Have you put healthy living in the ‘someday’ basket? Maybe you’re worried about what you’ll have to sacrifice? How hard it will be? Honing in on your health can be daunting, but these steps will help you create a healthier lifestyle today instead of someday.
Step 1: Take stock
Change requires an honest assessment of where you’re at. Analyze your eating patterns, physical activity, moods, social network and destructive habits (i.e. smoking, excessive drinking, four coffees/day). Once you identify the things you need to improve, you can start to tackle what realistic action is required to make positive changes.
Step 2: Take care of pending issues
From muscle aches to destructive relationships, start addressing ongoing pain points. Book that overdue massage appointment or resolve a conflict with a friend, or whatever it is you need to do to improve your physical or mental well-being. Many times you don’t realize that the little things affect your happiness. Once they’re sorted, you’ll feel a weight lifted.
Step 3: Focus on fitness
Exercise is a crucial piece of the health puzzle. The benefits extend from improved mental well being to weight management, to joint longevity, to heart health. Your approach to exercise can be completely unique and tailored to your liking. Set small, achievable weekly targets that fit in with your schedule (such as a 30-minute walk every morning) and always keep it fun.
Step 4: Eat mindfully
To eat mindfully means paying full attention to what you’re eating and how you’re eating it, encouraging you to make better food choices and foster a healthy relationship with food.
Step 5: Tackle stress
Increased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body can cause a host of issues, including insomnia, irritability, elevated blood pressure, tight muscles, heightened blood sugar and compromised immunity. While some stress is normal, long-term or chronic stress can be debilitating. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga or regular exercise are effective techniques to help manage stress, so it’s important to work out ways these strategies can be incorporated into your life.
Step 6: Restore your rest
Getting your health on track depends on 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation can quickly creep up on you, resulting in a weakened immune system, mood swings, poor concentration, fatigue, and possibly gain unwanted pounds. To enhance your sleep quality, do some light stretching, avoid heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine too close to bed time.