For many, the new year signifies a time to improve their health and lifestyle, and while it’s largely a short-lived effort, there’s no harm in trying. Changing up your diet and exercise routine not only benefits your general health, but also your lifestyle in general, naturally. As this guest post explains, it gives you the confidence to go out and try activities that you previously thought were beyond you, and maybe even try on a few outfits that are a size or two smaller.
Keeping your blood sugar level
Plunges in your blood sugar are not good for maintaining a regular weight. Not eating and allowing yourself to feel ravenous with hunger will only drive you to snack on unhealthy foods out of sheer impulse. If you are going to use a diet method or specific products, then try and opt for a similar diet to the Cambridge diet. These allow you to eat regularly, which helps you to keep a regular blood sugar. Fasting for long periods of time only works for a limited amount of people. For others, it leaves them feeling light-headed and low in motivation in energy.
If you don’t like long bursts of training, then HIIT, or high intensity interval training, could be the perfect option for you. These exercises rarely last longer than 20 minutes, and they really put your stamina to the test. If you browse YouTube, you’ll find a number of exercises to match the intensity you’re prepared to work at. If you have minimal equipment in your home, you can opt for ‘no equipment’ workouts, that use your bodyweight to break a sweat.
Weight and resistance
If you’re adding chilli to your meals and running endless distances on your runs to boost your metabolism, know that neither of these are the most effective at boosting your metabolism. Instead, you are far better off building muscle and completing some resistance training. You don’t have to buy a set of weights to do this, instead you can learn how to plank and support your own body weight through resistance exercises. If you’re deciding to hit the gym, then you will want to hit the weights section and try out the weight machines to build on your muscle strength.
Some people can’t bear the thought of going for a run by themselves, whereas others would rather keep their sports as a solo venture. Group exercise can sometimes be a perfect way of staying motivated, as you form a collective motivation to get to the end of the workout. While some may worry that joining a group exercise class would warrantself-consciousness, it’s actually a great way of challenging those thoughts. By attending a group class, you will come to the realisation that there are plenty of people just like you, at your level of fitness, looking to boost their health.
Embrace whole foods
Instead of reaching for the low-calorie oven meal, try and create meals from scratch. You’ll not only feel more satiated after your meal, but also more satisfied in the knowledge that you cooked completely from scratch. A bit more washing up to do could be a small price to pay if you start to get more positive check-ups from the doctor. Cooking protein with vegetables and healthy fibre-rich carbs will taste far superior to a microwave meal that’s loaded with salt, trans fats, and sugar.
Ditch the wheels
If it’s possible to do so, try and ditch your wheels for a while. Walking to work, walking into town and taking regular strolls will get you out of the couch potato mindset. It should also encourage you to spend more time on your feet, which is never a bad thing. It will also remind you of what you’re really capable of; if you can walk 30 minutes to work, you could spend 20 minutes going for a jog one evening, for example.
Why wait until the new year to start working on those ambitions? Habits take a while to form, and so there’s no better time to make a start than the present. By the time the new year rolls around, you can be self-assured that you are well on your way to reaching your goals; and all ahead of schedule.
Don’t be overambitious
If you’ve always wanted to try boxing, go to a new beginner’s class and see how you get on. Don’t, however, go in thinking you’ll be a cruiserweight in three months. Take your new activities and plans one step at a time. Learn to enjoy them, and leave enough room to decide whether you see your fitness plan working out in the long-term. If you decide it isn’t for you, that’s absolutely fine too. Being patient allows you to find that dream sporting activity, and a lifestyle that has plenty of breathing space.
Don’t beat yourself up
You may have seen Hollywood-style drill camps where instructors shout at their clients and remind them of what poor condition they’re in. Telling someone how ugly they look, or terrible they should feel will not make them fit; it will have the reverse effect for many people. If you wouldn’t want to watch someone do that to a friend, then don’t do it to yourself. Be kind to yourself, and come to accept the body you’re in. Find clothes that fit you properly, wear outfits that make you feel great, and see getting fit as an added bonus.
When you start your new year’s fitness routine, remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t use a negative body image, or other people’s bodies to motivate yourself. Instead, you should treat yourself with kindness both inside and out. Eat well and only take up exercises that you feel you can sustain. If you want to give your metabolism a boost, it might be time to hit the weights at the gym. Otherwise, your fitness goals should be for the long-term, not just the first two months of the year.