Four Ways To Keep Healthy Habits by Paige Johnson

“Be healthier” is probably pretty high on almost everyone’s list of things to do. Perhaps it takes the form of “lose weight,” “get fit,” or “eat less sugar,” but the goal is ever present.

Information surrounding healthy habits is everywhere (how to eat healthy, how to exercise properly, how to get a tight tummy before bikini season hits, etc.), but how do we create healthy habits that never fade, even on our bad days? Here are a few suggestions:

Make Sleep A Priority

Good decisions are hard to make most of the time, but especially when we are tired. In the flurry of fad diets and commercialized workouts, one of the most important aspects of health is often overlooked – sleep. Sleep is essential. In an article from Self.com about what happens to your body when you don’t sleep, they outline the devastation of sleep deprivation, bad skin, slowed metabolism, mood swings, and brain fog, just to name a few. Number four is especially important if diet changes are part of your health plan.

This is seconded by Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietician, Arnold Vaughn, of Southern WV ENT & Endocrinology. He says, “The more your thought processes are compromised, the easier it is to choose cookies when vegetables would be better!”

Take Baby Steps

Plunging head-first into the latest diet craze or exercise program can be counterproductive to long-term goals. Making drastic changes like this can actually cause fast and hard regressions leading to yo-yo dieting and failed exercise routines.

Vaughn’s one piece of advice for anyone seeking healthy change is, “Small changes consistently made can achieve big results.”

Look for ways to make these habits fun so that they will be maintained. If running a 5k and weightlifting are on your blacklist, water aerobics might be more your style! Fitness Magazine is an endless resource for workout ideas like taking your workout to the pool. “Treading water vigorously” can burn up to 11 calories a minute which is the equivalent of a six-mile-per-hour-run!

Keep Yourself Accountable

Make this journey with friends. Shelon Milligan is a full-time working mother and also a Team Beachbody Coach. She is in a number of Facebook groups surrounding fitness, and she says these support groups keep her accountable.

“I already posted it to Facebook!” she laughed, when asked what motivates her to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning for her routine. “How can I be a good example if I turn back now?”

Whether we look to apps and the pedometers on our phones to keep track of our progress and post it to social media or join the local gym, having people with whom we share the journey, both achievements and failures, makes it harder to backpedal or convince ourselves that it’s okay to quit.

Be Kind To Yourself

Milligan also points out that she has her off mornings. Sometimes she doesn’t get out of bed when the alarm goes off, and she’s only able to complete a partial workout before it’s time to go to work. But, she points out, “Fifteen minutes is better than nothing.”

Diets are frequently accompanied by mentions of “cheat days,” and they are going to happen because we are human, but one mistake doesn’t have to trash the whole day. Healthy habits can begin again, even if the reset happens at lunch.

It can be difficult to stay motivated for a full 365 days. Especially, with our bodies because changes seem to happen so slowly, and we wanted results yesterday. With these four tips, healthy habits can lead to a healthy lifestyle.

by Paige Johnson from Learnfit.org