Starting a healthy lifestyle can be super intimidating. At the beginning, it can seem like a huge mountain to climb. From healthy eating to exercising, it can seem like a massive commitment. However, there are ways to kickstart a healthy lifestyle and ease you into making good habit changes in your life.
Set Honest Intentions
Before you start making any changes, it is important to set intentions for your health journey. Ask yourself a few key questions:
- Why do you want to live a healthier lifestyle?
- What change specifically are you looking to make?
- Do you have an accountability partner or support system?
- What kind of support will you need throughout this process?
These questions will help you to assess the reason you are starting this journey and what you are striving to achieve. Your intentions are just for you, you do not need to share them with anyone else, you will find it beneficial to write these down and refer to them throughout your health journey. These will act as a reference point for you during this process. One example of a healthy intention that you could set for yourself is, “I want to fuel my body with nutrients that will support my body and give me energy.” This would be the intention behind your decision to focus on healthy eating. If you frame this journey as a time to invest in yourself and your health, it will go a long way when it comes to motivation and your outlook on the whole experience!
Drink Lots of Water
This tip is probably mentioned within every single blog post, book, and healthy living video on the market, but it is so key. Drinking water is the backbone of a healthy lifestyle. Your body is 60% water after all!
If you are dehydrated, you will experience symptoms such as extreme thirst, irritability, fatigue, headaches, and dizziness. On the other hand, regular and consistent hydration supports your overall health, regulates body temperature, gives you more energy, helps regulate healthy weight, and supports proper organ function.
A straightforward way to remind yourself to stay hydrated throughout the day is to always carry a reusable water bottle with you. You can also download an app on your phone to help track your water intake and remind you to drink water at various times during the day. One I have used in the past is simply called Drink Water Reminder and it is available for free in the app store.
Move Your Body 30 Minutes Per Day
Regular exercise is another cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, this does not have to include HIIT workouts or intense workout classes. Simply moving your body 30 minutes each day is enough. Whether you enjoy practicing yoga and meditation, going for walks around your neighborhood, playing tennis with friends, or something else entirely, it is completely up to you!
Exercise is beneficial to both the mind and body. Regular exercise improves overall mood, helps regulate weight, boosts energy levels, lowers blood pressure, and helps to improve your overall health. So, choose an activity that brings you serenity and joy, and stick with it, your body will thank you!
Swap Unhealthy Snacks for Healthy Alternatives
Potentially one of the most intimidating factors of beginning a healthy lifestyle is switching up your diet. My best advice is to slowly incorporate healthy foods and remove unhealthy ones. This makes it a much more approachable task and releases some of the early apprehension of making this change. For example, instead of reaching for snacks like candy or potato chips, swap them out for things like fresh fruit and nuts. These will help curb those sweet and salty cravings, while also incorporating more nutrients into your diet.
You can also do this with beverages. Instead of your usual cup of coffee in the afternoon, try swapping it with matcha or a cup of hot tea. This will give you the caffeine boost that you are looking for to fight that afternoon slump, but with added health benefits and a lower caffeine amount.
You can also incorporate things such as D3 vitamins and probiotic capsules from Magnesium to Zinc, to infuse even more nutrients into your diet. By taking those once a day, eating clean foods, and enjoying a protein shake occasionally you will be well on your way!
If you really want to start your healthy journey with a bang, consider taking part in our 7-day cleanse. This will work to rid your body of toxins before you begin your new lifestyle in full!
Meal Plan & Prep Weekly
Another way to make sure you are fueling your body with the nutrients it needs, while keeping this change as stress-free as possible, is meal prepping. This puts an end to the daily conundrum of deciding what to cook, not to mention the health benefits. If you already have a healthy meal prepared for the day, then you are far less likely to resort to old, unhealthy eating habits, such as ordering food multiple times a week. It also saves you time throughout the week, since you only need to cook one day per week (I suggest Sundays).
When grocery shopping, have a few recipes in mind that you would like to enjoy during the week, and write down all the ingredients you’ll need to prepare them. For meal prepping, consider buying in bulk. This may seem unnecessary to some, but whatever you do not eat right away, you can simply store it in the refrigerator or freezer until you need it. This way, you can focus on other things during your busy week like work deadlines and making sure you get enough sleep.
Take an Introspective Inventory
A great practice to incorporate into your day-to-day life is introspective reflection. This is great to do prior to starting on this new path, as well as throughout your health journey. You can do this by journaling, meditating, or simply thinking during a moment of solitude. Introspection is a terrific way to learn more about yourself and what you truly need. It helps you process emotions, become more self-aware, examine personal values, supplies clarity, and set goals for your future.
Remember, there is not one right way to live a healthy lifestyle. You’ll need to listen to your body throughout the process and provide it with what it needs. This is also true for exercise, do what feels right for your body, not what you have seen someone else do. What works for them may not work for you, and that’s okay!
We are all on our own journeys and they all look different, just like we do. Take it slow, get support where and when you need it, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Think of living a healthier lifestyle as a form of self-care, not a restrictive dietary practice.
If you need extra support, book a free online session with one of our wellness coaches at Clean Program!
By Megan Waterhouse