It’s time to challenge your view of health. Leading a healthy life means changing your lifestyle. A short-lived diet and an attempt at exercise here and there isn’t the way forward. The changes you need to make have to be sustainable, they need to help you build a lifestyle you can maintain forever.
When you choose to eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly you minimize health risks, maintain a healthy weight, and you can even manage symptoms from existing illnesses. The lifestyle you adopt has to work for you based on your needs.
It’s time to get honest with yourself. If you were to draw up a list of your healthy habits what would they look like? Do the same for your unhealthy habits and take stock of your current lifestyle. Compare that with your idea of what a healthy lifestyle looks like.
How far away from that lifestyle are you? Before you make any plans, let’s consider what a healthy lifestyle actually looks like for you personally. Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle is simply one that helps you live your life well and with purpose. When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, goals aren’t number-based. Start living healthily and the rest will follow.
Often, the worst food decisions you can make are the convenient ones. You make the decision because it’s easier at the time, you rarely think of the long-term consequences. The healthier choices can be just as delicious, though! You just have to do a bit of planning to keep yourself on track.
For example, rather than drinking a calorie-laden latte, opt for a black coffee with a spoonful of coconut oil. If you love granola, check the label because while it has long been touted as a healthy breakfast cereal it’s often high in sugar and calories. A better choice would be overnight oats. Greek yogurt is a filling snack, bulking your meals with vegetables will keep you fuller for longer.
There is always a healthier way to prepare the meals you love. Make a list of the recipes that you love the most and search the web for healthier versions. Just because something is quick, easy, and tasty doesn’t mean you should choose it. It might take longer to make healthier versions of your favourite recipes, but it’s adding to your health and happiness. It’s a win-win.
If you love to snack, you don’t have to say goodbye to that habit to live a healthy lifestyle. You can create your own healthy grazing table that incorporates fruit, vegetables, as well as dips, and small bites of dark chocolate. Everything is okay in moderation.
Think about how you organise your time and how you can fit exercise into your existing schedule. Do you go walking with your dog daily? Do you always water the plants? Is dinner in your hands every night? Try to include exercise into one or more of the activities you already carry out daily. Dance while you cook. Take the dog an extra block or two. Skip while you water the garden. Bridge two activities with a short workout.
Exercising regularly will expend more energy and improve your sleep patterns, which will result in more energy when you wake up which will help you manage your stress levels more effectively. Inevitably, it will make it much easier to make the right choices in every situation, but particularly food-wise. Ultimately, you have to make time to exercise and while it’s challenging, the best way to do so is to incorporate it into existing activities.
Your health is ‘more valuable’ than you might think
Your health is a valuable resource and the better you maintain it the more energy you will have to lead a life worth living. Before you can adopt a healthy lifestyle, you need to determine what healthy looks like to you.
Is it making time for friends? Is it having the kitchen skills to create healthy meals to enjoy brunch with family every Sunday? Whatever it is, whatever it looks like for you, it isn’t all about weight loss. It certainly isn’t about punishing yourself by restricting your diet, it’s about living a healthy life you can be proud of and enjoy.