Designing a healthier lifestyle
A lifestyle is made up of our routines. If we have acquired bad habits, the question is how to improve them. So, let’s get started
Rule one: don’t set unrealistic goals. Simply make some honest and fundamental decisions about what may initially be some very minor daily changes to regular habits. It is in the formation of a new lifestyle routine – preferably in the first instance encompassing only very minor tweaks – that there is the best chance of cumulative and lasting results over the longer term.
Rule two: keep in mind that healthier routines are not set in stone. Allow for flexibility and further development, as the repetition of a routine also gives us the opportunity to hone the improvement and learn more as we develop.
How to implement healthy lifestyle changes
Start small. Make one simple, single change. Initially the easier, the better. For example:
- if you don’t exercise, commit to exercising for just ten minutes every other day. Walking up and down stairs in your home, or taking a brisk walk around the park.
- You don’t need to go to a gym, but try swimming, join an exercise class or dance to your favourite music.
Whatever you do, make sure you make the time available at a point in the day most convenient for you. This way you will have the best chance of success, providing further encouragement. Before long you will probably find yourself working out the recommended 30 minutes a day. Even if you don’t enjoy all the activities, you will appreciate the benefits, whether it be in improved fitness, weight loss, energy or just being able to look good in new outfits.
To start a healthier eating routine:
- eat more fruit instead of sugary snacks
- order salad in your lunchtime sandwich and switch to wholemeal bread
- replace French fries with vegetables at home or with takeaways
- try a vegetable soup for dinner one night a week
- increase your fibre intake – this will help with satiety and friendly bacteria
Make changes at your own pace, with the aim of creating a solid and consistent routine that allows new habits to become second nature. Changes that are too radical risk failure.
Do plan for success, but be prepared for challenges along the way. There will be times when some adjustments don’t feel right or are just not for you, but this is where the initial foundations of a new routine can provide comfort and support, enabling you to fall back on them, even when you falter or just have other immediate priorities. They will ultimately see you through.
A routine honed over many years can become a discipline that brings rewards of increased energy, helping us celebrate accomplishments and enjoy life. It will also be a very personal achievement, something that belongs to you.
Take a look, you might be surprised how small daily changes to diet by making better choices can make such a big difference.
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