Your journey to a balanced health and fitness lifestyle is no different than the beginning of any other journey. To be healthy for a lifetime, the journey takes a lifetime.
There are no short cuts to this trip, because short-term fixes are just that: short term.
However, to stay healthy and fit isn’t as hard as many people think. Once you get the hang of it, a healthy lifestyle simply becomes your lifestyle.
A little commitment goes a long way.
In order to achieve balanced health and fitness, here are 5 strategies to guide you in the right direction as you start your journey.
1. Start Small
The key to this journey is moderation. If your favorite food is something you know you should avoid, don’t skip it entirely if you know you might end up over-eating it later.
Instead, take moderate steps to slowly phase it out of your diet. If you eat it everyday, try to cut down to just three times a week.
Once you do that, cut it down further to once a week. That way, you are able to eat the food without increasing your cravings for it, and you’ll enjoy it more too.
Bonus tip: When taking an unhealthy food out of your diet, replace it with a healthy food that you love, for example carrot sticks in place of potato chips. That way, you don’t feel deprived. Plus, you’ll enjoy your snacks more if they’re guilt-free!
2. Plan Modestly
Setting goals is a great way to stay on track. However, keep them manageable. If you set your goals too high, you’ll get frustrated and disappointed if you don’t achieve them.
Instead of yearly, or even monthly goals, start with daily ones you know you can accomplish, such as “today I will exercise for thirty minutes”.
Accomplishing these simple daily goals will give you a sense of achievement and confidence in the short term that is more likely to lead to success in the long term.
3. Recruit a Friend
A good support group can make all the difference when it comes to any lifestyle change.
Not only will you have somebody to keep you accountable, sharing your triumphs and occasional setbacks with a friend will make your journey smoother and even, dare I say it, more fun.
Bonus tip: If you’re up for it, a little friendly competition can make the journey more like a game, and help to keep both of you on your toes.
4. Have Discipline
This one step can really make or break your plans to live a healthy lifestyle. In order to stick to your plans, you need to develop self-discipline, especially when it comes to changing the unhealthy habits you have picked up.
Fortunately, self-discipline comes with a big reward: increased self-confidence. Once you begin to say no to temptations, your self-confidence will soar and the journey will get easier.
5. Do it for Yourself
Make sure that what you are doing is primarily for you.
If you want something bad enough, nothing can stop you from getting it. Many people start to change their lifestyle in order to impress other people.
Although this is perfectly natural, your journey will be easier if you are doing it for yourself. That way, every triumph along the way is a gift to you.
Now that you have a few strategies under your belt, take them and run with them - you’ll be happy you did.