As a personal trainer and lifestyle educator, I am often asked, “Where do I even begin!?” Living a healthier lifestyle can be a lot to take in when first beginning. My advice….take one step at a time! When you learned to ride a bicycle, were you perfect the very first time? Probably not. But did you give up immediately? No, because you wanted to ride that bike so bad! Practicing a little bit everyday until you were able to speed race that sucker is what it takes! The same holds true for living a healthier life.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is WHY. Why do I want to make better choices? Why do I want to live a more healthy and balanced lifestyle? If you are a parent, it may be for your children; to be able to keep up with your children and be around for their college graduation. It may be to set a good example for them. There are so many reasons why we want to get healthier, but the bottom line is YOU. We have one body and one life. Take care of it!
So back to my question of, “Where do I begin?” Here are 10 great steps to get you started…..
–> Get active at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes. This could be walking, running, going to the gym, taking a fitness class, or just getting in a quick workout at home.
Try this when short on time or get it in 3 days a week!
–> Ditch the soda! This adds nothing but empty calories. Drink more water!
–> Choose more nutrient dense foods. These are nutrient rich foods with fewer calories.
–> Don’t skip breakfast! When our bodies go through a fasting state overnight, it is important to refuel with a nutrient packed breakfast.
Here are a few examples:
–> Eat every 2-4 hours. Many times, our problem is that we are not eating enough through out the day. So when we do eat, our bodies will hold on to whatever you have eaten and store it as fat rather than burn it for fuel.
–> Include a lean protein at EVERY meal. Protein is our building blocks for building lean muscle and helps keep us full. Just to name a few……
–> Include a vegetable or fruit with every meal.
–> Don’t be afraid of fats! Our body needs good, healthy fats. They are a major fuel source for our bodies and the main way that we store energy.
–> Surround yourself with positive, like minded individuals! Research says we become like the 5 people we spend most of our time with. Put yourself in the center of 5 uplifting individuals who are going to be your biggest cheerleaders and help you reach your goals! (To learn more, check out my post on surrounding yourself with positive people)
–> Most of all, don’t look at this as a DIET. Diets are short term. To be better and feel great, remember your “WHY.” Healthy living does not have to be boring. It is all in how you perceive it.
Start where you feel most comfortable and work your way up. You do not have to start all 10 steps at once, but with 2 or 3. Remember this is like learning to ride a bike. You don’t give up on the first try. Once you get the hang of it, feel better, and see results, your world will be ROCKED!