How to Make a Healthy Lifestyle Work for You

You know those people that seem to have it all together? The ones on Facebook or Instagram that are posting selfies in the gym, making perfectly balanced meals, showing off their muscles?

That’s an ideal that’s hard for most of us to reach. Perfection is not reality anyway.

You know that you need to make fitness and healthy eating part of your life, but you’re busy.

You’re tired of trying another “diet” that won’t work.

And let’s not even get into the shame and depression that can set in when you let yourself think about where you’d like to be, and where you’re at.

If you’re ready to get off the carousel of trying and failing to sustain a healthy lifestyle, here’s how you can finally make it work for you:

1. Exercise when it works for you

You don’t have to be a morning person to stick to an exercise program. The right “program” for you is the one you will do! If that means exercising at 8 p.m., 3 p.m. or 12 p.m., then go with what works for you. It’s best to exercise when you can, rather than trying to fit your workout schedule into a preconceived notion of shoulds.

2. Get more bang for your buck

Research shows that the most effective exercise is one that includes a high-energy tempo and lower-energy movement. For example, if you’re running, start out at a slow jog, then ramp up to a higher speed for 30 seconds. Continue alternating your speed, and then wind down the workout at a slower pace. You can incorporate this system with almost any workout. Activities like hiking and rock climbing naturally incorporate these shifts in energy output.

3. Do what you love

Think a Crossfit workout is the only way to get fit? The truth is, the ONLY way you’ll get fit is to choose something that you’ll do every day, or a few times a week  –  because you LOVE to do it! Think about what’s best for you: A buddy workout? A team sport? Walking? The more you enjoy the activity, the better you’ll stick to it.

4. Variety is the spice of life

Don’t just settle on one activity for exercise. You’ll want to challenge your body, as it will eventually hit a plateau. Incorporate some workouts that focus on stretching and strength, like yoga or Pilates, strength training, and mix it up. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

5. Find a buddy

You’ll be more apt to stay motivated to exercise if you’re with a friend or workout partner. A buddy can also push you in your workouts and help you stay accountable in your fitness. It’s so much easier to try a new fitness class if you know someone is facing the fear with you.

6. Make it simple

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard work. Instead of defeating yourself before you start, thinking that you don’t have time to cook great meals and snacks, opt for nature-made, readily accessible, single-ingredient foods like berries, tomato slices or nuts.

7. Stay hydrated

An easy way to boost your daily health, drink water to stay hydrated  –  especially before, during and after exercising. Caffeinated drinks remove water from your body, so be aware of how many caffeinated beverages you drink throughout the day, and balance them out with lots of water.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can be done. It just takes commitment and creating a strategy that works for you. Exercise wisely and when it’s convenient for you, choose workouts you love then mix it up, find a buddy, eat simply and stay hydrated.

For help with creating a sustainable lifestyle that optimizes health, learn about The Well Path!