Kick Start Your Health Journey: 5 Tried and True Tips
While many people start a new health journey at the beginning of the year, there’s never a bad time to start working toward a healthier lifestyle.
Whether you’re just embarking on your health journey or in need of inspiration to get back on track, these 5 simple, attainable, and sustainable tips will help you get — or keep — going.
1 – Drink water.
Some say you should drink 8 glasses of water a day, while others say it’s 50% of your bodyweight in ounces. There’s no magic number, but the point is clear: Staying hydrated is critical to good health.
Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and decreased brain function. Conversely, drinking water as part of your health journey can improve digestion, physical performance (not just in the gym, but doing everyday tasks, too), concentration and energy levels.
If you’re someone who struggles to drink enough water, start small. Swap one soda or alcoholic beverage for a glass of H2O per day, and increase your intake gradually. The goal is to eventually make water your drink of choice, and save the sugary stuff for special occasions only. THRIVE Thirst, a premium hydration beverage with a tasty grape flavor, can also help you drink more water, as many Thrivers find that flavoring their water can help them hydrate even more.
2 – Choose wisely.
There’s no getting around the fact that food is fuel, and what you put into your body is what you get out of it.
Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods like leafy green vegetables, healthy fats (like nuts) and lean proteins to maximize your body’s potential. A good rule of thumb is to load half of your dinner plate with vegetables so you won’t be tempted to fill up on bread or other less-nutritious items.
As much as possible, forgo junk foods like sweets, fried foods or high sodium snacks like potato chips and instead grab a piece of fruit or other low-calorie snack between meals. Adding vitamin supplements to your routine will help fill in nutritional gaps. Every healthy choice you make is a step in the right direction that you can build upon.
3 – Move your body.
Whether it’s yoga, running, weightlifting, or playing tennis, exercise is an integral piece of any health journey. But even if you can’t make going to the gym a regular part of your routine, frequent exercise should be a part of your life! Every day we are presented with overlooked opportunities to move our bodies.
Headed to the second (or third or fourth) floor? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Bingeing your favorite show? Do some stretches, squats, or resistance-band work while you watch! Visiting with a friend? Take a walk together! Little efforts like these, when combined, can make a big difference to your overall health.
4 – Be accountable.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, tone up, or simply live a healthier lifestyle, tracking your activities can help you get there. Especially when it comes to food.
Most people underestimate how much they eat. It’s easy to forget about a nibble here, a taste there — but every one of those calories adds up over time. Maintaining a log of your exercise or food intake not only keeps you accountable to yourself and your health journey, but it helps you recognize patterns and unhealthy habits.
Another trick is to designate an accountability buddy — a friend, a spouse, or someone you know from the gym — that you’re less likely to want to let down than yourself.
5 – Take it one day at a time.
One thing is for sure: You’re not going to be perfect 100% of the time. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, happy hours, and sometimes just plain old bad days happen. It’s okay to eat a piece of cake once in a while!
Remember that this is your health journey, not your health destination. Go easy on yourself when you slip up — just don’t let it derail you. Tomorrow is a new day, full of opportunities to make choices that put you back on the path to a long and healthy life.
Need more inspiration? Read the stories of the Ultimate THRIVER Season 1 winners!
Enjoy the journey, THRIVERS!