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Making Health And Fitness A Lifestyle

It’s not unusual that we often make resolutions, especially during New Years, right?

The types of resolutions we make may vary a lot. It may be a resolution about our finances, studies, self-improvement, a new job, perhaps, or any other personal goals.

But nowadays, with health and fitness being a very debated topic, with new medical studies showing the dangers of being overweight and not exercising, as well as studies showing the negative impacts of eating fast-food and shocking revelations about industrialized food production, it’s normal that health and fitness resolutions are on the top of many people’s minds.

Of course, we all want to feel and look better. Unfortunately, over 88% of us fail in our
goals of achieving a healthier lifestyle and becoming fit. But why?

In this article, we will try to understand the reasons behind why we failed and learn how to succeed in becoming healthier and fitter.

02: Why do we often fail?

I’m a firm believer that in our demanding, fast-paced world where we want (and often get) everything so fast, we have been taught to look for immediate results. And at least when it comes to health and fitness, that doesn’t lead to any good outcome; it may hurt us instead of helping us.

Most of us are also busy and don’t have spare time on our hands, so it’s easy to lose focus on our goals and set them too high to be achieved.
All of this often results in our inability to reach or maintain our goals, and many times leads to depression, burnout, and even injury.

03 – Key Points for Success in Health and Fitness

Mindset Changing

Everything starts in the mind. The same is true regarding health and fitness.
And it all must start with a mindset change. The mind can be trained.

So we need to start by writing in a paper why we want to become healthier and fitter, detailing the disadvantages of not changing our lifestyle and what we will get by doing it.

After that, we should have this paper on a wall, door, or anywhere where we can see it every day, especially first thing when waking up, before starting the day, to reinforce and remind us of our commitment to a change.

Trust me, it seems silly, but it works.

Taking baby steps

Let’s be honest. Many aspects of our lives are direct results of our lifestyle: the people we know (and date), the places we go, the things we buy, where we live, the friends we make, and much more. That’s why any lifestyle change is hard and takes time to achieve.

As a result, the larger the changes we make, the greater the positive or negative impacts on most aspects of our lives and the world around us.

Therefore, we should start such changes with baby steps, not only to give us time to get comfortable and assimilate these changes by heart, but also to give time to everything around us to get accommodated to these changes.

Don’t you agree?

Creating Habits

We do many things in life automatically.

We wake up in the morning, brush our teeth, take our shower, and get ready for the day ahead, without thinking about how we do it, as it is something we repeat over and over every day.

We drive our cars, ride our bikes, and even walk without having to think about how we do it, as again, those are acquired skills that also become a habit.

So, as a principle, we must introduce health and fitness habits into our lives.

Those changes don’t and shouldn’t be big (baby steps, remember?), so let’s try it then by starting with one or two changes once or twice a week. OK?

For example, we can start by walking for one hour or eating healthier once or twice a week, avoiding drinking, smoking, fast food, fats, etc. Choose the days and times that you prefer (then stick to it, seriously).

We should take as long as we need to become comfortable with those changes, creating a habit that we can follow instinctively.

And as we progress and find it easy to do, we can introduce other habits that we feel are important to us.

Nurturing Perseverance

Most of us grew up in a society with bad health habits and products.

Big centers not designed for pedestrians and cyclists, manufactured food full of chemicals that make us unhealthy, cheap fast food that profits from the fact that we have little time to cook and eat due to our busy schedules, etc.

Besides that, it is also hard to keep going to a gym (often a few miles away) after a busy and demanding working day, and also, eating healthier can be quite expensive.

Those factors pose quite a challenge for us to stick to our plans and achieve our goals, especially long-term ones like a change in lifestyle.

This is where perseverance plays an important role, by means of reminding us that becoming healthier and fitter is a long road trip, and as in any long road trip, we can only see in front of us a few miles of it, and not the whole road, so we must keep in mind our final destination, drive carefully, relax and enjoy the trip.

Following the steps above will help us to better face challenges and achieve our goals, but we have to keep in mind that those changes must be implemented to stay forever and not to seem like a 30 day fix, otherwise it won’t work.

04–Building on Success

Life is about learning and adapting.

When making health and fitness a lifestyle, we are sure to make mistakes; some approaches won’t work for others, we may skip routines, or fall short of our goals. That’s all part of life.

Nevertheless, when this happens, we must start it over again, and try to improve by learning from our mistakes and leveraging what worked.

05 – Eating and Drinking Habits

The preference we have for food is cultural and is part of us. We have learned it since we were very young, and it is often difficult to change.

Indeed, it is very difficult for us to completely change what we eat, even if what we eat is not healthy.

Luckily, we don’t have to change it, at least not completely. Nowadays, we can find a lot of ways to make our favorite foods healthier. Also, many restaurants offer tasty and very healthy choices for pizza, burgers, and more.

