How To Start A Healthy Lifestyle

Guns N’ Roses rocker Steven Adler once said, “You can have all the riches and success in the world, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” That is true.  While LaJolla may offer great pleasures and opportunities, it all becomes lackluster if you can’t enjoy it. If you agree, then you may be wondering how to start a healthy lifestyle. You’re not the only one wondering. Millions around the world are trying to figure out how to be healthy. The fact is, it’s not as hard as you might think.

How to Kick-Start a Healthy Lifestyle

According to a recent bodybuilding survey, 73% of Americans committed to healthy lifestyle changes gave up before meeting their goals. The sixty-four dollar question here is, why?  There are many answers, but primarily, people give up on getting healthy because they have unrealistic goals or lofty expectations.  Too often, folks get bogged by overly high ideals or overwhelmed with daunting details of getting healthy.

In reality, you can easily stay healthy and happy by making small, simple adjustments every day. Changing your lifestyle in practical, doable stages is key to sticking to health commitments long-term.  Read on for actionable suggestions to kick-start you on the right track if you want to know how to start a healthy lifestyle (and stick with it).

How Do I Start Living a Healthy Lifestyle?

As mentioned, the best strategy to getting healthy is the simplest one.  Whenever possible, opt for uncomplicated, easy ways to be healthy. For example, stick to the “four rules of good health.” These rules can serve as a cornerstone and a handy guideline to help you make healthier choices that will keep you fit as a fiddle. The four rules of good health are:

  1. Eat Real: Your body’s build never intended to process high fructose corn syrup or red dye #40. Processed foods can harm your health and may put the kibosh on your efforts to stay trim. Stick with natural foods such as fruits and vegetables; ditch the boxed potatoes and frosted flakes.
  2. Get Moving: Medical research has proven that regular physical activity reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease by 35% and lowers type two diabetes by 50%. From lowering blood pressure to boosting your mood,  exercise is a game-changer in learning how to be healthier.
  3. Banish Stress: When you’re figuring out how to start a healthy lifestyle, your stress levels are the number one thing to consider. Stress is known as the silent assassin to good health. It’s the leading cause of heart problems, high blood pressure, headaches, and even depression. While it’s almost impossible to eradicate stress, be mindful by avoiding or counteracting stress in your life.
  4. Get Your Zzzz’s:  One of the easiest ways to be healthy and start living a healthy lifestyle is to get enough sleep.  Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your overall well-being. So don’t skimp on solid sleep time every day if you want to detour hazards to your mental and physical health.

10 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

Whether you’re fighting the battle of the bulge or just finding ways to be healthy, there are actionable steps you can take to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals. The critical thing to keep in mind here is that these tips on starting a healthy lifestyle should be simple additions to your daily routine. Remember, your ticket to long-term success is about making simple, incremental adjustments. So as you peruse these tips, know that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel of your current regimen. Instead, incorporate these suggestions gradually into your life to ensure better health long into the future.

Measure/Watch Your Weight

To weigh every day, or not to weigh? This question is a polarizing topic for many people watching their figures. On the one hand, it can threaten weight loss success because when the numbers on the scale don’t move (or worse, go up), it’s tempting to toss in the towel. On the other hand, however, measuring and weighing in on the scales can be a boon to confidence. There’s something exceedingly satisfying at seeing progress and having proof of weight goal achievement. The choice to weigh or not to weigh is yours. But know that measuring and weighing can be a great way to track your progress and reinforce reasonable goals.

Eat Healthy Meals and Limit Unhealthy Foods

It’s a no-brainer. What you eat is a huge piece in the puzzle of how to get healthy. But healthy eating doesn’t have to be puzzling. Break down your food choices into two categories: manufactured or nature-made. Manufactured foods get processed in a factory, like Twinkies or potato chips. Nature-made foods come from the land and sea, like veggies, fish, raw nuts, etc.  Avoid manufactured foods because they typically have unhealthy preservatives, additives, bad fats, sugars, and high sodium levels. Instead, indulge in nature-made foods because they are healthier options and will sustain your health goals. However, it is not to say you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The whole make-or-break point of changing your lifestyle is about gradual adjustments, not radical destruction of all so-called bad foods.  Eat as freshly and naturally as you can. Allow yourself an occasional treat with a hot dog or candy bar.  The take-away here is moderation.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking enough water prevents dehydration, which could put a significant cramp in your healthy lifestyle changes. Furthermore, getting ample water in your daily routine can help you avoid fatigue, helps boost brain function, regulates body temperature, and aids in flushing out impurities in the body.  The benefits of drinking plenty of water are virtually limitless. Plus, it’s an easy step to keep your health goals intact.

