Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand to help you maintain a healthy weight and reap a truckload of other benefits, including lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Don’t worry, though, if you are having difficulty getting into these healthy habits. With a little bit a will power and a lot of piggybacking, these habits might be easier to develop than you think!

Keep It Simple

If you are having problems getting into the healthy eating and exercising routine, remember the old adage K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Instead of overwhelming yourself with high demands, start with one small, simple step and take things from there.

Do you want to flush toxins from your body and lose weight? Instead of forcing your body to go on a cleanse diet, start by making yourself drink more water. Drinking eight glasses of water per day not only flushes toxins from your organs, but it also increases your metabolism to help you burn more calories. This one small step can start you on the path to healthy eating and healthy living.

Two by Two

Whether you find exercising or eating healthy easier than the other, try pairing the two together to give yourself a leg up on healthy living. Start your day with whichever is easier for you. If exercising gets you motivated, start your day with a workout. If you find the taste of a healthy meal more inspiring, start your day with your favorite healthy breakfast. Once you have one of these healthy habits down, it is easier to talk yourself into the other. Be careful not to sabotage your day from the get-go, though, by eating junk food or sitting in front of the television.

A Body in Motion

Once you have your good habits started, be sure you keep them going. It takes at least 21 days to develop a new habit that replaces an old one, with bad habits being harder to break. Stay away from triggers that will bring you back to your old, unhealthy path. Does going out with friends make you want to nosh on chips and salsa all night? Choose to go for a hike together instead, and bring your bottles of water to stay hydrated.

Remember, a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Once you’ve started the good habits, don’t let the bad ones come back and derail your success.

Little by Little

Once you’ve gotten the habit of eating healthy and exercising, try adding other healthy habits to your repertoire. Are you stressed from work? Try adding meditation to your daily roster. Lowering your stress level will help you avoid your bad-habit triggers, and it just might help you live longer by lowering blood pressure. Do you tend to stay up late? Try getting more shut-eye at night. Getting at least eight hours of sleep each night lets your body recuperate and keeps your immune system functioning at its highest.

Once you’ve taken that small step of healthy eating, using your success can make it easier to keep the motivation going. Each triumph feeds into the next, and before you know it you will be living a much healthier life.

Todd Nelson, D.Sc. trained at the International Center for Natural Health and Medicine, graduating with both a Naturopathic Doctor degree and a Doctor of Holistic Health Sciences degree. Aside from heading the Tree of Life Wellness Center in Denver, Colorado as a naturopathic doctor, Todd is also a co-author of 3 books.