How to start a healthy lifestyle – and actually stick with it? In my 5+ years of healthy living experience, there are so many healthy lifestyle habits I wish I had known sooner. There’s good advice out there and really bad advice. Here’s a little secret – if you don’t feel healthy and balanced every day, you’re doing something wrong. Healthy living is supposed to be enjoyable, not restrictive. Today, we’re talking about 10 tips to start a healthy lifestyle for beginners (that are simple and easy!), and how to actually stick with it this time.
Jan 2018 vs. Jan 2019
This is what dedicating yourself to your health for an entire year looks like. It was the end of 2017. I was in the midst of a really ~ really ~ bad breakup. They say that people don’t feel inspired to change unless 2 things happen:
- 1.) Their minds have been opened, OR:
- 2) Their hearts have been broken
Well, my heart was broken – bad. I remember going on spring break (I was a sophomore in college at the time) and seeing this photo and not recognizing myself.
Ladies, don’t get me wrong. I think I look absolutely beautiful in this photo. But, remember that ideal body types look different for everyone, and for me – well, I saw the picture and had no idea who that girl was.
I grew up athletic, in an active family. I was fresh out of high school and working my way through my undergrad. This was the first time in my life where over a period of time, no one told me I ~ had ~ to exercise – so I just didn’t. No one also told me that if I didn’t take care of my body, it wouldn’t take care of me.
Basically, 2 years went by and I realized that my body was quickly changing. The funny part was, I had so much inner self-confidence, that I genuinely thought I looked like this:
When I got the image of myself at the beach back, I was *shocked* that I didn’t look like this Pinterest girl. Hilarious, I know. I don’t know why I thought not working out, eating pizza, and crying over my ex would = abs. 19-year-olds lemme tell you!
Above all, I knew I had to change. This wasn’t me and I wasn’t happy. In my mind I could hear my mom (who at the time was trying to push me through a really bad breakup):
“Do something for YOU. What do you do for YOU?”
Honestly, I didn’t do anything for myself. I thought going to college and dedicating myself to my studies was enough. Clearly, I wasn’t happy and I was obviously delusional about who I really was at the time (both good and bad, lol!).
I looked at myself in the mirror at the end of 2017 and I said – “This Year Is Going To Be Different.” And it was.
After that, I made a New Year’s Resolution at the start of 2018 that I was going to work out every single day, 6 days per week, plus one active rest day for 365 days straight, and I did.
Here’s the Facebook post, to prove it to you!
Here’s the photo I took of myself at the very very beginning of my healthy lifestyle journey & here’s me today:
Some of what I did back then wasn’t even remotely balanced, and some, I still do today! In 5 years, I’ve created a lifestyle that I love, and that makes me feel good, and I’m here to share how I did it! The good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m still learning every day because this is a lifestyle – something I’m committed to growing with for the rest of my life and I hope you do too!
This Post Is All About How To Start A Healthy Lifestyle
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10 Tips to Start a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Healthy lifestyle habits are so important because they are the foundation of your healthy lifestyle. You are the result of what you do, not what you say you’ll do – and that starts with your habits.
Habit #1 – Healthy Morning Routine
Seriously, 5 years ago, the idea of a morning routine would send my eyeballs into the back of my head (and not in a good way). Today, it is the foundation of my healthy lifestyle.
If you want to know the step-by-step habits of how to start a healthy morning routine, check out this recent blog post for all the details on my simple and effective morning routine.
There is so much science behind routines and habits. How you start your day sets the tone for your day. In short, here are my best tips to create a healthy morning routine:
1.) Get enough rest (or get to bed earlier!). 7-8 hours.
2.) Less screens, more podcasts/self help books (only 5-15 minutes a day!)
3. Hydrate, first thing
4.) Plan your workout the night before & when you’re going to do it
5.) Eat a healthy breakfast
Sometimes, being intentional with your habits first starts with knowing your weaknesses. My healthy lifestyle is consistent because I understand myself, and where I’ll skimp (aka if I don’t plan a workout, I don’t do it!) and I work around that.
Mindful Eating – Habit #2
I’m not going to go into any detail on this because I’m not a Dietitian (my mom is, I grew up with one and I dream of the day that I can start a podcast so we can all pick her brain on the best clean eating and lifestyle food habits).
In summary, here’s what I have learned from her that is lifestyle-based:
1. ) Be present while you’re eating. Listen to your body when you’re full and when you’re hungry
2.) Everything in moderation (veggies, ice cream, you name it!)
3.) Being restrictive is not a lifestyle, that’s a bad habit
Daily Exercise – Habit #3
Move your body for 30 minutes a day. This is how you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Just 30 minutes. Some days you might have time for more, some days you might have less. It’s all an average, but shoot for 30 minutes minimum!
If you genuinely want to get fitness results in your journey, I recommend starting a paid fitness program with professionals that know what they are talking about and working out alongside them.
Follow a Workout Plan
When I kickstarted my fitness journey, I did 80-Day Obsession by Autumn Calabrese and she seriously changed my life! Here’s her Instagram if you want to check out her programs. The foundation of my fitness movements to this day is rooted in what she taught me!
Hence, here are some fitness products that have made my healthy lifestyle a lot more fun and easy to stick to!
Intentional Rest Days – Habit #4
One tips to start a healthy lifestyle is to plan your rest days. That way, you can look forward to them and enjoy them!
Since I am super busy on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, I always plan for these days to be my rest days so I don’t have to stress about getting exercise in. If I have time and I’m feeling super motivated, sometimes I’ll work out on one of these days and move my rest day to another day! It’s all about listening to your body.
