The choices you make daily have an impact on whether you maintain your energy as you age or develop life-threatening illnesses and disabilities including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. We all know what is to be done to live a healthier, happier life – make some time to exercise or look for ways to reduce stress. We all know the benefits of regular exercise or meditation, right? But, there is only one hurdle. You haven’t accomplished it yet.
Inertia is often the most difficult obstacle to overcome. It’s true that breaking old habits is difficult. However, working toward change gradually increases your chances of success. You can’t change your genes or much of the world around you, but you can improve your health by making lifestyle choices. Being knowledgeable and cautious about your nutrition, sleep, activity and smoking habits can help you lower your health risks and possibly add years to your life.
When it comes to forming new healthy habits and keeping them, there are many small steps you can take that will make a great difference in the long term while not driving you insane. Instead of trying to improve your health with a major overhaul, consider these simple, almost painless steps for long-term outcomes.
- Set realistic goals
Select a goal that is a perfect fit for you. It might not be the first aim that comes to mind. However, if you select priorities that are compelling to you and feel feasible right now, you’ll be much more likely to achieve. Break down your goals into small, attainable tasks that are clearly stated and measurable after you’ve chosen realistic short- and long-term goals. If you want to eat healthier, set a goal for yourself for the week to replace sweets with a healthier option, such as fruit or yoghurt. You’ll feel accomplished at the end of the week knowing that you achieved your goal.
- Make one change at a time
It takes time, effort and energy to change one’s behaviour. It’s difficult to change something you’ve been doing for a long time, no matter how minor the change may appear! As a result, it’s preferable to concentrate on just one change at a time.
Prioritize your objectives and begin with the one that is most important to you right now. It’s fantastic if you want to reduce weight, participate in sports and prepare all of your meals at home. However, if you attempt to achieve all of these objectives at once, the change will be too extreme. You will become frustrated and overwhelmed and it will be much easier to fall off the track completely.
- Structure daily activities
Physical activity for thirty minutes a day is beneficial to heart health. It also reduces bone loss as you become older. The more exercise you incorporate into your regular routine, the easier it will become. If you have the opportunity, exercise first thing in the morning before you have time to make excuses for not doing so. Laying out your workout gear the night before will keep you motivated for the morning. If you find it hard to find the motivation, it would be wise to know what can a personal trainer do for you and hire one immediately.
- Eat healthy daily
A nutritious diet provides energy and reduces your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other disorders. Some have been linked to diet and nutrition in the past. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be monotonous; in fact, variety is key to sticking to your regimen. Include healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, fish, coconut, etc., as they are vital for your immune system, glowing skin and the feeling of satiety. One tip to get you started is to fill your kitchen with the healthy grocery you will need. If there is no junk in the kitchen, there would be none in your stomach.
- Sleep for 7-8 hours every single night
People are so focused on nutrition and exercise, the link between sleep and life expectancy is often overlooked even though evidence backs it up. A good night’s sleep is essential for both the body and the mind to recharge. It aids the body in the healing of cells and the elimination of waste. It is also necessary for memory formation and sleep deprivation causes forgetfulness. You increase your chances of obesity if you sleep less than seven hours each day. If you’re having difficulties sleeping, try using relaxing essential oils, eating sleep-promoting foods and creating a better sleeping environment in your room.
- Gradually adapt to new habits
If you know you won’t be able to give up your morning cup of joe, try it with non-fat milk and no flavouring. It may appear monotonous at first, but after a few weeks, the old flavoured coffee will most likely taste far too sweet. Natural sweet foods will taste even sweeter once your taste buds have gotten used to not having artificial sweeteners.
- Get support from family and friends
When you have a friend who supports your goals, you will be more committed and resilient when things go rough. Do you want to eat better and exercise with your family? That’s fantastic! If they aren’t, it’s critical that they are aware of your objectives, supportive of them and willing to listen when you need to vent.
As you work toward your objectives, not everything will go according to plan. Your support system is critical in getting you through setbacks and celebrating your successes.
- Quit smoking and alcohol
Don’t smoke or chew tobacco if you want to live healthy for the rest of your life. There is a long number of ailments and malignancies associated with smoking. If you’re having trouble quitting smoking and believe you’ll get sick later in life, setting more short-term goals may assist. Quitting tobacco or avoiding it in the first place, not only saves lives but also protects the quality of life. Higher quantities of alcohol can also lead to health and other issues such as accidents, aggression and even suicide.
- Reward yourself
On reaching your short-term goals, treat yourself with a luxurious bath or buy the clothing you’ve been eyeing for a long time. Stay away from rewarding yourself with food as it can ruin your hard work of weeks or months.
It will take time and dedication to make the changes you desire, but you can accomplish it. Always keep in mind that no one is flawless. You will experience lapses from time to time. Be kind to yourself. Don’t give up when you eat a muffin or skip the gym. Minor setbacks on the path to your objectives are to be expected and accepted. Commit to yourself to recuperate and get back on track.
Author: Ariana Mortenson