The fast food line is so easy and watching that extra episode of your favorite show instead of exercising is so tempting. Over time, however, your body pays the price for these choices. Good health is a great goal for people of any age. There is no time like the present to start building better habits for your health and overall wellness. Here are a few steps to take that will get you moving in the right direction.
You can't out-exercise a bad diet, so that's a good place to start. What you put into your body affects everything it does - or doesn't do. Getting the right nutrition can give you more energy, improve heart and lung function and help you sleep better. The choices you make in the kitchen influence every other aspect of your life.
The good news is that you don't have to have a complicated, elaborate meal plan that involves a lot of prep work to make healthier choices. You can make a shake out of pre-workout supplement powders for a quick boost of energy that helps you build muscle while you exercise. You can buy raw fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat for quick snacks. Anytime you make a healthy meal, double your ingredients for convenient leftovers so that you are less tempted to pick up something fast on your way home from work. Even small changes can make a big difference.
Strength training is an important part of any workout regime. Muscle helps you burn calories faster, boosting your metabolism. Being stronger enables your body to sustain energy longer.
The traditional way to strengthen your muscles is by joining a gym. If you're just starting out, this is probably your best option because it comes with a lot of support. Not only do gyms have a lot of equipment to choose from to ensure that you get a full-body workout, they also usually have personal trainers on staff to walk you through the process. Other options for strength training include pilates and yoga studios.
At the same time you are building muscle, you also want to burn fat. Food is fuel, and cardio exercise channels that fuel into something productive. Do you want to be able to run up a couple flights of stairs without wheezing? A solid cardio practice can help you achieve that.
If you are already working out at the gym to build strength, you can also hop on a stationary bike or treadmill to work in half an hour of cardio every time you visit. If you would rather alternate days, you can branch out and try other things such as running, dancing or team sports. Choose an option that is fun, and you won't have to work as hard to get motivated to do it.
One way to stay on top of your healthy choices is to set tangible goals. What does optimal health look like to you? Do you want to become an ultramarathoner or maintain mobility so that you can play with your grandchildren? Having a clear picture of what you want is vital to success.
Once you have a long-term goal, you can set short-term goals to help you get there. If you want to be a runner, start by training for a 5K. If flexibility is your main focus, push yourself a little further each time you stretch. Think about the positive outcomes you want to achieve and imagine the obstacles that may get in the way. Come up with a plan to overcome those obstacles. As with any aspect of life, knowing where you want to end up helps you not only build the habits you need to get there but also remove any roadblocks.
Making smarter choices doesn't mean you have to completely give up everything you love. If you turn better habits into your norms, though, the occasional indulgences won't derail your progress toward a happier, healthier life.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.