We have all heard, or even made the excuse “I’m too tired today, I’ll start exercising tomorrow”, or “That box of cookies looks so good… no point eating healthily today, in the middle of the week, I’ll start eating healthier foods on Monday.”
We see all those fitness enthusiasts on Social Media, all hyped up and energized, gushing about how well their gym session went. They make exercising and eating healthier look so easy… but is this really the case?
Well, that’s up to YOU.
Sure, it’s definitely not going to be easy, but in order to make a change, you have to make a commitment to yourself. A big commitment! Food and sedentary activities (working at our computers, playing play station, watching Netflix…the list could go on and on!!!) have become such a large part of our daily lives. Turning off the television to go and exercise, or taking the time to make yourself a delicious and healthy meal instead of conveniently going to the MacDonalds drive through, is going to take a lot of conscious effort.
Setting time aside to better yourself (exercising, or prepping your meals for the week to avoid unhealthy eating), is much easier said than done. I know that life happens, but good planning, self-control, and commitment can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.
Here are some top tips to help you get your healthier lifestyle started, and that will help you stick to it:
1. Make a weekly schedule
Work out a timetable for everyday of the week to see where you can fit in a quick 30 minute exercise session. Whether it be first thing in the morning before work or school, during a lunch break, as soon as you get home, before or after supper… just make the time!!!
2. Don’t let work or being tired be an excuse
Did you know that exercise helps to curb stress, and tiredness? It also improves concentration and mental functioning. Interesting, huh? So next time you consider skipping a workout because you “have too much work”, or you’re “feeling too tired”, make the effort to exercise, even if it seems impossible at the time, a quick 30 minute session is all you need. I promise you, that your body and mind, will thank you for it afterwards!
3. Enjoy what you do
Going to a busy gym isn’t everyone’s ideal place to exercise – but this should not be an excuse. Find a safe place to go and walk or hike, find a communal swimming pool, join a sport club or sign up for yoga, pilates, or kickboxing classes . Still not your tickling your fancy? There are plenty of exercises (both resistance and cardiovascular exercises) that can be done in the comfort of your own home. The options and opportunities to exercises are endless. Sorry, I may have just taken some of your excuses away!
4. Keep a diary
Keep a record of what food you eat, and the time that you eat it. Becoming more aware of what you put in your mouth can stop you from overeating, or help you to stick to healthier food choices.
Record your exercise sessions too- what exercise you did, how long you exercised for, and the intensity at which you performed the exercise.
5. Be patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and trust me, neither are perfect bodies! You may be exercising and eating right, but you cannot expect to see changes overnight. Especially if you’ve fallen into the habit of not exercising or eating unhealthily prior to making a change in your lifestyle. The general rule of thumb is that it takes you 6 weeks to notice the difference, 8 weeks for your close family and friends to notice the difference, and 12 weeks for everyone else to notice the difference. Bottom line. Be patient.
6. Record your progress
Take photos at the start of your new healthy food and exercise regime, and then again 4-6 weeks later to see your progress. Taking photos not your thing? Find an item of clothing that is currently too tight, or that fits you perfectly, and try it on 6 weeks into your new healthy lifestyle to see the difference in your body shape and size. Measuring the circumference of your neck, biceps (upper arm), waist, hips, thigh (upper leg), and calf every 6 weeks is another easy way of determining your weight-loss. WARNING: Seeing these amazing changes in your body might become addictive!
There you have it! Best of luck!