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Spring Cleaning- Baby Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle!

Nowadays everyone wants to be healthy. It almost seems as if living a healthy lifestyle has become trendy, great! However, with trends comes an overload of information being thrown at you left, right and center. Overcomplicated approaches are touted to be the one and only way to lead a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle … false.  Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be complicated! Living a healthy lifestyle should be quite simple – take care of your body from the inside out. Now, there are a lot of factors that contribute to your health such as exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress levels, etc., but you don’t have to tackle everything at once!

Think about baby steps; small changes in your everyday life that you can commit to doing consistently. These small steps will add up to big results over time. These small steps become habits, those habits will create your lifestyle.

Here are some of my go-to baby steps to creating a healthier lifestyle …

  1. Prioritize Sleep

This one is incredibly important to give your body time to properly recover. During sleep is when our body can rebuild and repair damaged muscle, fully digest food, and improve our cognitive health and memory. It’s easy to give up sleep in order to fit things into your schedule (a social life, extra work, TV, etc.) but we would actually get more productivity throughout our day with a good night’s sleep! Aim for 7-9 hours and create a proper sleep environment. A good sleep environment is no technology, dark and somewhat cool to allow you to sleep soundly throughout the night.

  1. Eat REAL Food

Nutrition is a very important factor when it comes to our health. What we eat plays a huge role in how we function, our metabolism, disease prevention, and so much more. Here are some great ways to start shifting your nutrition in a positive direction. Focus on consuming REAL, WHOLE foods. These are things that are grown, come from the ground, or have single-ingredient lists. Things like fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and more. Whole foods are much easier on the body as opposed to consumed highly processed foods. My next recommendation would be to ensure you’re getting enough protein in your day. Protein is essential to helping our bodies recover and repair, so we need to make sure we include high quality sources in our diet. This can include poultry, fish, eggs, chickpeas, black beans, yogurt, lean meat, tofu, almonds, and much more. Finally, focus on eating the rainbow. Think about filling your plate at each meal with different colours from fruits and vegetables. This will ensure you’re getting lots of vitamins and minerals to help your body function and protect it from disease.

  1. Purposeful Movement Each Day

To move purposefully each day means to be mindful of what you’re doing to move your body more than you normally would. It’s a necessity to walk to the bathroom; walk to your car to get to work, etc., however, purposeful movement is when you make the conscious decision to do something extra. It could be a training session at the gym, or you may choose to walk to work that day. It will look different for everyone so you need to find something that suits your lifestyle.  If you are usually sitting at a desk all day, perhaps you get up and walk a flight of stairs every hour. Movement doesn’t always have to include a gym, weights and lots of sweat!

  1. Water, Water, Water

This one is probably the easiest way to kick start a healthy lifestyle. Water does wonders for such a simple beverage, it aids in hydration (obviously), digestion, toxin removal, etc. Try starting your day with a big glass of water before consuming anything else. You can add some lemon juice or mint leaves to it to dress it up a bit as well. You want to aim to consume ~3L of water throughout the day with 0.5L for every 30 minutes of sweating. Quick tip: set a reminder on your phone to go off every 90 minutes to remind you to drink up!

Now that we’ve outlined the key factors for creating a healthy lifestyle, pick one to focus on each week! You don’t need to make all the changes at once, start small and piece-by-piece you’ll start to create your version of a healthy lifestyle.  There are also important factors to consider like stress levels, current lifestyle, etc. but pick one thing to improve on at a time. You’d be surprised at how easily things can shift with just one step!

Alena Luciani

MSc, CSCS, Pn1

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Nutrition Nut & Creator of Training2XL

W: www.training2xl.com

E: training2xl@gmail.com

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