Living a healthy lifestyle tends to be a goal that we all strive to meet. In theory, it sounds simple, but when you do a quick search for ways to get your health on track, you are instantly bombarded with hundreds of suggestions, making the entire process feel a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, switching up your daily habits and picking up some new ones is a lot easier than it sounds — here are some simple ways to get started.
Include Doctor Visits on Your Calendar
In order to live a healthy lifestyle, you need to make sure you are in good enough health to do so. This means going to the doctor on a regular basis. How often should you go?
- Primary care doctor: once a year
- Eye doctor: once every two years (more often if you have a prescription)
- Dentist: once a year
- OB-GYN: once a year
Take a look at your health insurance coverage to get an idea of what preventive care (if any) is covered, and consider adding on if necessary. If you’re a senior, Medicare can complicate things since plans change yearly. Plus, even with Part A and B, you likely still have some out-of-pocket costs. To help lessen the costs, consider enrolling in a Medigap plan; both Plan F and G offer more benefits than many Medicare and Medigap plans, so it’s an option worth looking into.
Establish a Fitness Routine
No healthy lifestyle is complete without a fitness routine, but there are some things you need to keep in mind before you get started. First, there will be days when you just don’t feel like it, and sometimes it can seem as though all your hard work isn’t resulting in any progress. Remind yourself that results aren’t always physical; it could be that you have more energy or have increased your stamina. With each workout, be sure to include resistance training to build muscle (it’s a myth that you’ll look like a bodybuilder). You’ll experience other benefits as well, including improved heart health, increased ability to control your blood sugar, and boosted self-confidence. In addition to working out in a gym, switch things up by doing an at-home workout program to make it easy to stick with your physical fitness. You can try out some new activities as well, such as hiking, dancing, rock climbing, or joining a rec league.
Practice Mindful Eating
Switching up your diet is a great way to eat healthfully, but the key is to eat mindfully. In today’s world, we tend to get distracted by our phones or the television, making it easy to overeat or snack. Put the technology away and focus on each bite. Use a plate instead of eating out of the bag, and try to create a plate that is colorful, including fruits, veggies, lean protein, and plenty of flavor via spices. Make smart food moves such as delicious trail mix for that crunch you crave or a superfood smoothie using fresh and frozen produce in make-ahead baggies.
Make It All Stick
All this talk of living healthier sounds great, but it means nothing if you can’t make it stick. Remember that you should be creating healthy habits, not healthy goals, so that you aren’t tempted to take on more than you can realistically handle or accomplish. Start with small habits to keep your focus on lifestyle, as opposed to a monumental change. For example, running a marathon is a huge change, while running three days a week is a lifestyle change. When you make small changes, you’ll find that you are less likely to give up and instead stay committed.
Living a healthier lifestyle starts with you. Once you make the decision to make a change, stick with it no matter how hard it gets. There will be setbacks, but the healthier you is worth it.