Everywhere you go, people are talking about living a healthy lifestyle. And although most people want to do just that, they don’t know how to start. You can’t just get up one morning and say, “I’m going to start living healthier today.” You have to have a plan. So, if you aren’t sure how to begin, read on to learn the top five ways to jump start your healthy lifestyle.
Get a Physical
Before you begin a healthy lifestyle, you need to know what your baseline health looks like. For instance, you need to know what your cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels are to know if you need to address these areas. Your doctor will also ask you questions regarding what you eat in addition to how much alcohol you consume. They will also ask you how much you exercise and what type of exercise you do. This is all important information to determine your current health status.
Examine Your Current Eating Habits
To examine your current eating habits, ask yourself the following:
- Do you eat at restaurants frequently or do you mostly cook at home?
- What types of food do you typically eat?
- Are you already eating healthy or are you a junk food junkie?
The foods you should eat should depend on your individual needs and preferences. For instance, if you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a low sodium diet. The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate shows you the types and amounts of food that you should eat at each meal.
Explore New Foods and Recipes
Take this time of moving to a healthier lifestyle to explore new foods. When you explore different foods or cooking styles, you may learn that you like Brussels sprouts when they are grilled versus being boiled. Or, a food that you thought you didn’t like but had never tried could turn out to be your new “favorite.” The more variety you have in your diet, the less bored you will be at mealtime. And, the less bored you are, the better chance you have at sticking to your healthy lifestyle.
Start an Exercise Program
When you begin an exercise program, the key is to begin slowly and choose an exercise that you will enjoy. This will enable you to make a habit out of exercising. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s important to get 30 minutes of exercise per day. But if that’s not feasible, you can break it down into five to 10-minute increments. Any amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all. All you need to do is just get moving.
Get Some Support
You are more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle if you have someone to do it with you. This person can act as your accountability partner to help you stay on track. They can also help you when it comes to exploring new foods as you can try new recipes or restaurants together. Exercising with a partner is great, too, because they can challenge you to push yourself farther and encourage you when you are struggling.
Once you have decided to begin a healthier lifestyle, the sky’s the limit as to where it will take you. Just remember, a healthier lifestyle is a journey, not a destination. So, take your time and enjoy it. And best of all, you’re never too old to get started.