you reach your goals. Planning your workout days and routine in advance will help you keep a steady rhythm in your schedule and diminish any wasted time at the gym figuring out which exercises to do for the day.
6. Be flexible.
Life happens, sometimes in very unpredictable ways. Even the best laid plans can fall by the wayside. If you slip up in your fitness routine or meal plan a time or two, don’t sweat it. There’s not a single person on the planet who hasn’t stumbled in their path to success. Instead of giving up, regroup and get back to it. Sticking with a healthy lifestyle can sometimes be a challenge but it certainly isn’t unattainable, even after a slip up.
7. Stock your pantry shelves with heart healthy foods.
Everyone gets the munchies, kids and adults alike. If you’re craving a sweet or salty treat and reach for a bag of potato chips or chocolates, it’s easy to get carried away. Before you know it, you’ve devoured half the bag and trashed your healthy eating for the day. Simple solution: leave those less than healthy snacks at the grocery store and keep stocked up on fresh veggies, fruit, and whole foods.
8. Get the family involved.
Staying fit can be a challenge if you’re the only one in the household trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Getting the whole family involved in planning and preparing meals and finding fun ways to be active together can be quite the motivator. On top of that, while you’re building a healthy way of life for yourself, you’re teaching your family how to do it too.
9. Keep things interesting.
Eating the same meals and doing the same exercises over and over can become a boring, monotonous way of life. Once you lose interest in something, it becomes a mind-numbing chore to continue. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of exercise while maintaining a healthy way of life. The more variety you have in your fitness regimen, the more fun it will be to follow and stick with it for the long run.
10. Be a gadget junky.
Today’s tech can help keep you on top of things and motivate you. There’s a plethora of different fitness bands, watches, and apps available today, many of which have features to help you set goals, track progress, monitor gains, and motivate. Do a little research to find the right fitness tech for you, and you’ll have the perfect little motivator tracking your lifelong success right in the palm of your hand.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.