Starting a routine of health can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to drinking enough water, getting your portion of fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly. Let’s face it, most of us are gung-ho for the first week and then by the second week we’ve already snuck in a few late night sessions in the freezer and have hit the snooze button instead of taking a run outside.
After the third or fourth time we think to ourselves “well I’m already off the wagon, I might as well just stay off the wagon.” Then we fall back into our slumps and it isn’t until six months later that we’re thinking about starting that new diet that everyone is talking about, just to repeat the cycle all over again with absolutely no results!
Well, I’m here to say – let’s break that cycle and stick with it!
Oscar Health Insurance who provides health insurance to those living in New Jersey and New York, recently asked me for my tips on keeping up with my health and fitness objectives, what changes I make to my daily routine, and really, how the heck do I stay on track? Well, I’ll tell you one thing before I give you my secrets, no one is perfect, not me, not you (sorry to burst your bubble), not anyone! But, the beauty in all this imperfection is that we can accept ourselves, blunders and all, no matter what. The point of adopting a healthy routine is to live a healthy life.
So, let’s get started:
1. Write down WHY you want to be healthy. What’s the reason you want to start living a healthy lifestyle? Is it because you want to run a marathon one day? Is it because you want to be able to run after your grandkids? Or is it because you want to wake up in the morning and be ready to start your day? Whatever the reason is, write it down! It can be multiple reasons. For me, it’s all about how I feel – and the fact that I want to keep up with my high energy pup! And when you are tempted to forget the healthy lifestyle, you can go back to this list and remember why you’re going to pass on the french fries and order a plate of vegetables instead.
2. Being healthy is easy, it’s just a pain to @ss sometimes. The first week, the first month, the first couple of months, may seem like your world is slowly attempting to suffocate you. However, its your food addictions that are talking to you. Your body, I promise, is thanking you but may need to shed some toxins in the meantime. Once your body is calibrated, you’ll be craving your morning juice or smoothie packed full of vitamins and antioxidants instead of that fast food egg muffin. I promise, things get easier and soon your body will be expecting vegetables instead of preservatives!
3. Stock your pantry, fridge, freezer. Make it easy for you to succeed! Make a list before you go grocery shopping and figure out what you need to make healthy meals and snacks that week then prepare them in advance so that some sliced up carrots and celery with a hummus dip is ready to go when you look in the fridge, rather than seeing whole carrots and heading towards the cabinet to open up a bag of chips. If you eat out for lunch a lot, make a list of healthy restaurants to go to or start making your own lunch (you’ll not only save a few pounds on your waistline, but you’ll also save some money in your wallet!) Be your biggest supporter by setting yourself up to be healthy!
4. Life is so much more fun with a partner on your side, so find someone who will call your bluff when you skip a workout! Find a workout buddy. Sometimes all we need is someone who can help motivate us and vice versa.If you don’t know anyone who could be your workout buddy, try getting a health coach or trainer once a week to get you motivated again and again. Once we start moving, our bodies tend to like to keep on moving. As that commercial says, “A body in motion, stays in motion.” And the chances of it staying in motion instead of stalling goes up with a motivational friend by your side!
5. Allow yourself to occasional treats. Yes, you can have that brownie, cookie, cake, ice cream, whatever your craving is, HOWEVER, that portion should be small and it should be controlled. This may be more difficult when you first start your healthy lifestyle or if you have a sugar addiction, which most people in America do. Being healthy doesn’t mean you eat spinach all day long, but it does mean that you keep your body running in optimal condition. Some people can have a glass of wine and a morsel of chocolate and that’s it, while others have to drink the whole bottle and then they eat the whole package of Oreos, know what type of person you are so that you’re prepared. But, in the end banning foods will only make you want them more.
And finally, never beat yourself up if you fall of the wagon. Just realize you did eat three portions of pasta and drank way too much wine, but then pass on dessert. You can always hop off and hop on. As you continue to learn how amazing you feel, you’ll stay “on” longer and have fewer “off” moments.
Remember, you’re doing this for YOU!