We all strive, on some level at least, to be healthier, fitter and better generally. But what does that mean? Well, what it means to you could be very different to what it means to someone else! What you need to do is figure out what exactly you want to achieve and that it’s realistic to you, because there’s no point in aiming to go from 300 lbs to having a six-pack in a short space of time and your goal may just be to be able to feel better and take part in recreational activities more easily. Whatever it is it will have to be able to work with you and be achievable in your lifestyle. It’s important to be realistic and be aware of myths surrounding health advice as remember there are no cheats or shortcuts.
It’s important to think of the change to a healthy lifestyle as just that it’s got to be a long-term shifting of attitudes rather than a ‘diet’ or short term exercise routine as research shows this strategy doesn’t work long term as they are a time-limited solution and some can actually be harmful. So it’s important to choose a shift in routine that you know you can live with long term as if it’s ordered by a doctor or someone else it won’t work, it has to be your own life routine.
Exercise is a key factor in health as especially cardiovascular exercise can be key to preventing high blood pressure, heart disease and even strongly affect levels of depression and poor mental health and is an easy thing that most of us can incorporate into our daily life. It’s said that 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week can make a big difference and it can be achieved in a wide variety of ways and even cycling to work could achieve this or you could try a couch to 5k programme which is designed to take you from zero fitness to running a 5k, which is a great achievement if you’re not used to exercising.
Now diet is really important, and as stated before it’s not going on a diet but changing your diet to a better one for the long-term. What you need to do is identify where your biggest issues and temptations are, I found, for example, that fizzy and sugary drinks were my biggest weakness, so on advice from a colleague I started using matcha tea but had no idea where to start but she gave me this matcha guide which really helped. But whatever your weak spot is I would suggest taking a similar approach and seek out healthy alternatives to unhealthy snack foods and you’ll find the change a lot more manageable.
The key, once you begin, is to monitor your progress and make sure you’re remaining on the right track, there are plenty of ways of doing this, you can simply keep a food diary or use an app such as myfitnesspal to monitor exercise and food intake.
Overall make sure your goals are achievable and you keep on top of it all and when you have a slip-up don’t become disheartened as it happens to us all, but if you remember this is for the long-term and then the odd slip up is no big deal, we’re all human after all!