Laziness plagues us all and not one of us started to lead a healthier life with perfect zeal and unfaltering motivation. And whoever claims otherwise is probably a robot. Jokes aside, it’s still true that getting more active in your life is hard, and it’s even harder to stick to those habits for the rest of your life, and you can even try forming habits by making a ‘fitness bucket list’ of sorts to make it even more fun. However, we’ve compiled advice on what makes the cornerstones of an active life, and we’d like to bet there are some you’ve never even thought of.
Workaround your body
There is no point in jumping straight into workouts and meal plans if you don’t know what you’re dealing with yet. Depending on your age, weight, health drawbacks and even metabolism, your new everyday activities will vary. What you should do first is weigh yourself, then do a few simple exercises that will determine your range of motion and fitness level. This lays incredibly solid foundations for determining what kind of active life will suit you best.
Take it easy
One of the reasons why people quit their shift to a healthier lifestyle is the overload. Suddenly, they want to work out every day at the gym, at least for an hour and a half, and on top of it all, after a workday. This is a big no-no. The only way to make this transition last as long as possible is to introduce change gradually. Try walking or cycling to work, or go for weekend hikes to determine how long you can walk until you break a sweat (plus, it’s a great outdoor exercise), or go to the gym on weekends.
“Cheat” your mind
There is a nifty, positive “cheating” technique that will keep a regular level of activity throughout your daily life, without you even noticing. What’s the secret? It’s incorporating a healthy lifestyle in tiny little aspects of your everyday routines. For example, put your laptop on the kitchen counter, and prep a healthy meal while you watch your favorite TV show. Or, start walking or cycling to work every day. You can also
One other way we normally give up exercise is due to injuries, strain and fatigue. Little do we know that all of this comes not from the intensity of the workouts, but from not tending to our bodies properly afterward. Muscle recovery doesn’t rely only on taking breaks from the workout and resting your body. Its success is determined by what we eat after a workout, whether we consume bad foods, cigarettes and alcohol, as well as hydration. Staying informed on the dos and don’ts of muscle recovery may as well stop you from quitting this change too early, and for the wrong reasons.
Get a partner
What better way to turn your life around than finding some company to do it with? Whether it’s a family member, your significant other, friends or likeminded people you meet along the way. Surrounding yourself with those who are going through the same change can help. On one hand, it creates good grounds for some friendly competitiveness, while on the other, for those who are more into teamwork, you can work together. Cooking for two, jogging together, going to the gym at the same time – it all helps share the experience and thus makes it more meaningful.
Find out what suits You
We already mentioned that you have to find an activity and meal plan that caters to your overall health. What you also have to make sure is that the same suit your preferences and ideals as well. You’re not into high-impact exercises – try yoga. Need something with an adrenaline rush – try kick-boxing. Want an easy daily workout – cycle to work. So take your time to study, research and try out anything that you see fits your lifestyle best. The options are endless and resources just a click away, as you can count on e-bay and online shops to make the search easier.
Choose foods wisely
Depending on the desired end goal, your meal plan will change. If you work out a lot and spend plenty of calories running around all day, you will want a high-protein diet. And if you have a desk job, and opt for some low-impact exercises, a low-protein option will be better for you. Of course, it goes without saying that you should avoid sugar, too much starch/flour and take in a small amount of sodium. Create a habit of mindful shopping by looking at the ingredients list and nutritional tables on food packaging – you might be surprised, learning what you ate.
The reward system can be a double-edged sword. More often than not, we tend to go overboard with them. That is where binging comes from – we do or eat something that makes us feel good, but in the process, we go overboard and start to feel guilty by the end. And believe it or not, guilt is good. It means we don’t actually want the bad habit, so we can start fixing the issue. Treat yourself only when you’ve done something reward-worthy that day, and try to do it by going to the movies, buying some new workout equipment, or healthy snacks.
Prepare for the obstacles
We are not perfect. And when it comes to maintaining a healthy life, we’ll always find a way to stray from that path a little. This is not uncommon at all because living such a life demands focus, determination, and resilience, all of which take a lot of effort. It’s always easier to skip a workout or buy takeout instead of cooking. Do your best to employ visualization techniques and positive affirmations. Convince yourself this is something you can and will do, and praise yourself to the max when results come in. It’s the best kind of motivation.
In the end
We offered our humble advice, but in the end, only you will know what’s best for you. From the food you eat to your workout goals, to the company you choose during this trip. Knowing how to listen to your body, what it needs and (especially) what it doesn’t need is crucial to keeping on track. Yes, the beginning will be difficult, but all the best ones are. And nothing can compare to the feeling of a lifelong accomplishment ten, twenty, thirty years down the road.