Living healthily on a long-term basis requires perseverance. Obviously, this is easier said than done. Changing your lifestyle can feel quite counter-intuitive; we’re creatures of habit, and it’s hard to make such big changes. That’s why there are so many “simple” solutions out there for improving your health. Of course, the important thing to remember is that there’s no quick fix for your wellbeing. Think of it this way: how can you maintain good health for years to come based on something you did for a short amount of time? You have to adopt lasting routines to keep yourself in good mental and physical shape.

Get into exercise.

If you want to get your health on track in the long run, you should start by getting into exercise. This is about more than just forcing yourself to start a workout routine; this is about actually getting into exercise. You should try to find a physical activity that you actually enjoy. This is the key to maintaining a workout routine. You need to feel motivated to get out there and stay active. Otherwise, exercise will feel like a chore, and you’ll struggle to encourage yourself to stick to your new fitness routine. If you actually enjoy exercising, then you’ll feel motivated to actually maintain your routine because it’ll become a habit that feels natural and fun.

For example, you could take up dance classes. This would be a social activity and a chance to learn some new skills. You wouldn’t even be focused on the idea of exercise if you enjoyed it. Or perhaps you could take up karate because martial arts teach mental discipline as well as physical skills. Again, it’s a physical activity, but that isn’t the sole focus of the activity. The point is that you don’t have to go to the gym or run in the park to exercise. There are plenty of other ways to stay fit. Getting your body moving is the main goal. Of course, if you are struggling to get back into exercise because you used to work out and injured yourself, then you might want to get help from sports medicine physicians. They could help you to get your body back into a healthy state. That way, you could exercise in a safe way and strengthen yourself both physically and mentally.

Focus on the nutrients and vitamins in your meals.

If you want to get your health on track in the long run, you should also focus on the nutrients and vitamins in your meals. Eating nutritiously is so important if you want to improve your wellbeing on a long-term basis. The key is to opt for food that’s as natural as possible. Obviously, you’re still allowed to treat yourself to processed food in life, but it’s all about moderation. Most food is processed to some degree, but the point is that a lot of mass-manufactured food is artificial and lacking in the nutrients and vitamins you need for sustenance. You might want to start cooking your own food so that you know what you’re including in your meals. Make sure you include plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in your dishes. These whole foods are very nutritious.

Make sure you sleep well on a nightly basis.

Another important part of getting your health on track, in the long run, is making sure you sleep well on a nightly basis. So many people dismiss the importance of a good night’s rest in the modern world. Yet, sleep is essential for our mental and physical wellbeing. If you want to rest properly, then you should avoid distractions before bed and allowing yourself time to get a full 8 hours of sleep (especially if you struggle to drift off). Try not to eat food or drink food before going to bed, to give a couple of examples. You need to be in a relaxed state so that your body can unwind and recover from a long day.

Of course, you might simply fail to get enough sleep because you have a busy lifestyle. If that’s the case, then you should think about the positive effects of a healthy sleeping pattern. Getting enough rest keeps your immune system strong, your metabolism functioning quickly, and your heart healthy. It even helps to keep you mentally healthy, and this could be very helpful if you suffer from feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. Obviously, it’s not an overall fix for mental health problems, but a good night’s sleep can certainly improve your emotional state.

Allow yourself time to relax and unwind.

You should also allow yourself time to relax and unwind if you want to get your health on track in the long run. Relaxation shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury; it should be viewed as a necessity. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and if you want to keep your mind in good shape, then you need to give it some time to decompress at the end of a long day. Whether it’s a 30-minute soak in the bath or a couple of hours to binge-watch a Netflix show that you love, you need to allow yourself time to relax and unwind.

Talk to people.

Talking to people is essential to your wellbeing, too. In order to be healthy on a long-term basis, you should encourage yourself to stay connected with your loved ones. It’s easy to become busy and fail to spend as much time with your friends as you once did, but you should try to make time for them. Involving yourself in social situations can be so good for your mental health. Laughing is good for the heart, firstly, so a catch-up could help to improve your cardiovascular health. And talking to your friends and family on a regular basis is a good opportunity to share things with one another. Being able to open up about your struggles as well as the positive things in your life will help you to come to terms with your thoughts and feelings. This is a crucial part of staying healthy.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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