5 steps to a healthy life

If you’re like me, dieting and training competitions are attractive, but they don’t last long. We’re easily drawn to a “quick fix” program, right?

We are often pressed for time and want to find the best way to get results in the least amount of time. Something that’s not very fun to hear – quick results aren’t always the best results. We are all human. Life happens, stress can fluctuate, schedules can get full. When we choose a healthy lifestyle, we learn to accept and adapt to these things like busy schedules, stress, work, etc.

Sure, we can get results by doing extreme dieting and exercise challenges, but the number of people who follow the place closely is very small. Challenges are often completed in a short time frame and have strict guidelines for success and failure. This can destroy both our physical and emotional health.

When we set extreme goals, we’re likely to feel down when we “fail.” When the standards are less aggressive, we’re more likely to remain consistent and enjoy our wellness journey. We don’t put extreme pressure on ourselves to be perfect. If we eat something “bad” or miss a workout, we can wake up the next day and get right back on track because now it’s just a “lifestyle.”

This five-step approach is much more realistic and produces more consistent results over the long term:

Find exercises that you enjoy

This is important when it comes to training consistently. If you’re constantly doing exercises that you don’t enjoy and you feel physically and emotionally weak, you won’t do them. It’s better to choose exercises that make you feel good, even if they’re not that intense. You will hold on to them longer. Constant, low-intensity workouts will always beat inconsistent, high-intensity workouts.

Be patient as you reach your goals

Remember that results take time. Be gentle with yourself. Nothing good comes easy. Learn to fall in love with your wellness journey and the person you become along the way.

Don’t stop eating the foods you love

I’m a strong advocate of never giving up the foods you love. Discover a way to make your favorite foods healthier. If pizza is your favorite food, don’t let it go. This will make you feel disadvantaged. Get inventive and use clean ingredients to make your healthy version.

Don’t compete with anyone

This is your life and your wellness journey. Everyone is different, so you should never compare yourself to anyone else. As long as you wake up and try to be better than yesterday, you’re on the right track.

Try new things

Step out of your comfort zone. Try a new fitness class with a friend and try different foods. Seasonal grocery shopping is the easy way to experiment with different foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Stepping out of your comfort zone and making changes keeps things interesting and helps you stay motivated and inspired to make this type of life a permanent lifestyle.

Drew Earls currently serves as the Memberships Coordinator and Exercise Specialist at the Sam B. Cook Healthplex. Earls has over 10 years of experience as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Wellness Director.

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