For Healthy Weight Week let’s put the scale and measuring tape away and try to focus on loving ourselves the way we are and developing healthy habits. Diet and fitness fads rarely bring long term success and they can be hard on our self-esteem. Developing healthy life long habits are what can help us maintain a healthy weight.

A healthy lifestyle includes regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and adequate rest. Take the time to find a physical activity that you enjoy! If you are not regularly active, start off slow by doing a physical activity for 5 minutes a day and gradually increase your activity time until you are doing at least 20 to 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.

Depriving ourselves of our, perhaps not-so-healthy, favorite foods often backfires so make room for them in your life. Slow down and savor them and enjoy them in moderation. Being active is important, but taking time out for ourselves to relax can be just as important. A planned 10-15 minute relaxation session can make a difference in our day. Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes, so let’s make an effort to love our body and ourselves the way we are at this moment and not focus on numbers and measurements.

Here are four personal challenges to develop lifetime healthy living habits:

  • Stop weight-obsessive thoughts. Instead, be your own best self, starting right now. Decide it’s time to get on with living your life to the fullest.
  • Eat well. Include all five food groups every day: bread and grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy, meat and alternates. Choose balance, variety and moderation. All foods can fit.
  • Be active in your own way every day. Focus on the pleasure of movement and its health and energy benefits, not calories burned.
  • Relax and relieve stress in your life. Take time for a daily 10-15 minute relaxation session. Or just empty your mind and let your body go limp for 30-second relaxation breaks occasionally throughout the day (just not while driving!). Listen to your body. Be flexible, relax and go with the flow.

Sources: CDC, University of California Irvine, Shape. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.