As February gets under way, the gyms have begun to dwindle a little, the queue for McDonalds picks up and the thought of alcohol creeps back into mind. You may have vowed to stick to your new years resolutions but are losing the motivation. I want to chat about how incorporating exercise and wellness into your life is a lifestyle choice. One that you have to make for yourself. Here are a couple of tips for how to live a healthier lifestyle.
I have partnered up with BoohooMAN to show off some of their [gifted] activewear range. Hopefully to spark some motivation to get started with your fitness journey.
*This post contains gifted clothing from BoohooMAN*
Take small steps to start
You’re not going to become Mr Universe overnight, that’s a fact. But you can certainly get started and the best way to do so is to take smaller steps. Especially if you’re planning on making this a long-term goal of yours.
Starting small will give you more of a chance to stick to your goals for the duration it takes. Giving yourself 101 tasks to complete is only going to overwhelm you and significantly hinder your progress. Think of what you want to achieve and think about how you can implement small tasks in your everyday life to get closer to achieving these. For me I try to hit my 10,000 steps per day. I set myself a goal of walking for around 30min-1 hour which helps me achieve this and doesn’t take much out of my day to do so. Completing this task boosts your chances of attaining that healthier lifestyle!
Don’t overdo it
Similarly, going to the gym 5-6 times a week might speed up your progress but how long can you keep this up for? Trust me I’ve tried and something gets in the way of one session which leads to you skipping, then falling out of the routine and you’re back to square one. Going 2-3 times a week is achievable and something that you won’t struggle to work around your life.
Again, sticking with the starting small concept, here you need to make a few small changes to the way you eat. It seems too simple but moderation really is key – even too much of a good thing could be bad, right? Achieving a healthier lifestyle heavily involves your nutrition. Manageable changes like upping your water intake from 0-1 glasses of water to 2 liters a day is more doable than people think. Just like including a couple more pieces of fruit or vegetables with your meals. This is a sure fire way to boost your interaction with key vitamins and minerals vital for normal bodily functions. Believe me on this, I just spent hours working on a 3000 word essay on fruit and veg intake, THEY ARE IMPORTANT!
Keep an eye on your calories
If your focus is on maintaining steady weight loss over a period of time. Then the number one factor of importance is to keep the number of calories you’re consuming lower than the amount you use each day. I should write a separate topic on this as it can get detailed, but it doesn’t have to be. Plenty of apps like MyFitnessPal let you easily track your foods and determine your total calories eaten.
If you’re looking to put on size the converse is true. Consume more energy than you burn off. I find it hard to stick to counting my calories and more recently I have implemented a new method of keeping a rough track on calories and boosting my protein intake (vital for protein synthesis). The boost in protein ensures that I have enough protein in my system at all times. This is required for the building of new muscle – consuming enough protein was something I often found was an issue for me. High protein yoghurts and bars have been simple foods I’ve used to bump up my intake. Supplements can also be useful if you’re stuck for time yet still want to maintain your healthier lifestyle.
As I already mentioned, upping your daily steps is a great way to boost your overall activity levels. Take the stairs to your office, get off the bus stop one stop early or even get on the treadmill at your gym post-workout for a couple of extra steps (I’m chronically guilty for not doing this).
Similarly to upping your steps, standing more is better for you than your legs might tell you. Remaining sedentary for the best part of the day stuck at your desk decreases blood-flow to your low body. It is also probably taking a toll on your posture. The best way to combat this is to take regularly breaks, have a stretch, walk around the room and get moving. Your body will thank you.
Include more cardio/conditioning in your workouts for a healthier lifestyle. Another than I am guilty of. I love resistance training but when it comes to cardiovascular work I, like many others C.B.A. But we should, and even implementing just 10-15 a day to incline walking, a light jog or even sprints if you feel up to it is likely to increase not only your fitness levels but your mood too.
It comes down to what you want. Too many people I see have more takeaways in a week than I do in a month. Not that I’m a saint when it comes to the junk-food department. One thing I am glad that I don’t factor into my life is heavy drinking/smoking/drug abuse or all 3 combined. So many people I know do all these 3 things at the weekend and repeat, EVERY WEEK.
If you are serious about making a healthy change to your life you have to realise that these things aren’t doing anything for you. I’ve had my fair share of university nights out to tell you at some point you need to slow down a little. Make it less frequent, this will be less likely to impact your fitness journey than a weekend of binge drinking.
The same goes for smoking /drugs. I don’t do either and don’t condone either of them. But I do know that pursuing these avenues won’t help you in anyway. They will only hinder your progress, not to mention your pocket. But then it’s up to you and how badly you want to make the changes.
The Take-home point for a healthier lifestyle
Overall, the changes you make come down to your motivation to do so. Achieving a healthier lifestyle is only done so by decisions you make. A couple of words on a screen won’t stop you from ordering that 20pack of nuggets nor will it reduce your appetite for a weekend ‘sesh’ with the lads. But it may give you a push in the right direction. You will start to question the reason you came here in the first place and who you are making the change for.
Apart from the slight cost in food and gym memberships. You’re not going to find too many negatives with pursuing a more active lifestyle. You’ll feel better, look better and live longer. Take small steps in the right direction and you’ll soon find yourself reaping the benefits.
The choice is yours.