Overcoming the obstacles to a healthy lifestyle

There are many obstacles to maintaining a healthy lifestyle but most of them will be psychological. For example, as the cold winter months settle in you may find yourself unmotivated to leave the warm house for your daily morning walk. As a result you will beat yourself up later for not exercising.

While there are many excuses you may have heard, here are just three of the most common ones.

I’m too stressed

Stress shows up in our life on a daily basis, whether through a big life changing event or from smaller tense situations. Stress is a part of your life, but it shouldn’t prevent you from living. Are you doing too much and running yourself short on time? In a notebook (or journal) make notes on the moments that make you stressed, how you felt, what you were doing. At the end of the week take a moment to reflect and review any patterns. Identify what triggered that stressful feeling. Once you identify the trigger you can gain awareness for when that situation happens again and train yourself to respond positively.

Overcome this barrier by:

Learning to say no to things that do not serve you or align with YOUR priorities. Schedule in your calendar free time like your life depends on it – because your health does. Use that free time to do something fun, something relaxing that you enjoy.

I’m too tired

You come home from work feeling exhausted and the last thing you feel like doing is exercise. You may not even feel like cooking a healthy meal. Fatigue is often your biggest barrier to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you are busy, planning ahead can seem like a chore to the point that you fall into the habit of ordering takeaway because it is easier.

Overcome this barrier by:

Look at the source of your fatigue. Do you have too much crammed into your calendar? Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep and nutrition are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Assess your sleep habits. Are you able to go to bed early? Can you sleep later? When you can get more sleep into your life, and you can eat well, you will notice your energy levels will improve. You may even feel motivated again to add exercise to your routine.

I don’t have time

This is the biggest excuse we all use then blame ourselves for an unhealthy lifestyle. With so much on the go in life, exercise and healthy eating are nearly always to first to be sacrificed.

Overcome this barrier by:

Multitask your family and social relationships around physical activity and healthy eating.

Instead of dinner with your partner in a fancy restaurant, why not take a bike ride or beach walk. A day out with friends or family can include a nature hike followed by a picnic.

There are many common obstacles you may face; these are only three. However, it is not too late to make changes and adopt proactive practices towards your goals of a healthy lifestyle. One step at a time. One action item at a time. Start small – even if it only a five minute walk outside.

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