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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Students walk, run and bike on East Campus Mall on April 15, 2023.

How to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle

Balancing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something many people strive for — and in the last few months, I think I've nailed it. 

There is so much more to the concept of “having a healthy lifestyle.” It’s about the small changes in your day that not only feel good in the moment but are easy to maintain, and with time can change your perspective or alter your mood in a positive way. 

Staying with a concept that is consistent isn’t as easy as it may sound, but it's not unattainable. I’ve used my experience to alter my habits and learn what works for me, so I want to share some simple tips that may also work for you. 

Do it for yourself

You should maintain a healthy lifestyle for no one but yourself. Don’t set a goal. Don’t set a number. Start fresh and alter small daily tasks until you physically feel better. Never weigh yourself — the whole point about having a healthy lifestyle is to feel better, and once you begin to feel better, that means it's working.  

Keep your space clean

Although this sounds like an obvious one, taking the time to do a deep clean can be exhausting — half the time, that exhaustion is the reason our rooms and space get too messy in the first place. Motivate yourself to spend a day cleaning, then clean up after yourself as you move into the future. Many small cleans feel much better and less exhausting than one big clean, and it helps prevent a mess from building up. 

Finish your tasks completely 

Go fold that pile of clothes on the floor that you pulled out from the dryer. Yes, you took the time to do your laundry, but finish the task and make sure you follow through. 

Establish a workout routine 

There is a lot to unpack here. I'm not asking you to go to the gym, consume an ungodly amount of pre-workout or protein powder and become a gym rat — that works for some but not all. 

Start by just walking. Plug in your headphones, put on your favorite podcast and walk. Just walk. Start by implementing a good walk into your day, then go about a strengthening workout routine. Get consistent and build from there. What works for me is a workout class. The gym isn’t for me, but I can stay motivated with other people in the room. The most essential part of building a new routine is to stay consistent. Working out in some form at least three -to- four times a week for two months will change your life, and you will see progress. 

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Start to eat at home more

Utilize the kitchen you have access to. Start making grocery shopping and meal prep fun. Social media has tons of recipes that are easy to make, and places like Trader Joe’s make it affordable.

Don’t limit yourself too much

Don't restrict yourself, but don't go crazy. For example, this summer I cut out all fast food and fried food from my diet — but that didn’t mean ice cream was off the table. I still make sure that I can go on ice cream runs with my friends or bake cookies with my brothers. Just have smaller portions, which will still itch the craving and make you feel better post-meal. 

Don’t compare yourself

This is a basic one, but it’s difficult in the age of social media to avoid comparing yourself to others. Sometimes this can make you feel like you aren’t good enough or worthy of being able to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but you are. Everyone's journey is unique — and guess what, you get to personalize yours. Enjoy it, and remember you are in the driver's seat of your own body. 

I hope these tips at least get you thinking and will hopefully impact you in a small way. These changes are doable, so stay consistent and motivate yourself. Do it for you.

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