You may think that getting healthy requires lots of sweat, pounding the pavement and a strict diet.
If you need to get in shape really fast, yes, taking extreme measures is best.
However, if you know you need to make changes and find it difficult to stick to a grueling regimen, you can make small changes, over time, that add up to big results.
Simply making a few small changes over the course of a few months or a year can help you here and there without feeling deprived or like you're even trying.
Make Small Changes in Your Eating Habits
Many people have made small changes in their eating habits and reaped big rewards.
If you change one unhealthy eating habit per month, by the end of a year you will have
changed a significant part of your diet and will see results in your health.
Some people decide to completely give up sugar. That is a great goal and it should be done,
but if you're struggling to stick to something so strict, try giving up one of your favorite snacks.
Most people have several snacks they like and indulge in, like cookies and chips, or ice cream and candy bars. Try giving up one of those the first month. Maybe you'll give up chips the first month. Then you can give up cookies the next month. Don't deprive yourself, try testing out some alternatives, the key is to give them up in your daily or weekly eating habits.
Are you addicted to carbs? Trying giving up a high carb dish the first month, something like potatoes or a pasta dish. You probably can't give them up completely at first, but if you're prone to have a carb with every meal, start giving them up in at least one meal per day.
Small changes like this may not seem all that significant, but they do add up over time and it helps you stick with them when they are small, as opposed to trying to change your whole diet at once.
If that's coupled with an exercise routine or adding more exercise to your current program,
that could make a big difference in the way you look and feel.
Make Small Changes in Your Exercise Routine
If you don't currently have a daily exercise routine, this is a great time to start.
Simply doing five minutes a day is better than what you're doing now.
Over time that will add up. Over the next twelve months you can add five minutes per month to that. If you're in poor physical health, this is a very easy way to increase your time and stamina.
In fact, you may be able to add those five minutes every two weeks as you improve, but for now, just set a goal of five minutes per day for the first month and adding five minutes to that each month. Within six months you could be exercising for thirty minutes per day, which is the standard amount doctors and fitness experts recommend.
By the end of a year, you could double that or you can stay at thirty minutes.
The point is to start doing something and increase your time slowly. This will make big changes in your physical health, endurance and stamina.
If you're already exercising then start adding more time to your routine.
Do this in small increments so it doesn't feel so much like work.
If you currently work out for half an hour per day, by the end of six months you could be
working out for an hour per day.
Make Small Changes in Your Mindset
Mindset is one of the key factors in anything you do, but it's especially important when it
comes to healthy eating habits and fitness. You can't expect to change your whole
way of thinking overnight, but you can start changing small things about the way
you think and approach better health.
For example, instead of telling yourself you have to get through a grueling half hour workout today, simply tell yourself you only need to do five minutes, and then go do it.
Chances are, at the end of that five minutes endorphins will start to kick in and you'll want to
keep going. If not, then at least you've done five minutes and that's better than not doing any.
Another example is to tell yourself that snacking on fresh fruit is better and healthier
than snacking on chips or candy. There will be times when you do choose
the unhealthy snacks over a piece of fruit, but the more you tell yourself to keep making
the better choice, the more you'll start sticking with it.
You do not need (or want) to tell yourself that you have to make all of these life changes at once. Start with small things and over time you will work into bigger things and your mindset will slowly change without as much struggle.
Keep Yourself on Track
Even making small changes can often seem like a major undertaking.
Studies have proven time and again that the best way to make progress with any thing is to keep track of it. This is especially true when it comes to health and fitness.
People who track their eating habits and exercise habits get better results than those who don't. Become aware, know where you need to make changes.
Owning your health and getting fit can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.
Decide you're going to make small changes over the next year instead of trying to change your whole lifestyle and eating habits overnight. This may not be the fast track, but those small changes do add up and won't leave you feeling so deprived.
What decisions could you make today to start change?