It’s no secret that feeling well and living a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand. Our diet, fitness, and habits all affect how we feel on a daily basis, so making a healthy lifestyle a priority is the key to feeling good.
However, it takes time to reap the benefits of any lifestyle overhaul. While getting started may be easy, staying on track can prove difficult. Consistency is key, so it’s important to set yourself up for success. If you’re looking to start a healthy lifestyle and stick to it, here are some actionable tips.
What IS Healthy, Exactly?
While being healthy used to mean being slim, these days health is about so much more than weight. Good health comes down to a combination of lifestyle habits, and there is no one size fits all.
These are some examples of good habits that can help you start a healthy lifestyle and stick to it:
Eating A Varied, Nutritious Diet
A healthy diet is one that is loaded with a range of macronutrients and micronutrients sourced from whole, unprocessed foods. While everyone will have individual dietary needs, the goal is to find the balance between nourishment and moderation.
Try to fill up on fruit and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains to give your body the fuel it needs to take on the day with energy.
One of the easiest ways to boost your health is to stay consistently hydrated. Drinking enough water can help to regulate your body temperature, deliver nutrients to cells, prevent infections and keep your organs functioning properly. It can also lead to clearer skin, more comfortable digestion, a better mood and improved sleep quality.
Your urine should be almost clear, and to help your body retain all that hydration consider boosting your water with electrolyte supplements.
Regular Physical Activity
Exercising regularly is one of the absolute best ways to improve your overall health. Regular, moderate movement will help to keep your blood pressure healthy, build muscle strength, improve stamina, maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic lifestyle diseases, and help regulate your moods.
Whether you grab a fresh pair of running socks and hit the treadmill for 10 minutes a day or just take a 20-minute walk with your pooch after work, try to include some movement in your daily routine.
Getting Enough Sleep
A proper sleep routine is important for healthy brain and body function. When life gets busy it can be tempting to stay up later or set an early alarm, however a full night of sleep should be prioritized whenever possible.
While 8 hours is the standard recommendation that we all know, a better indicator is to listen to how your mind and body feel after different lengths of sleep.
Managing Emotional Stressors
Even if you are regimented with a healthy diet and exercise routine, you can’t be truly healthy without managing stress. Our emotions can even have a physical effect on our body - high levels of stress hormones such as cortisol can lead to high blood pressure, clogged arteries, anxiety and depression.
Take the time to incorporate habits of mindfulness into your daily routine such as meditation, yoga or therapy.
How to Stick With Healthy Changes: 5 Tips
While starting and sticking to a new regimen can feel daunting, there are some tried-and-true ways to set yourself up for success. Here are some smart methods to start a healthy lifestyle and stick to it:
1. It Should Align With Your Life
While it’s easy to write yourself a whole new diet and exercise plan, in reality you won’t stick to it if it doesn’t align with your schedule and interests.
If you know you get bored at the gym but love the headspace that comes with time spent outdoors, you might opt to get started with long-distance running. If early mornings really aren’t your thing, don’t force yourself into 6am workouts. The trick is to find activities that you will look forward to every week.
2. Set Realistic Goals
While you may have grand fitness goals, it’s always better to start slow. Begin with small, achievable goals before building on them. If your goal is to run an unbroken 10km, start by running in 5 minute intervals. It’s these small wins that help keep your spirits high when you start a healthy lifestyle and stick to it.
3. Stay Motivated
Just as it’s easy to hit the snooze button on that early alarm, it can be easy to skip a workout or meal prep. Staying on track is hard, and before you know it you can slip back into old, unhealthy habits.
To stay in a positive headspace, try to envision the best version of yourself and how energetic and fit that person feels. And don’t forget to reward yourself along the way—a new workout set or healthy treat can go a long way!
4. Stay Accountable
A workout buddy can be invaluable if you’re looking to start a healthy lifestyle and stick to it. You’re much less likely to bail on a friend or team, and that little extra support can help you follow through. Plus, you’ll be helping them on their health journey, too!
5. Record Your Progress
Results can be gradual, and sometimes they’re hard to notice. Recording any goals or small successes that you meet can be a great reminder of how far you’ve come. Try keeping a note in your phone with certain stats such as the distances you run, the amount of sleep you get or the days that you manage to meditate. Be proud of the work you’ve put in!
It Starts With One Small Step in the Right Direction
Feeling well is a culmination of our fitness, nutrition and daily habits. Holistic wellness is a marathon not a sprint, and it all starts with a promise that you make to yourself. If you’re looking to start a healthy lifestyle and stick to it, it’s about creating your own personalized routine that works for your lifestyle and interests.
And on the days when it feels tough to get out the door, the little details like having the right gear can help you stay motivated. The runners behind Fitsok created socks that are perfectly engineered for working out. With sweat-wicking performance fabric and a cushioned footbed, FitSoks are made to support your new healthy habits over the coming weeks, months and years.