If you’ve tried to make all the lifestyle changes necessary to get fit, but didn’t quite make it, it might be that you took on too much. You don’t have to do everything at once. You can make small changes and start to feel amazing, but you need to make sure that you do each change enough to become a habit. Start with something that you know you’ll be able to do every day. It could be adding a fifteen minute walk to your schedule, substituting healthy snacks for unhealthy ones or drinking more water. After a few weeks, make another change. If you’re tackling a major change, stick with that until you know you’ve mastered it and only then add another small change.
Increasing your exercise is a start.
Nobody says you have to go into a full blown exercise program. Just increasing your activity is important. When you’re working, set your cell phone alarm to go off every 45 minutes so you make sure you get up, move around and stretch. Buy a pedometer and increase your walking by one hundred extra paces a day until you reach 10,000 steps each day. Add a routine of a warm up and stretching in the morning that’s quick and simple, but will get your blood circulating and loosen your muscles.
Change the way you eat.
There are so many beneficial way to change eating. You can make sure you’re stocked up on healthy snacks and have them ready when you’re hungry. Try changing your eating times so you have intermittent fasting—eating everything in an 8 hour window and not eating for 16 hours, such a first meal or snack at ten a.m. and last meal or snack at 6 p.m. Cut out carbonated drinks and substitute water. You can make it something simple to follow, but more difficult to do, such as eliminating processed foods entirely. As you make one change a habit, make another healthy change.
Get adequate sleep.
Your brain needs the time to process the day’s activities and your body needs time to heal. It’s done during the sleeping hours. Set a regular bedtime and stick with it. If you’re sleeping too much, you may need to seek medical help to ensure there’s no health issue. Set your alarm to get up earlier and use the time to exercise. Make sure that all electronic devices are shut off and that the room is dark, to get the most productive sleep.
- Increase your water intake. People don’t hydrate themselves enough and water is perfect for that. It has no calories and can help cleanse your system. Increase your water intake to two liters—eight 8-oz glasses—each day. More if you perspire a lot.
- Wean yourself from a bad habit. Start procrastinating when it comes to drinking, smoking or anything else that’s unhealthy and done in excess. If it’s smoking, wait an hour longer before you light up or only smoke half a cigarette. Better yet, quit altogether.
- Learn something new. Keeping your mind active is as important as keeping your body active. Learning something new is even better when it requires you to move more.
- Reach out to others. I love the idea of doing a random act of kindness each week. It’s good for the body and the soul. It doesn’t have to be big. Visit someone in a nursing home. Pick up trash along the beach or roadside. Buy a bag of food for a no-kill rescue or pet foster parent. Doing something good for others makes us feel good. It’s even better when we do it without fanfare.