We’ve all been there. A pound here, a pound there and pretty soon you’re up 20 lbs. + and feeling awful.
With more and more Americans leading busy on-the-go lifestyles and working desk jobs, it seems to be a common challenge. Rushing kids from here to there or working long hours, fast food and take are are easy, but not always healthy.
As of 2011-2012 more than two-thirds of adults were overweight or obese (68.6 percent). It’s hard to break the cycle of unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyle once you start. The catch 22 is once you get moving & eat better, but how to get started is the challenge.
I am going to give some simple changes you can make on a day to day basis that will get you moving in no time.
These are the actually tips that I used when I wanted to change my lifestyle in my early 20’s. I was once a pack/day smoker, up 25 lbs., and processed foods were my go to choice.
Once you start seeing some weight come off, you will be motivated to get out there and make some real changes. Believe me when I tell you, though, the hardest part is getting started!
- Start a journal. I like to take a mindful approach to health & wellness. This means knowing what your are feeling on the inside and being present. I believe the body-mind-spirit are intricately linked together. Thus, the first and perhaps the most important on a health & wellness journey is to start a journal. You will find as you begin to reflect on your writings, that you’re eating habits may change according to your moods. Personally, I find the best time to journal is first thing in the morning or at night just before bed.
- Get moving more throughout the day. This sounds simple, but I know it’s not as easy as it seems. Look for little opportunities to walk more while running errands. Here’s a couple easy tricks I use:
- Instead of looking for the parking spot closest to the store, look for the spot furthest away. You will be amazed at how much more activity and steps you will get in on a day to day basis.
- Use the stairs every chance you get. I mean every chance. Resist the elevator temptation and get moving! The goal is to get your blood flowing and heart rate pumping at every opportunity.
- Eat real food. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. If it grows from the ground, then it’s pretty safe to say it will fit into your new and improved healthy lifestyle!
- Pick one habit you want to change about your diet. Begin to reform that habit. Be mindful not to do too much, too soon. For instance, let’s say you drink soda 3x per day. Your goal will be: I want to increase my daily water intake (water is always the substitute!) and decrease my soda to 2X/day. Do that for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, decrease to 1 soda/day. Always list something you want to increase with something you want to decrease. This technique will leave you feeling like you’re not deprived and balanced.
- Write down your long and short term goals. Make the goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. They can be health goals, lifestyle goals, anything you want. When we feel balanced and focused with our lives, this will also impact what we put in our body and also stress levels. Setting goals and accomplishing them will help you have more confidence and live each day with purpose.
- This is an example of a well written goal: I want to start walking every day first thing in the morning for 20 minutes. You know exactly how much you want to do and when. You will know how to measure if you reached your goal.
- This is an example of a poorly written goal: “I want to exercise more”. What is more? How you will know if you achieved your goal?
Great! Now you know my top 5 simple tips to get back on track to a healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve mastered these, we will dive in further on how to change your habits, get healthy, & get moving!
Until next time, be the change. ~ Brooke
About the Author:Runner, yogi, nursing student, wife and mother of 2 beautiful boys in Dayton, OH. I hope to educate, empower and inspire others live more mindfully and balanced lives!