A healthy body and an active lifestyle are hard to live by. These dos and don’ts can help you live your best life in ten easy steps.
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How to Achieve a Healthy Body and Lifestyle
Step 1: Do Set Concrete Goals
What makes a healthy lifestyle intimidating is that, often, people don’t know where to start. The best way to know where you should start is to identify where you want to be.
Statements like “a healthier place” or “be more fit” are a good start. But goals begin with a clear picture.
The more concrete your goals are, the better. When you can visualize where you want to be, it’s easier to figure out how you should proceed.
Start with a target number:
- What do you want your weight to be at the end of the year?
- How many inches do you want to lose?
- What is your goal dress size?
- Do you want to lift a certain weight?
Being realistic is the key. Start with small goals first:
- Drink 8 glasses of water.
- Walk 10,000 steps a day.
- Run five times a week.
- Avoid eating cake for a month.
Then, start ticking off one small goal at a time. By the time you’ve noticed, you’ve already gone far in your goal to be healthier.
Step 2: Don’t Obsess over Numbers
Many people tend to give up on their diets because of the numbers that they see. From calorie counters to weighing scales, numbers can take the fun out of living a healthy lifestyle.
More than counting calories, consider the nutritional value of the food instead. Make sure you get protein and fiber in every meal.
When you start to work out, you start to build muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat.
This makes the numbers you see on the weighing scale unreliable. The numbers may seem higher, but you’re actually leaner.
Focus on performance-based numbers instead:
- Increase your weight on the deadlift.
- Run longer miles.
- Get faster at the rowing machine.
That way, you’re more focused on the way your body works instead of how it looks.
Step 3: Do De-Clutter
It’s time to get rid of the things that no longer spark joy in your life. Your environment affects your lifestyle.
Even something as simple as fixing your bed every morning can affect your journey to a healthy body. Start building your discipline with little things:
- Sweep the floor every day.
- Wash the dishes immediately after eating.
- Organize your laptop files.
Once you’ve gotten used to de-cluttering little things in your life, you can slowly work your way to bigger things like your diet or workout routine.
Step 4: Do Eat a Healthy Diet
You are what you eat. Eating clean doesn’t have to be too drastic like going vegan or removing carbs from your life.
It can begin with something as simple as choosing healthier options:
- Swap your favorite cheeseburger with a grilled chicken sandwich.
- Use sweet potato for your fries.
- Add fresh fruit or vegetables in every meal.
- Instead of chips, eat nuts for a quick snack.
- Opt for water instead of ordering drinks in a restaurant.
Get your body used to these healthy swaps. Soon enough, you’ll be used to planning your meals and cooking your own food.
Step 5: Don’t Restrict Yourself
One of the worst things anyone can do in trying to be healthy is to starve themselves.
Fifty percent of weight loss comes from muscle tissue. Each pound of muscle burns an average of 50 calories a day.
When you starve yourself, you lose muscle. Once you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down. Slow metabolism leads to easier weight gain.
Learn to listen to your body.
When you’re thirsty, drink water immediately. If you’re feeling peckish, eat some fruit or nuts.
Starving yourself can lead you to binge later on. You can end up eating more than you avoided.
TIP: Cheat days are important, too.
Once you’ve completed a streak in your diet, reward yourself. Treat yourself once in a while to motivate you to do more.
Step 6: Do Exercise!
Find an activity that motivates you to move. Join a gym, if you want to.
But if you’re not the type to lift weights and buff it out with other guys, try something different. There are other workouts out there that can help you build muscle and lose fat.
If you’re the type to make friends easily, team sports like basketball or volleyball can be a good exercise for you. Zumba or choreography classes are a good option for those who like dancing.
If you want something milder, a session of yoga or Pilates can do you good.
Exercising isn’t always easy the first time ‘round so here are a few tips:
- Set aside a specific amount of time for exercise (e.g. 30 minutes, 1 hour).
- Increase your time slowly (e.g. from 15 minutes a day to 45 minutes a day).
- Schedule your workout days. It’s important to see them on your planner or calendar.
Be creative and consistent with your workouts. The key is to have fun.
Step 7: Don’t Overdo It
Once again, listen to your body.
When you first start working out, initial soreness right after is normal. It’s commonly called DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Definition: It is the severe tenderness to the muscle that amateur athletes feel after a rigorous training regimen.
It’s okay to take a day of rest in between workout days. Recovery is just as important as intensity.
Even when working out, pay attention to your body. If you feel short of breath or if you feel sharp pain anywhere, it’s okay to take a breath.
Once you’ve properly recovered, you can start strong again.
Step 8: Do Hydrate
Water is one of the things we often neglect in building a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
Being hydrated keeps your body functioning properly. It eliminates toxins, aids in digestion, and moisturizes your skin.
Make sure to always keep a bottle with you. Once you see it, drink it. You can even use an app to remind you to drink water every day.
Step 9: Don’t Neglect Sleep
Sleep is important to keep yourself at an optimum level. When you exercise, sleep helps your body recover. Getting an ample amount of sleep gives you clear skin, too.
But more than the benefits, there are more disadvantages if you neglect your sleep.
Lack of sleep leads to fatigue and the production of the stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol causes your metabolism to slow down which leads to weight gain.
If you’re a night owl, here are some tips to help you fall asleep easily:
- Drink warm milk or hot tea to calm yourself.
- Avoid highly-caffeinated and sugary foods late at night.
- Turn the lights off.
- Put your phone and laptop away.
Step 10: Do It Consistently
Nowadays, anyone who aims for a healthy body wants it now and wants it fast. But, patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to being healthier.
So many diet fads nowadays promise to help you shed 10 pounds in 3 days or 25 pounds in only two weeks. While following these diet plans may help you lose a large amount of weight quickly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that weight loss is healthy.
Weight loss programs that promise shortcuts to a “healthy body” can actually lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, loose flaps of skin, fatigue, constipation, and other nasty side effects.
Not to mention, losing weight fast means you can gain the weight back just as fast. Sometimes you gain even more weight than you lose.
According to the CDC, healthy weight loss is losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. People who lose weight at a gradual and steady pace are more successful at keeping the weight off.
Take it slow. Master one small habit at a time than doing too many things all at once.
That way, your body has time to adapt easier and progress faster.
Check out this video from BE AMAZED for more simple health tips:
Commitment matters more than speed.
A healthy lifestyle is not just a one-week diet or a 30-day program. It is an ongoing and continuous change.
Build your healthy lifestyle on small habits you do consistently. Every little thing counts.
Consistency is key. Before you know it, you’re already the best version of yourself you want to be.
Did you like this article? Do you have any other questions, comments or suggestions? Please share them in the comments section below.
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