Like so many other people, you probably have a number of goals on your mind for healthier living. These days, we all want to improve our fitness, get into the swing of a healthier diet, and generally feel better about the bodies we have. If you’ve ever tried to get stuck into your healthy living goals before, you’ll know from experience that it’s not as easy as just setting your targets and then making them happen. If you’re able to pull off 80’s training montages some weeks and struggle to get out of bed during others, you might feel it’s time for a fresh start. Here’s some great advice for kick-starting or restarting your fitness regimen…
Figure Out your “Why”
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We’ll start our list with this point as it’s probably the most important step you can take – establishing exactly why you want to head down this path towards greater health and fitness. Are you simply trying to lose weight? Do you want to improve something specific about your health, like your blood pressure, cholesterol, and so on? Are you getting yourself ready for a friend’s wedding, or planning to try for babies in the near future? All of these are possible reasons you may want to break a sweat more often. You just need to decide what you’re planning to get out of your change in lifestyle. If you don’t have some clear motivation in mind, it’s unlikely that you’ll stick to any kind of fitness program or regimen for very long. Establish your why, and when the going gets tough, you can remind yourself of what you’re doing it all for, making it easier to keep on track.
Have a Support Network
Aside from knowing why you’re trying to improve your health, you also need a support network you can fall back on when the going gets tough. This is where finding friends who have similar goals can help you massively. Some people are lucky enough to have a partner who’s just as into fitness as they are, and will always be there to make sure they keep working towards their goals. You may not be able to turn your partner into another fitness freak overnight, but including them in thoughts about your fitness and making sure they know about your overarching goals can go a long way in keeping you on track. You should also try to network and make friends with people who are working towards healthier lives just like you. Joining a gym or a sports training program, and coming out of your shell in every session you go to, can bring you closer to people who will work wonders when it comes to keeping you on-track with your health goals. Eventually, you’ll find a go-to fitness guru, who will not only be able to give you handy general pointers, but also some tough love when you let any cop-out excuses get in the way of your progress. At the very least, you’ll be able to join a group dedicated to health and fitness on Facebook (there are thousands!) and start networking with the other people who are a part of it. Do some work building up a support network, and when you need them, they’ll be right there waiting!
Create a Nutrition Plan
Obviously, having a schedule for exercising is only half the battle. You also need to make sure you’re eating the right foods to fuel your body. That old saying that abs are made in the kitchen is certainly applicable here. You’re not going to be doing yourself any good burning all those calories in the gym of you drive straight to a drive-thru afterwards! When you’re shooting for a healthier lifestyle, you need to have an eating plan in place that’s going to work for you.
There are all kinds of diet plans and guides on the internet you may want to look into, but for most people, the best approach is simply getting clued up on the nutritional requirements for your age and gender, and following this up by checking the labels on everything you’re putting into your body. Establish the nutrients and vitamins you need, and then plan to consume them, week by week. Shop according to this nutrition plan, and you’ll never have to improvise, and risk taking on more or less of something than you need.
Get your Priorities Straight
You’ve probably heard it countless times before, but if you want any hope of reaching your fitness goals at the times you’ve set, you need to make fitness a priority in your life. Most of us lead extremely busy lives, which makes it very difficult to get meal planning and workout schedules in. However, like anything, if it’s really important to you, you’ll find the time you need to make big strides towards your healthy living milestones.
It usually makes it easier to make fitness and healthy eating a priority by planning out some smaller changes you can make. Perhaps you need to condition yourself into a morning person by getting up earlier and jumping straight into an early-morning workout. Maybe you should go straight from work to the gym so that there’s no temptation of opening up Netflix. Whatever works for you, your health goals need to become a priority sooner or later!
Finally, bear in mind that when you’re just starting out or coming back after a long break, you should start off slow to ensure you don’t fall at the first hurdle! There’s no way you’ll be able to achieve your goals overnight, and if you push yourself too hard too early, you’re only going to burn out your energy levels, or even wind up injuring yourself!
Start off keeping things simple, maybe taking 30 minutes out of your usual daily schedule for some kind of low-intensity exercise like a walk around the block or some yoga. By working your way up gradually, you’ll find it so much easier to establish, and then maintain, a healthier lifestyle.