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Staying healthy and fit isn’t always easy. These days, everything we could possibly want is accessible at just about any time, making it difficult to stay motivated to make healthy choices. It’s important, however, to try to incorporate better habits into your everyday life, because the more you do something, the easier it becomes. From eating better to getting daily exercise, there are plenty of ways you can bring healthy strategies into your life.
The key is to make them easy to maintain. For instance, it may not be realistic to try and begin a new hardcore exercise routine that involves going to the gym four or five days a week if you aren’t usually very active. Setting small goals will help you stay motivated and will help you reach your goals without frustration.
Keep reading to find out more on how to start bringing healthier actions into your life.
#1. Look for easy ways to begin
You don’t have to commit to a gym membership or a whole new diet right away; often, that’s a recipe for disaster anyway. Instead, focus on small ways to begin making healthy choices, such as parking at the back of the lot and walking a little further, taking the stairs or making your dog’s walk a little longer in the mornings. From there, you can branch out to bigger changes as you feel comfortable with them.
#2. Reduce stress
Stress is a major contributor to other issues including depression, anxiety and even substance abuse, so it’s important to find healthy ways to cope with those feelings. You might take up a new hobby, or consider getting an emotional support animal that can help you manage stress in the moment. Finding healthy ways to feel better will prevent you from turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms including drinking alcohol, which can lead to physical issues such as a greater risk of breast and oral cancer.
#3. Create a sleep routine
Sleep affects just about every aspect of our lives, so it’s imperative to make sure you get good rest each night. If you work long hours, have stress or anxiety, or have physical issues that make sleep difficult, look for a way to create a healthy sleep routine that will allow you to feel rested and energized. You might cut caffeine from your diet — make sure it’s not just by resisting caffeinated drinks, but also chocolate and other foods that contain the stimulant — or put down the tablet, smartphone or laptop at least an hour before bed, as blue light can have a negative effect on your sleep habits.
#4. Get your family involved
Your loved ones can have a big impact on the way you practice self-care; for instance, including them can help you stay motivated to workout or to eat healthier foods. Talk to your family members so that everyone is on the same page and think of some ways you can incorporate them into your new healthier routines.
#5. Make your heart a priority
Heart health is nothing to take lightly; fortunately, there are several simple ways you can keep your heart pumping. Staying active is the first step; a sedentary lifestyle can be harmful at any age. You can also look for the best foods for your heart such as dark leafy greens, whole grains, berries, fish and certain nuts. Incorporate these into your daily diet as often as possible, and you can mix some of them together for even more benefits. Bring granola, nuts and dried fruit to work for healthy snacks that will prevent you from running to the vending machines.
#6. Practice self-care
Self-care can include many different activities from taking time out to relax to learning how to say no. It can be something as simple as sitting quietly with a cup of hot tea to get away from the stress of the day, or something as big as taking a vacation to get away from the stress of everyday life. Think about the best ways to take care of yourself and make a list; consider how to put them into practice. This will help you not only reduce stress now, but also in the future, and it will allow you to take control of your physical and mental health.
Incorporating head-to-toe health strategies can be tricky at first, but with some careful planning and a few tweaks, you can ensure that your mind, body and soul are well taken care of. 🙂 Talk to your loved ones to see how you can get them involved and stay organized. This will help you when it comes to motivation. Keep in mind that it’s important to set realistic goals so you won’t become frustrated or defeated, especially in the beginning.
Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student, who loves providing reliable health and medical resources for PublicHealthLibrary.org users. She knows how difficult it can be to sift through the mountains of health-related information on the web. She co-created the site with a friend as a way to push reputable information on health topics to the forefront, making them easier and quicker to find.
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More about Audrey:
I believe that our genetic destiny isn’t fixed, and it can be edited, rewritten, changed. I am committed to finding the best tools to help you thrive, so that we can all lead a life that is more fulfilling and impactful, knowing that our health is there to support us. Epigenetics. Bio-individuality. Intolerances. Toxicity. Nutritional deficiencies. Gut health. And last but not least: hormones. Which is what started me on this path of health, and this career. In fact, I overcame a diagnosis of endometriosis and infertility, and I am now both pain free, and the mom to twin boys born in December 2016. I share through bi-monthly webinars my knowledge so that you can take action knowing you’re supported. When in need of more support, let's chat. I provide support through online courses, group coaching programs and more individualised programs, depending on your needs.