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How To Get Back Into A Healthy Lifestyle

Have you started and stopped a healthy active lifestyle more times than you care to remember? That doesn’t make you a failure, that makes you human. As long as you keep trying, you’ll always be making positive changes. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get back on track.

#1 Join A Fitness Class

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Since most people trying to get healthy feel unmotivated at gyms, signing up for a fitness class is a great option. There are many different types of classes from Zumba to Yoga to Kick Boxing. Try out a few different classes and see if any of them spark your interest. 

Contributors: Holly Zink from Grapevine

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#2 Determine Your Core Motivation

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Ask yourself why you want to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Why is this goal important to you? What will you gain from reaching it? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to have more energy? Do you want to fit in your clothes again? When you answer that question, take it deeper. And what will that get you? Will energy help you play longer with your kids? Will losing weight or fitting in your clothes make you feel more confident? Take it even deeper. And what will that get you? Will spending more time with your kids bring you a closer sense of connection with them? Will greater confidence make you feel empowered to take other bold steps in your life? Keep repeating this process until you’ve hit the core motivation behind your goal. 

Contributors: Elana Marlo from Elana Marlo Coaching

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#3 Get Specific

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First, take time to imagine where you want to be three months from now. (I chose three months rather than a year because breaking down your long term goals to shorter stretches of time helps you keep the goals you set from seeming too far off.) I want you to imagine how you want to feel and what you want to be doing. What does that look like for you? 

Second, choose no more than three areas that you want to focus on. Consider what needs to change to bridge the gap from where you are now to where you want to be. 

Third, take those three areas you want to focus on and imagine goals that are possible for you. Make sure your goals are somewhat challenging but attainable and realistic. Your goals should also fit in with your values, and inspire and motivate you. 

Fourth, break down those three areas of focus into action steps. So, for example, if one area of focus is to improve your fitness level, and your goal is to start exercising, then one action step would be to find an exercise that you enjoy which would increase your heart rate and can be done several times each week. 

Fifth, at the end of each week, assess how you are doing. Let's use the example from our previous step of increasing your fitness level. If at the end of the week, you have not been able to exercise so that you increase your fitness level, you might need to review what barriers got in your way.. Perhaps you need to evaluate your time management so that you are able to have time in your schedule to increase your fitness level. Don't throw in the towel, but evaluate your progress and tweak where you need to and build on your success when you can. 

Contributors: Katie Corbett from Health, Wellness & Chocolate 

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#4 Reflect on Your Previous Successes

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Another key strategy to boost your confidence and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired lifestyle change is to think back on previous periods in your life when you successfully reached a goal. These past accomplishments can be related to healthy lifestyle changes or drawn from other aspects of your life.

What comes to mind? Maybe it was graduating college or training consistently and completing a half-marathon. Perhaps it was quitting smoking and actually staying tobacco-free for three whole years or courageously starting your own business. Ponder what it took for you to achieve such a feat and how wonderful you felt as a result. You might even come up with a motivational phrase like, “I did it once, I can do it again!” If it’s hard to remember a specific goal you successfully accomplished, look for ways you have overcome challenges or setbacks in your life. Maybe you found a way to move forward after losing your job, moving across the country or foreclosing on your home; draw on any of these experiences to revel in your inner-strength and capacity to achieve, succeed and overcome.

Contributors: Elana Marlo from Elana Marlo Coaching

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#5 Find exercises you love

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Who says that getting fit has to be about hundreds of squats and crunches? If that isn't your thing; what is? Find an exercise(s) you would love to do over and over again. Dance, hiking, rock climb...anything goes! 

Contributors: Kenya Moses from Be A Fit Mama

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#6 Incentivize yourself

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Have a goal of running a 10k? What is an incremental goal that will keep you motivated to continue moving forward? Rewarding yourself not only makes reaching your goal that much more satisfying, but you will have something to look forward throughout the process. 

Contributors: Kenya Moses from Be A Fit Mama

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#7 Commit with a friend

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One of the best ways to stay motivated and inspired when getting back into a healthy lifestyle is by enrolling the help of a friend. Need to quit smoking? Create an accountability partnership that keeps you motivated and feeling supported. 