Take Supplements

Ideally, a well-rounded diet encompassing fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains should deliver all the vitamins and minerals you need. But that’s not always attainable. Supplements can be effective if you’re contemplating how to be healthier. Physicians often recommend a good multivitamin to improve health. Other common supplements include calcium, fish oil, vitamin A, and C, all of which contribute to overall health and wellbeing. Check with your medical professional so you can safely determine what supplements work best for your healthy lifestyle changes and goals.

Exercise Regularly

Do you want to know the secret about how to start a healthy lifestyle?  Exercise. Well, it’s not a secret. Just about everybody knows physical activity is vital for a healthy, happy life.  So why is it that only 1 in 3 adults gets enough exercise every week? Much of this involves getting psyched out before even touching a dumbbell or donning a running shoe. That’s why it’s essential to start small and gradually increase exercise. You don’t have to run a marathon by Monday. Simply add more movement to your daily routine.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Opt to bicycle to the corner store instead of driving. Make a commitment to do some pushups or jumping jacks every other hour during your workday.  These minor adjustments yield huge benefits such as improved mood, lower blood pressure, stronger bones, and better heart health.

Get Enough Sleep

Take a minute to think about everything you do during the day. Shopping, studying, working, playing, hustling, bustling. Whew! You do a lot! Now think about how important it is to recover from all that activity. Sleep is the best way to restore the body, mind, and soul.  While you sleep, the body is repairing itself, rebuilding cells, regenerating tissue, and more. Sleep is the number one overlooked factor when making healthier choices because the power of rest is underrated.  Getting enough sleep can reboot your system so you can think, work and play at optimal levels.

Reduce Sedentary Time

More than any other time in history, we are logging in an unprecedented amount of time sitting in front of our screens. Maybe we’re landing big deals or staying productive at our computer desks, but it’s killing our health. Excessive time sitting around watching TV, playing video games, or getting chained to an office chair can cause major health issues. Namely, an overly sedentary life restricts blood flow, causes muscle atrophy, causes depression, and increases the odds of life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and the onset of some cancers.

Fortunately, this option doesn’t mean you have to give up the joystick altogether. The crux of making healthier choices is about introducing small, manageable changes to your life. So, commit to taking regular breaks throughout the day. Get up from your desk and move around.  Go ahead and binge-watch your favorite TV series, but press pause and do a few stretches every hour.  You get the idea.  Avoid harmful health issues by incorporating more movement regularly throughout your day.

Reduce Alcohol Intake

As with all the other tips presented here, moderation is key when consuming alcohol. Unless you have serious issues or aversions to alcohol, it’s okay to enjoy a glass of fine wine now and again. However, too much alcohol can crush your efforts to attain a healthier, happier life. In addition, excess alcohol consumption can cause severe health conditions such as liver dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Minimize Stress

Let’s face it; stress is a fact of life. However, it can and should get avoided. Stress is the leading cause of anxiety, mental illness, obesity, asthma, digestive disorders, heart problems, and more. You can counteract stress by employing simple practices such as taking deep breaths, doing meditation, yoga, or taking time out to decompress. You can also reduce stress by avoiding situations that you know will get you twisted in a ball of nerves.

Additionally, you can counteract stress by reading a book or engaging in your favorite hobby or pastime.  Life is too short to be anxious all the time. That’s why traveling is good for your health because it gives you a chance to get away from stress and enjoy life. So do yourself a favor by getting healthy and enforcing a stress-free zone in your lifestyle.

