4 Ways to Retake Control of Your Health
Regardless of your reason to get started, taking control of your health can be a daunting task. Gym memberships, weight watchers, recipes with ingredients that you've never even heard of..it's a lot! I was in this boat about 8 years ago as a Freshman in high school and wanted to share my top 4 tips for regaining control over your health.
1. Start Small
In my experience, it is better to start off making small lifestyle changes than to try to overhaul everything all at once. This makes it a lot easier to sustain all of the changes that come with health and fitness, especially if you're brand new to it. Instead of automatically joining a gym, maybe try going for a walk or light jog in the mornings or evenings. Have kids? Take them with you! Make it a family event. Instead of trying to meal prep at first, maybe try making two new healthy recipes every week and take the leftovers (if any) for lunch. However you start, take baby steps so you don't wear yourself out. The point is to just start with something!
2. Ask for Support
What I mean by this is to not be afraid to call on your friends and family to support you in your new journey. A lot of times when you tell someone you are "dieting" they will respond with something negative such as, "Why are you doing that?" or "Well, kudos to you I don't have time for that." These are both responses I have gotten, and I would encourage you to just simply talk to your family and friends and let them know how you are trying to change your lifestyle/health. If you approach them in a serious manner, they could really become a solid support system which is extremely critical.
3. Talk to Your Doctor
While your doctor will obviously be supportive, they may also have crucial tips that they could offer specifically for your body type and for any health issues you may have. Making an appoint for a 6 month check-up, instead of the normal yearly, can also help you maintain your goal if your doctor is on board. This bi-annual check-up doesn't have to happen every year, but at the beginning it could be a good way to accomplish goals such as weight loss, blood pressure stabilization, etc. Simply put, it's worth having a conversation with your doctor when beginning an exercise regimen, program, or altering your diet.
4. Work Through Self-Doubt
This one can be easier said than done. A lot of people, including myself, experience an extreme amount of anxiety and fear when working out at a gym, or even when walking/running on a public trail. While there is nothing wrong with working out at your home, I do challenge you to get outside even if it is stressful. The gym is for people who want to work on their bodies and everyone starts in a different place. The same goes for running/walking at your local park, or taking a stroll around your neighborhood...the opinions of others do not matter, especially when you are trying to better yourself. Find that support system, mentioned above, and make a conscious effort to try and plow through those discouraging thoughts.
Best of luck to anyone starting their fitness journey! Don't wait until New Years, simply start now!