Just like fightclub, the first secret of healthy living is that there are no secrets.
Healthy living is the resulted combination of a mindful and balanced diet with adequate amounts of exercise. It’s a lifestyle that varies from person to person, but they all have one common denominator: the desire to be their best self. Proper diet and exercise doesn’t mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods or spending hours on the treadmill at the gym – it’s about fueling your body right, and learning how to strengthen yourself within reasonable limits.
There is no 8 week app program that will take you from couch potato to being The Rock, but there are small, conscious decisions you can make in your everyday routine to better yourself overall.
1. Drink water
Over half your body is water, so it makes sense to keep the H20 flowing. It helps in preventing bloating, dehydration, constipation, and an assortment of other unsavory conditions. Proper hydration keeps you feeling more alert, keeps your body systems running smoothly, and improves athletic performance.
2. Get enough sleep
Sticking with a regular and adequate sleep schedule is crucial in keeping your body and health on track. Lack of sleep can lead to decreased immune defense, foggy brain, and isn’t good for your mental emotional health. Making sure you’re getting restful sleep is also important in keeping your body healthy and happy.
3. Manage and limit your stress
Stress is a silent killer. Unmanaged and overbearing stress can lead to hypertension, high blood pressure, and an assortment of other heart-stressing conditions. Make time to unwind and relax, and make sure you have healthy outlets.
4. Enjoy caffeine and alcohol in moderation
I’m 110% on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, and you can bet I’m excited for all my favorite local breweries announcing their holiday flavor lineups. But caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant. When consumed in copious amounts, it puts undue stress on your body to process it out. A healthy diet can include things like coffee, wine, and beer, but keeping it minimal is key.
5. Don’t be a cardio bunny
Cardio is great, but without changing up your routine to include other fitness workouts, you’re bound to plateau.
6. Track your progress
You can’t appreciate where you are until you compare to where you’ve been!
7. Set realistic goals
While every body is different, the general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t try to lose/gain more than 2lbs per week with your body goals. It allows your body to adjust gradually to changes, and prevents detrimental health issues.
8. Reward yourself
Personally, I prefer setting experiential rewards as opposed to food-based rewards for myself with my goals. It helps prevent me from getting dependent on my rewards as a “release” from my healthy routines, and keeps me from getting too caught up in “cheating” on my plan.
9. Surround yourself with support
While it’s not necessarily dangerous to go alone, it can get lonely, especially if you’re focusing on a transformational goal. Keep your friends close, and coaches closer!
10. Get hype
My favorite part of revamping my health and fitness routines is treating myself. New workout clothes, new sneakers, cute workout planners – they’re all tools in keeping you on track and keeping your head in the game!