Let’s face it—we’d all like a healthier lifestyle. We want to be motivated, feel good, but more importantly, we want long-term results, both at home and at the gym. The problem is… making consistent, positive lifestyle choices can be difficult to maintain, especially with the demands of our super hectic schedules.
So how do we do it? How can we maintain a healthy lifestyle in the face of all of those everyday stresses? The answer is simple—developing habit. Healthy lifestyle habits involving regular eating, healthy amounts of sleep, and proper fitness are the keys to reaching your goals and feeling your best. So, take a look at these 14 healthy lifestyle habits, and let’s get to work!
Wake Up Early
Whether you’re an early bird or night owl, try to wake up at the same time each day and make it at least 90 minutes before you need to roll out the door or jump on your first call. You’ll beat the typical distractions that come during the day like kids, phone calls, and emails. It’s time to get some much-needed peace and quiet to focus on you.
Make a Plan
Without a specific plan in mind, working out can be an uphill battle. When you set a plan and workout schedule, it takes a lot of the effort and willpower out of the equation. Just stick to your plan, and you’ll develop a healthy workout habit in no time. Added hint – those that workout first thing in the morning are the most fit on the planet, not because of any crazy morning chemical boost, it’s because they’re the most consistent and don’t let their day get in their way!
Set Manageable, Trackable Goals
Whenever you begin a healthy lifestyle habit, it’s important to think about your success rate in the long term. And that’s why setting realistic goals is key. When you achieve a small milestone along your road to success, you’ll gain the motivation to continue on to the next one, and the confidence you need to continue toward your larger goals. Example, “I’m gonna cut it down to 2 caffeinated beverages per day.”
Partnering up with a fitness buddy comes with two huge advantages: 1) it makes you accountable to another person and 2) it gives you a positive social aspect to your routines, making them much more enjoyable.
Change Your Surroundings
Healthy lifestyle habits have a tendency to become mundane over time. That’s why it’s so important to change it up regularly. For example, instead of hitting the treadmill for the umpteenth time, try taking a walk in the park or a nice jog at the beach. Refreshing your routine is key to keeping your workouts fun and break the cycle of monotony. You don’t have to give up the Spin® workouts you so love, rather just mix in some other fun routines.
Our bodies naturally get used to whatever habits we put them through—which can have both positive and negative effects. Once you establish a healthy habit, it’s time to push yourself. If you’re doing cardio, bump it up by five minutes. If you’re weight lifting, add a couple pounds. Your body needs to know that although you’re regularly working out, it’s not just business as usual.
Get Up, Stand Up
One integral part of a healthy fitness habit is getting off your rear and on your feet. Using a standing desk or taking little walks during the day are easy ways to burn more calories and keep you active during the day.
Getting proper rest time is absolutely essential to staying fit and healthy. It’s important to listen to your body: when you feel sore, take a day off; when you feel sleepy, take a power nap (ain’t no shame chicken wang!). Allowing your body to rest and recharge today is what’ll give you the energy tomorrow.
When it comes to establishing healthy eating habits, nothing beats portion control. And nowadays, it’s never been easier—simply purchase portion control containers that limit the amount of food you can pack in your lunch. Last time I was in the U.K. I noticed that their sizes were half, HALF, the portion sizes in the U.S. – There’s were proper, ours in the U.S. – TOO BIG!
Keep a Food Diary
We often eat without thinking about what we’re taking in. We blindly assume meals are low in fat or calories, when in reality, they’re not. Start keeping a food diary, and honestly track your calories to find out what you are actually putting in your body. I don’t suggest you obsess over this or journal daily, but use it as a tool to know if you’re on the right path and to know whenever you stray off the path and need to be re-directed back to healthy eating.
Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Keep your pantry and office refrigerator stocked with fruits and vegetables, and put them at eye level, so that whenever you get a little bit peckish, you can reach for something that won’t weigh you down.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Sometimes we eat because we think we’re hungry, not because we actually are. A great way to curb your appetite is to keep a water bottle close by, so that anytime you feel bored or restless, you can take a sip and move on!
Plan for Special Occasions
It’s easy to maintain a healthy diet day after day. The problems typically arise when we are faced with holidays, birthdays, and vacations. Luckily, there are easy steps around this. When you are headed to a special event where you know you’ll possibly be overeating, fill up with a small, healthy snack, and drink lots of water in preparation. That way, even if you get full, you’ll have occupied valuable stomach space with some good, wholesome food.
Exercise at Home
Lugging all your workout clothes to and from the gym can be an obstacle when trying to get healthy. We all get busy, and sometimes we just don’t have the time. But, if you can exercise from the comfort of your living room, those workout challenges won’t seem so tough. Streaming fitness services like Studio SWEAT onDemand are perfect for getting your sweat on at home. To get started with an at-home fitness plan, sign up for a 7-Day Free Trial, where you can take advantage of streaming workouts like Cycling, HIIT, TRX, bootcamp, Yoga, Pilates, and more.
Sticking to any healthy lifestyle habit can be tough, but if you do, you’re in for a world of good. It may be tough at first, but once you get used to a healthier routine, you’ll never let it go.
Ready? Let’s make a habit of it.