There are no “quick fixes” when it comes to health and wellness!
In a world of immediate gratification, we are so frequently inundated with misinformation promising us good health and beautiful looks with a simple formula; a quick exercise routine or some miracle fad diet pill. Well, I am sure as most of you intuitively know – these just DON’T work. Being healthy, fit and therefore feeling and looking good can only be achieved by living a well balanced lifestyle that incorporates exercise, a healthy diet and piece of mind.
This may be easier than it sounds and can be attained by setting reasonable and attainable goals in ALL three areas:
- If you are currently sedentary or don’t exercise regularly, start by engaging in some form activity 3 times per week for 60 minutes or most days of the week for at least 30 minutes.
- Choose activities that you enjoy to maximize results and avoid boredom or worse – quitting. If you hate the stair-master, don’t do the stair-master! Play basketball, take a cycling class, a weight training class or join an outdoor boot camp, dance class… With so many choices being offered nowadays, it is hard not to find something that you will enjoy while breaking a sweat!
- Set small, measurable goals, so that you can feel successful and chart your progress – i.e. increase your number of push ups, make it to the gym three times this week, try that gym class you have been eager to check out. Go for a long bike ride this Saturday.
- Avoid foods that lack nutrients, such as fast foods, fried, and fatty foods.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and eat mostly those that are in season.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Some cocktails are so caloric that they are not worth consuming except occasionally!
- Minimize late night snacks.
- Avoid processed foods and foods high in sodium.
Peace of mind:
If stressed, we tend to make poor choices that may haunt us days later. When feeling like this, find an activity you enjoy, one that may take you away from eating. Maybe try something soothing like yoga, thai chi, hikes in the park with your dog…
As we all tend to snack when bored, have some healthy alternatives in your cupboards to stave those cravings.
Find triggers to your stress, so that you can address them in ways other than eating.
Most importantly think before you eat. How will this make you feel later? Is this going to make your goals harder to reach? Sometimes a little self pep talk, can get you back on the right track.
Keep in mind that you are not alone on this journey. Most people have hard days and days when all we aspire seems out of our reach. Remind yourself that fitness is a journey – not a destination – and therefore long term results can ONLY be achieved by adapting a lifestyle that incorporate all three balanced aspects. Dare to do it!