Change can be overwhelming. It can sometimes take me an age to get started on a new project simply because I do not know where to start. Improving your health and fitness can also fall into this category. There is a wealth of information available to us now, but taking the first step can be daunting. I hear ya! With all the fads and scaremongering going on in health and fitness at the moment it is a bit of a minefield. Well, I am here to help.
Here are my top five changes that will have a BIG impact on your health and fitness.
We all know that we’re supposed to get eight hours of shut eye every night, right? Buy why? Poor sleep is linked to increased risk of depression, type II diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Good sleep is linked to improved concentration, productivity and immune function.
Change 1. Establish a bedtime routine including a regular bed and wake time.
Most of us (I hope) are eating three meals a day. It is also important to snack in between meals to maintain energy and mood. Allowing yourself to be super hungry between meals increases your risk of overeating and can create that hangry feeling.
Change 2. Plan ahead. Fill a Tupperware with nuts or chop up some carrots and pair with houmous. Avoid spontaneous spending on snacks at the coffee shop.
Our bodies are two thirds water. It plays many important roles in the functioning of our bodies including removal of waste products, maintaining temperature and transporting oxygen and nutrients around the body. When dehydrated we experience headaches, tiredness and mood swings. We should aim to drink 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day (more if sweating).
Change 3. Buy a reusable bottle and carry it with you. Aim to drink one bottle (assuming it’s a litre) by lunch and another by bedtime. Experiment with flavourings if plain water isn’t to your taste.
Physical activity has so many benefits to our mental and physical health I couldn’t list them all here if I tried! This infographic speaks for itself.
Change 4. Walk for 30 minutes a day. There are huge benefits to health from ‘just’ walking. You can even split your 30 minutes into two 15 minutes or three 10 minutes.
Really unsure where to start with physical activity or training? Check out my personal training and coaching services.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that idle time spent on screens in a virtual world is detrimental to our health; particularly our mental health. I know I am so guilty of falling into an Instagram hole, late in the evening when I should be sleeping. Whilst social engagement via our screens can help meet our need for social interaction, ‘scrolling’ or screen time should be limited.
Change 5. Establish ‘no screen times’. For example, morning and evening, or meal times. And if you must scroll (guilty!), set a time limit so that your need is satisfied without losing hours of your day.
There you have it, do one or two to begin with, establish the habit and then add more. Nothing faddy here, just honest and impactful changes that will make you feel better on a day to day basis. Enjoy!