Most of us know what it takes to be healthy. You know that you’re supposed to eat more vegetables and fewer Doritos. And you know that you’re supposed to get out there and jog every morning before work. But Doritos are so delicious, and your bed is so warm. You keep making big plans and failing to follow through. What’s going on?
You could be aiming for huge changes without thinking about the kind of changes that you’ll actually follow through on. What you need to do is to start small with your exercise plans, and to use the tricks below to make sure that your routines and habits get strong and stay that way.
Form hobbies and habits
Why aren’t you sticking to your exercise goals?
The answer is simple: You don’t want to. And why would you? Exercise is hard. It’s a lot more fun to sit around and watch TV.
Or, at least, that’s the case until you find the kind of exercise that really inspires you to move and challenge yourself. A lot of wonderful active hobbies are out there, explain the experts who run a dance studio in Beaverton, OR. If you keep looking, you’re sure to find yours.
An active hobby will get you moving and help you commit. And any form of exercise will get easier as you get into the habit, because habits are powerful things. Just remember to start small and focus on having fun. As you build on your momentum, you’ll find that you’re making progress without having to draw on every last ounce of your willpower. So if you hate running, don’t run. If you hate weight-lifting, don’t lift. Do something else, like dancing or swimming. Let your exercise routine suit your preferences.
Don’t forget about your diet
There’s a great saying about exercise: You can’t outrun a bad diet.
What does that mean? Just that you can’t exercise your way to the body that you want without eating well, too. To be clear, it’s important to exercise for health reasons even if you’re not meeting your body goals. But if you want to get skinny, you’ll need to remember that every mile you walk or run will burn somewhere around 100 calories (that’s the average for a 180-pound person; it’ll be a bit less for smaller folks and a bit more for larger ones). That means a typical person has to run a mile and a half to burn off just one of the very smallest bags of Doritos. Yikes!
So don’t put yourself in a hole with your diet. Fuel your body with whole foods (vegetables especially) and steer clear of the processed junk that will weigh you down and won’t provide levels of energy that are adequate for your workout needs.
Make plans for vacations and other changes
Let’s say that you’ve mastered all of the things above. You’re all set, right? You wake up, you eat right, and exercise is a fun habit and hobby that, at this point, provides you with a really good workout that your body is ready for every day. You’ve never felt better!
But be careful, because our habits work in ways that tie them to other parts of our routines. Without the right habit triggers, you won’t have functioning habit loops. And that means that when you travel or otherwise disrupt your usual lifestyle and routine, you may find your exercise and health priorities falling apart.
So plan ahead. If you’re heading on vacation, find great restaurants around your destination that will have healthy food options. Pack your own lunches for day trips and long plane rides. And find ways to exercise on your vacation, too, suggest experts who offer paddle board rentals in Palm Beach, Florida. You can find a ton of ways to have fun in the sun while sneaking a bit of exercise into your vacation plans, too.
Will you be perfect every day? Of course not, and it’s OK to slip up once in a while. What’s important is that you focus on the big picture and use the tricks above to stay committed to your long-term health. Be the best you that you can be.