When embarking on a journey towards a healthy lifestyle, it is important to remember that this journey has no set destination – you will achieve goals and hit targets and your lifestyle will change for the better, but it is all about making small, achievable changes that you can stick to in the long term.
Think about what it is you want to achieve and why? Are you aiming for weight loss? Inch loss? Increased energy? Improved joint function? The good news is that healthy lifestyle changes will likely provide all of these benefits and more.
First off, it is time to start thinking about how much time you spend on your feet compared to sitting down each day either behind a desk, in a car or on the sofa. When you are on your feet are you walking or just standing still? Research shows that 10,000 steps per day can go a long way to improving your health. While that might sound like a lot, by setting yourself a reminder to get up and move from your desk/sofa/chair every hour will dramatically increase calorie burn while reducing postural complaints and health risks.
It’s also time to think about your general diet – is it healthy? Realistically how much veg are you eating every day? How many of your meals are homemade compared to shop-bought or ready meals? Are you starting your day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast? Remember this rule of thumb – the fewer ingredients a product contains, the more natural it is likely to be (think about ingredients on a carton of eggs vs a box of cereal). Healthy eating is also about making small steps and setting realistic goals eg. eating regular meals at regular times or if you skip any meals – introduce a fruit or veg smoothie instead. Think about an area that is lacking in your current diet and introduce one change, and of course – drink some water! Begin every day with a big glass of water and you’re off to a flying, hydrated start!
Remember that fitness is not an all-or-nothing lifestyle overhaul. Making small, realistic changes that you will stick to in the long term will go a long way in improving your health.