Better health, better nutrition, weight loss and getting in shape. All these things are pushed at each of us every day. No matter where we look, some form of media is doing an in your face advertising approach to sell you products and services to achieve optimal health.
With this in mind, I would like to give you a few points to consider. Here is a “Jump-Start to Health and Fitness Essentials”
Getting healthy does not start with products or services. It all begins with a shift in your mindset and your lifestyle. Everything from how you view life to what you eat to cutting back on addictive behaviors is where you must start the process. The one sure-fire way to fail right out of the gate is to try and change everything all at once. It took years for most of you to develop bad habits, become sedentary, gain weight and generally become less healthy and fit than you want to be.
Here are 10 essential starting points:
1. Time, start with goals based on 30-day then 60-day then 90-day increments. Remember health and fitness goals are not done after a few weeks of effort. It is ongoing and should be built into your long-term lifestyle.
2. A support network of friends and family. You must receive encouragement and participation from the people closest to you.
3. Change your attitude to one that views each day as a gift, not a challenge. A simple shift in mindfulness that allows you to see each day as an adventure and finding small bits of joy and happiness can be one of the most significant assets to your health and fitness success.
4. Become aware of what you eat. Many processed foods are designed to drive the urge to eat. Discover what is it means to eat nutritionally sound whole foods. Avoid the bad stuff even if it’s so good. Read the labels and avoid things like high fructose corn syrup and sugary drinks. Include at least 30 percent of your daily food intake with raw foods like fruits and vegetables.
5. Start with small changes to your diet. Eat smaller quantities and drink more water instead of soda. Reduce processed foods with more whole foods that are similar, but again be aware of what and how much you are eating and track the changes.
6. Ease into your workouts. Too much too soon and you will get injured, become discouraged or just burn out quickly. Less is more with regular exercise. Studies are proving that even a small daily routine of a brisk walks every day and 20 minutes of weight training a week can make a difference.
7. Take an exercise class. Working out with a group can make it fun; work with your local gyms or hire a trainer to get started. Seek some basic instruction to get started correctly. This can make all the difference in successful long-term results.
8. You must set realistic goals both short term and long term. Make them easy ones to get started, then push yourself harder as you see results. Goal setting is essential, and without it, you will not get to where you want to be.
9. Track your progress. Keep a journal of your eating; log your exercise and heart rate. Do not weigh yourself every day. Instead, do it twice a week and record your progress. Remember muscle weighs more than fat so you may not see weight drop very quickly. Your clothes will tell the tale better as you see inches drop away.
10. Get a checkup from your doctor to be sure you’re healthy enough to start an exercise program. Do not overdo it and get plenty of rest. Building up your conditioning needs to be a gradual process.
Remember this isn’t a weight loss program and you’re not training for a marathon, at least not yet. This is just the beginning of lifestyle changes to look, feel and be much healthier.
Each day, challenge your mind, be mindful and stay positive, relax, enjoy the adventure. Surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you and celebrate your successes.
Be aware of what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat. Every day, work on your flexibility; be sure to do stretching, maybe try yoga and/or Pilates-type exercises.
Finally, plan and track your workouts. Gradually increase your cardio and strength routines. Be consistent and do not overdo it and if it becomes too complicated, just change up your program. Seek advice or help from a fitness professional. Reach out, just do not give up.
Remember that it just gets more comfortable the further down the health and fitness road you go. Stay focused on the journey, not the destination.
Judd Jones is a Certified Primal Health Coach and Fitness Consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.jhanawellness.com.