Starting a health and fitness journey can beneficially improve your energy, your muscles, your mood, your productivity and prevent chronic diseases. To truly achieve your wellness goals is one of the best-earned feelings.
Start somewhere. Start to change one thing weekly that will help you live a more balanced and healthy life. Whether it’s an hour cardio or eliminating sugar or taking the time to prep your meals. I try to maintain a balanced lifestyle with an understanding that you must work hard with a level of consistency and determination to get what you want.
Make your initial goal to maintain a healthy lifestyle not to just lose weight. Instead of starving yourself and following strict dietary limitations, focus on how to feel great, how to have more energy, how to improve your mood and your outlook. There is no magic pill or quick fix in having a toned body and being fit. It takes commitment, willpower, consistency.
10 Tips That Will Kick-Off Your Health & Fitness Journey:
- Small Changes
Making small health and fitness changes in your daily routine will end of guiding you to your goals. If you’re consistent in applying all the basic knowledge that you already know by default – you will achieve a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Examples on changes you can make are to snack healthy, to cut fried food from your diet or to incorporate an hour jog daily.
- Regular Exercise
It is essential to put strength, aerobic and flexibility training in your weekly routine.
Any exercise that elevates your heart rates such as running, cycling, swimming, tennis is considered an aerobic exercise. Try to include 30 minutes per day to start seeing improvements in your fitness.
Incorporating weights in your workouts for toning and shaping up is strength training. It is not only for bodybuilders or advanced athletes, it’s for anything working out with goals to keep their muscles, joints, bones, active and strong. The World Health Organization (reference link at the end of the article) suggests that strength training should be practiced 2 days per week. Whether it’s weight training, circuit training, gymnastics, dancing, martial arts – incorporate the type of strength training that is most enjoyable for yourself!
After you finish your workout, include 10-15 minutes to do some yoga, stretching or foam rolling. By incorporating flexibility exercises, you’ll feel more relaxed mentally and physically, and you will reduce any risk of injury to your joints and muscles.
- Be Active
Be active on your own terms and on your own schedule. We all lead very busy lifestyle but try to keep your body moving in whatever you do. Have a jog whenever you can, use the stairs, or even walk whenever you’re on the phone.
- Nutrition is Key
We averagely exercise 5 hours a week but what do you do for the other 164 hours of the week? Make a conscious effort to cut out processed – sugary – fatty – fried from your diet. Be aware of what goes into your system and always try to find healthy alternative options you can still enjoy. The number one rule is to enjoy the food you’re eating as this is the only it will be sustainable.
Apply the basics and never starve yourself. Eat for fuel and cut low quality processed fuel into your body. Instead always choose high quality, natural, whole food to provide your body with the right nutrients and vitamins.
Eliminating the below foods from your daily diet is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle. Including it on occasion or as cheat meal is a valid option but cannot be part of our daily nutrition.
- Fried Food
- White Bread
- Processed Food
- Fast Food
- Sugar (Glucose)
- Soda (diet and full sugar)
- Milky Coffees
- Sugary Smoothies
- Chocolates – Biscuits
- Chips – Crackers
- Sugary Cereals
- Mayonnaise – Ketchup
- Low Fat food alternatives
- Dairy should be consumed in small quantities if it doesn’t irritate your digestion system
- Portion Control Method
Counting calories is an efficient method to reach your specific body goals but it is not the only method that can used and isn’t a sustainable one either. It can lead to eating disorders as it becomes obsessive at a certain and does not promote good nutrition. To main a healthy nutrition put in mind the below:
¼ plate protein
¼ plate carbs
½ plate veggies
- Managing Time
We all lead very busy lives and we have a lot of obligations towards your family, friends, work, physical and mental health. Not every day it’s easy to make time for all our commitments but every day we make a choice to prioritize. Ask yourself what is your priority? If your physical and mental health are your last priority, you will most likely be stressed all the time and unhappy about your physique. This might lead to negative effects regarding your overall mood, your relationships and your work which will cause demotivation. Dedicate 1 hour a day and prioritize your health.
- Water Consumption
Try to have a glass of water every house to not get dehydrated and aim for minimum of 2 liters a day. Don’t mistake thirst with hunger – sometimes you’re just dehydrated so when you’re not sure if this is genuine hunger that you’re feeling, drink some water first then listen to your body. The benefits of water consumption are endless from promoting better metabolism, decreasing cravings, flushing toxins out of the body to providing energy! Add cucumber, lemon and peppermint leaves in your water for more cleansing, hydration and flavor.
Depriving our bodies from adequate sleep can speed up the aging process and deter our weight-loss weights. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a day to allow your body restore organ functions. Working out 3-5 times a week and drinking chamomile tea can aid better sleep.
- Goal Committing
How bad do you want it? How hard are you willing to work for it? What’s your motivation? If you talk to yourself and listen to your body, your goals will be clearer. No matter how unattainable you think they might be, have goals. Take baby steps towards your goals, change one thing a week that makes you closer to your goals, do one thing a day that makes you closer. This week I will eliminate fried food – today I will be thankful for my body.
- Reward Yourself
Reward yourself because not every day you will feel motivated but every day you can do your best. Plan your next adventurous trip, buy those running shoes you’ve been wanting for the past month, or try a motorcycle test-drive! Don’t get caught up in perfection, it doesn’t exist and isn’t sustainable. Do your best with the resources you have.