Looking and Feeling Young, Fit and Healthy: Tips for Success

Looking and feeling young, fit and healthy at any age is so much easier if you adhere to a certain attitude and follow a few simple rules and course of action. Although every self-improvement endeavor requires a commitment, discipline and effecting some changes in lifestyle habits, the following tips and suggestions are considered to be very helpful in successfully achieving and maintain self-improvement, transformation or makeover goals:


1. Accepting that It Starts From Within

All of the expensive and fancy quick-fix and topical or external anti-aging, toning, lifting or firming products, equipment and treatments in the world will not, in and of themselves or even in combination, just "give" you that youthful, toned, radiant look. While many of these products and treatments (moisturizers, massages, body scrubs) do help you to keep yourself "tuned-up", quite a few of them (slimming body wraps, appetite suppressants, crash diets, tanning beds) are strictly temporary and some of them are even really bad for your body.

In order to have that younger and healthier look, you have to work from within. What you do for your inside will reflect on the outside. And, it will make everything else so much easier.

For example, if you are eating healthfully, you will be naturally slimmer and you won't have to work so hard at the gym. If you are making the right kind of food choices, taking the right kinds of supplements and keeping yourself adequately hydrated, your skin will have that radiant, natural glow. If you are mindful of your activity level in your every day life, and make a conscious effort to be up and about and moving, your body will practically tone itself. If you get enough sleep and rest, it will allow your body to naturally heal itself.

Conversely, if you are mostly sedentary, make the wrong food and beverage choices, deprive yourself of sleep and/or allow your body to be in a state of dehydration much or most of the time, your organs will be overtaxed (interfering with your metabolism), your body will be overwhelmed by toxins and most likely, cortisol (found to cause weight gain and especially belly fat), you may experience other hormonal or chemical imbalances and you will have low energy. In fact, you may feel too tired to exercise or even do the simplest things to tend to your own health and beauty needs.

You may then resort to over-the-counter drugs or prescription medicines, which will further pollute your body and may solve one problem but create a host of others in the form of side effects. Or you may resort to trying every fad or crash diet, including taking pills, to quickly knock down some weight. But, it has been proven over and over again, that crash diets do not work. In fact, they do a lot of damage to your body.
 
2. Taking the Absolutely Essential "ME" Time

We all need "me" time - time alone to care for yourself, rest, relax, unwind. Too often, women who work, care for their families and are active in the community, do not set aside any or very little time for themselves. Some even feel guilty for wanting this time. Well, it does not matter how demanding your job is, how needy your significant other is, how many charities, kids, dogs, cats, boyfriends and other responsibilities you have ... you need "me" time on a regular basis.

This is not about being selfish. This is about a certain amount of time that you are entitled to and must have in order to care for yourself so that, in turn, you can continue to do what you are doing for others. This is about taking time out on a consistent basis so that you can stay healthy and happy. You must take a proactive role in taking time for yourself, for basic self-care needs, for some pampering and even for some spoiling. 

The amount of time, when and where and how you choose to spend it depends on your individual circumstances. But, this should be true "alone" time without being disturbed by your husband, boyfriend, kids, pets, clients or the boss. If you need to "train" other members in your household to leave you alone, get and hang a "do not disturb" sign on the door of your bathroom, bedroom, study or retreat area. Of course, care for young children, aging parents and pets should be arranged beforehand.

3. Starting and Keeping a Journal or Diary

The purpose of starting and keeping a journal or a diary is so that we can record our goals and our progress. In this way, you will not lose sight of your intentions, you can keep track of what you are doing and how you are doing it, and it can really be a useful tool in helping you to figure out when something is working for you or not.

A journal or diary also helps us to stay accountable. Additionally, when we track our activities and the results, we can go back and see how much we have improved. This serves as a positive reinforcement to continue down the path. It is also instrumental in evaluating your activities and making any necessary adjustments.

Your journal or diary need not be fancy. It can be a simple 3-ring notebook, a blank book or even a scrapbook. To begin with, your journal should contain your statistics (such as weight and inches), your goals and how you intend to achieve them. Some "before" pictures (as difficult as they may be to take and look at) are a very good motivator and will serve as a point of comparison later on.

4. Joining and Participating in a Support Group

It has been shown that people who try to lose weight, recover from an addiction or otherwise try to improve themselves are much more successful when they receive support.

Although family members, friends and colleagues may be very supportive, they may not be able to fully understand or relate to the particular issues, trials and tribulations involved in your endeavor and journey. Therefore, in addition to having the support of your loved ones, it is also important to be in contact with other people who are pursuing the same self-improvement or recovery goal. 

Being active in a local or online support group not only greatly helps in keeping you accountable, it also gives you an opportunity to share your progress, get feedback, receive positive reinforcement, as well as help others. Depending on how an online support group is structured, your written participation (i.e., your posts) can also serve as a supplement to or replace your journal or diary.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this Article is intended or should be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content herein is for informational purposes only. You should consult with and seek the advise of a physician or qualified health professional before taking any supplements, herbs or over-the-counter medicine; modifying, restricting or altering your food, beverage or supplement intake; starting an exercise or diet program; or making any dietary, nutritional, exercise or lifestyle changes in order to determine it is right and advisable for your individual needs.


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