6 Steps to Improving your Health & Fitness

Sometimes you get so stuck in a rut you just don't know where to start when it comes to improving your health and fitness. Your weight may have slowly crept up over the years, you may have just chosen to eat convenience foods and have now developed bad habits that you cannot seem to break, or you may have picked up an injury the last time you tried to exercise and have just given up trying to be fit.

Compared to a couple of decades ago we are now living a much more sedentary lifestyle, there are remote controls for everything from tv's to lights to fires, computer technology and gaming leads to more time sitting, there are TV's in every room in the house, we drive everywhere and use the internet to order our weekly food and have it delivered - next thing you know they will also unload your shopping for you!

Add to this the easy convenient foods and meal choices that are available as well as the rise in fast food outlets and you've got a disaster waiting to happen if it hasn't already. Obesity rates among adults in the UK have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years, and now around 1 in 4 fall into this category. What's more, over 60% of adults are classed as overweight or obese, this equates to 58% of women and 68% of men.

Depressing as it is, there is one thing stopping you from moving more and eating healthier...and that is YOU!

YOU can make healthier food choices (it takes 21 days to create a new habit so stick to it and your taste buds will change). Cut out sugar and those highly processed foods & snacks!

YOU have the choice to plan your day and add 30 minutes of activity into your schedule (a sure fire way to succeed is to plan exercise like a meeting, put it in your calendar and stick to it)

YOU have the choice to get off a bus stop earlier and walk that bit further

YOU have the choice to walk up & down the stairs instead of taking the escalator/lift

YOU can make healthy meals from scratch and rely less on processed meals and heating ready meals in the microwave

YOU can do exercise at home or go out for a walk

YOU can make a difference to your future by choosing the right options for you!

The only way to have a healthy lifestyle is to follow these 6 rules:

1. Decide upon and write down realistic goals and targets. What do you honestly want to achieve? Think, feel and really believe in this goal, and write it down. Then break it down into achievable timeframes and the steps you need to reach along the way (eg 1, 3, 6 months). Regularly review your goals and be prepared to alter them if they are not working.

2. Using body measurements and the feel and fit of your clothes is a better way of measuring progress than just relying on the number on the scale. Using Body Composition scales are also more effective than everyday scales as they calculate your bone, muscle, fat & water composition.

3. Calculate your required daily calorie intake here. Keeping a food diary of everything you eat and drink is crucial to success (and you must be honest!). Reducing your daily calories by 500 will help you lose weight sensibly (between 0.5-2lb per week) and lots of people can achieve this easily by cutting out simple carbs such as chocolate, sweets, alcohol and/or reducing portion sizes. Plan healthier meals for the week ahead which stops that last minute frenzy of what to cook for dinner. Eat 7-8 portions of veg a day and 2-3 portions of fruit

4. Get support from the whole family and your network of close friends. You may even have a friend or relative who wants to do something similar and you can support and help each other.

5. Commit to moving or exercising each day, even walking each day will help you feel great and create a new habit. Try something you've never done before, be it swimming, a new exercise class, or a parkrun. Finding something you enjoy means you're more likely to stick to it but the important thing is change your exercise regime every 6 weeks as your body adapts - this will achieve far greater results than just sticking with the same plan week in week out.

6. Reward yourself each time you have achieved a target or goal - not with food but things like a new book, new clothing, a soak in the bath, time with friends etc but make it something that is special and lovely for you.

Following these steps will help you achieve a sustainable healthy lifestyle. If you find you lack motivation, or are not sure about how to start a nutrition plan or how to exercise then it is worth contacting a personal trainer. Take time to shop around and choose a trainer that will cater for your needs and understand your goals; a good trainer will do all of the above steps and much more to help you achieve your goals.

If you would like a no-obligation chat to see how we can help start your new healthy lifestyle please do contact us. Taking this first step is usually the hardest part so do make contact and feel proud that you have made one important commitment to yourself towards a happier, healthier you.

We train clients in person or remotely wherever they are in the world so please don't hesitate to contact Rob or Ali to discuss how you can kick start a healthier lifestyle for 2021 and beyond.

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