Sustainable Changes for a Healthier You
Written by: Brad Krause
If your New Year’s resolutions focus on health and wellness, you are not alone. But, sadly, the vast majority of resolution makers lose steam by Valentine’s Day and settle back into old, unhealthy habits. Not you. You will make changes that will help you renew your commitment to a healthy life each and every day. Here’s how:
Start small. Making changes on paper is much easier than making changes in real life. While that grueling exercise schedule you downloaded from Pinterest may very well whittle six inches from your waist in six weeks, it’s not going to do anything if you burn yourself out within the first three days. Instead of making drastic alterations to your lifestyle, start with small changes, such as waking up 15 minutes early to do cardio before your shower. FitnessBlender.com asserts that you don’t need special equipment for a quick home cardiovascular workout.
Focus on fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re not going to want to keep doing it. Make your daily work out fun by adding music or getting outdoors to enjoy the crisp air and backdrop Mother Nature has provided.
Don’t compromise taste. Your wellness resolutions should also include eating well and that means upping your intake of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who find greens less-than appealing, you’ll need to get creative where your dietary habits are concerned. Women’sHealth asserts that you don’t have to use lettuce to make a healthy and delicious salad. Consider subbing some greens for tomatoes, quinoa, or shredded carrots as your base, adding fresh, in-season ingredients to suit your palate. Avoid snacking on processed foods and opt for healthy alternatives, such as apples, bananas, or Greek yogurt mixed with fresh fruit. These treats will fill you up without letting your taste buds down.
Make it a group thing. Involve other people in your weight loss or health and wellness journey. Not only will this add a social aspect, but your friends and family will keep you accountable.
Reward yourself for accomplishments. Set goals and reward yourself for achieving them. Of course, you’ll need to be selective in how you treat yourself and avoid the temptation to go all out on your “cheat days.” There are plenty of non-food rewards that will keep you motivated without making you take a step back.
Consider alternatives to traditional fitness. Hitting the gym day in and day out can be stressful, especially if you’re facing other issues, such as being in addiction recovery. Consider alternative exercises, such as yoga, hiking, and sports activities, which offer plenty of physical benefits, but can also reduce depression, improve your overall mental health, and help you avoid relapse.
Fill in the gaps. While your main priorities should be diet and exercise, sometimes it’s hard to stay on track when life gets busy. Fill in the gaps with supplements to keep your body strong and your mind focused. Many supplements contain natural vitamins and minerals you don’t often think about such as zinc, magnesium, potassium, and various antioxidants. Vitamin D, which about 42 percent of Americans lack, is vital for healthy bones. Supplements are a simple method to meet your daily nutrient requirements and give you that extra boost when paired with regular diet and exercise.
Check your surroundings. Did you know that indoor air quality is just as impactful on your overall health as the air outside? Various pollutants can lurk in your home and can contribute to allergies, colds, and bacterial infections. If you don’t own an air purifier or haven’t replaced your air filters lately, now is the time to do so. You should also inspect your home for mold, which can be harmful to your health. Any mold that you find should be removed by a professional service in order to effectively eliminate the spores. In Columbus, you can expect to pay between $1,287 and $2,487 for a mold removal service. Regularly maintaining good air quality in your home can help you stay physically and mentally well.
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day (it actually took centuries) and you can’t build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle on a single calendar day. Start small and build upon your successes and don’t compromise fun or fill your plate with foods you simply can’t stomach. The goal is to implement changes that you actually want to keep up with. By this time next year, you’ll be ready to tackle new resolutions – and you’ll already know how.