The same is true even for alcohol, especially beer and wine, as we can easily find non-alcoholic beers and wines, and they taste exactly the same (I tried them before).

Besides making our favorite foods healthier and switching to alcohol-free beer and wine, as well as switching sodas for natural juices, we must also change how much we eat.

One of the biggest problems is that we often eat much more than we need. We go overboard more often than we realize, especially during night outs, meetings and celebrations.

We will be able to enjoy the things we enjoy while still meeting the goals we set if we practice moderation.

06–Getting Assistance From A Specialist

Every person is a universe. Inside and out, we are all very complex and unique.

When trying to change our lifestyle, we must understand what circumstances drove us to an unhealthy state. When, how and why did it start?

For instance, if we gained weight, what made us gain weight? emotional, physical factors, or both?

Pregnancy can sometimes throw women’s metabolisms into disarray as well as put them on an emotional roller-coaster.
Under depression, it is also a huge factor that can contribute to someone’s failing into, among other things, an unhealthy lifestyle.

In such cases, the first step on the path to a lifestyle change must start with getting help from a specialist: a doctor, physician, psychologist, nutritionist, etc.

A nutritionist, for example, will be able to draft a dietary plan specifically for a person, taking into consideration important factors unique to each of us.

It is also crucial, for those moving from a light to a more robust and hard workout, to have a personal trainer create such routine sessions to avoid problems related to exercising done wrong. Such problems could range from simple muscle pain to serious injuries.

07 – Select Workouts That You Enjoy

There is nothing more upsetting than trying to force ourselves to do things we hate. The same is true regarding workouts. We should always look for exercises that we like and that we enjoy doing.

And there are so many options to choose from: yoga, walking, hiking, biking, running, martial arts, dancing, swimming, diving, you name it!! So there is no excuse not to find one we can feel happy doing while pushing hard.

08: What Worked For Me?

I’ve tried thousands of different things in my quest for a healthier lifestyle. Different types of exercises, yoga, meditation, diets, etc.

Honestly speaking, most things did not work or brought very little result for me, especially when what I tried interfered with my daily routine, in other words, when it took me out of my way.

However, this all was not a waste of time, as I learned a lot during my journey. Nowadays, I feel better, healthier, more energetic, and have lost those extra kilos I hated.

So below, I want to share with you what worked for me. I know that this doesn’t mean they will work for you, but nevertheless, those are things you can try to see if they are right for you as well.

Routine Walking

I tried many different types of exercises, but just a simple one-hour daily brisk walk was the best thing to help me achieve a healthier life.

Regular brisk walking helps us to:

• Maintaining a healthy weight and losing body fat
• Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
• Improve cardiovascular fitness.
• Strengthen your bones and muscles.
• Improved muscle endurance
• increase energy levels.
• Improve your mood, cognition, memory, and sleep.
• Improve your balance and coordination.
• Boost the immune system
• Reduce stress and tension by lowering your

Vegetarian diet

Changing to a vegetarian diet brought positive changes to my health and helped me lose weight as well.

When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn’t include meat, poultry, or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude.

• Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter, are included.

• Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products, but allow eggs.

• Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.

• Pescatarian diets exclude meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs but allow fish.

• Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products (and foods that contain these products).

If becoming a vegetarian is too hard for you, there is also a semi-vegetarian diet, also called a flexitarian diet, which is primarily a plant-based diet that still includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, and fish “on occasion” or in “small quantities”.

Intermittent Fasting

I started intermittent fasting two years ago, and in the first month, I started to feel better, more energetic, and lost 3 kilos. Nowadays, intermittent fasting is part of my routine.

Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule where you skip meals for some periods of time.

In my case, I started by having Wednesday as a day for fasting. Instead of eating, I only drank natural juices and water to pass the day. I didn’t take shakes or vitamins, as they would count as meals.

Other approaches to intermittent fasting include:

  • Alternate-day fasting: Eat a normal diet one day and either fast or have one small meal (less than 500 calories) the next day.
  • 5:2 fasting: Eat a normal diet five days a week and fast two days a week.
  • Daily time-restricted fasting: Eat normally but only within an eight-hour window each day. For example, skip breakfast but eat lunch around noon and dinner by 8 PM.

Alternate-day fasting is about as effective as a typical low-calorie diet for weight loss.

Some research suggests that intermittent fasting may be more beneficial than other diets for reducing inflammation and improving conditions associated with inflammation, such as:

• Alzheimer’s disease
• Arthritis
• Asthma
• Multiple sclerosis
• Stroke


Making health and fitness a lifestyle can be challenging, but it is worth it, and remember, results take time.

Be easy on yourself; nothing good comes easily. Learn to enjoy the process and the person you become throughout the journey.