Contributors: Kenya Moses from Be A Fit Mama

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#8 Don’t Eat to Fill Your Soul

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 Living a healthy lifestyle involves eating when our bodies are hungry, not when our souls are hungry. Inner emptiness is not satiated by food. For that, we need spiritual nourishment. This simple realization can help us to call or text someone lonely, listen and dance to some uplifting music, or step outside to soak in some nature. Suddenly the bag of potato chips isn't desperately craved anymore. And a far more lasting pleasure is experienced. 

Contributors: Bracha Goetz from Bracha's Books

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#9 Schedule yourself time

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Life can get busy. Schedule time to exercise, meal prep, meditate, etc. Put them in your calendar like you would a business meeting and stick to it!

Contributors: Malorie Thompson from Healing Malorie 

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#10 Find daily inspiration

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Watch youtube videos, read books, listen to podcasts, or find some other form of exterior inspiration and motivation. Having a daily reminder of why you're trying to get back into a healthy lifestyle and inspiration to do so is important for success! 

Contributors: Malorie Thompson from Healing Malorie 

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#11 Intuitive Eating

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What does get back into a healthy lifestyle mean? Restriction? Giving up foods you love? Feeling hungry? Doing exercises that you hate? To be honest, anyone would be hesistant to get back to that routine.  

There is a way to have a healthy lifestyle but not have to deal with all of that above. It's called Intuitive Eating. Intuitive eating helps people get out of the diet mentality and develop a better relationship with food and their bodies. It allows unconditional permission to eat in order to give a person freedom to recognize and honor their hunger and fullness and to make foods neutral instead of good or bad. It incorporates mindful eating in order to stay present during meal times and helps people find joyful movement and gentle nutrition. It also helps people with emotional eating. One of the best parts is that it's supported by extensive research. 

Contributors: Jenna Talleda from Jennatalleda

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#12 Wellness Morning Routine

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Combine the powerful benefits of Vitamin C and Honey first thing in the morning and you will never go wrong. Not only is Lemon a great source of vitamin C, coupled with the wonderful immune building and anti-oxidant components of Organic Honey, we’re not surprised this magical gift from Mother Nature has the flu and annoying pollen shaking in their menacing boots. Mix the juice from half a freshly squeezed Organic Lemon with a teaspoon of Organic Honey in lukewarm water and drink first thing in the morning. This is a morning power drink packing a three way punch, it’s great for weight loss (just in time for the Summer bikini), it’s great for your skin and it’ll build your immune system to a level that’s going to have the Hulk green (or greener) with envy. 

Contributors: Mituri Pradip Sharma from Nim-Véda Australia

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#13 Don’t expect results overnight

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You did not fall into un-health and disease overnight, so why should a sustainable/permanent reversal be that quick? There are no silver bullets, as you know if you start reading the list of possible side effects to most pharmaceuticals. Whole, SOLE foods cooked from scratch at home and eaten in a relaxed setting + regular movement are the keys, and these take time and attention to become part of our daily lives.

Contributors:  Liza Baker from Simply: Health Coaching

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#14 Break Down Goals

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Don't set huge goals and leave it there; instead, keep chunking them up until you have the smallest possible step you can take on a daily basis, gradually adding steps until you get where you want to be, and don't forget to celebrate the small wins along the way. 1 pound lost is as important as the 50 you want to ultimately lose! Baby steps can be as small as taking a 5 minute walk, drinking a glass of water with before each meal, eating a dark green leafy vegetable with each meal, etc. 

Contributors: Liza Baker from Simply: Health Coaching

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#15 Look Inside Yourself

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Stop looking outside yourself for what healthy means and how to get there; instead, tune into what makes you feel healthy/joyful as opposed to simply happy in the moment, and figure out how to work more of that into your life. One of those massive coffee/dessert drinks may make you feel good in the moment, and later you probably suffer from blood sugar crashes, feelings of guilt, and weight gain if you have one daily. Going for a brisk walk may not feel as good in the moment, and it will make you feel healthier and guilt-free or even joyful. Even all that advice on self-care can be a booby trap, another should we impose on ourselves. Should is just another dirty word that starts with s-h! I like to say that self care is what Cosmo tells you to do; soul care is what the Cosmos tells you to do! 

