We’ll go beyond your normal healthy living tips over here. Starting a healthy lifestyle for beginners is more about the mental game. I’m pretty sure at this point, with all the information available EVERYWHERE we do know about the healthy habits we should be doing.
So what is stopping you?
Here’s What It Was For Me
It was the idea that I was doing enough, I didn’t need to put in too much effort and that I needed to prioritize self-care. That’s what we read everywhere, right?
A little voice kept telling me things like: “Why are you eating this? This is not good for you.” or “You still haven’t finished your article, why are you watching this?”…But I kept ignoring it and hearing from “experts” how I needed to be gentle with myself. And I had made my self-care, myself, basically, the focus. And I was miserable.
I was living a more comfortable lifestyle than ever and it was leading me nowhere new and exciting, but back to the spot where I was the day before. Making circles. And while I was just sitting there, relaxing, my mind was always on the run. As fast as it can. Was that the healthy lifestyle I was supposed to be living? I didn’t imagine it like that.
But I believed that I can change, I knew that I can do better. Because I had done better in the past. Because I knew that this wasn’t me. I knew I wasn’t made for comfort. And you aren’t either! We are all made for something greater than being nice to ourselves.
So, I decided to stop complaining as it didn’t seem to help. Nobody seemed to hear those complaints and rush over to rescue me from my excuses that the world always reaffirmed, and my inability to face my fears. Big and small.
My grandparents always used to say: “First, help yourself, so that God can help you.” And that might not be in the bible, but it’s true. You need to take action so that God can help you. And if you don’t believe in God, then call it life. When you move, life starts to move as well.
The thing about my grandparents though was they didn’t have the choice to be gentle with themselves and take time for self-care. They had to work all day long, hot or cold, in order to put food on the table and sustain their families. They didn’t live a life of comfort or travel, but they slept well at night.
So, I remembered them. I remembered everything that I knew, that life and not experts, had taught me. And basically, I decided to do something new. Something more challenging. I decided to stop hiding from the things that seemed hard physically. To stop hiding from making decisions and taking chances. From doing the work. And I decided to do the hard things first, so that the other parts of life will become easier and more exciting again. And they did.
So if you’re stuck in a cycle right now, know you’re not the only one. I’m telling you, the best way out and into a healthy lifestyle is to stop complaining, stop overthinking and start working on something. Start moving, listen to the small voice inside and follow the directions.
5 Pillars For Good Health
At this point, I’ve lived enough life and have done enough research to know that there are basically 5 things to work on for a good life. This is what you need to focus on to live a healthy lifestyle for beginners and beyond:
- Inner peace
Those are the basics for a good life. Once you take care of those, and it’s a daily effort, you can take life anywhere you want it to go and make it even better.
What’s interesting is that when you stay disciplined in those areas – your physical health will start to flourish. These areas affect every system in your body – your immune, gastrointestinal and nervous systems are just a few examples.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Beginners
Now here’s how to take care of the basics and start a healthy lifestyle for beginners. Let’s begin with what we put into our bodies.
There are many things to eat that are supposedly healthy out there. The most promising motto here is: the easier it is to get it when you’re out in nature, the closer it is to what you should be eating. So, vegetables, fruits and mushrooms definitely win the race. Then we have nuts, seeds and occasionally even some meat, fish, legumes and grains.
But green leafy vegetables are the base. And I’ll tell you why when everyone is telling you to eat meat or oats with peanut butter on top for a healthy meal. It’s because they’re the most nutrient-dense foods out there. Simple as that. That’s the simplest nutrition tip when we’re talking about starting a healthy lifestyle for beginners.
The reason we need food is not because it’s delicious, we’re bored or need a snack, we need food because it breaks down in our gut into nutrients and those nutrients then help to build and rebuild our bodies every single minute. We don’t eat just for energy or to stop the growling of our stomach. It can be so much more than that. Real food can rejuvenate your body, help you heal faster and make you feel and look decades younger. And that’s true, especially for non-starchy green vegetables. So make these a staple and have multiple cups a day.
Now, since I have many meal plans and recipes here, I won’t go into much more detail here. If you wish to change your diet for a healthier lifestyle, here are some meal plans with recipes you can check out:
- 3-Day Detox To Rejuvenate You
- 14-Day Clean Eating Meal Plan For Beginners
- 7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
Now, this for me, is the most difficult one of the 5 pillars for a healthy lifestyle for beginners and beyond. While I do have very strong and close established relationships, I like to be on my own. I like people, I’m not an introvert. But, I don’t find it easy to build new relationships, at least not as easy as others seem to have it. So this is an area, I definitely need to put more focus on and challenge myself to be more open and not avoid people, because that’s more comfortable.
