Your routine can make or break your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle. Those who adhere to everyday health-conscious practices like light exercise and healthy eating are less likely to suffer from disease and will have the energy and motivation they need to be successful.
Routines are also important for our mental health. They can help us fight burnout, build resilience, and reduce feelings of anxiety.
However, research shows that forming healthy habits is difficult, and a recent study found that it takes the average person 66 days to form a healthy habit like drinking water after breakfast or walking for 10 minutes.
So, here are a few ways you can make healthy living a part of your everyday routine
Most of us know that regular exercise is good for our overall health.
Despite this knowledge, it can be hard to form an exercise routine that you stick to — especially now that 45% of employees now work remotely. When you work from home, it’s hard to get the motivation to get up and leave the house. To overcome this, you should find a friend who also wants to work out or join an exercise group like a running club or fitness class. This will keep you accountable, and the joy of seeing other humans will help you stick to an exercise routine.
If exercising in a gym or joining an exercise group isn’t possible for you, you should seriously consider converting your spare room into a home gym. This will give you ease of access, and the process of building a home gym might motivate you to work out. To begin, invest in a small rack for dumbbells and an exercise machine for cardio that will give you plenty of options to train your muscles and lungs without leaving the house.
Exercise is only part of your healthy living routine. The diet you maintain between workouts can be harder to maintain but is equally crucial to ensuring that you achieve your health-related goals. Here are a few things you should know:
- Caloric Deficit – if your goal is to lose weight, you simply need to maintain a caloric deficit to achieve your goal in time. Many fad diets try to persuade people to eat certain foods to lose fat, but research repeatedly shows that a caloric deficit of roughly 500 calories is the most efficient way to lose weight.
- Variation – maintaining a caloric deficit is important for weight management, but healthy living should go beyond weight management. To support a healthy, active lifestyle you should eat a varied diet, as variation reduces your chances of becoming diabetic, improves your mood, and can increase your cognitive abilities.
- Water – Millions of people go throughout the day in a dehydrated state. However, remaining hydrated is crucial for your overall health, as research finds that those who are well hydrated are better at fighting off diseases, and are at a lower risk of becoming obese.
You can build a healthy diet routine by meal prepping in advance. Meal prepping one day a week will save you time during the workweek and ensure that your nutritious meals help meet your goals.
Habit Forming Tips
Understanding the importance of diet and exercise is one thing — following through and building a healthy routine is another. But feeling guilty about your bad habits does not work. Guilt will only make you less likely to follow a healthy lifestyle. Instead, you need to build a routine that forces you to form healthy habits.
There are few things better for building a better routine than adopting a new pet. Pets like dogs need to be walked every day, and require you to take regular breaks from work to feed them and let them outside. They also get you up from your desk and require you to walk miles every morning before you even have your first cup of coffee.
Owning a pet also helps you stay mentally healthy. The companionship of a pet keeps you stimulated, and this can decrease your blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and help you manage conditions like depression. Just make sure to insure your pet, as the financial burden of vet bills and medical costs will put extra strain on you and wreak havoc on the healthy habits you have previously formed.
The Weekends Count, Too
It’s ok to treat yourself at the weekend. However, just because you order takeout or go out with friends, you shouldn’t abandon your health entirely. Instead, you should try to balance unhealthy activities out with healthy ones. Here are a few weekend-specific health habits that you can build into your weekend:
- Healthy Activities – You can balance out unhealthy activities like partying or overeating by scheduling morning runs or by joining a weekend fitness class. This gives you the freedom to enjoy your life later on.
- Find Time for Rest – You work hard enough during the week — don’t overcommit to working during the weekend too. Instead, prioritize your health by saying “no” to social activities that don’t excite you, and choose to prioritize yourself by meditating or completing mindfulness activities.
- Balance Your Diet – You can enjoy cake or alcohol on the weekend, but you should find a balance. If you know you’ll be eating big in the evening, opt for low-calorie breakfast and lunch options to ensure you get the nutrients you need before you place your evening order.
Building a healthy routine is all about planning and preparation. You can meal prep before the week starts to ensure you get all the nutrients you need. You should also reach out to friends who will help you form a strong exercise habit. If socializing isn’t your thing, go outside more often, or build a home gym that will give you the solitude you need to achieve your healthy living goals.