We all know the deal for feeling good right? Eat healthy food and exercise regularly. It’s drummed into us and for good reason. But why is it so hard to get off the couch and ditch the potato chips? And why is it so hard to stick to a healthy routine once we’ve got one going?
Who knows! Everyone is different. It may be that you have had an injury so you stop walking in the evening. Or you are stressed and cold so you eat a bit more than you know you should.
Whatever the barrier, we give you some hints to get back on track; sometimes getting into a healthy routine takes just a few small changes.
Our 5 top tips for starting a healthy routine (and sticking to it):
1. Make a decision
That’s right. Simple, isn’t it? The first thing you should do is actually make a decision to do something. For example, stop thinking, “I should get fit” and start thinking, “I am going to get fit”.
2. Make a plan
How are you going to get fit? Make a plan. Pick something you enjoy. Think about what you like doing that involves movement. For example, it may be swimming, gardening, walking or playing a sport. It could even be kicking a ball around with the kids. Think about what you want to do and how often you will be doing it. Write it down. This makes it easier to stick to.
3. Set realistic goals
Make sure what you have decided to do is realistic. You are only setting yourself up for failure if you set your goals too high, especially in the beginning. For example, if you want to get fit, don’t suddenly decide you have to go for a 10km run twice a week. Try running a short distance first, or maybe even walking, and then slowly building it up.
4. Swap out unhealthy food
One of the best ways to feel good is to eat healthy food. Each week try to up your fruit and veggie intake – try just one more piece at a time until you get to five plus. Swap out a can of fizzy for a glass of water. Swap out a biscuit for a piece of fruit. Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes and getting plenty of rest will do wonders too.
5. Be kind to yourself
Remember, everybody slips up. It’s not the end of the world if you miss your run or if you have a piece of chocolate cake. We’re all human. Before you know it, your healthy routine will be second nature and a normal part of your daily life. And remember, having a healthy routine doesn’t have to cost you money. Going for a walk or run is free and eating an apple instead of a chocolate biscuit isn’t going to break the bank.