Believe it or not, there’s a difference between being fit and being healthy. What’s more, there are things you can do to be both all the time. If you’ve spent your life chasing fad diets, feeling inactive and unwell, and having a negative mindset about your potential, it’s time to make a change.
Here are five tips to help you be fit and healthy all the time.
Build a Sustainable Diet
Fad diets don’t work. In most cases, they’re very restrictive, giving you quick results that don’t last. If you need the structure and accountability of a popular diet, choose one that focuses more on replacing “bad” foods with healthy, minimally processed sources of lean protein and vegetables, like the South Beach Diet.
Rather than cutting out all of the things you love and inevitably repeating the cycle of restriction bingeing, make minor adjustments. Focus on eating well 95% of the time, so that you can indulge and enjoy your favorite treats 5% of the time. That’s still three weeks of your favorite snacks each year.
Practice Habit Building
The foundation of being fit and healthy is habit-building. Whether your main focus is on growing your business and your muscles or shrinking your waistline and time spent on social media, habits are the key.
The trick to building habits is by starting small and adding structure. Rather than diving in and trying to exercise for an hour a day, five days a week, pare it back. Start exercising for 20 minutes a day, three days a week. As that becomes a routine, expand your efforts.
Know that every little bit counts. If you can only commit to five minutes a day to start, it’s still more than you were doing before.
Find Opportunities to Move
Find non-exercise opportunities to move more and overcome your inner sloth. Making micro-movements throughout the day is essential for long-term health in a sedentary world. Park your car further from the grocery store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Set an alarm to stand up and stretch every hour.
These micromovements incrementally improve your motivation, endurance, and overall well-being.
Have a Keystone Habit
Identify a keystone habit that you will commit to no matter what. There are bound to be times when it feels impossible to stay on track with all of your health and wellness goals. By identifying a keystone habit, you’re committing to the bare minimum, even when times are tough.
Find something that you would notice if it were absent. For some, it might be drinking enough water each day. For others, it might be getting enough rest. Commit to completing this habit every day, regardless of the distractions you’re combatting.
Build a Growth Mindset
Having a growth mindset is what will keep you going when times are tough and create the intrinsic motivation you need to succeed. When you have a growth mindset, you believe in your ability to achieve anything with hard work and dedication. You see failures as lessons.
On the other hand, a fixed mindset sees failure or struggle as a dead stop. They can’t handle constructive criticism and often blame others for their perceived barriers.
To develop a growth mindset, you need to embrace your imperfections and acknowledge your strengths. Take time to celebrate the journey rather than focusing on the destination.
Live Long and Prosper
By following these five tips, you’ll be setting yourself up for a life of health and happiness. Set SMART goals for fitness and focus on healing from the inside out.