You have learned what it means to embark on a physical wellness journey and how you can commit to a healthier lifestyle. All this may seem a little bit overwhelming at first. You may be thinking that a wellness lifestyle isn’t for you. While it may be hard at first to adopt new, healthy habits, know that it is possible for you to live a wellness lifestyle and reach your full potential. You will be able to handle stress better, maintain a positive outlook, and enjoy life more. Now, here are some tips for success to help you on your journey:
- Start slow
- Have a positive attitude
- Find a wellness partner
- Track your progress
- Reward yourself
It is important that you take baby steps when beginning your wellness journey. Don’t jump into a diet or exercise plan that is more than you can handle. You would never try to run ten miles on day one, right? You need to build up to it. When you do too much too soon, you will end up sore, injured, and discouraged. Take it easy as you get started. Maybe you only run a quarter of a mile your first week. When that becomes easier, you can make it more challenging. Remember that no one has perfect form the first day of strength training. Every workout takes practice. It will become easier as you continue to make an effort.
Have a positive attitude
Having the right attitude can keep your diet and fitness routines on track. By staying positive you will increase your chances of sticking with your routine. Half of all people who start a new exercise program give up within the first year. This often happens because they can’t keep up the strict pace they’ve forced on themselves. They often feel discouraged and get down on themselves when they can’t meet their goals. It is better to start slowly and set realistic expectations for yourself. You should challenge yourself, but be realistic.
Find a wellness partner
Finding a friend or support system will increase your chances of success in achieving physical wellness. When you feel like watching TV instead of hitting the treadmill, a workout partner or support system can steer you back in the right direction. It is easier to bail out on the gym if you are going alone than to bail out on the friend who waits for you there. Studies show you will also work out longer when you bring someone along.
Track your progress
A good way to increase your chances of success and to stay motivated on your fitness journey is to keep track of the progress you make. Keep a fitness journal or use an app to record your progress. For example, you can keep track of how much you run, walk or lift, as well as of how many calories you burn. Knowing this information will keep you motivated to continue physical activity as you see yourself make improvements.
It can also help to do different types of workouts and keep things interesting. If you usually use the elliptical, hop on the stair climber or run outside for some cardio instead. Also, switch between machines and free weights when you strength train. Take a spin class or play tennis to vary your routine. You don’t have to reinvent your entire routine every week, but you do want to mix it up here and there. Mixing it up will also make it more interesting to track your progress so you don’t write the same thing each time you exercise.
Celebrate! Rewarding yourself when you make small or large gains will motivate you to keep going. Acknowledging and appreciating your hard work will increase your chances of success on your journey. Even a pound of weight loss or a pound of muscle gain is reason to celebrate. Appreciate your hard work in a way that is meaningful to you. Have a night out with friends, get the book you have been wanting to read or do something you have been wanting to do. Remember that, although it takes weeks to see real changes, each achievement is a cause for celebration.
Thanks for tuning into our series on anxiety management and physical wellness. If you’d like to learn more about the importance of stress management and how The Anxiety Management Program works, download our PDF brochure here.