This post was submitted by Sophia Smith, beauty and style blogger, an eco-lifestyle lover, graphic designer and a DIY enthusiast. .
It’s easy enough to imagine staying away from wine or sweets for a single day. Just like we can handle a weekend hiking in the mountains during our vacation.
Creating sustainable healthy lifestyle habits, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. They require a much higher level of commitment in order to take effect and allow you to reap all those amazing rewards such as higher energy levels, improved mood, more confidence, reduce risk of various diseases, a stronger immune system, and a stunning physique.
Although the occasional cookie and the glass of wine is perfectly acceptable, it’s building these lifelong healthy lifestyle habits that are going to make all the difference. Here, we’ll tackle a few tips that have proven to be most effective in a lifelong pursuit of health and wellbeing, and that will hopefully serve as your trusted allies in achieving your health goals!
Choose nutrient-dense goodies
Eating properly is the main pillar of overall health – even your exercise plan won’t be able to give you the results you want without a proper diet to back it up.
The food you choose to consume is more than just nourishment for your body. It’s also the basis for longevity, good mood, for mental and emotional wellbeing, and staving off chronic illnesses.
To make sure you’ll consume nutrient-dense foods primarily, empty your kitchen cabinets of calorie-dense foods that are devoid of any nutrient value such as fast food, processed sugar, snacks of all sorts.
Introduce fresh and seasonal veggies and fruits into your diet to keep cravings at bay, and make sure your meals are well-balanced in all three main macronutrients. Those main meals will keep you satiated, but you’ll also have “room” in your diet for the occasional treat – because what’s life without those little pleasures, right?
Making sure you are eating vegetables at most meals is an easy way to build a sustainable healthy lifestyle habit.
Set aside weekly slots for exercise
There are no excuses to avoid regular physical activity. Even in the current circumstances with the lockdown and social distancing still relevant in most parts of the world, you can still follow a diverse and powerful workout routine at home that will keep you strong and lean.
Bodyweight training, HIIT, and yoga are all extremely beneficial for your overall wellbeing. Exercise in every possible form will keep your stress levels under control, let your body make the most of your nutritious meals, and of course, boost your immune system to keep pathogens at bay. Start with two or three brief exercise sessions to get you going, because reasonable, manageable goals are much more likely to inspire you to keep going.
If you start too strong, you might feel overwhelmed and abandon your fitness goals too quickly. Baby steps are the key here!
Tip: A great way to build a healthy lifestyle habit is to make sure you walk at least 10,000 steps a day. It’s easier than you think! With a fitness tracker, you’ll see you’re already walking more than you thought.
Treat yourself to an occasional detox
Unfortunately, there’s only so much control we can have in our lives. Environmental pollution from the soil, water, and air is more than enough to put pressure on our health and cause toxins to build up in our bodies. Not to mention years of unhealthy eating, lack of sleep, and other poor habits.
To help your body cleanse properly, you can introduce healthy detox drinks into your diet occasionally, and you’ll be able to get rid of those accumulated toxins in your system much more easily. Based on healthy ingredients such as green tea, echinacea, cranberry, and the like, these drinks can help your body eliminate toxins in a natural, healthy way while allowing you to go back to your healthy diet as soon as possible.
While detoxes don’t have to be a recurring part of your healthy lifestyle habit, they are definitely something you can add on when you feel your system needed a restart.
Replace the bad with the good
Although you should always check for underlying health issues that might be triggering your cravings, such as hormonal imbalances or nutrient deficiencies, you should be mindful of your choices. This will allow you to still treat yourself to that brownie from time to time without feeling guilty or going on a full-blown binge. Instead of reaching for fitness extremes, it’s key to introduce balance in your life.
So, when you crave a smoke or you’d like to munch on an entire box of cookies – you can replace that action with something healthy, such as a nutritious smoothie, or dancing to your favorite music. Get creative to find smart, healthy ways to change your lifestyle slowly.
Opt for movement when you can
In addition to those dedicated workout appointments in your schedule, your body and your mind will greatly benefit from added activities throughout the week. That doesn’t mean you should add hours of exhausting activities that will only drain you. On the contrary, you just need a little bit of movement dispersed throughout your days to replace your sedentary hours.
Consider cycling to work, or if you work from home now, you can invest in a treadmill, or take breaks by walking in the nearby park. You can go for a cup of coffee and walk with your friend – which will let you practice social distancing while you spend quality time being active with a friend.
As you can see, there is no magic bullet, or a single step you can take to make your love handles disappear or your self-confidence soar. It takes time, dedication, and discipline to truly reap the rewards of leading a healthy life. Of course, as time goes by, you’ll get more creative with your strategies, and perhaps keep learnings from like-minded enthusiasts.
What do you do to stay healthy?
Feel free to share your wellness wisdom in the comments below, and we’ll all keep improving our healthy lifestyle habits together.
Sophia Smith is beauty and style blogger, an eco-lifestyle lover, graphic designer and a DIY enthusiast. She is very passionate about natural skincare, minimalist wardrobe, yoga and mindful living. Sophia writes mostly about beauty-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Eco Warrior Princess, Viva Glam Magazine, How to Simplify and Carousel. You can find out more about her writing by following her on: Facebook & Twitter.