It’s common knowledge that exercising and eating healthy is beneficial to your health. In some cases, it can even be lifesaving. So why isn’t everyone living the healthy lifestyle? While reasons for not attempting an exercise and healthy-eating program (or failing at one) vary from person to person, many Americans simply lack the “know-how” to begin and stick to a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some steps to help you mentally, physically and nutritionally on the road to better health.
Set a goal.
Sit down and write out exactly what it is you want to achieve. The goal could range from weight loss to building strength and endurance, or even to relieving depression. Be honest with yourself, and make your goals realistic. Everyone is made differently. Never compare yourself to someone else; it is genetically impossible.
Make a plan.
Once you have a goal, write down the steps you are going to take to get there. It is impossible to reach a higher level without taking one step at a time. Picture your goal as a flight of stairs. Without steps, it is impossible to reach the top. Your small goals could range from losing 1 pound a week to increasing your cardiovascular exercise a few minutes each week — or your plan can be even easier. Keep it basic and simple by planning out steps that are accomplishable.
Start it up.
Begin your workout routine slowly; two to three times a week is great. Your workout should consist of both strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
Start your strength training by doing one set of 12 to 15 reps per body part. If you do not have weights in your truck cab, carry a couple of extra 1-gallon water jugs (this investment will cost less than $3). For a water-jug workout program, email me.
Never work the same set of muscles on consecutive days. Start your cardiovascular exercise at five to 10 minutes and build up to 30 to 45 minutes. You could also start off by simply walking from the back of the parking lot or taking the stairs instead of the elevator — anything that gets your heart rate up. Starting off slowly will help you from burning yourself out before you really get started.
Consistency is the key to long-term success, but you also have to know how to motivate yourself over time. Adding some spice to your routine is essential to change. Change up your exercise routine every four to six weeks. Your muscles will adapt to a certain repetitive motion and will not progress. Not only do your muscles need to be “shocked” again but learning new exercises will also help prevent boredom. That applies for cardiovascular exercise, too.
Here are a few additional tips to get started on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
- Drink some water the next time you are feeling run down. Chances are that you are dehydrated.
- Protein is the building block of every cell in your body and should be the foundation of every meal.
- Apples offer vitamins and minerals that are vital to a healthy vascular system.
- The next time you get hungry on the road, try some nutritious, protein-filled nuts. Almonds, pecans and cashews are good options.