So here we are, starting off the second week of the New Year. You've probably started thinking to yourself 'what could I work on/improve/change/achieve' over this New Year, with good reason! A New Year always gives us that fresh new feeling to set new goals. If there are a few things on your to-do list regarding your health or fitness goals this year, these 5 tips may help you kick start your progress in a non-strenuous way:
No.1 - Walking
Walking should be as important and essential as a healthy diet. Our bodies are designed to walk as it's a normal human movement (don't think of it as exercise, think of it's benefits for your heart, bones, joints, ligaments) and it's simple for most people to do on a regular and consistent basis to stay healthy, burn calories and release endorphin's for mental health. If you've been neglecting a daily walk, whether you take 30-60 minutes out from your day, try to reintroduce it back into your lifestyle. Even on days when you don't feel like exercising hard/running/going to the gym/doing a group class, a nice brisk walk is usually achievable to help you stay on track.
No.2 - Chew Slowly
We all know we should eat slower, but the pressure of 'free time' or 'working on the go' forces a lot of us to eat quickly. Try your best to take 5 more minutes out of your day when eating your meals because it will help you feel more satisfied from your meals. When we eat too quickly, we don't have time to enjoy the flavours the same way, too much food in our mouth at one time causes us to not chew/break down the food properly for digestion and importantly, we end up eating more 'just because it's a race,' rather than stopping when we're full and missing the body signals.
No.3 - Sleep baby
Not trying to be your mommy, but she was right when she told you to turn off the lights! It's been said that active people benefit from not 8, but actually 9 to 9.5 hours of shut eye time. Whether that means 'getting comfortable in the sheets' 9.5 hours before you awake (as it may take you while to fall asleep), or really trying to get that much sleep, can help you body properly repair for the following day. If you struggle to get the basic 8 hours of sleep, trying to aim for 9 to 9.5 hours will be tough, but assess what you can change in your life to ensure you get more sleep and rest. Trying to exercise regularly on chronically fatigued body is very hard, may lead to inconsistency as well as injury. By making a habit to sleep or rest more, you wull have more energy to exercise better as well as make healthier lifestyle decisions (because a rested and less stress body will more likely make better decisions).
No. 4 - Stop Strict Dieting
The word diet gets thrown around a lot and it actually means 'lifestyle,' but for this context I'll refer to strict diets. Everyone wants to jump on the next trend with hope that it's going to be the magic fix to their problems. Unfortunately, the latest trends usually cause someone to follow a plan that's not maintainable for the long run, causing them to crash hard. You're better off learning how to eat healthy for the long run, which will enable you to develop a positive relationship with food and your body. Food is fuel and should be viewed this way rather than something that should be restricted. If you're unsure on how to develop habits to change your view diet/food, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
No.5 - Self Love
One of the most important habits to develop in the New Year is Self Love. A lot of women struggle with loving their bodies, compare themselves to other ideals and are quite frankly, too hard on themselves. I know from personal experience that until you actually start to love and accept yourself for who you are, you will struggle to maintain your long term health and fitness goals. Think of it like this: If you don't love yourself, you don't take care of yourself, you don't prioritize yourself, you always put everything else first before you, all because you don't feel good enough or feel that you deserve better. The moment you take a breath, exhale the frustrations and become grateful for your mind and body, is the moment you will treat yourself differently and take actions that honor your mind and body. To conclude, if you want to create habits to help yourself become a better version of yourself this year, start with Self Love and everything else will fall into place.