Design Your Own Healthy, Active Lifestyle Plan by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA


Design Your Own Healthy Lifestyle PlanDesigning your own healthy, active lifestyle plan is important if you want to improve your body composition.

Achieving balance in your daily life can feel as good as finding a perfect outfit on a sale rack that feels as though it was designed just for you. When something feels like it’s a good fit, whether it’s clothing, a job, a friendship or a healthy eating plan, it’s easy to commit to it long term without hesitation.

Related Article: Personalizing Your Diet Plan: How to Create a Diet that Works for You

Designing the ideal nutrition plan and workout that feels right for your body is important if you want to improve your body composition and maintain your results long term. Here are some tips on how you can design a healthy, active lifestyle plan that is a perfect fit for you.

Self-assessment

When it comes to getting fit and healthy, it’s a combination of many factors that contribute to your overall sense of wellbeing and health. Nutrition, rest, stress levels, work commitments and of course, your genetics, are just a few of the factors that can affect your personal results and your progress. In order to improve your fitness level and body composition you must look at the big picture and assess many areas of your life. Quite often we get fixated on one piece of the puzzle while neglecting others. Some people will focus only on their diet and neglect exercise, and others will try to exercise to compensate for a poor diet. I believe that it’s easier to achieve success if you address lots of the small areas of your daily life and make changes one day at a time.

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself so that you can refine your healthy, active lifestyle plan to fit you. Asking yourself some simple questions may help you to assess your daily habits and make positive changes.

  • Does your nutrition focus match your activity level?

The more active you are in your daily life, the more you need to ensure that you are giving your body an adequate amount of nutrients. The body requires a steady supply of macro and micronutrients each day to allow you to perform at our best. For the structures of the body to maintain themselves post workout, you must be conscious of meeting your daily recommended amounts of protein and vitamins. Staying hydrated and being conscious of your nutrient timing may help you to get the most of your body. Consider keeping a journal of your daily nutrient intake and make weekly notes to assess how you feel.

  • Are you getting enough sleep?

If it’s less than 6-8 hours a night, find ways to improve your sleep habits to allow your body ample time rest, regenerate and recover each night.

  • Are you snacking on unhealthy snacks?

If you realize you are snacking throughout the day on unhealthy snacks that are low in nutrients, but high in calories, make a point to find healthier options that will satisfy your cravings without all of the extra calories.

  • How many hours per week are you working?

If you are working more than 50 hours per week, it could be adding to your stress levels. Spend time assessing your working style and see if you can become more efficient with your workday planning in order to eliminate any wasted time.

  • Are you exercising enough to reach your goals?

Exercising for 30 minutes per day, five days per week is essential for your health. If you want to do more than maintain your current fitness level, you will need to find a way to add extra exercise minutes into your schedule. Scheduling 45-60 minutes per day will allow you to follow a very structured and progressive routine, as well as allow time for adequate warm up and cool down.

  • Are you using an individualized approach?

Workouts and healthy eating plans tend to not be a one size fits all situation. We are all individuals with varied body types and we each respond differently to exercise and lifestyle change. Think about it, if there were one specific formula we would all become pro athletes and sculpt perfectly lean physiques. Try to make your healthy, active lifestyle plan centered around what you personally enjoy. Choose a time of day that fits into your schedule for exercise and find ways to incorporate good personal choices into your daily routine.

  • Are you feeling positive?

The way we feel about ourselves emotionally can positively or negatively affect our energy level, effort level and results. Making an effort to be positive, writing goals and reaffirming your commitment to getting healthy may help you to stay motivated.

  • Do you compare yourself to others?

It’s very natural for us to compare ourselves to the people around us, in fact being inspired by a friends progress can be very motivating and prompt us to try harder to reach our goals, but when you cross the line and start comparing yourself to others you can become disappointed with your own progress and quit. Always remember that you are a unique individual and your personal progress is just that “Personal”

Spend some time designing a healthy, active lifestyle to suit you. Make small changes, create good habits and try to keep a positive approach to achieving your goals, even on those days when not everything goes to plan.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

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