How to Live a More Active Lifestyle:
A Complete Guide
Living an active lifestyle can be difficult. Various aspects like working from home and trying to stay away from others make it feel impossible to get ahold of personal health. So, for someone wanting to live a more active and healthy lifestyle, where should they begin? Sure, they could start by forcing themselves to run or eat foods they don’t like. But it doesn’t have to be as bland and boring as that.
Here, how to be more active and a few exercises for beginners.
Determine Your Priorities
Those who want to live a more active lifestyle need to first think about what they want. Follow the steps below to learn how.
Figure Out Why
The first step in making any change is to picture the result. Think about the goal before making a plan to get it. Start by making a list. Ask these questions:
- What do I want to get out of being more active?
- Why do I want to be more active?
- How will living a more healthy lifestyle positively affect my life?
- How will improving my health help my friends and family?
Think through these and come up with a mission statement. Then, this list can be a reference when things get hard. Looking back on these things will help when the result seems far away. Write the goals down. Then, put them somewhere easily accessible for motivation along the entire journey. This way, there is a personal reminder of why an active lifestyle is important.
A key aspect of reaching a goal is to manage time efficiently. One way to manage time is to find a routine. To find a routine, ask these questions, “what do I do every day,” and “what do I need to get done each day?” Once answered, these questions will give a good idea of where to start. Those who want to balance time well need to find a good mix of what they like to do and what must be done each day. These people need clearly map out their day, then do it. But, The largest routine-killer is burnout. The best way to avoid burnout is to build time for flexibility. When they build time for things to come up, they won’t feel as lost or confused when things inevitably get shifted. This also allows them time to do fun things outside of the routine at a given time that lets them still be in control.
If it helps, they can follow a 3-by-8 format. This guideline provides 8 hours each day for work, 8 hours for themselves, and 8 hours for rest. Putting this timeline in perspective can help some prioritize their time more efficiently.
Start with Daily Habits
The best way to start living an active lifestyle is to incorporate small healthy habits into daily life. From eating healthfully to beginner’s exercises, there’s something for everyone.
Get Some Sleep
Getting more sleep is an underrated way to live a more active lifestyle. It’s not hard to tell who’s well-rested. These people are full of energy and ready to tackle the day. Then, some people clearly need a boost in energy. So, what should they do to improve their sleep routine?
First, they need to invest in blue-light glasses. Blue lights have a disruptive frequency. This means they keep the brain alert and awake for an extended period of time. But, blue light glasses don’t let these light frequencies through. Which means the brain stays calm during late-night television marathons. When the blue light isn’t flooding the user’s brain, they wind down sooner. The quicker the brain calms down, the faster they fall asleep.
Another option is to consume snacks or supplements that help them fall asleep faster. Melatonin is praised for its ability to calm user’s brains down and help them sleep. For those with anxiety, CBD is a popular choice to help them fall asleep faster.
Another method of getting more sleep includes cutting out caffeine during the day. By not drinking caffeine, the body and brain have a slow decline throughout the day. This makes bedtime easier, as the brain is ready for a break.
If none of these options sound viable, try having quiet time or journaling before bed. Taking time to be intentional will focus the brain and allow it time to decompress.
Eat Food for Fuel
Though this tip may seem like a physical switch, it’s a mental switch more than anything. Instead of eating foods that taste good, try viewing food as something that gives you energy throughout the day.
One way to look at food is to see it as giving “fun, quick energy” and other items giving “long-term, sustainable energy.” Everyone needs a good mix of each of these types of energy.
Think of foods that give sustainable energy. These include things like meat, cheese, beans, and vegetables. Foods that give a quick spurt of energy include fruits, processed foods, and sweets.
To have balanced nutrition, eat a good mix of these foods. For someone wanting to have more energy through the day, try eating more protein and fats. This gives longer-lasting energy.
Try to eat less processed foods for the max amount of energy. These foods hold only a portion of the daily recommended nutrients for the day. Normally these foods do not have a balanced ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
When the body has a balanced amount of nutrients, it utilizes more energy. Meaning there is more energy left over after the workday. This enables a healthy lifestyle by enjoying other activities, like walking or exercising.
Sometimes, the body needs a boost. Practice eating balanced meals and supplement with snacks, plenty of water, and vitamins.
