Making any kind of change in your life can be quite daunting and although we all know the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, many of us don’t really know where to start. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to throw yourself full throttle into several changes all at once. The likelihood is that you will stick to your new routine for a few days but then find it too much and give up, which will demotivate you and lead to feelings of failure.
The best way to change your lifestyle is to make small changes over time. This article will look at some of the baby steps you can make to get started.
1. Drink more water
Increasing your intake of water helps to flush the toxins from your body, keeping you hydrated. Many carbonated drinks contain a lot of chemicals which are known to increase the chances of cancer and other diseases, while fruit juices contain a lot of sugar. You can slowly decrease the amount of these drinks over a few weeks and replace them with water instead. Tap water, bottled water or tea all count and this is a very easy change to make.
2. Think about nutrition
Making drastic changes to your diet is often what a lot of weight loss programmes advocate but instead of thinking about what foods may be good or bad, think about which foods will nourish your body and give you the energy and nutrients your body needs to function effectively. If you feed your body to optimise your health then you will reap the benefits, so read food labels, eat whole foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, lean meat and fish and avoid processed foods full of chemicals and preservatives.
3. Reduce destructive behaviours
We all know the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs, as well as other forms of self-harm and addictions. If you are serious about changing your lifestyle, then these destructive behaviours need to be reduced and eventually eliminated altogether. This is not something that can happen overnight and you may need support, counselling or other more radical forms of treatment like medication or rehabilitation in order to overcome these damaging habits. The good thing is, there are a variety of funded groups and charities that can help and most accept self-referrals. For more information, contact your doctor or primary healthcare provider.
4. Get ready to move
Before you start any type of fitness regime, it’s important that you visit your doctor and discuss your intentions to find out if you have any medical conditions that you will need to manage during your workout sessions. Many different conditions can be exacerbated by exercise and it’s important to know the precautions you may need to take in order to carry out the exercise safely. You may also wish to invest in some supportive footwear and clothing that you can wear when you exercise. Setting goals during the development of this habit is also useful as you are getting yourself ready for the changes you’re making and this step helps you to create a mindset towards your healthier lifestyle. Start with small, achievable goals and set a date.
5. Take a walk
One of the best ways to build exercise into your life is to start walking. You don’t have to walk for hours, just 15 minutes a day will do; you can build up from there. This helps you create the habit of taking time out for exercise every day.
6. Develop flexibility
When people start to exercise they tend to find something they think they’ll like and jump in with both feet. Many underestimate the importance of developing flexibility through stretching and improving posture. Yoga and Pilates classes will help with these fundamental elements of exercise and provide an introduction to develop not only your flexibility and posture but also your core strength and muscle tone. If you’re looking for classes in your area then search for ‘Yoga classes and Pilates classes near me.
7. Find exercise you will enjoy
Never has there been so much choice in activities than what we have now. New and interesting fitness classes are sprouting up all over the place and vary not only in style and impact level but also in enjoyability and creative factors, too. It’s obvious that you should avoid activities that you absolutely hate because you won’t stick to them; instead find something that’s fun and that you feel you can stick to. Start low impact if you wish, then build up. If you want to try fitness and exercise classes then check out the availability of your favourites here
8. Consider a personal trainer
If joining an exercise class isn’t your thing, then you may want to try a personal trainer instead. Personal trainers can tailor a programme of exercises specifically for you and give you support and advice about nutrition as well as how to get the most out of your exercise regime. They are also great at helping you stay motivated and by committing to a personal trainer you are showing your dedication to your goals. If you would like to consider a personal trainer near you then check our listings here.
Experts say it takes 28 days to change a habit, so don’t expect immediate results and know it’s fine to take a step back as long as you choose not to give up. It’s important that you don’t rush and take the steps above at your own pace. You don’t need to do everything at once, just start taking those baby steps one at a time. The success you’re seeking is best achieved by making small changes over time so open your mind to new possibilities and stay positive. Your healthier lifestyle is just around the corner.