“New year, new you” is the slogan, but all too often we do not know how or where to start with that. Making a lifestyle change may seem daunting when you are unsure where to begin.
My biggest advice always is to take baby steps! Making a complete 360 at once will only force you to take steps backward over time. Making 1-2 changes a week is the best way to ensure that you are creating habits that will stick. Start small and take bigger leaps from there.
Setting a bedtime – prioritizing sleep (and quality sleep) is one of the most underrated pillars of health. If you are not getting enough quality sleep, you are not allowing your body to recover from the day. This will slow down weight loss significantly and do a number on your hormones as well. Having a set bedtime and wake-up time can work wonders for your health. This is a very easy change that you can start with! In addition, reducing blue light before bed will help to improve the quality of your sleep. Staying off your phone and pulling out a book the hour before you go to bed is the best way to relax and allow your body to release melatonin naturally.
Stay hydrated – When most people read this they will automatically think this means drinking enough water. While drinking enough water is important, the quality of your water is equally important. Unfiltered tap water is one of the worst things you can consume, depending on where you are located. Some areas will be worse than others. Plastic water bottles aren’t great either! It has been proven that the plastics leak from the bottle into your body and they have even been able to find a high number of these plastics and xenoestrogens inside a mother’s womb. The best option is to get a good water filter and use a glass or stainless steel cup to drink out of. Not only is this much better for your body but it is better for the environment as well.
Stay away from processed foods – I cannot stress this enough! Sticking to whole foods without an ingredient list is the absolute best diet change that you can make. Foods these days are packed with chemicals that are disrupting endocrine systems (hormones). Science suggests that some extremely common household ingredients are causing poor reproductive health, cancer, and chronic disease. The best thing you can do is stick to the outside of the grocery store, buy things with no or very short ingredient list, and cook your own meals.
Prioritize movement – I know this is easier said than done but it is so important! Movement does not always have to be going to the gym, it can be a number of things. Going on a brisk walk, bike riding, strength training, or even running around the park with your kids! As you sit here and read this, you could be getting in movement as we speak. As a personal trainer, I hear more than anything, ‘I don’t have the time.’ We are all so busy these days but we can always find a way if it is important to us. Try taking your kids on a walk or even running around the yard with them for 20 minutes in the morning. Not only will you get exercise, but they will tire out as well! Coordinate with your spouse or other family members to see who can help you make time for the gym. Try taking away social media or TV time to find extra time to workout. I promise you, it may seem hard now but, you will soon see it as a much-needed mental break!
These four pillars are broad suggestions but can definitely be broken down to make them more doable! Each week you can do things like drink one glass of water as soon as you wake up every morning. Once that becomes a habit, try adding a glass of water before dinner, and continue to add more throughout the day. Next, you can set a bedtime. Once that becomes easy to stick to, work on what you’re doing before bed and trade TV for a book. From there you can add in a workout every Saturday AM and once that becomes easy, add a second. Just keep repeating this process adding in realistic goals for yourself turning them into habits. Before you know it, you will have created a completely new lifestyle you are proud to live!
Check out Leslie’s Instagram – @heyleslievance
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