Move to Feel Good
When the body is properly fueled, it wants to move. This is good news for those that want to not only have a more healthy lifestyle but want to get active, too. Moving the body doesn’t have to mean running laps around your home or lifting heavyweights in the gym. Beginning to move the body throughout the day is a practice. For beginners, start by going on short walks. It helps to set a timer for every 30 – 45 minutes. This trains the body to crave movement for long days of sitting and working. Then, begin going on longer walks or exploring other types of movement. Some enjoy stretching and yoga while other people prefer dancing.
Find something that doesn’t feel like a chore, but that is a motivation to get up and moving around. This will prompt the brain and body to want to move more and more.
Check out these activities for easy ways to get started moving:
- Playing with a pet
These activities focus the mind on other things besides traditional exercising. When starting to move the body more, remember that moderation is key. Don’t go too hard in the beginning stages, or the body will burnout.
How to Start Exercising
For those who want to learn how to start exercising, here’s a quick guide on beginners’ exercises. These tips will help build muscle memory. Plus, develop confidence for more intense exercise in the future. Try each of these exercises 10-25 times a few times a week to get started. Once practiced for a few weeks, search for more advanced versions of the exercises.
Squatting is a great way to engage the entire body. Begin with feet hip-width apart. Make sure both feet are pointing forward, not inward or outward. Keep the stomach tight and sink hips backward. The motion is like sitting down in an invisible chair. Check form by making sure knees are not pushing past the toes and that chest is still up.
By keeping the chest up, ensures the whole body is working. When squatting, the body is doing several things, including:
- Tightening the core
- Engaging the glutes
- Improving hamstring flexibility
- Increasing hip mobility
Each of these things will strengthen the body to perform daily movements better. Plus, squats will build a core foundation for other exercises in the future.
Lunges may seem daunting at first. But, they are one of the key exercises for beginners.
Start in a standing position, hands-on-hips. Then, move your right foot forward in a wide stance. Squat down, bending both legs.
The right foot should be forward, with the right knee pushing toward the right toe. Be sure to keep the knee behind or above the toe, not in front. The back knee should point toward the ground.
After holding the pose for a few seconds, stand back up. Bring the right foot back to meet the left. Repeat on the same side or switch sides.
Lunging activates the hamstrings, core, and glutes. Each of these muscle systems relies on the other for stability. Not only will the body grow stronger, but more flexible too.
Pushups are one of the fitness world’s most frustrating movements. Start with both knees on the ground, hands in front. Then, extend feet out behind. When hands are directly under shoulders, drop knees to the ground. Begin by bending at the elbow, bringing chest toward the ground. Channel energy into the fingers and push upward. This move is difficult at first but will get easier with time. To make a move more advanced, lift the knees and keep feet on the ground.
Self-Care for an Active Lifestyle
Though eating right, getting rest, and exercising are all parts of a healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t stop there. One of the most overlooked aspects of an active lifestyle is self-care. Get cozy and check out these tips for a balanced lifestyle. Having an active lifestyle doesn’t mean being busy all the time. Just like with eating well, balance physical activities, too. Though relaxation can involve physical activity, it also includes rest. Figure out the restful things that are enjoyable. Invest in doing things that promote healthy living.
Some of these things can include:
- Taking a bath
- Writing letters to friends
- Cooking dinner
- Reading a book
- Watching a movie
- Learning a new skill
Find activities that balance each other out. This makes living an active lifestyle a bit easier.
Shift Mental Energy
Having a healthy lifestyle also means managing mental energy. There are a few steps in shifting mental energy to ensure an active life. First, begin by checking out meditation. This will relax not only the mind but give the body a chance to rest as well. Then, focus on the results desired from the first step. This will bring the mind-body connection full circle.
Another tip is to find organizations that have active missions. These organizations should have a personal connection. This helps focus the energy on relatable and meaningful ideas.
This allows getting active while supporting personal goals.
Start the Journey Today
Ready to start the journey for a more active lifestyle? Begin incorporating these small changes into daily activities. In no time, there will be a shift in not only a mindset but body. Use this as motivation and fuel to keep going. Be sure to always check back on the goals from the beginning. Sometimes it helps to have a bit more support. Find groups to help give feedback and encouragement.
Also, don’t be afraid to check out new ideas and methods to push fitness goals. Check out our blog for ideas of where to start in your journey and tools that can help you along the way.