5 Simple Lifestyle Changes for a Healthier You
It can seem daunting to start a healthy lifestyle. Making a change appears next to impossible if you’ve been eating unhealthy food and neglecting exercise for years.
It’s not uncommon to feel stuck in an unhealthy lifestyle, but this doesn’t have to be your reality. There are a few easy ways you can change your daily life to become a healthier person.
Once you start making small changes, the big changes will seem easier. You’ll begin to feel better and notice positive changes in your body, motivating you to stay on the right track.
Here are five tips to get you started down the path of healthy living. Start with the small steps, and the bigger results will show in time.
Listen to Your Body!
Listening to your body can take multiple forms. Your body will tell you when it’s time to sleep, take a break from exercising, and when you’re full.
If you exercise too often or for too long, the stress will be too much on your body. If you’re always sore and weak at the gym, it’s probably time to take a few days off.
More importantly, if you’re trying to make a change in your diet, you need to notice when your body is full.
A lot of times, we tend to eat delicious food until we physically can’t eat anymore. Instead of stuffing yourself, eat until your body is satisfied.
Make a Commitment
Internal commitments are easy to break when we don’t hold ourselves accountable. Breaking a promise to yourself might be an easy thing to do in the short-term, but it’s highly damaging.
You need to be able to trust your own words. Creating a cycle of promising yourself you’re going to eat right and work out “tomorrow,” then breaking that promise when tomorrow arrives won’t fix anything.
If you’re struggling with sticking to a routine or life change, try externalising your commitment.
Write your promise down, say it out loud, or tell a friend or family member. Your loved ones will hold you accountable in ways that you might not if you’re the only one who knows about your commitment.
If you tell someone else or otherwise externalise your commitment, you’ll have the added pressure of not wanting to fail publically.
A little pressure on yourself isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can be extremely productive. This strategy might cause the demand you need to make a substantial change.
Make Exercise Easy
There are an unlimited amount of excuses you can use to not work out. You might have a limited schedule or a family that takes a large portion of your energy.
Instead of going through every possible excuse, make exercise easy on yourself. Go for a walk or jog first thing in the morning, or bring gym clothes with you to work. Invest in a few weights at home if it’s hard to get to the gym through the week.
Or, try getting up early on a weekend or weekday and hit the gym when it’s less busy.
Find out what’s holding you back from success, and address the root problem.
Once you get into the swing of things and see your body changing, it will only get more comfortable.
You’ll start to motivate yourself through your workouts. Pretty soon it won’t be so difficult to find the energy you need to hit the gym before or after work.
Meditating is one of the most accessible lifestyle changes you can make. The only effort you need to expend is finding ten minutes in your day to sit and do nothing (ironically enough).
Meditation improves your cognitive functioning and physical well-being at the same time. You’ll start to sleep better, focus more, and develop more clarity in your schedule and life in general.
Practising meditation takes a while, but there’s a very low barrier to entry. Once you gain the ability to clear your head, you’ll start to notice the little things won’t bother you as much anymore.
There are several free guided meditation apps available as well. There’s no excuse not to incorporate meditation into your daily schedule.
Plan Your Meals
When you get home from a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. This is especially true if you just spent an extra hour at the gym.
Instead of getting home and trying to figure out what to make for dinner, create a meal schedule. Meal plans make shopping easier and increase the likelihood that you’ll eat something healthy instead of takeout.
If you want to make life even easier, you can start preparing your meals before you eat them. This way, you can cook a handful of times in a week instead of every night.
Meal preparations have the added benefit of making your lunches healthier as well. You won’t even have to leave the office to eat the delicious, healthy recipes you made the night or weekend before.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Changing your lifestyle isn’t an overnight process. It can take weeks or even months until you start reaching your goals.
Don’t get down on yourself. Stick with the process and focus on the positives. After incorporating these tips, you’ll likely have more energy throughout the day.
You might even start sleeping better or staying focused at work. Instead of focusing on the numbers on the scale, look at the evidence of progress in your daily life.
Once you see the positive impact of small lifestyle changes, the big adjustments will be in sight. You’ll gradually start to increase your workouts while improving your diet, and your healthy lifestyle will fall into place.