Moving over to a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just wake up one day and you are instantly healthy in everything that you do. Rather, it is a gradual process of integrating healthy habits into your daily life. I know it can feel completely overwhelming with where to start when you want to make a change. So rather than try and overhaul your life completely, start by introducing some healthy habits one by one. They say it takes 21 days for a habit to kick in, so start with one or two things first, conquer those and then move onto more. If you really don’t know where to start I thought I’d share with you some great healthy habits that are easy to incorporate into your life today and will help set the ball rolling towards a healthier happier life.
1. Get moving in the morning
Exercise in the morning is one of the best ways you can start your day. It gets the blood pumping, kick starts your metabolism, wakes you up and energises you for the day ahead. If you aren’t someone that can get up and do an intense workout first thing, then you should still at least try to get in some form of movement. Even if it’s gentle jog/walk or a yoga session it’s better than doing nothing. Exercising in the morning also puts you in the healthy mind frame for the rest of the day, so you will make healthier choices as the day goes on. If you feel overwhelmed with getting up and doing a one hour workout, then start by committing to ten minutes of movement each morning. As the weeks go on progressively increase that time. Before you know it you’ll be up and getting a good workout in for an hour or more.
2. Cut sugar
Sugar has to be one of the worst things you can consume. Now when I talk about sugar, I’m talking about the processed kind not the natural sugars you find in foods like fruit. Processed sugar has absolutely no nutritional value to the body and strips nutrients as it passes through the digestive system. It’s called empty calories for a reason. In fact recent studies have shown that sugar has the same addictive effects on the brain as cocaine. So when you consume it you will automatically want more. Sugar also spikes your insulin levels, which leads to increased fat storage on the body. I really could go on and on with the negative effects this has to the body, which is why it’s so important to start cutting it from your diet. The bad thing about sugar is it’s actually in everything. So many processed packaged foods contain it that you wouldn’t even think of. So start reading your food labels and become aware of what foods have it added in. Then start to cut those out. It can be quite intense when you first cut sugar as the body goes through withdrawal symptoms, but once it’s out of your diet completely you will feel so much better for it.
3. Meal plan and prep
If you want to eat healthy then you need to get organised with your food. One of the weekly habits I have in my life that helps so much, is my meal planning and prepping. At the beginning of the week I will work out what I’ll be making, write down my grocery list and then stick to that at the supermarket. Then I spend a few hours cooking up a storm in the kitchen so I can have lots of healthy food on hand during the week. It can seem like a lot of work to begin with but the more you practice and the easier it becomes.
4. Get plenty of sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is so important to a healthy lifestyle. When you sleep properly your body is able to function better, not just physically but mentally and emotionally too. Having a bad night’s sleep can also slow your metabolism down which is why it’s so important to get into the habit of sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night. If you are one to go to bed late because you stay up late watching T.V or are on the computer on social media, start by restricting these things one hour before your planned bedtime. Get yourself into a nightly ritual before bed that will allow you to unwind and get to sleep easily. Things like reading, taking a hot bath or some gentle stretching can be hugely beneficial to getting off to bed and into a deep sleep more easily.
5. Remove negative self-talk
Being healthy isn’t just about having a healthy body, it’s also about having a healthy mind and outlook on life. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and put ourselves down so much. But don’t listen to that negative voice inside your head. It’s the one that pops up whenever you have to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. Now I have to admit, I have been guilty of this many times in the past and I'm still working on it now. I can tell you it is a very unhappy way to live. That negative voice tells lies so you shouldn't believe a word it says otherwise you'll never be happy and never achieve any goal. What you think about is often what you are and if you constantly think you're worthless, dumb, annoying or a loser, then you'll be just that. Pay no attention to that negative voice and give your positive voice the microphone. Every time the negative voice starts, immediately stop it in it's tracks and start thinking more positively. It might be hard to begin with but when you begin to do it more regularly it will become a lot easier to snap out of it when that negative voice makes an appearance.
Now remember you don’t need to try and tackle these all at once. Start with one or two, let them become good solid habits in your life and then move on to the next. You don’t just need to stick to these either. Sit down and think about what habits you can create for yourself that will help you achieve your goals. I hope you got some good ideas here of some great healthy habits you can introduce into your life today.