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3 Easy Steps to Get Started on Your Health and Wellness Journey

John Shufeldt is the CEO of MeMD, a telemedicine urgent care company. He is an advocate of lifelong learning and is a serial entrepreneur, lawyer, doctor and pilot, but he’s most passionate about helping others achieve their potential.

When it comes to creating healthy habits, the first step is always the hardest. Some people do a complete overhaul and change their lifestyle in a matter of days.

However, I think that is too much change too fast.

What I usually see happen is people spend a couple of weeks, maybe a month abiding by their new routine and then they start to slip. One ball drops and then the whole thing comes tumbling down. Think New Years Resolutions. For the month of January, the gym is packed with people. And then by February it slowly starts to empty out. They have lost their resolve and have gone back to their old routines.

The best way to get on that health and wellness path is to take it slow. Start with three easy steps to feel better and get you motivated. Once you master these, the next steps will be that much easier.

3 Simple Steps To A Healthy New You

1. Drink more water

The recommended adequate daily water intake is about 16 cups for men and 12 cups for women. While this may be too much or too little — depending on the person — one way to tell if you are hydrated is if your urine is mostly clear. Water is important for your physical and mental health. Water aids in digestion, flushes out toxins through sweat and urination, improves complexion, relieves headaches, prevents muscle cramps, regulates body temperature, increases energy, promotes weight loss, boosts your immune system and it just makes you feel good.

If you have trouble getting in the recommended daily cups, follow these easy steps to up your water intake. Drink a glass of water with every meal. Drink water before, during and after exercise. If you feel hungry, drink water. Bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Stay hydrated, my friends.

2. Get More Sleep

An adequate night’s rest improves your overall mental health, strengthens your immune system, lowers your body fat and increases your lean muscle mass. It also decreases stress and improves your cognitive abilities.

Do you have trouble getting the recommended 7–8 hours a night? Here are some easy steps to get you sleeping better and longer: stick to a sleep schedule, avoid caffeine after 12 p.m., avoid alcohol before bed, create a bedtime ritual, take a hot bath, avoid heavy meals and make sure your bedroom is dark and cold.

3. Find ways to move

Regardless of what you do, just start moving. In today’s society people are conditioned to sit. They sit in the car on the way to work, sit at a desk all day, drive home, sit and eat and then sit on the couch. Moving your body every day is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Movement improves circulation, regulates digestion, increases flexibility, improves joint health, helps regulate your weight, improves your sleep, improves productivity and creativity, reduces stress, increases mental clarity, improves focus and concentration and makes you an all-around happier person.

Don’t know where to start? Here are a couple of ways to get moving: go for a walk, do some light yoga, stretch, go for a hike, take a dance class, hire a trainer. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you move.

It is difficult to break the repetitive cycle of unhealthy habits. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip sometimes or go off track. Take your time and follow these steps to start you on your health journey.