Make Time For Health and Fitness:
Health and fitness is a big part of my lifestyle, because making positive choices each day helps me to stay feeling healthy, strong, confident and full of energy. That in turn helps me to lead a busy life, travel regularly, do my job to the best of my ability and have plenty of energy and time for family and friends. Staying healthy and fit and not getting sick too often are all important to me.
Make Healthy Living A Normal Part of Your Routine:
I don’t find it a chore because I really enjoy how it makes me feel and it’s as much a part of my everyday routine as brushing my teeth. But I definitely enjoy relaxing when I’m on holiday or at a wedding, and eating and drinking things that I try to normally avoid. It’s so important to have a healthy balance and treat yourself every so often. I aim for 80% healthy choices and 20% naughty!
A Little of What You Fancy Does You Good:
I love Indian and Chinese takeaways, pasta and dark chocolate. But I aim to make healthy choices 80-90% of the time, leaving a bit of room for treats!
Find Your Favourite Type of Exercise:
I do a combination of weight training with a personal trainer, proformer Pilates at Pilates Plus Dublin and either running or cross-training as my cardiovascular exercise. Together, I find they help to keep me strong, lean and flexible. I aim to workout 5-6 times a week, although I don’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve that much.
Be Clear About Why You Want To Choose A Healthier Lifestyle:
It gives me energy, good sleep, self-confidence, improved mental clarity, a healthy immune system, good posture, flexibility, a strong body and happiness. Nobody ever regrets making healthier food choices and taking the time to exercise regularly!
Look After Your Mind Too:
I find that my fitness routine gives me time out from a busy schedule and helps me to unwind. I also meditate when I’m under stress and take time out for myself when I need it. I like to switch off at weekends and head down to the countryside to relax with my husband and friends, and I try to get away for short breaks and holidays as much as work allows. I’m a very positive person and have been working on eliminating negative influences and thought patterns from my life over the past few years. I find it incredibly effective and it has really helped me to stay calm and see the best in every situation.
Take Plenty of Time to Relax and Unwind:
I love getting out of Dublin and I often go down to Wexford to chill out and take walks on the beach with my husband Wes and our dogs. I call into my parents house most Sunday afternoons to catch up with them and have dinner together, and I love meeting up with friends for meals too. I used to work all the time at weekends but I’m much stricter now about avoiding computers and emails until Monday morning.
Be Well Prepared:
I like to be well prepared by keeping my fridge, freezer and cupboards well stocked with healthy meal options and snacks like nuts and seeds, berries and apples, hummus and raw veggies and smoothie ingredients. I’ll make big batches of soups, stews and curries to eat over a few days, and I’ll prep veg for salads. The stews, soups, veggie burger and taco recipes in Eat Yourself Fit are all ones I make regularly at home.
Don’t Be Afraid To Lift Heavy Weights:
I used to be afraid of weight-lifting too but regular weight training has been the best thing I’ve ever done for staying fit, toned and strong. Resistance training is especially important for women as it helps to protect and improve our bone density. But it also sculpts your body better than anything else, it boosts your metabolism and it changes your ratio of muscle to fat. I would recommend weight training to everybody! If you’re a beginner to weights, it’s best to ask an expert at the gym for advice or even work with a personal trainer if it’s feasible, to avoid injury.
Willpower is Key…
Willpower and having a positive attitude to healthy eating and exercise are crucial to getting started. You need to want to make healthier changes and to look forward to seeing the results, so that it doesn’t feel like a punishment. Patience is also key, because nothing happens instantly. exercise needs to be something you enjoy and that fits into your lifestyle, and the same applies to healthy eating. It also needs to be affordable and sustainable, and often that means making smaller changes over a period of time to really make a difference to how you look and feel. The advice and recipes in Eat Yourself Fit are designed for everyone from totally beginners to fitness fans, no matter what your goals may be. There’s something for everybody in it!