7 tips for getting your healthy living routine back on track

Nikki ParkinsonHealth 48 Comments

Sponsored by Female for Life

I don’t know about you but January is a pretty silly time of the year, isn’t it?

Even if you don’t go away on holidays, there is just a more relaxed, non-routine vibe in the air.

I actually crave that non-routine silliness after a busy, scheduled year. Not having to be anywhere at a certain time. Fewer emails to answer. Having friends and family around for drinks. Going out to restaurants.


There’s always a but.

It’s about this time of year – with the youngest back at school – that I crave the reverse of silly. I want to get to bed at a decent time. I want to set the alarm and get up for a yoga class. I want to swap out the vino for soda water.

Yes, I crave the routine.

Female for Life Chillax top and Empire pants

Female for Life Chillax top | Empire pant

Female for Life Empire pants

Sometimes the craving alone may not be enough to kickstart normal healthy living proceedings so I’m going to share my 7 tips for getting a healthy living routine back on track.

This tips apply equally to you if it’s been more than just this past month since you felt like you had any kind of a healthy living routine.

You know me, none of this is meant to be preachy. I’m very much a small-steps kind of girl when it comes to my health (if you’re new here, catch up with my health story here, here and here). 

In a nutshell, I have Hashimotos, a thyroid autoimmune condition. I’ve had it a long time now but it’s only recently that I’ve worked out a healthy living formula that works for me to maintain my health on a day-to-day basis. I do this with the support of my GP (and I always suggest you talk to a health professional before changing up your diet or exercise routine).

Female-for-Life-Gaia-top-and-Lightening-pants | 7 tips for getting your healthy living routine back on track

Female for Life Gaia top | Lightening pant

Now to those tips.

1. Review where you’re at now. Be honest with yourself. I’m not talking about weight here but if that’s a motivator for you by all means jump on the scales. I’m talking about how you FEEL. When I’m eating well and sticking to my exercise routine, I have more good days and less thyroidy days. This is my motivator for getting back on track. I want that fabulous feeling as many days as I possibly can. Greedy, I know!

2. If you’re not feeling as good as you know you can, think about what you’re currently doing in the food and exercise department. Are you having more alcohol-full than alcohol-free days? (Just asking for a friend 😉 ) Has there been a distinct lack of anything resembling a leafy green or any kind of green in your diet? Has there been just too much food? (Again, just asking for a friend!). Have you forgotten where you left your sneakers … the week before Christmas? Are you embarrassed to show up at your regular exercise class because you can hardly call it regular any more? If you answered yes to any of these questions – or all of the above – it’s ok. In fact, it’s more than ok because just acknowledging that you’ve dropped the health ball enables you to pick it up again.

3. Make one change today that will improve your health. Yep. Just one change. Unless you fall into the ridiculously self-motivated category, then most of us set ourselves up for failure if we try and change ALL THE THINGS – ALL AT ONCE. If your body doesn’t protest, then your mind sure will and you’ll quite before you’ve even really started. What that one thing will be is up to you – only you (and maybe your health professional/s) know where you health is at right now – so make that one change a lasting one.

Female for Life Ciara top and pant

Female for Life Ciara top | Ciara pant

Female for Life Ciara top and bottom

4. Find a level of consistency that works for you. This is THE one thing that’s worked for me over the past 18 months. I found a way to exercise that I could be consistent at (walking and yoga). And I found a way of eating (the 5:2) that I can stick at. Yes, there have been weeks where I may not have done ALL the planned walks or classes that I wanted to but there hasn’t been a week where I’ve done no exercise at all. The old me would have had plenty of those weeks.

5. If you’re bored by your current exercise routine, change it up. Try something you’ve never tried before – or something you haven’t done in a long time. Set a goal to take part in a charity run, a bike ride and hill climb. That could be a way to freshly motivate you. Find an exercise buddy – someone at your level of fitness – and train together. You’ll keep yourself accountable and catch up on all the goss at the same time.

6. If you have children, work out how you can work out with them – or schedule around them. Before we moved to Brisbane, it was tricky for me as my husband commuted and that ruled out evening classes. If I wanted to walk, it had to be super early before he hit the highway. If I wanted to do a class then I had to carve it out of work time when my youngest was at school or kindy.  Yes it was harder and it was probably the reason I fell off track so often. Now, I aim for morning walks (two of these are while my son is at swim squad before school) and morning yoga classes. This takes the pressure off the evenings and Mr SY having to be home at a certain time to tag team the parenting so I can rush to a class. It also means the exercise is done, no matter what the day then serves up. If you have small children or babies, get out with a pram or do a class at home while they’re sleeping using a smartphone app or YouTube. Take older kids on your walks or bike rides with you. Our youngest will often (under small protest) scoot while Mr SY and I both walk.

7. Treat yourself to new exercise gear. Like drinking your lime and soda out of a nice glass, wearing active wear that makes you feel good, motivates you to stay on track. I love being a brand ambassador for Female for Life because it’s an inclusive range (size 6 to 24), the quality is amazing (I was a customer before I was asked to be an ambassador and those early pieces are still going strong) and they are comfortable, breathable and supportive to wear while working out. Most of the pieces featured in this post are from Female for Life’s new collection. I’m particularly loving the digital print Lightening pant above.

Female for Life Ciara top



The ultimate way to get your healthy living routine back on track would be to re-boot everything at a health retreat, yes?

There is still time to enter to an amazing health-giving prize worth more than $10,000 that will enable you to do just that? The prize includes a luxury seven-day health and wellness retreat to Koh Samui, Thailand, as well as a Vitamix and four Female for Life activewear outfits.

