Choosing, and sticking to, long-lasting and healthy choices is never simple.
Knowing what’s healthy and having the means to stick to it is only part of the struggle.
A truly healthy lifestyle consists of healthy food choices, regular exercise, restful sleep, avoiding addictive substances, limiting alcohol, easing stress, and maintaining positive social connections.
I don’t know about you, but that can certainly feel overwhelming when you consider always keeping everything in balance.
For decades, centuries even, research has been done on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and while it is proven to prevent things such as high blood pressure, type 2 Diabetes, strokes, cancer, and Heart Disease, only a very small percentage of people actually maintain all aspects that lead to that truly healthy lifestyle.
Changing our habits to better our lives is a challenge, but these 3 tips will help you stay on track to achieve your healthy lifestyle.
What drives you or is your reason for wanting positive change? Your kids? More energy? Your mental health? Your overall confidence?
Healthy is much more than a number or a size. Our focus shouldn’t be getting or maintaining a particular “shape”, but instead on creating small goals to foster positive habits in your daily life.
When we remove part of the “choice” it allows us to become more automatic about our healthy choices.
Simple goals such as 20 minutes of activity a day, eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, drinking 100oz of water per day, etc. are small steps that will lead to successful long-term lifestyle change.
Plan to stay accountable
While some people thrive off of very detailed schedules, others may need a looser grasp.
So whether you meal prep for the entire week or simply write down what meals you plan to make for the week ahead, you are setting yourself up for success and taking away those last-minute choices that often lead to unhealthy decisions.
Don’t overcomplicate it either.
Keep frozen veggies so you don’t worry about spoiled food, buy pre-cooked meat that needs to be warmed up, or stop by a local grocery store salad bar when you have a busy day.
Planning comes with endless possibilities and can be tailor-made to you.
So make a workout schedule for the month, or just commit to going for a walk every evening.
Regardless of how detailed you are, keeping track and planning with aid you in a healthy lifestyle and ensure you remain accountable.
Understand your stress
Emotions can be all over the place and be triggered by so many things.
It’s important to recognize that we do have triggers and be aware of what our reactions are.
Stress often leads us to overeat or indulge in other unhealthy habits. Identify your triggers and build positive stress management habits to help you stick to your healthy lifestyle.
Sufficient sleep is not only beneficial for our overall health but especially our stress.
We have to allow our body time to replenish and be effective for the following day.
On top of restful sleep, be sure to incorporate what brings you joy and peace.
Family get-togethers, a night out or daily chat with friends, vacation, physical activity, therapy, meditating, etc.
Those simple actions are sometimes the highlight of our day or week and give us that breath of fresh air and stress relief.
Not every day, week, or month will be filled with perfect choices.
Life is filled with challenges, but forming healthy habits will aid you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It is very attainable, although it will require trial and error as well as dedication.
Enjoy each day, make the best choices you can, and never give up!
Written By: Morgan Henry