Taking that first step and need a place to start? This comprehensive guide will give you the boost you need to spark that lifestyle change and generate the traction you need to get started.
1. Set SMART goals.
Goal setting is crucial in keeping yourself accountable and motivated to get through the tough times. Goals help keep you focused and concentrated on where you want to go.
Think about activities you used to do, or want to get back to.
Whether this be gardening, cooking, walking to the library, all of these real-setting goals allow us to have an ideal of where we want to get back to, and motivate us to get there.
Goals should be SMART.
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Keeping these personal goals in mind can give us that extra push and persuade us to get moving to exercise and make those lifestyle changes to get back to where we were.
On your first day of change or activity, keep it easy! Make it as simple as possible. Whenever we start a new exercise or diet regimen, we tend to get an early boost of motivation to make a change, and make it happen. But the next few days we may start to feel sore or tired or hungry, and all these are discouraging and can keep us from activity for the next few days, and easily kick us out of the habits that we were so eager to begin.
From walking a little faster to get out of breath, to some simple isometrics or some other activities that can be done while watching TV, these easy and everyday tips could generate healthy habits to help combat the time spent idle or sitting without activity.
Get moving for at least 30 minutes a day to improve cardiovascular health and reduce systemic inflammation.
Mild aerobic exercise includes biking, walking, gardening, doing the dishes or laundry.... anything to get you a little out of breath!
You can also break it up into 10 minute sessions and still reap the benefits.
10 minute intervals of mild aerobic exercise have proven to have beneficial effects on pain management and chronic disease markers. If you can’t seem to find the time, try transforming some of your daily chores into activities to get moving. Try movements while doing laundry, or take a few laps around the house when talking on the phone or leg lifts while reading the paper or watching TV. By turning these sedentary habits into active ones, we keep our routine the same while incorporating these healthy habits to improve your overall health!
3. Eat healthy!
Major changes in your lifestyle and diet can be difficult to overcome and begin. But getting started is the hardest part! Make it easier by starting slow. First by introducing healthy portions of the meal such as fresh vegetables or baked instead of fried foods.
Eating right and proper nutrition are also essential in maintaining and improving your health.
Another simple step is through limiting your portions. Instead of getting additional portions or rounds of meals, limit yourself to one.
Try eating slower and putting your fork down between bites or taking a sip of water to give your body a chance to feel full.
Oftentimes these habits can help to prevent overeating and limit intake.
Mindfulness is a step into the right direction. A conscious thought towards drinking a glass of water in the mornings and evenings or with every meal can go a long ways towards change. Although you may only drink half the glass or drink a quarter with another glass of soda, it is a small victory that could lead to an active change in the near future.
Check out these 5 healthy steps to getting healthy at any age!
For some additional information about common misconceptions in dieting:
These investments may prove to be all you need for those lifestyle changes that will lead you to your goals.
This progression should be done slowly and progressively to ensure the whole process is stress-free.
This in turn promotes conformation and adherence to these new gradual changes.
Develop positive coping skills for unavoidable stressors such as going for a walk outside, focusing on activities that bring peace of mind or quiet meditation.
Being able to get a restful and relaxing night of sleep is crucial in giving your body a time to recharge and repair.
Not only is it helpful in improving your physiological well being, but it has positive results in your emotional and physical states.
Remove or adjust those activities or stressors in your life that brings negative energy or stress into your life.