Changing up aspects of the way you go about your day everyday can be quite challenging, no doubt. It may also seem to you that the older you are, the more ‘set in your ways’ you become, and making drastic changes in your diet, exercise regimen (if one is in place at all), and other realms of your life that much more difficult. After all, you are facing a change in the way you live, or at least part of it.
So often you see others who have tried and failed on making what you may view as the simplest alterations in their daily regimens. With this, you wonder if making a change for the long-term is really practical. The truth is, where most people fail is due to the fact that most people have no idea what they are getting into when they make such commitments to themselves.
What you must realize before jumping into a resolution for a lifestyle alteration is that you are going up against a lifetime of habits and behavior. You must also recognize the need for the change, what is in it for you both in the short- and long-term, and ultimately, accept that you have some work to do in accomplishing such changes for a better you.
Once you actually make a decision to change a certain aspect of your lifesyle, attaining your goal is already much more within reach. Just keep in mind that you must keep the goal for your change or changes at high priority, with solid commitment and awareness in mind for the long-term. Devise a strategy and stick to it. If you do these things, making a healthy lifestyle change will become much easier to deal with for both now and throughout the rest of your life.
Now, for changes you need to consider making, let’s hit the points of most importance in developing a healthier you.
First of all, if you smoke, then quit. Easier said than done – yes, I know. If you have trouble quitting, start smoking less right away. Try this immediately by smoking only half a cigarette, and skip as many of your usual smokes as you can. Also, you would be best advised to get help as soon as you can to end the nasty habit. Proper guidance as to why it is you smoke to figure out how best to stop doing it is most effective. Smoking cessation groups may be very helpful and supportive, and certain medications may be of benefit in decreasing the cravings.
Next, look at your diet and make some changes. If you are overweight or have health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or anything else that may be linked to poor dietary choices, this is of primary importance to you.
Look to focusing on eating, not dieting. What I mean by this is that you must focus on eating small amounts at a time, and not a limited number of meals. When hungry, you are more likely to overeat, especially in the evening. Rather than omitting your food consumption all day and gorging down a large meal later, it’s far healthier to eat enough during the day to avoid hunger pangs and uncontrolled eating at the end of the day. Eat every three to four hours, including three small meals and a small, healthy snack such as nuts and fruit in between meals. If you do this, you will not only shed unwanted pounds off your body and improve your overall health, but you will also notice a lot more energy throughout the day.
Drink more water. Drinking more water will not only flush out toxins in your body and keep you hydrated for better body organ functions, but will also aid significantly in satiety – causing you to ultimately eat less. Drink 16 ounces of water just prior to a meal and notice how quickly you feel full.
Engage in some type of resistance training regimen. Yes, cardiorespiratory exercise is very important and should be included for at least 20 minutes at three days a week, but resistance training is commonly omitted from people’s exercise regimens. Too many people neglect resistance exercise, particularly women. Resistance training, such as weight training, is crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. You should lift weights for at least 20 minutes, two to three times per week. Resistance training also helps with diabetes and long-term lowering of blood sugar, more so than cardio exercise.
Make these changes and you will soon notice a healthier, more energetic you. Just keep in mind your long-term goals, stay committed, and consistently remind yourself of why you want these changes, and you will accomplish the lifestyle changes you so desire.
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