5 habits to kick-start a healthy lifestyle

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5 habits to kick-start a healthy lifestyle

by: Elizabeth Jones | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: August 15, 2017

We all know that trying to find time to exercise and eat clean can be difficult to add onto our preexisting to-do list. At the same time, it can be exhausting rushing to get fit just in time for summer or trying to slim down before a big event. Three-month diet plans and workout regimens can work, but once they’re over it’s too simple to slip back into old habits. Here are some tips on how to establish a lasting healthy lifestyle.

1. Find a workout routine you enjoy

Workouts are meant to be challenging, but it’s also important to find a style of exercise that clicks with you and aligns with your goals. If you enjoy lifting heavy weights, high-intensity interval training, running for miles, swimming laps in the pool, attending yoga classes, going biking or anything else that gets your body moving then stick to it! A workout routine that will get you off the couch, especially on the days you aren’t motivated, is the one you need.

2. Don’t eat boring foods

What many discover at the beginning of their fitness journey is the dedication to eat clean can be harder than going to the gym. Eating nutritious foods is a vital part of your journey no matter what your goals are. You will have to broaden your healthy eating horizons beyond chicken, rice and broccoli if you want this lifestyle to last. Pinterest is a great source for finding creative, healthy recipes such as baked oatmeal cups, smoothie bowls and shrimp stuffed avocados to name a few. You can even find healthy alternatives to your favorite junk foods such as donuts, pizza, ice cream and cookies. It’s easier to stay on track when you have fun in the kitchen and satisfy your cravings.

3. Stay active outside the gym

Exercising doesn’t always have to take place on treadmills or in weight rooms. Take your dog on a long walk, go hiking, ride your bike on errands, or take walking breaks at work. Finding moments throughout the day to squeeze in spurts of exercise will help you stay active. It’ll become second nature once you do it long enough.

4. Change it up

While sticking to a routine you enjoy is important, your progress may plateau over time. Be mindful of your own stats and keep things challenging. Attempt that tough yoga inversion, throw heavier plates on the squat rack, sprint faster, jump rope longer or literally go the extra mile. Push yourself and your limits to keep your progress moving forward. If boredom is the cause of your plateau then it’s time to spice things up. Go to a new spin class, try rock climbing or kayaking, enter the weight room or hop on the elliptical. You never know what new passion you may find. This will also give you more confidence to go outside your comfort zone.

5. Indulge from time to time and don’t feel bad about it

Don’t get wrapped around the idea that you’ll lose progress if you don’t stick to your routine 100 percent of the time. Living your life is just as important to your overall well-being as working out and eating healthy. As you get deeper into your fitness journey, you’ll know when to say yes or no to certain things. It’s okay to have a scoop of gelato when you’re exploring a new city, or that extra glass of wine at your best friend’s wedding. Whatever it is you’re experiencing, you need to enjoy yourself without guilt.

Balancing every aspect of life can be hard. Take baby steps and start implementing these habits and it will become easier with each passing day. Always remember why you started this lifestyle in the first place. Create new goals and don’t forget to look back on how far you’ve come. You’ll thank yourself later.