Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be daunting. Combining diet and workout schedules are the key to help you thrive – one without the other is great, but not as effective. It can be intimidating, and yes, it takes commitment and hard work to succeed – but it’s possible! Here are a few tips to get you started on the right path and ensure you’re successful in maintaining a healthy (or a healthier) lifestyle.
The first step out the door is the hardest
Committing to getting on the move can be challenging, but once you take that first step out, you are on your way! Whether you’re jumping in the car to head to the gym, mounting your bicycle to explore the neighborhood, or simply going for a long walk to clear your head, set yourself up for success by planning a time to leave the house and then stick to it.
Give yourself grace
Making new habits takes time. If you pressure yourself and expect perfection from day one, you’ll likely fail or get worn out. Give yourself some grace time! Try adding in one new workout every three months. For walking, commit to one walk for the first week and two for the second. In the third week, add more distance or time. By slowly building up your workout routine, you’ll give your muscles time to adjust.
Adjust your eating habits in increments
Just like building up a workout routine, you’ll want to adjust your eating habits slowly. Trade rice for cauliflower, and use a healthier salad dressing to start. After you get used to those two changes, begin cutting out foods that are bad for you. Trading sugary treats for fruits is a great way to fulfill that craving in a healthy way!
Give yourself time off
Whether you are working out or dieting, allowing yourself a day of rest or a “cheat day” on your diet will give you something to look forward to, a reward for all your hard work. This way, when you think of that slice of chocolate cake on a diet day, you can remind yourself that you can indulge Saturday evening. It helps you make healthier decisions at the moment.
Choose the appropriate activities for your goals
Jogging is excellent exercise, but if you have an old knee injury, it can do more harm than good. Stationary bicycling might be a better choice, so you don’t jar your knee and end up unable to work out at all. Similarly, if you’re looking to sculpt your abs, walking isn’t going to help. Find the appropriate exercise for the results you want.
Within a year, you’ll look back and be so proud of yourself for all the healthy changes you’ve made. Now take that first step out the door and enjoy your slice of chocolate cake this weekend!