Unfortunately, there is no magic pill, potion or lotion that will have any lasting effects. The only way to become healthier in mind, body and spirit in the long term is to change…your…lifestyle.
Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.
– J. Stanford
The journey to ultimate health and wellness starts with building a lifestyle that supports health and wellness. A health and wellness-oriented lifestyle is built by making healthy habits and choices part of your daily routines.
You don’t need to completely overhaul your life all at once though. These changes can and should be made gradually. The good news is, it can be done, and the process can even be enjoyable.
1 – Commit to Moving Your Body
Strength training for all of the major body parts, legs, hips, arms, shoulders, abdomen, back and chest is recommended at least twice a week.
If you’re not already physically active, incorporating fitness activities into your life doesn’t need to be a major challenge. There are many fun activities you can do that don’t involve an expensive gym membership or equipment.
The key is to find something you like to do and go with it.
“Moderate” physical activity could include dancing, going for a brisk walk, riding a bike, even playing tag with your grandkids. Basically, doing anything that gets you a little bit winded will improve your fitness over time.
30 minutes of moderate activity provides the minimum required to gain health benefits.
More vigorous activities like jumping rope, jogging, and swimming laps provide even greater health benefits. Increasing the amount of time spent doing any physical activity also increases health benefits.
To successfully add physical fitness activities into your life, make them part of your daily schedule. Make an appointment for your fitness in your daily planner and add a reminder on your phone or watch.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to do 30 minutes all at once – spacing out your exercise in three 10 minute sessions works just as well.
Keys to Success:
- Start with an activity you enjoy.
- If you’re a social person, join an exercise group or work out with friends.
- Remember every little bit counts whether you exercise for 20 minutes twice a day or in 10-minute increments throughout the day.
- Block out your exercise time on your calendar.
2 – Watch What You’re Eating
People who eat well experience a variety of health benefits, better weight maintenance, lower chances of developing diabetes or heart disease and overall lower risks of illness.
A healthy diet includes lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and unrefined grains. Reducing the amount of sodium, added sugar, trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol in the diet is also important for a long and healthy life.
Instead of stressing about cutting things from your diet, work on adding healthy choices to your meals and snacks.
Take a proactive positive approach as you make changes to what you eat. Commit to trying one new vegetable or making a new healthy recipe each week.
Drink a non-carbonated beverage instead of a pop or soda; you can also choose unsweetened herbal tea, lemon water or plain water.
Just as with exercise, daily small changes add up to a complete transition to a more healthful lifestyle.
- Choose one or two small changes to incorporate into your diet each week.
- Eating healthy needs to be enjoyable for you to make it a part of your lifestyle. Try new foods and new ways to prepare them.
- Make sure to keep your daily menu varied so you don’t get bored with your food choices and go off track.
Download a FREE Weekly Habit Tracker so you can track all of your new health and wellness habits. Click on the button below to get yours now!
3 – Work on Your Mind-Body Connection
Foods high in sugar and fat satisfy the pleasure and reward centers in our brains. This is why, when we’re stressed or unhappy, many of us reach for rich foods to make ourselves feel better.
Sometimes this is a conscious decision, but many times it’s not.
Also, feeling angry, unhappy, or depressed saps energy, making it more difficult to exercise or do some other physical activity, because we just don’t feel like it.
There are many ways to reverse this cycle. Exercises like yoga, pilates, tai chi, and many others expressly work on a healthy mind-body connection. Each of these activities uses movement tied to breath awareness to focus and calm the mind and the nervous system.
Yoga combines breathing exercises and meditation to build fitness and relieve stress. Some other mind-body activities, breathing exercises, visualization, and meditation, don’t involve whole-body movement; they focus on channeling mental activity and relieving stress.
It’s important to keep the body healthy and the mind in equilibrium to experience a sense of well-being. Equilibrium doesn’t mean you become a robot. It simply means you don’t experience unrealistic highs or debilitating lows (depression).
Being even-tempered makes it easier to deal with stress, adapt to change, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I wrote a blog post all about meditation. You can read it HERE
- Choose a mind-body activity to include in your schedule which suits your lifestyle and goals.
- Practice it consistently for the best results.
4 – Make It A Habit
It takes 21 to 30 days of consistent application to make a simple action a habit.
More complex accomplishments like establishing an exercise routine, daily meditation, and dietary changes can take longer.
Know that whatever healthy habit you want to achieve will be worth it in the long run, and focusing on WHY you want to include this new habit into your lifestyle will keep you motivated to persevere.
The keys to changing established habits and acquiring new ones is consistency and persistence.
Your health and wellness are worth the time and effort and so are you!
Download the FREE Weekly Habit Tracker so you can track all of your new health and wellness habits. Click on the button below to get yours now!
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