15 Tips to a Healthier and More Balanced Lifestyle
We live now in the day and age of “want it/get it now!” We can access a whole wealth of information at the click of a button and travel across the globe in less than a day. When it comes to health, we are all looking for that quick fix, or a get fit fast opportunity. What many don’t realize, is that health is a lifestyle and not a 3 week diet to reset the system. So how can we achieve this balanced and healthy lifestyle? Here are some tips I have compiled:
1. Eat more to have a healthier diet!
Don’t try to cut anything out of your diet initially when trying to change your lifestyle. Add things like more veggies, fruits, lean proteins and essentials fats. Eventually you will find yourself filling up on these without anymore room for the not so good things. In time your body will learn to love the new healthier foods and crave them more and you won’t crave other foods.
2. Strive for positivity not perfection
No one is perfect. If your end goal is perfection or a perfect body, then the whole system won’t work. You will beat yourself up constantly. Aim for positive changes, such as feeling stronger or increasing your fibre intake instead of looking perfect in a bikini.
3. Be patient
As I mentioned before, we live in a world of contant updates and readily available remedies. It takes time for true healthy changes to kick in and if we give up after a week we will never see them. Patience is a virtue and not to be forgotten when it come to your health.
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself
If you eat a bad meal or skip a workout, you are not a failure. You are human. Don’t beat yourself up for any hiccups. Bumps and hiccups are a part of life and part of having a balanced lifestyle is having the power to accept and love yourself regardless of imperfections or bumps in the road.
5. Get lots of sleep!
Getting regular sleep is key to living a healthy lifestyle. Consistency and amount will determine how fatigued you are during the day and affect your motivation levels. Check out my post on sleeping better here!
6. Drink lots of fluids (non sugary ones)
Many people spend the majority of their days dehydrated without even knowing it. Dehydration can cause decreased concentration, fatigue, muscle weakness and many other issues. It also creates excessive thrist which can be disguised as hunger or cravings. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water everyday. You can spice it up and have your favorite tea as well! (You know how much I love tea )
7. Reward yourself
If you are someone who needs a little extra motivation, start a system where you give yourself a small reward for every time you do something that moves you toward your goal. For example, if you are starting an exercise program and need a little kick to get you going, start a jar and put a dollar in it every time you work out. Treat yourself with a new pair of workout shorts or that lululemon sports bra you have been wanting once the funds reach your desired goal.
8. Master the art of portion control
This is a big one for me. I have always been a big eater. Like – eat as much as my 6’2″ boyfriend big eater (I am 5’4″). I love food. But I have learned to love it in smaller quantities and for me this has had the most payoff. Take a longer time to eat, taste everybite and put your cutlery down between each bite.
9. Set aside time for you
You are the most important person in your life. You not believe it, you may have kids or a significant other you live and care for, however if you don’t take time for yourself, you cannot be your best self for your children or family. Schedule time in your day for a yoga class or to do a cicuit at home. You wouldn’t cancel on a meeting with your CEO? Why cancel on yourself?
10. Make exercise a habit
Try doing something everyday for at least 30 mins. Whether that is just going for a walk, stetching or doing high intensity training, move for 30 mins everyday and make it a habit. They say it takes 21-30 days to form a habit. Challenge yourself.
11. Make realistic and sustainable lifestyle changes
Start small and grow. Buying into a diet plan that advertises and promises changes in “21 days!” is not something that will sustain you for life. Focus on making changes that are going to be able to fit your lifestyle… forever. With that, there are some great 4 week challenge type exercise programs out there that are motivating and can produce results. Anything that gets us moving.
12. Hold yourself accountable
Make a bet, post it on instagram, challenge a friend to do it with you. Find something that works to hold yourself to your plan.
13. Make it social
The next time you make plans to hang out with friends, try this – hit up a yoga class together, or grab a tea and go for a walk. Choosing to make social time movement time is a great way to combine two important part of a balanced lifestyle.
14. Distract yourself if you have to
When I train for a half marathon (I have done 3 now!) I get myself hooked on something. For the Scotiabank half marathon I watched Game of Thrones on the treadmill and for SeaWheeze I had an audiobook on the go (I can’t even remember what book it was but I just finished Gone Girl recently and it was insanely good). Finding something to entertain you while you move is a nice tool to make the time go by if that is what helps. Good music is always necessary when doing any circuit training. Post with my favorite beats to come…
15. Concentrate on how you feel – not how you look
Think about how you feel after every workout. That is what you should strive for, not looking for perfections in the mirror.