Whether it’s losing weight, getting stronger or improving any of the components of fitness, getting fitter and healthier is a scary concept for many. Most people believe that it involves big, sweeping lifestyle changes and that is enough to suck the motivation out of anybody. I have good news, though — you don’t have to morph into a completely different person to achieve your goals. You can start with small changes and move up as time goes on or, if you are happy with your progress, just maintain the lifestyle you’ve created. Here are my top 5 tips to turning your life around.
5) Incorporate Light Exercise: Strange that a trainer will put this at the bottom of the list, right? Now, let me make this clear — this is probably the single best life change you can make, and all you need is 20-25 minutes a day 3-4 days a week. However, it’s also the most challenging. You have to set aside the time, find the routine that works best for you, potentially find (and pay) a trainer to help you with the above and, most of all, find a way to stay motivated. Therefore, this could be the last of the changes that you make.
4) Get More Sleep: Like above, this is extremely important. This allows your metabolism to work properly which will aid your goals. Also, getting a good rest will have you feeling better physically and emotionally. However, it involves a schedule change, which is also a pretty tough one. Try figuring out your new schedule (include exercise time) while working on the others so that the transition to getting more rest will be easier.
3) Eat More Bush: Yes… bush… I don’t mean to go outside and graze. I mean to eat more green, leafy vegetables (or any vegetables at all, for that matter). Aside from being packed full of nutrients, they are also full of fibre. This means a better working digestive system, as well as the ability to fool your body into feeling full, without taking in as many calories. For those of us who want to gain weight, the micronutrients and benefits to your digestive system still make this a definite must-have in your diet.
2) Cut You Carbs in Half: Carbohydrates are the simplest source of energy that the body uses. However, when you have more energy than your body can use at any particular time, the excess is stored as fats (triglycerides, to be precise). However, if you reduce the readily available energy source, your body will be forced to utilise dietary fat and fat stores for energy. This will help your body composition, which will aid with getting “the look”, as well as make your body more efficient in movement. N.B. Contrary to the popular fitness myth, “carbs” mean more than just flour. Rice, pasta, provisions (potato, sweet potato, etc) and fruit are all sources of carbohydrates.
1) Walk Instead of Drive/Taxi: Okay, so this one seems very small, but you would be surprised at the difference walking can make in your life. I don’t mean to walk everywhere, but for short, manageable distances (anywhere from 5-20 minutes walking-distance away), you can skip the car or taxi and walk to and from the location. Suddenly, you’re walking anywhere from 10-40 minutes a day. Imagine burning an extra 160 kCal per day. It may not be a huge amount, but it will make a difference.
There you have it. Some little helpful tips (even giving the cons) on how to make small changes in your life. Start with 1 and then add another and then another until you are doing all five and you’ll notice a change in how you look AND feel. 🙂