You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to live a healthier lifestyle. Warmer temperatures and sunshine might make it a little bit easier to get into a habit of working out and eating better. Your better, healthier self is right around the corner! Try these 6 tips to balancing yourself out and making healthier choices.
- Take inventory: What habits are you forming right now that could be detrimental to your health? Now is the time to be quitting smoking or cutting out soda. Are you binge-watching on Netflix every night? Be honest with your habits and what you can change right now.
- Understand your strengths: What are you doing right that you should continue to be doing? Look at your strengths as a baseline on which you can expand. If you already walk a lot during the day, use that to get to 10,000 steps per day. If you already eat a bowl of oatmeal each morning, throw in some fresh fruit and yogurt.
- Inspiration is everywhere: Look at the people around you. Do you admire your work buddy who runs two miles every morning? Is your best girlfriend really into yoga? Use the people around you—not size zero magazine models—as inspiration. BONUS: Your friends will be more than happy to do these activities with you and provide helpful tips!
- Set goals: And be realistic. If you’re trying to lose weight, set goals in 5-10 pound increments and work toward those. If you want to try to work out more, start by doing 2-3 workout activities a week. If you set realistic goals, you will feel much better about your progress.
- Try something new: The best part about summer is that you have free and inexpensive ways to work out everywhere! Scope out the towpath trails near your house, rent a bike, join a volleyball club, buy some secondhand tennis rackets and get outside! You’ll likely make new friends and get in shape in the process.
- Get cookin’: A healthy new lifestyle includes making healthier choices in the kitchen, too. Find delicious, easy recipes on and toppings that you can make for the whole family. Add fresh fruits and vegetables to every meal and take the time to plan out your meals for the week. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but as you get into a routine, you’ll be more satisfied about making healthier choices for you and your family.
Whatever you decide to do, have fun doing it. The goal here is to form habits that will last a lifetime instead of yo-yo dieting or working out for a few days and then quitting. Do what feels comfortable for you and gradually turn them into habits over time.