Yes! If you are reading this, this is the first step in starting a healthy lifestyle. Congratulations! Let’s get started on these tips for starting a healthier lifestyle.
Tips For Starting A Healthy Lifestyle
Whether it’s the start of a new year, new month or a new day, there is never a bad time to make the decision to start leading a healthier lifestyle. In fact, making the decision to lead a healthy lifestyle is often the hardest part. Starting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t mean that you will no longer enjoy the things you normally do. Starting a healthy lifestyle means that you have made the decision to make better choices; better choices on what you eat, better choices on when you go to bed at night, better choices on how much water to drink, better choices on how many glasses of wine you have or cocktails you make, just better choices.
If you are still reading, that’s a great sign. That means you are ready to invest a few more minutes to discover how you can start making better choices, how you can start a healthy lifestyle.
These five questions will help you create a plan that will lead to better health through improved diet and the addition of exercise to your life.
Bathing suit season is just around the corner, and many people are starting to think about trying to get back into shape. Fortunately for many, this desire to improve their health with diet and exercise comes just as the nice weather arrives. Warmer weather means more options for getting active, as well as the availability of additional fruits and vegetables in many grocery stores. Before making sweeping lifestyle changes in an attempt to get back into that old swimsuit, it is important to consider these five aspects of your current lifestyle:
What is your current health?
Never begin an exercise regimen or extreme change in diet without consulting a medical professional. This is especially true when using prescription medications or if there is a chronic health issue. Changes in diet can affect individuals with diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Diabetics who control their disease through diet are particularly vulnerable to changes. Arthritis sufferers may experience increased pain if a new exercise program is started without consulting an expert as the joints are suddenly overworked. Even individuals who are already in good health can benefit from a brief consultation with a health professional to ensure their plan will not cause any problems.
What is your schedule like?
Many people begin their ‘new’ diet and exercise program without thinking about the rest of their schedule in the long term. Parents need to consider not only their schedule but that of their children and spouse. The amount of time needed to get kids to their various scheduled activities may interfere with any plans to exercise. Working late or on weekends can also interfere with scheduling time for exercise and planning meals. Think about how much time is available before creating an exercise and meal plan that is doomed to failure before it begins. Meal prep can help save time through the week.
What is your goal?
Some individuals are interested in making changes that will last a lifetime, not just a week or two. Other people are happy with where they are but want to lose a couple of pounds to look good for that graduation party or class reunion. Either of these goals can be attained, but recent trends have focused more on the ratio of body fat to lean muscle rather than simply on the number that appears on a scale. This focus can make the whole process healthier as it doesn’t focus so much on reducing calories as simply eating healthier foods. Don’t rely only on calorie reduction as this may help lose weight, but won’t add muscle to keep the weight off.
What resources are available to you?
It is important to consider the environment around you and what kind of support is available. This includes family members and friends who may encourage or sabotage you – depending on their nature. If you are the cook for the family and the only person who is eating healthy is you, any changes made are going to be much harder. Try to get at least one other person involved to provide support and suggestions as needed.
Other resources to consider are the gym’s or exercise facilities that are available. How much do they cost? When are they open? What kind of facilities do they have? Will exercising at home be easier? There are many chains around the nation that will provide machines, but if you have arthritis, it may not do you any good as these types of machines will only cause your knees to hurt more. Some facilities will also offer personal trainers, and many people find this very motivating. To know that there is someone checking up on your progress on a regular basis may be just the thing to get you moving when you would otherwise skip a session. Other people are not interested in joining a gym and want to work out at home. This is an excellent choice when time is tight. There is no travel time involved, and the home is always open.
How long do you have to achieve your goal?
If you are simply trying to improve your overall health and have months to reach your goal, then make small changes slowly. These baby steps will help ensure that each small change can be maintained. Studies have shown that individuals who make sweeping changes in lifestyle often don’t stick to those changes and, as a result, regain any weight they have lost. Add exercise slowly and increase the intensity over time. This slow increase will help prevent injuries to muscles that aren’t used to working so hard. An injury can stop any exercise program before it truly gets started.
Are you ready to make changes to your lifestyle?
Last year I made the decision to join WW (formerly Weight Watchers). Honestly, it was a WHY NOT moment in my life. I have weighed the within the same 5 pounds for the last 15 years. I have always worked out 4-5 times a week. I have joined a gym, I have gone to Jazzercise classes, I have run half marathons, I have biked miles upon miles. I have always thought I ate healthy, in fact, I will still argue I did. I had muscle, I slept well, but that damn 5 pounds was really annoying me. So, as I sat getting a pedicure on my birthday I joined WW. The first month was free, and I decided I needed 6 months to install the habits that would hopefully last a lifetime.
I have been using the WW app and tracking what I eat now for 4 months and I am surprised to say that I have lost 16 pounds. I am currently at a weight that I haven’t been since before I was married. I am wearing sizes that I haven’t worn since COLLEGE (which was over 20 years ago). I can wear a bikini. I am not saying any of this to brag, but to hopefully inspire. There wasn’t any part of me that believed this was possible. I truly wanted to see if I could just lose 5 pounds and I honestly wasn’t sure that was going to be possible. I started WW with the thought of, “Hey, it’s worth it to me to see if I can do this for a few months, I’m worth it, but I’m really not expecting much”
I still eat….believe me…I eat plenty. I still drink….um, hello….do you think I could make it without wine? Well, maybe I could, but I don’t plan on it. I still enjoy life, food, wine, cocktails. I just make better choices. I make little changes and those little changes made a huge difference in me, my life, my confidence.
This isn’t a WW ad, no one paid me to say anything of this, this is in no way sponsored, and I’m not saying WW is right for you, what I am saying is WHY NOT. WHY NOT make the decision to start a healthier lifestyle. You’re worth it, right? I know I am. I know you are.
I hope these tips for starting for a healthier lifestyle inspire you. I believe in you! And follow along on Instagram and read my stories for my weekly updates on my weigh-ins.