1. Make It Fun
No matter what health goals you set, they’ll be far easier to accomplish if you're having fun along the way. Maintaining an active lifestyle doesn’t have to mean dreading a workout three times a week or doing something you don’t like.
Sure, you may have less fun the first time you try a new activity, but pushing past some initial awkwardness isn’t what we’re talking about. Give several activities a try. If you find that you enjoy one over another, pursue it even if it’s not as “healthy”
or “effective” as the other. By finding activities you enjoy you’ll be far more likely to make them a part of a healthy active lifestyle rather than a short term kick that you eventually let go of.
2. Start Small
Speaking of trying new activities, remember that you're looking to maintain an active lifestyle, not get marathon ready in 2 months. Instead of going gung ho and burning yourself out or making a proclamation that something is too hard, take baby steps.
Walk around one block three times each week. When that gets easy, make it 5 days or 3 blocks. If walking doesn’t give you the same endorphin rush anymore, ease into a class at the local fitness center or a light workout in the gym. By taking small steps
to get acclimated to your new active lifestyle, you’ll be far more likely to
enjoy your activities and less likely to overdo it and quit.
3. Warm Up, Stretch, and Hydrate
While we’re on the topic of starting small, be sure to get your warm
ups in before any activities. Stretching before and after any activity can help you avoid sore or stiff muscles, loosen up important tendons and ligaments, and help you avoid injury. For example, if you feel like you’re ready to jog, start with a 5 -10 minute walk beforehand to get the blood circulating and your muscles loosened up.
Finally, be sure to stay properly hydrated. That means drinking water throughout the day and attempting to get at least 2 quarts/liters for women and 3 for men. Proper hydration is a great way to maintain the health of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments so you can keep up with your active lifestyle.
4. Eat Healthy Fuel
Another way to make sure you’re always ready to lead an active lifestyle is fueling your body with the right foods.
You know you don’t feel like being active after heading out for a cheeseburger and milkshake, so if you’re planning to participate in one of your scheduled activities try to eat something that gives you the energy to do your best.
That could be a fruit smoothie in the morning before a walk, or a bowl of rice, veggies, and chicken for lunch. Pick your favorite foods that empower your active lifestyle rather than making you want to go watch TV or take a nap.
5. Be Persistent
The final tip on this list is to be persistent. You won’t alway feel like getting up and getting active. There will be times you need to push through that feeling of wanting to abandon your goals, especially in the beginning.
Rather than opting out, push yourself to get moving. Once you actually do so you’ll probably feel much more energized. Sometimes it’s just a matter of breaking out of a fog or funk and getting your heart going.
We’re not saying to push yourself when you’ve been up all night handling an emergency or are actually sick, but if you’re just feeling a little lazy and unmotivated be sure to give it your all. It’s one of the most important aspects of truly maintaining your active lifestyle for the long term and being there for the ones you love the most.