If that’s an area you struggle with as well, I challenge you to do the same. Put yourself out there more, reach out to friends more often, be proactive.
Research has actually shown that good relationships and support from others are essential for good health. In fact, and I like to share this often, a study followed how long it would take for wounds to heal in hostile and more supportive married couples. It showed that the hostile married couples had higher levels of pro-inflammatory markers and healed 60% slower than the more supportive couples. So do not ignore your relationships. Work on them. On the existing ones and if you wish – on building new ones.
Out of all the 5 pillars for a healthy lifestyle for beginners, this one was the biggest challenge over the last few years.
Thoughts constantly racing, guilt trips, fear and stress floating around and I didn’t know what to do about it. I was relaxing, I was telling myself positive things and trying to clear my mind. But it did not work. Here are some habits that help with inner peace:
- Long walks in nature
- Challenging workouts (for me it was running and HIIT which I hated)
- Doing what I know is right, even when it’s hard
- Waking up early
- Expressing gratitude and compassion
- Doing the most important thing first
- Eating well
- Making decisions and being okay with them (they’ll turn out good!)
- Prayer / Meditation when anxious
Basically, follow the small voice inside. Taking care of the things you can control minimizes stress and anxiety.
The discipline and self-control to take care of what’s important bring you peace. No more wondering about whether you should do something or not. No more fear that something won’t feel good or can hurt you. Face it. Discipline yourself to face the tough things in life and remove the clutter in your mind.
So, in the past, I used to ask one question: “What do I want to have/do?”.
Now, the question is different: “What would bring me peace?”. Ask that and do it. You’ll be surprised.
Movement is number four on the list of pillars for a healthy lifestyle for beginners. And it’s a great one, because it’s very simple and accessible. Plus it has the actual power to can change your life.
Regular exercise can do many things for you like:
- build discipline
- improve your cardiovascular, immune and even gut health
- enhance your brain function
- boost your mood
- build strength, flexibility, and agility
- make you look great
The one thing that’s amazing about exercise is that when you do something that’s really challenging for you…Something you didn’t think you could do, you start seeing that doing “impossible” things is actually possible. Being able to move, run and exercise is the biggest blessing. And if you have it – use it. While it’s hard at first, it will make you feel so alive!
You can start running outside, you can do at-home dumbbell workouts and you can even join a gym. Whatever is challenging for you – do it!
The last one of the 5 healthy lifestyle for beginners pillars. This is one I struggled with in the past and didn’t know how to properly do. Rest is about giving your body and your mind a well-deserved break. The time to recover.
- sleep and enough of it every day
- taking time to savor moments, being mindful
- admiring nature
And, yes I did include fun, because we need fun, play and games to recover, to rest and to enjoy life. It’s the moments that make life really memorable. So do the work, be disciplined, but do not forget about rest.
Healthy Lifestyle For Beginners Do’s And Dont’s
Now, here are some do’s and dont’s when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle for beginners:
- Don’t be busy. Stop being busy and trying to be productive, making excuses that you don’t have time or money to eat healthy or exercise.
- Do: Learn to prioritize and understand that you have time to walk an extra 15 minutes. That cabbage or spinach aren’t much more expensive than pizza.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. Let go of perfectionism and an all-or-nothing mentality!
- Do. Commit to consistency! A 10-minute workout every day, a few 20-minute bouts of walking scattered throughout the day are better than only one 2-hour workout once a week.
- Don’t over plan. Stop making huge plans and overcomplicating life, it leads to procrastination.
- Do. Allow it to be easy. If you want something done, stop thinking and planning about it and just do it, in a small way now, if necessary.
- Don’t stay comfortable. Stop doing things that are in your comfort zone, they’ll bring you back where you were yesterday.
- Do. Allow it to be fun! Let yourself do things that are challenging, but fun for you! For example, I love this dance workout. It looks weird, but it is so much fun and it challenges me. Running is the same way – I love being outside, but running is really hard for me, it’s way out of my comfort zone. Yet, when I do it I prove to myself every time that the fear of it being demanding is bigger than the pain. I prove to myself that I can do it.
- Don’t overconsume. Stop consuming news, social media, and videos that change nothing. This is essential for inner peace!
- Do. Spend more time with people you love, surround yourself with positive messages and spend time on your own – it’s time to reflect and dream!
- Don’t quit. Stop doing things randomly and quitting!
- Do. Build habits and a routine. If you’re struggling with consistency, maybe a habit tracker can be a solution for you.
More Healthy Living Tips And Ideas
Well, I didn’t expect this to turn into a novel when I sat down to write about my tips for a healthy lifestyle for beginners at 7:30 am. But here we are. I hope the novel helps you somehow and I hope you take action! Here are some other healthy living tips that you might find helpful: