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Building Healthy Habits – Part 1

When you decide to start a new fitness regime, the initial ‘to do’ list can be quite exciting (and sometimes daunting). From clearing out your fridge and pantry to trying to figure out which ‘diet’ works best for you to buying new workout outfits to supplement your new gym membership, just starting the process of being healthy can be overwhelming and frustrating. The main thing to focus on is making small, sustainable changes versus drastic measures that you cannot maintain over time.

While the list of ‘things to do’ in order to get started can be very long, I’m going to start by suggesting just 3 things to begin with:

1) Set you goal(s)

2) Start eating a bit less

3) Start exercising a bit more

I know those three things seem very basic, but these are three things that you can do TODAY without much planning at all.

Goals

Take 15 minutes for yourself today and write down your goals. Make sure they are specific and measurable. Make sure they are reasonable and attainable.Just saying ‘lose weight’ isn’t good enough. How much weight and by when? Make sure your goals are measurable. Simply writing ‘to be healthy’ is too vague. Take the time to figure out what good health looks like to you. Think about why you are writing these down as your goal. Identifying your motivation is important so that you can keep reminding yourself of why you are putting in all this effort in the first place. After you write down your goals, put them up somewhere where you will see them on a daily basis. Whether it’s on your refrigerator door, on your bathroom mirror, or on a post-it at your desk – write it down and keep it in mind. Once you have established your goals, you can come up with a food and fitness plan that will help you reach them.

Food

Good nutrition is an essential component of good health. There are so many over-processed, preservative-stuffed, unhealthy foods out there. Cleaning up your diet and setting up a good meal plan takes time. However, until you figure out exactly what you are going to eat, you can start by eating a bit less. Instead of serving your food family style, portion your food on your plate and sit down to eat. Skip going for seconds. Chew your food properly and eat slowly. Oh, and drink lots of water.

Fitness

Exercise is important for so many reasons. When trying to decide what kind of workout you will do, find something you find enjoyable and put it in your schedule. If you have hectic days, see if you can work something in during your lunch hour. If you are completely unfamiliar with exercise, maybe join a local gym and try out some of their group classes. If you’re completely unsure, go out for a 30 minute walk each day. There are tons of free workout videos online too. The options are endless. The key thing is to start and incorporate it into your daily routine. As you start to exercise, make sure you warm-up before and cool down after your workout. Also, if you feel pain or discomfort don’t continue and consult a physician for advice.

Remember, start with small, simple changes and keep modifying as you go along. Of course there is nothing wrong with going all in from the very beginning. You know what kind of changes suit you best. Remember, this is your life. You are in control. You make the choices – and you have to own up to the consequences.

Here are a few other tips to get you started:

1. Drink more water (cut down/eliminate soda, juice, alcohol)

2. Eat more fresh foods (cut down/eliminate processed foods that are filled with artificial flavors and preservatives and excess sugar)

3. Move more (take the stairs instead of elevator, walk instead of drive, find a fun activity to participate in)

4. Eat less and chew more

5. Get enough sleep

Making the decision to try and change your lifestyle is the hardest step – now you’ve just got to put it all motion.

Just in case you’re not sure how to proceed, the Whole Life Challenge is an excellent place to start. The next round of the challenge starts on January 20th, and I’d love to have you as part of my Worldwide Warriors team. To find out more about the challenge, read this post. To sign up and be part of my team, follow this link. If you have any questions, get in touch!

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© Copyright 2016 - Ayesha M. Kamal