Do you often wonder, “How can I get fit and healthy?” Or are you asking others, “What’s your secret?” or “Why can’t I keep my goals?” That truth is, there is no secret. You’re probably already doing some or most of what you should to live a healthy lifestyle.
These eight tips will guide you to a successful combination:
Change your way of thinking.
Fitness is a lifetime commitment; it’s not a quick fix. Shift your focus from the scale to your healthy active lifestyle, and become more active on a daily basis instead of just the hour you are at the gym two or three times per week. Take the stairs, walk to a further bus stop, and get outside.
Lots of them: big, small, daily, weekly, even hourly if it’s applicable. Write them down. If it helps use Post-it notes around your desk, or write on your bathroom mirror. Make sure you are specific; figure out a way to measure your success. If you’re struggling with this, sometimes it helps to think of your big or long-term goal then work your way backwards. It makes a plan for you to follow until you get there.
Put it in your schedule.
Make an appointment with yourself, your workout buddy, or your trainer. Put it in your phone or day planner. Use the calendar to keep track of your workouts, the blank days will stand out. It takes 21 days to form a habit. Not three weeks of going to the gym twice per week, 21 times of going to the gym. So when the dark, cold days arrive and you’re feeling discouraged, look back at your calendar and see if you’ve done 21 workouts yet.
Stop saying “diet.”
No really, stop! You need to eat to fuel your body. Choose your fuel wisely. Try to add things instead of cutting them out; increase the number of vegetables, water or protein in your daily meal planning. Stop obsessing over what you can’t have and look at all the healthy alternatives you can have.
Find something you love to do, so it doesn’t feel like work.
Try something for a period of time, and if you don’t love it, try something else. There are many forms of exercise. It could be spin class, strength training, Zumba, kickboxing – the possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to change it up and add something new when it gets easier.
Take before and after pictures and measurements, or have a goal outfit to motivate you. Workout with a friend, personal trainer, or anyone who will make it harder for you to not show up that day.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
A personal trainer or coach can keep you on track and help you find the most effective way to achieve your goals. Sign up for a group fitness class that focuses on something you enjoy. It’s also one less thing for you to think about if someone else is planning your workout.
This is not going to happen overnight. Making a lifestyle change is a journey you will be on for a long time. Celebrate your small victories with new gym clothes, a night out, or whatever motivates you to stay on track.
Above all else, when you live a healthy lifestyle, you’ll inspire yourself and others. It’s contagious!