You’re changing your eating patterns, improving your daily activity level and substituting exercise for time on the couch. While you’re excited to see changes in the mirror and feel your clothing hanging loose, you will still have days when you aren’t in the mood to go out for a run. You will also have days when a cupcake is more appetizing than a well-balanced Paleo meal.
The best way to get through these difficult times is to think about your reasons for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Why is this important to you? What benefits will you enjoy in the long term? You will have your personal answers to those questions, but there are a few healthy living benefits that you should keep in mind.
When you look at a restaurant menu, think of each option as either an energy enhancer or an energy zapper. Do the same when walking through the grocery store. Try to choose meals that are made with wholesome ingredients that will deliver nutrients needed to fight disease and illness. As long as these foods aren’t deep fried or overcooked, they will increase your energy level so that you feel better all day.
For instance, you would place fresh fruit in the energy-enhancing category while potato chips and cookies go in the energy-zapping category. When eating out, look for menu items marked as healthy or diet options. You should also ask questions if you aren’t sure what ingredients are included in a meal.
Many people indulge in unhealthy foods for emotional comfort, but it’s more effective to use exercise to improve your emotional state. Intense exercise stimulates the release of endorphins in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These endorphins are natural pain killers and lift your mood. They can give you a sense of well-being and happiness.
Routinely choosing nutrient-dense foods will also make it easier to maintain a healthy body weight, and that increases your chances of feeling self-confident. You’ll escape the bloating and physical restrictions that come with obesity while knowing that you’re capable of reaching your personal goals. This confidence in your own ability to succeed increases your chance of accomplishing your biggest goals. In this way, healthy living is the starting point for success in other areas of your life.
Whether you realize it or not, there is someone watching you. If you have children, then they learning from your habits and routines. They may even benefit from your healthy lifestyle because they eat the same foods and get to exercise with you. If you don’t have children, then you are likely a role model to your siblings, a parent, your best friend or someone else who knows you intimately.
Your loved ones look up to you because they want to improve their own lifestyles. They admire your ability to make sacrifices in the name of health, and they may start to make changes in their own life because they see what’s working for you. If you give up on your healthy lifestyle, then you’re sending a powerful message that health isn’t worth the hard work.
Now that you know why it’s important to maintain healthy living, think of ways to step up your game for even better results. What can you do today to improve your chances of remaining energetic, mobile and productive in the years to come?