I’m so excited about this trip and the opportunity for one Styling You reader to come along and focus on their health with Female for Life’s Melanie Becker and me. You can read all about all the inclusions (yes there are spa treatments too!) and ENTER here.

Come along with us!

If you don’t want to wait and see if you’ll win, why not book to come along with us. The retreat will be from April 18-25, 2015.  To book, head to the Absolute Sanctuary website and book the Be Fit lifestyle program for those days. The Be Fit program is only one of the programs offered at Absolute and every program is tailored to the person – you create your own inclusions. If you do book, make sure to let Absolute Sanctuary know what you were referred by Styling You and Female for Life. I’d love it if you could also please email me: [email protected].

So tell me, what’s the one thing you could change today to get your healthy living routine back on track?

Comments 48

  1. Honestly, I was tired of doing exercise these last few months Nikki, and somehow you manage to remind me that it’s important to make a change, even just one. I like your idea of changing of what to wear. Guess I have to follow your advice. You look sexy in that outfit by the way.

    xoxo, Samantha@ Virtual Hypnotherapy

  2. The thing I struggle with the most even though I really think it’s the key to getting on top of the whole healthy routine is getting enough sleep! No matter how many times I tell myself ‘I must get to bed early tonight’ I still seem to find all those little things I just ‘have to do before I go to bed’! Arrgghh! Does anyone else struggle with this?

    1. Oh I do Gabes, I do … it’s a constant battle for me as I’m often working at night during the week but do get up and then exercise early. I find I need to always catch up on one morning each weekend to manage it although I know it’s not ideal doing it this way!

  3. putting myself back in work mode & getting back to my routine is definitely required this week!! An easy way will be to include 2 pieces of fruit or vegetables every day, that should kick start me!

  4. This post has come at a great time for me when I’m suddenly feeling very sluggish and unmotivated. This week I’ve started a program to quit smoking and I’m determined to achieve this long overdue goal! Today, I am happy to commit to returning to my exercise routine, and I can’t wait to get back into yoga.

      1. Thanks Nikki, I’ve done a simple at-home 20 minute yoga session last night and this morning and already feel so much better for it. Keeping to my cutting down plan too 🙂

  5. My year has started well. I am eating well, walking twice a week and floor exercising every second day…weights, situps, pushups, lunges, tricep lifts etc. Entered the comp when you first posted Nikki. Thank you for keeping me motivated in every way.

  6. I need something competitive to really push myself. Most of the time I’m just trying to outdo my own previous achievements, however my husband and I have a plank challenge going on at the moment.
    We have built up over the last couple of months and now we are both holding the plank position for over 2 minutes on 4 days a week. We’re about ready to move onto a new challenge- up from elbows onto palms!

  7. I joined a gym! For the first time in my 42 years I have actually joined a gym (helps that one opened up in our tiny tiny just before christmas), but I joined a gym!!!

  8. I’ve started a 5:2 eating plan. 5 days regular eating and 2 days, no meat, no booze, no sugar and limited carbs. It’s the tops! Plus, I’m giving myself workout tips – one gold coin for every exercise session. When my workout tips piggy bank is full, I can splash the cash on some new exercise threads or treads. Loving the FFL collection and it loves you! You look great! x

  9. I need to get a little exercise into my daily routine. I have a fabulous pushbike that I purchased just over a year ago that I need to use more often. Hoping to move my body more in 2015. Thank you for the tips. V x

  10. Thank you for all of your amazing tips. This post is the motivational kick I need to get back on track. My one change is going to be meal planning and prepping. By taking my lunch to work everyday I am hoping to not only reduce my waist line but boost my bank balance as well.

  11. Great post. This year is all about balance for me. I need to move my body more so I have more energy in the day.

  12. Great tips and I love how you keep it real Nikki ,living with a chronic illness is not fun and you can’t always do the things that other people can do!
    It’s about you and what your body feels right in doing,your new routine has got you glowing Nikki.I have been doing some exercises in the pool,walking and some stretches and water treading and some tai chi on other days with the ok from my GP as long as I don’t overdo it I’m fine,I don’t drink alcohol often and eat healthy.I have to keep at this weight for my knee.Great post Nikki Xx

  13. Love all these tips- and I did take your advice as well as jumping on board Ms Mystery Case’s challenge and have treated myself to some new gear! I am scheduled to have surgery on Thursday so the arrival of some new fitness items will be just the incentive I need to recover quickly.

  14. My mum’s mantra has always been “early to bed, early to rise”. I believe routine is absolutely “key” to an (semi) ordered life! Also, you’re right, having feel-good exercise gear is so important to starting and maintaining some sort of fitness regime, even if it’s only getting on the treadmill in the garage, or exercycle in front of the tv. Great, healthy-looking pictures of you Nikki xo

  15. Must be the time of year. Only last week I started with a small exercise routine that I found recommended for my age group, to tone up those slack muscles. A rotation of push-ups, planks and squats. Only takes 10 minutes (supposed to be 15, but I’m working up to it!). I could be wrong, but I don’t think there is a muscle the plank doesn’t use – ouch! But while I’m counting to 100, I am thinking “Tuck shop lady arms begone!” Xx

  16. SNAP…we are on the same page on this topic. I think when we let go of watching the scale and concentrate on how food and exercise make us feel then the motivation to be well just comes. i started yoga a year ago and it’s been life changing for me…for my body and mind.
    I love Female for Life too, great quality and fab for curves.

  17. It sounds crazy but getting my own alarm clock so I get up for my early morning walk before hubby goes to work. I’ve relied on his for years as I don’t like having my phone in the bedroom at night. But that means if he forgets to set it for my time I don’t get my walk. Time to take responsibility for it myself!

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