Visit Your Doctor Regularly

When you’re thinking about starting a healthy lifestyle, think about checking with your doctor first. Visiting your doctor is especially important if you are making significant changes. For example, if it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, you might want to consult with your doctor to make sure it’s safe to start a pilates course.  If you’re trying soybeans and shellfish for the first time and prone to allergies, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first. Furthermore, regular doctor’s visits can mean early detection of harmful health conditions, and catching problems before full onset is your best advantage to staying fit.  Your health is not something with which to gamble.  So get clear about the condition of your health by visiting your doctor regularly.

What to Eat for a Healthy Lifestyle

The hurdles on the right diet track may seem endless and exhausting. Some nutritional experts recommend wheatgrass juices and grilled tofu. Other dietitians suggest lean meats and no carbohydrates. When you’re just trying to figure out how to make your life better with diet, all this hoopla can get harrowing. So squash the confusion and keep it simple by sticking to the tried and true foods proven to restore health and maintain weight. According to medically tested guidelines, optimal foods for a healthy lifestyle include fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, raw nuts, seeds, and whole grains.  You can even consult with a nutritionist or dietitian to confirm you’re eating the best food for your ultimate fitness goals.

How Can I Be Mentally Healthy?

A well-rounded approach to living your fullest is factoring in all aspects of your health, including mental wellness. Making healthier choices, as cited in these top tips, all contribute to improved mental wellbeing.  A balanced diet, regular exercise, proper nutrition are all crucial to establishing harmonious mental status. Avoid drugs, smoking, and excess alcohol, as these substances can lead to emotional and mental disturbances. If you struggle with preexisting conditions, many mental health treatment options are available for you to explore.

What Is the First Step in Developing a Personal Fitness Plan?

As you consider starting a healthy lifestyle, the first step is to outline your objectives. You might get tempted to plan out your goals, but goals are useless unless you first identify the reasons and purpose behind your efforts. Why do you want to lose weight? Why is it important to live with less stress? Ask and answer these and other questions. Write them down and get a clear picture of your fitness plan.  The first step to realizing and attaining improved wellness is clarifying the what, how, and why behind your desires.

The Benefits of Healthy Living

A happy life is a healthy life, and the benefits of improved health are endless.  From simple pleasures like walking up two flights of stairs without gasping for air or big joys like being healthy enough to take a two-week cruise, the gift of good health keeps on giving.  Healthy habits can help you avoid brain fog, prevent harmful cancers, improve motor function, and increase energy.  While you may count weight loss as the top reason for changing your lifestyle, that’s just a byproduct. Living healthy opens up a world of opportunities, joys, and pleasures. So don’t miss out on everything life has to offer; start living healthy today so you can savor life’s adventures heartily and happily.

Stick With It: What Is the 21/90 Rule?

In the 1960s, Dr. Maxwell Maltz wrote a self-help book in which he proposed it takes 21 days to forge a habit, and it takes 90 days to make that habit stick. This explanation is a tad oversimplified, but it’s a good guideline.  Science backs up the 21/90 rule on a more practical level. A study cited by The European Journal of Social Psychology indicates a more realistic expectation might be 70-250 days to hammer down a good habit.

We’re all different. It may take you less time to make healthy habits a fully integrated part of your lifestyle, while it may take your neighbor twice as long to accomplish the same good habits. The 21/90 rule can give you a loose direction as you employ new ways to be healthy. It’s nice to know that bad habits can be broken and replaced with good ones, and it doesn’t have to take forever. Sure, getting fit and healthier isn’t going to happen overnight.  But it’s worth sticking to a healthy routine for at least 21 – 90 days and beyond to solidify a healthy lifestyle for your best wellbeing.

The Last Word on How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

Whether you get fed up with hauling around a few extra pounds or you’re trying to recover from a severe illness, changing your lifestyle for the better can render endless benefits.  Consult with your physician about incorporating any of these suggestions and confirm that these easy changes can make lasting improvements to your overall well-being. The point here is that minor, simple adjustments add up to big results in attaining better health.  Honor yourself and remember all your reasons for getting healthy.  Be patient, practice moderation, and remember you are worth the investment for greater wellness!

(Note: The banner photo for this article is from Instagram user @mindbodybadass.

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