Published by Dan Jones on 15th April 2016
The Keys to Positive Lifestyle Change
If you were to keep on living the same way, eating the same way, exercising the same way (if at all), where will your health and wellbeing be in a year from now?
How about 3 years, from now?
I urge you to ask yourself these questions.
If you don’t like the idea of the answers you come up with, start by looking at the small things you can do which will improve your health in the next month and then over the next year.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to become obsessive about fitness and nutrition. You can make a massive difference to the way your body looks and feels if you are prepared to stick to the fundamentals and focus on making constant, steady progress with your health habits.
Now, let’s talk about some simple steps you can take to towards positive lifestyle change.
Start with sleep
Good sleep lays the foundations on which all other healthy habits are built on. When you have had a good night of sleep you have more energy the next day to exercise and you will find it easier to make better nutrition choices as you are not battling low energy levels.
Make an effort go to bed at the same time each night and avoid all electronic screens for at least 1 hour before you go to bed. The blue light waves emitted from electronic screens can disrupt our natural production of the sleep promoting hormone melatonin. In addition you should be sleeping in a completely darkened room.
Aim to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night. The quality of your sleep must be good in order to get the maximum benefits. Your night’s sleep should be uninterrupted and you should wake up feeling refreshed.
Focus on hydration
The majority of us are chronically dehydrated, without even realising it. Simply making an effort to drink more water can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing. Good hydration is vital for detoxification, energy and concentration. As we are exposed to more toxins now than ever before in human history, good hydration levels take on an even greater importance.
Build up your water intake over 2 to 4 weeks to help your body adapt to the increase in hydration levels. At the end of the 4 weeks you will feel noticeably healthier, more energetic and you may also find your digestion improves.
It’s vital to stop viewing exercise as a punishment for eating badly. Change your perspective so that you view exercise as something you do for your body. We are designed for movement, meaning exercise is one of the best things we can do for our bodies. If stress is a factor in your current lifestyle, exercise can be a potent way to alleviate it.
Start with light exercise such as walking and then gradually build your way up to bodyweight strength exercises and then onto more intense exercises. Whenever possible focus on exercises that improve function and posture for maximum health benefits.
Clean up your nutrition
Make an effort to clean up your diet by moving away from processed foods and back towards real foods that our bodies are actually designed to eat. Don’t try to be perfect, just start by improving one meal at a time. A good place to start is by focusing on improving the nutritional quality of your breakfasts by cutting out any foods which contain sugar. Once you’ve made that change you could focus on increasing your daily vegetable intake.
Make the decision to start now!
It’s too easy to put off making positive lifestyle changes by waiting for the “right” time. However, there will never be the perfect time to start making changes to your lifestyle.
Don’t feel like you have to overhaul your entire lifestyle overnight. Choose just one habit to address at a time. Remember that living healthily is a lifestyle. I’d rather you take things slowly and stick to your lifestyle improvement plan for the long term than dive in and quit because it was too hard.
The good news is that the more positive changes you make to your lifestyle, the better you will feel and the more energy you will have to happily continue your journey towards optimal health.