6 Simple Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Historically, I’ve not been very consistent with my fitness routine. I’m either all in, eating healthy with a rigid nutrition plan (as much as it pains me to admit it, I’ve really enjoyed following the Whole30 program) and working out regularly, or I let life happen and succumb to all my food cravings, lose sight of appropriate portion sizes and de-prioritize any exercise from my schedule (outside of keeping up with my kids). Admittedly, I’m usually on the latter side of these.

I know either extreme is not sustainable and lately, I’ve really been striving to find a middle-of-the-road option that works for me (particularly in conjunction with the needs of my family). Below are some tips I’ve incorporated to create the foundation of my healthier lifestyle:

  1. Start the day with a workout. Go for a run, or do a quick at-home workout at a time without any distractions. I love doing a short 10-minute workout while the kids are still sleeping and before I take a shower in the morning. Starting the day with something that gets my cardio up really cultivates a sense of inner empowerment and makes me more vigilant about making healthier eating choices throughout the day. I try to do this at least 5 days per week.
  2. Workout for at least 30 minutes a few times per week, doing something that interests you. I have the advantage of a CrossFit coach for a mom and she is eager to assist with creative workout routines that help me stay on-track with my fitness goals. Free weights, focused motions, exercise equipment, running, cycling, hiking and swimming all are great options to consider when creating your workout routine; a few of these are especially enticing if you can do them as a family. I suggest trying a variety of exercises to find what you most enjoy, what provides the best results and that you will willingly come back to.
  3. Set guidelines and goals for your nutrition. Personally, I do best with more structure and will work off a modified Whole30 approach, with some additional allowances that make it more manageable long-term (I have to allow for some carbs; my life wouldn’t be complete without pasta in some capacity). I’ll also incorporate a few cheat meals a week. This plan may not work for everyone, though, so it is important that you know your strengths and any limitations to create a plan that you can implement successfully.
  4. Spend time planning your meals and have fun with it! Adequate planning is essential for consistent healthy eating, so make sure you invest time in finding meals that you can get excited about. I have a deep love for all things food, so it isn’t difficult for me be enthusiastic about meal planning. If you are interested in a good starting place, here is my Pinterest board with several yummy, clean-eating recipes. Also, to help with the actual planning, I love using AnyList App; it is a fabulous all-in-one platform for saving and creating recipes, planning your meals and conveniently making your grocery list each week, based on the menu for the upcoming week.
  5. Share your fitness goals with others for the added accountability and see if you can get anyone to join in (especially if that someone has strong willpower)! I’m always more successful when working alongside my husband, sister, mom or friend towards goals; the shared investment and comradery increases the chance for success and makes it a more enjoyable experience.
  6. Cut yourself some slack. Some days will be harder than others and things may come up that make it exceedingly difficult for you to stick to your plan. Don’t see those moments as failures; use them as opportunities to reset expectations and to make any necessary adjustments for the plan. You don’t want to let one slip-up or even a bad week ruin your resolve and set back all the progress you’ve made.

I hope some of these are helpful in finding your healthy-living routine! Best of luck to you as you work towards finding what works for you!

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