Over the past few years, many people have asked me how I managed to turn my life around and get from drug and alcohol addict to someone who’s healthy living is to be looked up to. For those who don’t know me, let’s just say that my story has been a motivational one for friends and family alike. The questions about my living usually come at awkward moments such as dinner parties and first dates, however, one thing is always constant; it seems that we all want a quick and concise answer for our own success. Of course, there’s obviously nothing wrong with that, but I can definitely say that it has been a driving factor in compiling all my advice to those wishing to change their lifestyles for the better.
Having a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about making that annual New Year’s resolution, as we have come to see that 73% of people who make those promises to themselves tend to give up on them. It isn’t simply about setting goals for yourself, either. I’d say that the most important factor is integrating certain habits into your life in such a way that they don’t become a chore. “I should really do laundry today” isn’t supposed to be on the same list as “I should definitely eat that apple.”
This list of 5 tips is what I truly believe to be the best ways to make healthy living a part of you:
Through the use of Google, I typed in a couple keywords and quickly found dozens of lists of health benefits that come from regular exercise. To name a few: helping you boost self-confidence, increase happiness and memory, and help to get better sleep.Exercising is even beneficial for fighting stress.
So I asked myself, but where do I start?
The basic plan recommended 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. This all depends on the work schedule of each person. Some friends of mine are too occupied to hit the gym during the week, so they cut it down to weekends and increase the time they spend there.There were also guides on the many ways to exercise at home. I had many options.
H20 IS REALLY THE WAY TO GO!
When I was a child, I was bombarded by my parents with reminders to drink water. As a kid, I never paid much attention to that, but the older I got, the more I realized that they had been absolutely right. Water is our life source, every organ in our body needs it to survive. Among other benefits, it clears the skin and helps with digestion. Here are some other benefits.
Personally, I’ve always had difficulties with the taste of water. I researched some more and found that mixing water with lemon juice had its own list of benefits.
REPLACE MCDONALD’S WITH A WHOLESOME SALAD
This one was very hard for me, as I enjoyed indulging in junk food more than most. The first step was acceptance; I understood that it added close to no nutritional value to my life. It made me feel nice and full for the first couple hours, sure, but that was mainly due to the immense calorie intake. Some people need the extra calories, especially if they want to augment muscle mass and look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but that wasn’t on my list of goals.
Don’t get me wrong- that occasional quarter-pounder is still a possibility, but I was looking for serious changes, so I needed to consider nutrients which helped build towards what I was trying to achieve.Those nutrients came from a healthy diet.
For me, eating lots of junk food was careless, as it wasn’t only affecting my weight. I found that fast food chains used some ingredients which were thought to be linked to serious illnesses such as heartdisease, or liver and kidney problems. Based on my past experiences, I knew that I couldn’t keep attacking my organs like that.
The next step was to slowly reduce and replace the empty calories with foods that actually contributed to my health. This had to be done gradually; replacing it immediately in its entirety would have been much more difficult. The main health foods I started with were fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry, meats, fish and low-fat milk and cheese.
After some time, not only did the cravings disappear, but I also gained an appreciation for those natural foods.
RESTRAIN FROM SMOKING AND LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE
The warnings didn’t just come from the billboard ads, condemning cigarettes. They came from my friends, family, and even on the packs themselves. Cigarettes had endless detrimental effects on my body and the bodies of others around me while I smoked. I knew I needed to quit because they were inhibiting my ability to breathe correctly during my exercise routines. As a regular smoker, this entire process was exponentially more difficult for me until I gave them up. Other effects from quitting were that my blood pressure was lowered, and my risk of heart disease was reduced.
There were several occasions where I remembered people telling me about the occasional alcoholic beverage being part of a healthy diet.Unless, like me, it turned into a problem.An essential part of my success was the complete elimination of the substance from my life. I never felt the need to oblige others to do the same, however, my alcohol and drug detox episode was a big turning point in my life.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO RECOVER
So I hit the ground running, and once I made aserious improvement in my life, the most logical answer seemed to be to continue pushing myself. That was wrong, as I learned the hard way thatmuscle injuries were common if they hadn’t had enough time to rest and recover.It was important for me to learn to listen to my body and understand the signs that meant it needed a rest.
These five tips came together to form a routine in my life. They were during a time when I really needed improvement through the use of goals and achievements. They motivated me to get over my addiction and be who I am today. I eventually stopped thinking about them as a hassle and embraced them. I’d like to think that the result of the things I went through could serve as motivation for others to get their lives in order.
There are people out there who get along just fine based on the habits they already have ingrained in them. But for others, when progression and improvement are necessary, development of certain healthier habits are essential.
Do you have a self-improvement story you’d like to share? Would you like to add to this list of tips? Pleasecommentbelow!