Contributors: Liza Baker from Simply: Health Coaching

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#16 Snack smart

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Eat pure protein first (vegetable protein such as hummus or animal protein like fish) - before your carbs - and always keep sweet things for last. This greatly reduces the impact of any sugar in the food which means the body stores less in the form of fat. (And when your blood sugar peaks, your body is also more likely to store extra calories as fat at your next meal.) On the go? Keep a supply of turkey jerky in your handbag for when hunger hits. Protein-rich and satisfying, chewing jerky will give your brain the time it needs to register you're full before you indulge in anything else! 

Contributors: Valerie Orsoni from LeBootCamp 

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#17 Create easy cardio goals

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Do it like the French and squeeze in 30 minutes of brisk walking on an empty stomach every day. Walking on empty draws energy from the body's sugar stores thus burning fat from targeted trouble zones (and accentuating your assets)! 

Note: this fitness secret has been proven in several studies, including one conducted by the Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris.

Contributors: Valerie Orsoni from LeBootCamp 

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#18 Make Sobacha a staple.

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Maximize your hydration by replacing plain water with roasted buckwheat tea. Sobacha's high content of powerful antioxidants (including phenolic acids which are not affected by heat and transformation) help detoxify the body and facilitate healthy weight loss. What's more, its fiber is highly appetite-curbing and its low glycemic index keeps you sated for longer periods of time! 

Contributors: Valerie Orsoni from LeBootCamp 

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#19 Use daily chores to squeeze in muscle toning

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For example, you can do this glute-toning exercise while brushing your teeth! Stand up straight, feet hip-distance apart, and bend your knees slightly. Keeping your abs tight and your back straight (no arching), tilt your hips forward while contracting your glutes. Make sure you give an extra-hard squeeze as you do this. Finish the move by pulling your hips back and releasing your glutes. Repeat until the end of your brushing session. 

Note: we spend, on average, 6 minutes a day cleaning our teeth - that’s 42 minutes per week of gluteal muscle squeezes - the equivalent of a butt-firming class at the gym, without the sweat! 

Contributors: Valerie Orsoni from LeBootCamp 

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#20 Make It a Family Affair

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Your partner/parent/child plays baseball and you do yoga. What can you do together on a weekly basis? What if you agreed to try each other’s sport? Perhaps visiting the batting cages one night and trying a beginner yoga class another. Walking, hiking, swimming, miniature golf, golf, trampoline parks, skating (ice or roller), snowshoeing, skiing, and bike riding are all ideas to explore together that will also enhance your relationships.

Contributors: Lori Ann King from Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause

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#21 Define Healthy

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Healthy can mean different things to different people. It’s important to know what healthy means to you personally. Not what other people, magazines or society says is healthy. What do YOU want as part of a healthy lifestyle in balanced wellness? Here are a few ideas:

  • Weight loss or gain (yes, some people struggle to put on or maintain a healthy weight) 
  • Strength 
  • Flexibility 
  • Increased energy 
  • Better digestion 
  • Improved performance as an athlete, musician, or life in general 
  • Great relationships (Spiritual, family, friends) 
  • Financial fitness 

Contributors: Lori Ann King from Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause

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#22 Start With A Detox

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The best way to begin your new healthy lifestyle is to kick start it by alkalising your body (detoxing your body).  I have successfully used the Isagenix 30 day nutritional cleanse which gives all of the plant based nutrients you need whilst cleaning your body of all of the toxins. In addition to this, to truly detox your body you need to initially commit to two weeks of no sugar, carbohydrates, refined sugar, processed food, caffeine or alcohol -- and dedicate yourself to eating wholesome, fresh foods instead. This in conjunction with exercise will get the first few kilo’s off, improve your energy levels and sleep, as well as provide the short term results to give you the motivation to keep on going. A healthy lifestyle is all about changing your habits, and more importantly, your lifestyle. The most important thing is to remember why you are doing it and come back to that why every single time something tempts you. 

Contributors: Courtney Devine from F45 Training

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#23 Get Enough Sleep

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Healthy adults should get at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep can affect your mood, diet, and overall health.

