So Christmas has come and gone and a new year brings the hopes of your dream life: fulfilled days, beautiful body and peaceful mind. In this 3 part series, I’ll give you some advice on how you can achieve your aspirations. Without focusing on resolutions, these posts will give you information that you can easily implement in your own life to become a happier and healthier you in 2017!
Today’s post will focus on that beautiful body of yours. You start the year off with good intentions: living off salads and dragging yourself out running 5 miles a day, only to find that 2 weeks later you’re miserable, stressed out and too knackered to get off the sofa – pass the Quality Street? Well it’s time to change all that with these 3 easy habits to get into right now!
Drink more water
Hydration is key! It’s my second favourite saying right after “cake is good for the soul” and it is equally true. The list of magical properties water has is endless: It keeps you energised, keeps your skin clear, flushes out toxins, can help with weight loss, stops headaches in their tracks… Also, people commonly mistake thirst for hunger so before you reach for a snack, try drinking a glass of water first. The moment something doesn’t feel right in my body I reach for the water and 9 times out of 10 start to feel better straight away, it’s truly magical and I therefore can’t stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated. If you only take away one point from this post, make sure it’s this one!
Start by drinking a big glass in the morning as soon as you wake up. Then carry a bottle of water round with you and sip throughout the day. Swap your afternoon bottle of fizz for a bottle of water. It’s recommended you drink 2 litres a day, which is around 8 glasses.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
A common mistake people make is thinking that they purely need to lose weight and consequently cut calories, eat “diet” food products and thus suffer from lethargy and mood swings. The focus should really be putting foods in your body that will nourish you. Weight loss will be a byproduct of eating a diet abundant in fresh and unprocessed whole foods, cooked from scratch or eaten raw. Not only will you lose weight, you will feel fantastic too! And no I haven’t forgotten those of you who can eat all the junk food and stay slender, this information applies to you too! No matter what size you are, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with a vast array of vital nutrients leaving you feeling vibrant and ready to take on the world.
In order to kick start a sustainable healthy diet, focus on adding in healthy wholefoods. Top your breakfast cereal with some berries, take an apple and a portion of nuts to have with your sandwiches at lunch and cook up some broccoli to go with your dinner (I regularly have broccoli to accompany whatever dish I’m eating, from curry to pasta)! If you eat out a lot, order a side of mixed vegetables as well as your usual portion of fries. As you get used to eating more fruit and veg, you can progress into healthy swaps. Some apple and peanut butter instead of the midmorning biscuits, a banana instead of a sugary cereal bar, carrot sticks and hummus instead of a packet of crisps. You’ll soon find you have cleaned up your diet without even noticing!
Find a way to exercise that you truly enjoy
It’s no secret that regular exercise is good for you, so why does the dreaded “E” word strike fear into the hearts of so many of us? Cardiovascular exercise provides both physical and mental benefits such as weight loss, strengthened heart and lungs, reduced stress and better sleep. And don’t forget about strength training, which amongst other things also increases your metabolism, makes your bones healthier and is important for injury prevention. The problem is that many people think of exercise as a punishment or to work off “bad” food they’ve eaten, rather than seeing it as something to be enjoyed. Find something you like and you’ll be far more likely to stick at it.
Exercise isn’t all about sprinting as fast as you can or lifting weights equivalent to the size of an elephant. Think back to what you used to enjoy as a child, such as swimming, trampolining, dancing or gymnastics to name a few. It was only a couple of years ago that I heard of adult ballet lessons, but since I started going I have never looked back! You’ll be surprised at how many of these childhood activities you may have enjoyed are actually perfectly accessible to you now, even as an adult. Many places will let you go along for a free taster session and generally it doesn’t matter what ability or experience level you are. If you hated all sport as a child, think of now as an opportunity to try something new. Go to every class and club in your local area until you find something that suits you, or if you’re not feeling too social then sure, try walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, running, the list is endless! Once you find something you love, exercise will no longer seem like a chore and you’ll be well on your way to leading a fitter and happier life.
I hope you’ve found these 3 tips useful and wish you luck adding them to your daily life! Please check out parts one and three in order to have a kick-ass 2017, you’ve got this!