When life causes healthy habits to become more difficult to maintain, what do you do? Push back, turn to old habits, and wait for the next “let’s get healthy” kick. Instead of accidentally sabotaging your own healthy life, focus on ways to make it easier. Being flexible with workouts, relieving some of the mental pressure, and focusing on small, attainable goals are just some of the simple ways to make living your healthy life easier.
If you’re running out of steam, here are a few ideas to get back on the health wagon once and for all. Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be hard!
Challenge: Getting Out of Your Own Way
It often feels hard to live a healthy lifestyle because we’re so rigid with ourselves.
“No, you can’t eat that!”
“Today I HAVE to do this workout.”
“On Saturday, I better get to yoga.”
The constant mental bullying makes living this healthy life feel hard and, in many cases, defeating. Suddenly, you’ve sucked all the fun out of taking care of your body and mind.
To make your healthy life easier, lighten up where you can. If you want to be active on the weekend, plan a hike or long walk with a good friend and then enjoy a yummy brunch. Instead of planning every workout ahead of time, choose the days you’ll workout and then let yourself move in whatever feels good for your body that day. If you’re feeling strong, make it a heavy lifting day. If you’re feeling mellow, find a yoga class.
Being healthy feels easier when you’re not bossing yourself around all the time or punishing yourself for not meeting your own expectations. Keep living healthy fun and positive!
Challenge: Busy Schedules
Sometimes the hardest part about working out is getting to the gym. Not only does the drive take time out of your already-busy day, but it seems like you lose motivation the second you get behind the wheel. Still, once you get there, you’re glad you went.
On the days when you’re teetering between the gym and the couch, opt for an at-home workout. Not only do you save time by not driving, but you can get moving right when motivation strikes.
Sign up for a subscription fitness service or turn to the dozens of free full-length online workouts. You’d be amazed how much you can sweat with minimal (or zero) equipment.
Challenge: Keeping Fitness Clothes in Good Shape
How long does it take your new fitness clothes to get smelly and worn out? Sometimes it’s just a matter of weeks before you’re back online ordering new pants and tops, which is both expensive and annoying. To keep your clothes in better shape, spend less, and make your healthy life easier, do one simple thing: change your detergent.
“In most cases, high tech fabrics are used to make activewear clothes, which tend to deteriorate when exposed to harsh chemicals. Therefore, pick out a mild and eco-friendly detergent that allows a gentle wash that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. Be sure to pay close attention to care labels as instructions often vary,” suggest cleaning experts at CD One Price Cleaners.
Challenge: Making Healthy Food Choices
Consider this scenario: You wake up late for work, quickly eat whatever you can find for breakfast, and run out the door without lunch. You get talked into going out to lunch with a bunch of co-workers and suddenly you’re digging into a greasy meal of burger and fries. The worst part: you sit at your desk feeling guilty the rest of the day.
If you had prepped your food earlier in the week, you would have had lunch, which may have given you the motivation to say no to your co-workers. Meal prep can also help you with snacks, breakfast prep, and planning healthy dinners.
When prepping, consider every meal and snack you’ll eat that week. Your prep list may include:
- Freshly cut fruit for smoothies. You can even freeze them for longer storage.
- Protein that needs to be pre-cooked for lunches. Think: turkey burgers, chicken, or tofu.
- Snack bags to take to work, including, nuts, crackers, pieces of cheese, fruit.
- Pre-cut veggies that are easy to toss into a pan throughout the week.
- Containers of almond butter or hummus for dipping veggies and fruit.
Challenge: Setting The Bar Too High
It’s easy to get excited about reaching for the stars when it comes to your health and fitness goals, but setting challenging, long-term goals is important, it could make your journey more stressful if they’re potentially unattainable. For example, if you’ve never run a day in your life, and plan to compete in a 10k in one month, the training will likely to be miserable. You may even run the risk of injury by pushing yourself too far too fast.
Instead, push that 10k out for 4 months. Then set smaller goals leading up to your ultimate goal. Starting small will lead to better habits and an overall healthier lifestyle. Here are some ideas:
- Month 1: Run three times each week.
- Month 2: Beat my PR from month 1.
- Month 3: Run the 10k distance at least three times before the race.
- Month 4: Cross the finish line in 30 minutes or less.
In this way, you set yourself up for success while also pushing your body to adapt and change, keeping your stress levels manageable and your goals much more attainable.
Live an Easy, Healthy Life
Your healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard or stressful to maintain. Let a little pressure off, prioritize taking care of clothes (and spend less money on new ones!), and do what works for your schedule and your body. Soon, you’ll love living that healthy lifestyle so much, you’ll never want to go back!