3 Things I Do To Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear” – Buddha.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something which is incredibly important to me. I am a big advocate of maintaining a level of mental and physical health. When I work out and eat well, I feel better and I make smarter decisions. There’s nothing worse to me than making bad lifestyle decisions and then having to bear the consequences.
Diet and exercise are two buzz words that are constantly thrown around- there is always the latest trend or fad to follow. From the Atkins diet, to Paleo, to Keto, there’s always something new and shiny to follow. For me personally, I’ve never been a follower of diets or fads – they simply don’t appeal to me. In fact, I have never owned bathroom scales nor could I tell you the last time I weighed myself.
There are three things I have done for a long time which have helped me to maintain an optimal level of mental and physical health. I would like to preface this article by stating that I am not a dietician, personal trainer or any form or health care professional, however I am simply sharing the routines and practices I have put in place to better look after myself:
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of yourself is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell.
One of the greatest gifts I have given myself is to establish an effective routine. My best days are when I rise early at 5am and take time to look after my mental and physical health. When I wake up at 5am, I spend around 10 minutes practicing meditation followed by an intensive 45 minute workout at the gym. It is days like this where I truly feel like an unstoppable force.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”- Benjamin Franklin.
Preparation is one of the most critical factors when it comes to sticking to my daily routine. There are a few simple practices I have put in place to set my day up for success, including:
I spend approximately three hours on a Sunday afternoon grocery shopping and preparing my meals for the week. A typically day for me would be overnight oats topped with fresh berries for breakfast, salad with chicken for lunch and salmon and vegetables for dinner. Once all meals are prepared, I store them into air tight containers and pack them in the fridge. I also ensure I pack sufficient snacks for the week, such as raw, unsalted nuts and pieces of fruit. This ensures I maintain a healthy, balanced diet and am not tempted by junk food throughout the week.
Outfit Preparation- Work & Gym
There is always a reason to skip the gym in the mornings – it’s too cold/ I’m too tired / it’s too dark tend to be amongst the top three excuses. I minimise these excuses by minimising as many decisions as possible in the morning, such as selecting my outfit the night before.
I also take the time to lay out my gym clothes, water bottle, shoes and towel the night before – this again minimises the number of obstacles to get to the gym. There is nothing worse than waking up at 5am, try to find workout clothes and then giving up and going back to bed. If you prepare for the gym in advance, you are more likely to commit.
My routine works for me, because it is realistic and sustainable. If I tried to overcommit to things, such as saying I am going to work out twice per day every day, it wouldn’t work because it wouldn’t be realistic or sustainable. Set the bar low initially, and then gradually work your way up from there.
I am now at a point in my life where I consistently wake up at 5am 5 x per week to work out, and go for a one hour walk on the weekend. I allow Sundays to be my ‘rest’ day where I wake up without an alarm, indulge in some of my favourite food and take some much needed time out to self-care. Like anything in life, balance is the key to success.
What are some of the disciplines or practices you put in place to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle? I would love to hear your thoughts – please leave your comments below.