Contributors: Sam Olmsted from All Inclusive Health

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#24 Clean Out Your Kitchen

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The foods you decide to eat are a component of living a healthy lifestyle. To start, do a spring cleaning of your kitchen. Throw out any expired or unhealthy foods that will hinder the lifestyle you want to achieve. After this, you’ll be able to see the healthy foods you need to get at the store.

Contributors: Holly Zink from Grapevine

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#25 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

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Make a mental note to get back to drinking enough water throughout the day. Not only does this keep your body at the right temperature and maintain your energy levels up, but also helps with staying away from unnecessary snacking. Try to work your way up to drinking your body weight in ounces of water each day depending on the level of activity you are doing. To help supplement electrolyte loss, look to add-ins for your water, such as Nuun hydration tabs or Skratch hydration mix to add some basic electrolytes and flavor without unnecessary sugars.

Contributors: Nick Stump from Fleet Feet Delray

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#26 Don’t undermine the power of nutrition

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Fuel your body with the proper food throughout the day that’ll enhance your energy and eliminate the sluggish feel once it hits 4 pm. Pack wholesome snacks that’ll provide the right type of nutrients while filling you up. Examples include bananas, apples, Greek yogurt and mixed nuts. Always strive to be as clean as possible when looking at food sources. If you can pronounce the ingredients that is usually a good start. 

Contributors: Nick Stump from Fleet Feet Delray

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#27 Meditation

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The best method for getting back into a healthy lifestyle is meditation. Most individuals desiring to create lifestyle changes need the most support in mindset and rewiring habitual patterns of the brain. Without the mindset shifts, into whatever health regimen you create, it is easy to default back to your old ways- or worse, fall into an endless cycle of dieting.

Meditation is scientifically proven to uplevel your cognition so that you can increase your level of self-awareness, presence and your ability to make conscious choices. If you’re no longer fighting change or sabotaging yourself at the mental level, then you will naturally start implementing all of the other healthy habits that you know make a difference: such as increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, moving your body, hydrating and acts of self-care. Plus, you will be more likely to not fall off the healthy bandwagon again!

Contributors: Sarah Anne Stewart from Sarah Anne Stewart Intl

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#28 Track Your Progress

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Scheduling is a key component to sticking with a new lifestyle. Plan out your weekly meal and exercise plan and keep track of each day in either a journal or an app on your phone. This will help you determine what works and does not work for you long term and it creates accountability. Plus you will not have to stress over ordering the salad or the burger at lunchtime. In fact, spending time in the kitchen in the evening and brown bagging it for lunch is a fabulous way to stay on track and is cost effective too. 

Contributors: Erin Clifford from ErinCliffordWellness

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#29 Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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Be realistic. If you have not been to the gym in months, doing an intensive boot camp five times the first week back will burn you out or result in an injury. Instead, commit to one intense workout a week and then opt for a long walk with your pup and a weekend Pilate’s class. The same thing goes for your diet. If all you have been eating is processed fare, a restrictive diet at the offset will not set you up for success. Therefore, start by getting in a few extra servings of fruits and vegetables per day, having a green smoothie for breakfast (or even having breakfast), not snacking on junk food after dinner, eating whole foods, foregoing fast food and so on. 

Contributors: Erin Clifford from ErinCliffordWellness

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#30 The Whole Not A Single Factor

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The biggest factor behind a healthy lifestyle is to understand that it is actually our whole lifestyle, and not a single factor within it, that promotes optimal health. For example, getting sufficient sleep each night increases our insulin sensitivity, which has the effect of decreasing food cravings and encouraging a healthier diet.

Likewise, eating well allows us to feel our best and puts us in a happier, more active mood. For a healthier lifestyle, sleeping for a minimum of 7 hours per night is one of the best things we do. Concerning nutrition, this does not have to be 100% perfect without fail, but it should be sustainable - if we enjoy the food we eat, there is a much bigger chance of sticking to our diet. Aiming for a predominantly whole foods-based diet is a good way to achieve a healthy diet.

While we can't outrun a bad diet, exercise is also critical for a healthy lifestyle. The time requirement doesn't have to be difficult - three sessions of about 30 minutes of intense exercise per week is enough. Other than that, we should focus on increasing our daily movement and walk when we can

Contributors: Michael Joseph from Nutrition Advance

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