Millions of people resolve to exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight every time a new year rolls around. Unfortunately, lots of those folks fail to see their new-year-new-me goals to fruition because they overcomplicate the process of achieving better health.
What exactly does that mean? It means getting fitter and healthier isn’t rocket science — despite what the internet or a checkout aisle magazine cover might tell you, there’s no “secret” diet or “special” workout that’ll produce rapid, mind-blowing results.
Improving your overall well-being is actually a lot simpler than you might assume. And the best part is, it can be done by setting just a few easy-to-stick-to, straightforward health goals and staying as consistent as possible with them over time.
What kind of health goals are we getting at here? Read on to find out!
Eat More Whole Foods
This super-simple health goal might end up making the biggest difference in your overall health, and the best part is, it’s super easy to do. You don’t necessarily have to cut out all processed foods from your diet (if you do, be prepared to deal with some terrible cravings that could lead to binge eating) but you should seriously consider cutting your consumption way down.
It’s totally fine to treat yourself now and then, but if you want to improve your health, aim to consume the most nutrient-dense foods you can to properly nourish and fuel your body. Processed, packaged foods are often high in calories and pretty devoid of quality nutrients, so while they certainly provide energy, that energy comes at the expense of solid nourishment.
Every year, millions of folks hit the gym with unbridled gusto during the first few weeks of the year. And while that’s an excellent start, a large percentage of those folks never become regulars at the gym because they overdo their workouts, burn themselves out, and don’t remain consistent.
Rather than going harder than you’ve ever gone during the first week or two of January, try easing into a more active lifestyle. You don’t have to hit the gym five to six days a week when you’re just starting out, and even as you progress, you can hit the gym less often and still see results.
The key here is simply moving your body more. Walk more. When you’re sitting, get up and move around more often. Take the stairs more often. Do anything you can to increase the amount of movement you get in your day.
Although it may seem like you’ll only lose weight if you spend hours upon hours exercising each week, that’s simply not true. All of the movement you get adds up. And when you make an effort to move around more each day, you may be surprised at just how quickly you see results and how well you’re able to maintain the results you achieve.
Check out these other health and fitness myths you should never believe.
Be Kind to Yourself When You Make Mistakes
If you want to get fitter and healthier without driving yourself nuts, give yourself a little grace. You don’t have to be perfect all the time — you're human after all. If you miss the gym, forget to get more movement in your day, or slip up on your healthy eating goals, commit to getting back on track immediately, and then let it go.
Don’t fall into the well-I-already-screwed-up-so-I-might-well-just-keep-it-up mindset trap, as that can be a very slippery slope. If you go there, you’ll likely end up punishing yourself for your mistakes by being extra rigid when you do get back on track, which will likely only lead to more falling off the wagon in the future.
Be flexible but committed, and you’ll enjoy steady and satisfying progress toward your goals.
Be Conscientious About Alcohol Consumption
If you drink alcohol, whether you’re just a social drinker or enjoy a nightly glass of vino or two, you should know that when it comes to improving your health, alcohol really won’t help.
Sure, wine may have some heart-healthy antioxidants, but alcohol in any form is more detrimental to your health than it is helpful. Plus, it contains seven empty calories per gram, and those calories do absolutely nothing to nourish your body or fuel your workouts.
If you tend to drink pretty regularly, those calories can quickly add up, too. Cutting down your consumption might even help you release some weight, especially if you’re partial to sugary cocktails or high-alcohol brews.
Establish a Consistent Sleep-Wake Schedule
Getting enough quality, restful sleep is crucial for your overall well-being. Solid sleep helps regulate your hormones and your metabolism, improve your cognitive and emotional health, and so much more. Getting the optimal amount of deep, restorative sleep can also slow the aging process and may even extend your lifespan by several years.
If you have trouble getting deep, restful sleep, an inconsistent sleep-wake schedule may be a big culprit behind your sparse-snooze woes. But you can change that pretty easily when you make an effort to hit the sack and wake up at relatively the same time each day.
Ready to get more quality snooze time in your life? Then check out these tips on improving your sleep schedule! You may also want to try out nasal breathing if you tend to feel exhausted in the morning even though you thought you slept soundly all night.
Looking for Health Coaching in the Twin Cities?
Looking to work with a knowledgeable health coach who can help you stay accountable to your goals, handle your workout programming, and provide nutrition guidance? Look no further than our team at Envision Fitness!
We specialize in hybrid monthly health coaching plans, gym-based personal training, nutrition coaching, weight loss classes, athletic training, and group fitness classes. As a team, we’re super passionate about helping people transform not just their bodies but their entire lives, so if you’re ready to make a change for the better, we’d love to help you do it!
To learn more about our services or schedule a free consultation with our team, give us a call today at 952-444-2791 or contact us online, and we’ll get in touch to answer your questions!