Three Simple Steps to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

Simple considerations to help you reach your health and fitness goals

By John Teng P.E.

The subject of exercising and eating healthy has increasingly become a lifestyle trend that many people are catching onto, but I lament that there still seems to be a huge proportion of our society that is not taking advantage of the benefits that they could reap from starting even a very modest adjustment to their current exercise and nutrition regimens.  So maybe you are thinking to yourself, how can I start being a healthy person?  Or should I count calories? Or how much fat should I burn? Or where do I even start?  Yes, there are many questions, but in order to start becoming a healthy person, here are 3 simple considerations that can help you get off to a strong start towards reaching your own personal health and fitness goals for yourself.

1. How to eat

Eating healthy should not be complicated, nor should you commit yourself to some boot camp type diet regimen that might not be suitable for the long term health and wellness of your body.  Think of all the fad diets that have come and gone, promising you fantastical results, but leaving you no better off (or even worse than before) compared to where you started the diet only months earlier!  Ultimately, eating healthy simply begins by eating with moderation.  I believe that a person can eat almost anything they want if they are willing to use a little creativity and some common sense. For example: If you really like drinking milk, perhaps you might want to consider drinking almond milk instead with a lower fat percentage. Reading the nutrients facts on the back of your food is also very important since these facts tell you the exact amount of calories per quantity of food that you will be eating.  Even better is to strive to eat foods in their most natural forms possible, in other words, eating foods that are wrapped in the packaging that Mother Nature gave them!

3. How to exercise

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends individuals get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.  In addition, they also recommend strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. [1]  This doesn’t mean that you should spend hours at the gym, but you should find a form of healthy exercise that you naturally enjoy participating in will increase the likelihood that you will maintain a consistent exercise regimen, especially during those moments when you might otherwise feel discouraged with your fitness progress.  And last but not least, keep in mind that eating healthy makes up the majority of your weight loss progress, as compared to merely exercising, so at the end of the day, make sure that you are developing and maintaining healthy eating habits!  And one last yet incredibly important point before moving on is to make sure that you first consult with your medical professional before starting any new exercise or nutritional regimen so as to make sure you are doing so as safely and as healthily as possible.

3. How to Play the Long Game

And lastly, be patient with yourself. Whether your goal is to lose weight, to gain weight, or simply to eat healthy in order to have healthier skin, you have to be patient with your progress. The results of your work will not be evident overnight.  One observation that I’ve made over the years is that people who drastically change their weight and body composition over a short period of time, also seem to be more prone to bounce back to their “old look” and circumstances about just as fast as they bounced their way to their temporary new look.  So with that, I encourage you to take a longer term view of what you are trying to accomplish.  Just like in life, you will have good days and bad days.  Your timeline should take into account that you actually want to live life, associate with friends, and attend social settings where you can enjoy good company and good food.  And those fun moments have the potential to temporarily slow down your exercise and nutrition progress.  And just like life, you don’t need to get discouraged, you just pick up where you last left off and keep moving forward.  Because in the overall grand scheme of your efforts, you are still moving in the right direction!  So just keep on keeping on, and ultimately you will reach your intended goal!


John Teng, P.E. Founder/ CEO Midlife Magazine



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