After 4th of July Health Motivation

Get Back On Track With These 5 Helpful Tips

Through the haze of fireworks, potato salad, and American flags, you’ve made it through the other side of Independence Day. During the holiday week, it’s quite possible that you also took part in some of the delicious-yet-unhealthy offerings that come with most picnic fare.

Well, know that you aren’t alone. In the spirit of the holiday, it’s easy to throw caution to the wind and simply enjoy the day. It’s good to let yourself relax every now and then, but it’s just as important to get back on track as soon as possible. Once you get out of a routine, it can sometimes be very difficult to create those habits again..  

When you’re ready to swap out the chocolate for carrot sticks, start with these tips:

  1. Drink a ton of water.
    Drinking more water is one of the easiest and most effective modes to work your way back to health. It’s a natural detox (don’t worry, the urge to use the facilities will become less frequent once your body acclimates to the hydration), so your skin will look great as well. You’ll also feel more full and cravings for salt or sugar may be less intense, so it’ll be easier to make good food decisions. Speaking of…

  2. Improve your food choices.
    Yes, pasta salads and s’mores have their place in a healthy diet (okay, maybe not by some standards, but everything in moderation, right?). But it’s time to start making smarter food choices. Summertime makes it easy to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, so starting there is a good option. Find things that you can cook within your means (in terms of budget and ability), and plan ahead or double up on healthy recipes when you can save time and will prepared for lunch.

  3. Hate the gym? Download an app to make it fun.
    What’s the likelihood you’ll roll off the couch and run a 5K? Not great, which is why apps like the literally-named ‘Couch 2 5K’ have gained in popularity. These step-by-step guides help people who want to be more fit (and run 5ks) achieve their goals in incremental steps. There’s an app for any kind of exercise you might want to learn, from running to yoga to high intensity interval training.

    If tech-assisted workouts aren’t quite your thing, then take it outside. If you’re in an urban area, check out your local parks schedule to see if any fitness classes are offered. Or start looking up nearby trails for walking, biking, rollerblading, whatever your chosen method of burning calories might be.

  4. Find a health buddy.
    Studies show that when you are working with someone else to hold them accountable—and vice versa—people tend to hit their goals more frequently. It might be someone to work out with or someone you can FaceTime over dinner to show off your plate of broccoli and lean protein. It could even be a complete stranger that you met through a calorie counting app, like MyFitnessPal or Weight Watchers. It’s a great time to get your family involved and get healthier together.

  5. Be generous with yourself.
    This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t hold yourself accountable. But it’s easy to slip up, lose faith, and arrive at the conclusion that you just aren’t meant to be fit or healthy. Be disciplined, but don’t beat yourself up if you sneak a sip of soda pop at a movie theater or indulge in a handful of buttered popcorn. Some people think if they eat a slice of cake at lunch, their whole day is shot and it doesn’t matter if they eat unhealthy the rest of the day. Don’t fall into that trap--try to get back on track as soon as you can.

Whatever your health goals might be, know that results don’t happen overnight, within a week, or maybe even longer. Many “results” happen within your body even though you may not look much different on the outside. Don’t think of health as a destination--think of it as a way of life. The results of a healthy lifestyle will come...but they just might not look like what you thought they would.

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