Below we have listed 10 top tips to help you with your health & fitness goals because we want you to achieve your goals/resolutions/ aims just as much as you want to!
1. Exercise with a friend.
Your commitment to maintaining your fitness routine will improve if you have someone to hold you accountable. You will also have someone to motivate and encourage you to push you that little bit further every time you work out.
2. Take time to stretch.
Your muscles become shorter during exercise and without regular stretching, you may injure yourself. A good idea is to stretch for a few minutes prior to any exercise and to stretch thoroughly after exercise as well. This should only take 10 minutes out of your day, so you all have time to do it! Try stretching whilst waiting for dinner to cook or whilst watching the news at night.
3. Load up on water.
If you are exercising more, your body will need more fluids. It's no good to go for a 45 minute cardio session, then downing a 600ml bottle of coke. When we talk about fluids, we mean good old fashioned water. Staying hydrated is very important when exercising, as you lose minerals in your body when you sweat. It is recommended that you drink at least 2 litres of water a day, however if you are exercising you will need to drink more than this. Try to carry a water bottle around in your bag everywhere you go.
4. Vary your diet.
Eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you can get your hands on! You should aim to eat five fruit and vegetables a day as a minimum target. Do not be afraid to try different products, such as quinoa, barley, amaranth and wild rice. These healthy grains fill you for much longer than pasta and white rice and are infinitely better for you. Treat yourself to a healthy cookbook and have fun making as many recipes as you can.
5. Keep a food diary for a week.
This is the most effective (and the most revealing!) way to find out exactly what you are consuming. Make sure to write down everything that you eat and drink each day for a week, including the amount that you consumed. After one week it will become clear to you where you can make healthier choices in regards to your diet.
6. Never shop for food when you are hungry.
You will notice that your trolley will fill up very quickly, with items that you would not usually purchase! Take the time to write a healthy list of all the food that you require before going to the supermarket. Try not to stray from that list. If you do not need anything in the confectionary or chip aisle, don't go down those aisles!
7. Eating out responsibly.
Realistically, there will be several times in the year that you will have to eat out in restaurants for a multitude of reasons. Whilst this is unavoidable for many, you can reduce the chance of undoing all the good work you have been doing for your body by following a few tips.
order an entree sized meal with a side of vegetables if possible, instead of a main meal.
do not 'upsize' your meal
cease eating when you feel full. Eat until you feel satisfied and no more. This may mean that you are unable to finish what you ordered, however, if you can, take the leftovers home.
limit your alcohol intake to only 1 glass when dining out. Try to always have a glass of water on hand at the table.
Share dessert, or if you can, skip dessert altogether. Your body will thank you later!
8. Make changes to your everyday activities
By looking for an active way to perform everyday tasks. Walk to and from the train/bus station instead of driving there. Taking a brisk walk during your lunch break. Walk up the stairs in your office building instead of taking the elevator. I remember when I worked in an office full time colleagues of mine found it absurd that I would walk the 6 flights of stairs (or 120 steps) up and down at least once a day. I was constantly met with incredulous glances and surprised looks. It's hilarious to me that many people in the western world will pay a small fortune every year to frequent a gym but will scoff at the idea of walking up a few flights of stairs!
9. Eat 5 small meals a day instead of 3 big meals.
This will help to boost your metabolism and you will be less likely to overeat throughout the day. Carry healthy snacks around with you, such as raw carrot and celery sticks, a small handful of nuts and a few pieces of fresh/dried fruit.
10. And lastly, have FUN!
If you are not enjoying the exercise you are doing, you will not stick with it. Design a fitness routine specific to you, whether that be just one form of exercise, or 7 different things. If you enjoy what you are doing when you work out, your health and fitness will improve as you will not stray from your exercise regime. Best of luck with your health & fitness goals!
Try to follow these tips and you will see results!