5 tips for keeping you on track for a healthy lifestyle
Its a fact that when most people attempt to lose weight or become fitter more often than not they will fail after a few weeks as it’s not a part of their lifestyle so they find it extremely difficult to keep it as part of their daily routine.
Rather than joining a gym or cutting out all of your favourite foods a holistic approach which fits into your everyday lifestyle will prove to be more effective – helping you stick to your routine and achieve your health and fitness goals much quicker.
1 Cook your own meals
This will allow you to control exactly what you are putting into your food.
You would be surprised that a humble tin of baked beans – often considered a healthy meal has the same amount of sugar as 7 cookies.
Most of us are too busy to cook every day but often you can cook extra food and then freeze portions to reheat in the microwave later that week/month.
2 Integrate exercise into your commute.
Why do so many people sit in traffic commuting to work and then sit in traffic driving to a gym to spend time on a treadmill or in a spinning class?
Build walking, cycling or running into your commute – if your commute is 10 miles or less you could cycle rather than drive, a few miles or less and you can walk or run.
You would be surprised how similar the journey times can be if you normally travel to a busy town centre and then have to find a place to park. By cycling, walking or running to your location you are now exercising and integrating it as part of your routine and without having to bother with going to the gym. Saving the environment and your bank balance at the same time.
For beginners build up gradually for distance and the number of days you leave the car behind. Look at other options such as folding bikes or parking further from the office to increase walking.
3 Cut out processed breakfast cereals.
Most breakfast cereals are junk food – high in sugar, low in protein, and have to be eaten in small portions to avoid piling on the calories leaving you feeling hungry mid-morning, not a good start to the day!
Swap for healthier options such as porridge oats with a portion of fruit, egg – scrambled, boiled or poached with toast, or make your own muesli with nuts, oats, dried fruit.
These options will set you up for the day and mean that you feel less hungry for longer and will reduce the need for snacks before lunch.
4 Choose a sport that you enjoy.
For some people, gyms can be very monotonous requiring high levels of goal specific motivation, and they can also be sweaty and unpleasant in the summer plus you may find yourself waiting for equipment if they are oversubscribed. Why not think about exercising outdoors, apart from the obvious money saving, exercising outdoors also has proven benefits for your overall wellbeing.
The key is to find a sport you enjoy whether its a team sport or individual – if you enjoy the sport you commit to and you will find it easier to stick to. Nowadays social media means it is easier than ever to find local clubs at all levels from beginner to expert in anything from bouldering to diving, cycling, hockey or sailing. With team or individual sports when joining a local club your social life may get a boost also!
Find what works for you – try a sport if you don’t like it try something else. You don’t need to spend lots of money on equipment before you are sure that you like it, borrow or even rent equipment initially if you prefer then if you find its the sport for you then you can purchase any equipment you need then.
5 Reduce snacks, treats and alcohol.
There is no point in trying to cut these out completely from your life, everyone should be able to enjoy a nice slice of cake or glass of wine from time to time.
The key is to reduce the amounts so that you are not exceeding the amount of calories you are consuming too often.
A few unhealthy days with drinks and desserts aren’t the end of the world but will need to be counteracted by several healthier days with more exercise, smaller portions, or healthier meals.
This will mean that over the course of the week/month you can stay on target and is much more achievable in the long term than highly restrictive diets as let’s face it we all need a treat from time to time to reward ourselves.