I like to implement active rest days because I genuinely enjoy moving my body and it makes me feel good, but I don’t beat myself up if I end up not having time to exercise.
In summary, here are a few ideas for movement you can incorporate into an active rest day:
Active Rest Day Ideas
1.) 30-45 minute walk with a friend (or podcast!)
2.) 1 hour of pickleball (I’ve been doing this with my family over the winter and it’s a BLAST + gets me SO sweaty)
3.) A bike ride
4.) Hiking/walking for 30-45 minutes at a local nature preserve, winter or summer
5. Rollerblading with a friend (get those glutes burning🔥)
2. Simple Health Tips for Everyday Living
It’s easy to overcomplicate your healthy lifestyle. Let’s talk about some simple health tips for everyday living that I genuinely do every single day that helps make maintaining a healthy lifestyle fun and easy!
Tip #1: Workout Somewhere Close & Convenient
One of the top 10 ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to make it really easy to achieve your health and fitness goals. For example, booking a membership at a gym that is 45 minutes away probably isn’t a full-proof way to ensure you won’t ever miss a workout.
Life happens and let’s face it – sometimes driving through our local Starbucks, grabbing a coffee, and cuddling our dog is WAY more appealing than driving 45 minutes to the nearest gym.
Peep, my home gym.
It’s not cute, and it’s certainly not aesthetic, but it gets the job done and it’s the reason I’ve stayed so consistent all these years! All I have is a dumbbell set, some resistance loops, a mirror, a fan, and a matt! You don’t need a large space to do it and it’s apartment friendly!
Here’s the cost breakdown of your home gym vs. a membership:
Gym Membership vs. Home Gym For 5 Years
X $30/month + 12 months / year = $360/year X 5 years = $1,800
- Dumbbell set – $250
- Resistance Loops (replace every year) – $9.99 x 5 years = $50
- Gym Matt – $20
- Gym Mirror – $159
- Fan – $45
- Monthly fee: $0
= $524, one time
Granite, I know $500 is A LOT to start off in a home gym vs. paying $30/month and you’re certainly more limited with equipment in home gyms, but you absolutely do not need to purchase everything up front! Walmart offers financing for all of its products which is a great option if you’re looking to invest in your healthy lifestyle, but you’re strapped for cash!
Tip #2: Pack Your Lunch For Work
I’ve been packing my lunch since I was a kid. Not only does this save you tons of money, but it also allows you to plan your meals and make healthier options. AKA when you’re super hungry and short on time, it’s really easy to make a quick trip through a local drive-through. Versus, if you have your lunch already planned and prepped, you’re much more likely to make healthier decisions!
Tip: I’m all about more output for less. If you put in effort to make a healthy dinner, be sure to make extra, set some aside, and save that for a healthy & stress-free lunch the following day!
Tip #3: Always Take The Stairs or Park Farther Away
Living a healthier lifestyle is all about moving more, and sitting less. One thing I always do to ensure I get as much movement in as possible throughout the day is parking farther away in a parking lot so I have to walk farther to get inside, or I take the stairs instead of the elevator.
I find that this helps me really incorporate healthier living into my daily routine!
Tip #4: Change Up Your Workouts!
Changing up your workouts is key to getting started with your healthy lifestyle, especially as a beginner. In the summer, I’m way more interested in cardio (i.e. running, hiking, biking, etc.) than I am in the winter where I’m focused on resistance training because the weather isn’t as nice.
Managing your healthy lifestyle is all about working with the seasons, not against them. You absolutely do not need to be in a gym lifting weights every single day to see results. I believe in balanced living and movement in a way that feels true to you in whatever season of life you’re in.
Tip #5: Reduce Screen Time
This year, I made a New Year’s Resolution to read more and scroll less and it has been life-changing for my mental and physical health! I personally love reading on my iPad Air because I can read in the dark, but that is not necessary. Here are a few books (self-help and fantasy) that I have been loving lately.
Tip #6: Get a Dog???
Okay, obviously this is a HUGE commitment. But, my family and I got a dog at the start of the pandemic and it has contributed so positively to our healthy lifestyle! She forces us (especially in the winter!), to get outside, and get moving. This has positively impacted our healthy lifestyle.
How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle and Stick To It
I’ve shared 10 steps to a healthy lifestyle, but how do you actually stick with it? My biggest tip when it comes to starting a healthy lifestyle as a beginner is to start small. Instead of committing to completely changing your eating habits, stopping the scroll, and working out 5+ days per week, let’s try a different approach.
How to Stick To Your Healthy Lifestyle
How about we start with first eating one healthy meal per day, and incorporating movement into 2 days of your week? Once you get into the groove of those habits, now lets up the ante. Next, you’ll eat a healthy breakfast AND dinner, but maybe we’re still eating out for lunch? That’s okay!
This is a lifestyle, it’s something that you should be so proud of yourself for committing to, and something you should stick with because it feels good!
Start small and work your way into more.
Here are my best tips for sticking to your healthy lifestyle:
Tips for Sticking To Your Healthy Lifestyle:
1.) Be clear about your fitness goals & have a plan for how you will achieve it
2.) If you’re new to fitness, follow a workout plan from a trusted trainer
3.) If you’re burnout, take a BREAK!
4.) Take progress photos/journal so you can see how far you’ve come!
In summary, there you have it ladies, 10 simple ways on how to start your healthy lifestyle as a beginner.
Above all, remember that healthy living is supposed to be fun and fulfilling. If you’re not loving what you’re doing, you’re doing something wrong!
See you in the next article. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for weekly content delivered right to your email! XOXO
This Post Was All About How to Start A Healthy Lifestyle For Beginners – 10 Easy Steps
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