Self Motivation Tips to Achieve and Maintain a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

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Lifestyle choices. Many of us know what we need to do to live a healthy lifestyle, but it’;s easy to fall off the heart health wagon from time-to-time.

And once you fall off, it can be awfully hard to get back on again!

So while you are changing your lifestyle to take care of your ticker, or you simply want to continue with a healthy lifestyle, this article will provide some tips to help you stay motivated – with your eating, your fitness, and your weight.

Staying Motivated to eat well

Do not feel like cooking? Do not have time to prepare healthy foods? Falling into old habits or reaching for those snack foods so many of us regarding as comfort food? Here are some heart healthy diet motivation tips:

* Purge your pantry. Get rid of snack foods, heavily processed foods, any of the unhealthy choices that tempt you. If they’;re not there, you can not succumb to them.

* Shop with a list. You’;re more likely to buy healthy foods (and less likely to buy junk food on impulse) if you shop with a list. Plan your men in advance and do not shop when you are hungry!

* Try something new. Experiment with new recipes. Challenge yourself to snack on something different – and stock your kitchen accordingly.

* Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. If you’;re feeling tempted, stop and think about what’;s more important – a momentary pleasure or your reflecting health?

For more tips See Smart Heart Living and check out our Smart Heart Recipes.

Staying motivated to exercise

We all know we need exercise but sometimes it’;s just plain hard to get motivated. Here are some fitness motivation tips:

* Engage in activities you enjoy. If you enjoy doing something it’;s recreation, not work! If you do not enjoy it, the self motivation is hard to find! Walking, hiking, biking, golfing, rowing … you choose whatever it is you like to do, then get out and have some fun!

* Have an exercise buddy. Make a date. When you have someone to exercise with you are less likely to get bored and less likely to jam out or to procrastinate. You can help motivate each other.

* Vary your routine. I walk most days but some days I golf, other days I bike, and I love to go for a paddle in the canoe. A variety of physical activities will keep things more interesting, plus you’;ll exercise different muscle groups. You can also alternate between cardiovascular activities and resistance exercises.

* Keep an exercise log. The act of writing down what you’;ve accomplished can really help you stay on track. Keep a journal to record your activity and keep motivated.

* It will get easier – really! If you are overweight or out of shape, exercise can be very hard. Keep it up and it really will will get easier and easier as you improve your fitness level and lose weight.

Remember – if you are living with heart disease check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program. For more information see Smart Heart Living’;s section on exercise.

Finding the motivation to lose weight

Are you fighting the battle of the bulge? Here are some weight loss motivation tips:

* Picture this. Keep a photo of yourself at your heviest posted in on your bathroom mirror. It will remind you each morning of what you’;re working to overcome. You can also post a photo of when you were lighter so you can visualize your goal every day.

* Chart your measurements in a journal. Record dimensions (waist, hips, chest) rather than your weight, because muscle weighs more than fat. As you tone, especially if your routine includes working with weights, the scales may not reflect the changes actually taking place in your body.

* Do not lose it alone. Have a weight loss partner. Having a partner makes you responsible to not just yourself, which can sometimes spell the difference between success or status quo.

* Allow yourself to splurge a little on the weekend (key words are "a little"). Then you have the rest of the week to be more careful with what you eat. If you know there’;s a treat in store on the weekend, it will be easier to stick to your weight loss program.

It’;s all about YOU!

Effective motivation has to come from within – it’;s self motivation – not from someone else telling you what to do. To get healthy or stay healthy you need to adopt a heart smart mind set. Recognize that:

* It takes time, energy, effort, hard work, and commitment to change and sustain your lifestyle … but you are worth it, right?

* Lifestyle changes can and should be fun!

* Your lifestyle choices not only affect your health, they have an influence on your loved ones too.

* No one can sustain an unhealthy lifestyle without historical consequences.

* Everyone experiences setbacks from time-to-time (do not beat yourself up about it), but the faster you get back on track, the easier it will be.

With any healthy lifestyle changes you are making, be sure to set small goals and celebrate as you reach them. That can be a motivation in itself!

Good luck! And why not share your success on Smart Heart ?