Skip to main content
Photo of two women exercising with a medicine ball

How to Start and Stay Committed to a Healthy Lifestyle

Regular physical activity has many more benefits than just losing weight. That's why it's important to switch our focus from weight loss to focusing on a healthy body. A healthy body improves our ability to fight off or improve chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. Increased activity can also reduce mortality associated with excess weight by 15-60%, helping you live a longer and more complete life.

Other benefits to being physically active are sharper thinking, less depression and anxiety, better sleep, and stronger bones and muscles. The following are some tips on how to get started on your journey towards healthier lifestyle:

TAKE THE FIRST STEP – No matter how much you may not want to, you'll never regret getting started–most of the time you'll feel better for doing it. Start slow, start small, be consistent (even put your workout in your calendar just like any other event you've committed to).

JUST MOVE – Get up, put one foot in front of the other. There are so many benefits of going from sedentary to even slightly physically active–start with stretching, marching in place, going for a walk, and increase your activity level from there. 

TIME – How much time do you have - 10, 15, or 30 minutes? Whatever time you have is a great starting point. For adults 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or 75-150 of vigorous intensity per week, is recommended. 

GOALS – Set realistic goals that are achievable and practical. Keep a variety of short and long-term goals in your pocket. Look at them often!

ACCOUNTABILITY – Track your progress. With a friend, in a journal, on your phone, or a gym log. Progress can be the amount of days you've been physically active, how much time you've spent being physically active, watching how your weight for strength training is increasing over time, or long you're able to stay on a piece of cardio equipment.

CONSISTENCY – Commit to implementing healthy lifestyle changes over the long haul and let weight loss come naturally. When we start changing our sedentary habits, additional healthy habits will fall in line.

WEARABLE DEVICES – A wearable device like an Apple Watch or FitBit can be empowering and help with accountability as you can continue to push yourself to be physically active.

THRIVE IN A TRIBE – When we're connected to a community and build relationships, we feel better and happier.

SEEK HELP – The YMCA's Health and Wellness staff are here to help you reach your goals, We offer a variety of wellness services including fitness assessments, equipment orientations, help with individualized routines, and personal training sessions.

The bottom line is each individual is unique and special, what works for some might not work for you. We want to help you achieve a better quality of life through sustainable changes to help you succeed by adopting lifestyle practices that fit you. We will meet you where you are and provide you with many options to fit your needs. Let's get started!