Holiday seasons give us the freedom to let down our guard for a bit and forget about self-discipline for a while. Now that we’re back from letting loose, it’s time to get back into shape. This requires a lot of attention, focus and determination. It’s your choice on choosing how you’ll be doing this – exercising, eating healthy, or both.
To find a gym to fit your fitness goals, start here. We’ll focus on exercising and dieting tips, and ways to keep you from quitting next.
If you’re used to exercising, we guess you could get back into your routine. Or you could try something new. If you’re new to training, we’ll be giving you some pointers on how to start and maintain a balanced routine.
• Begin with what works for you: Choose one day of the week and stick to it. You can slowly work your days up to 4-6 when you’re comfortable.
• Don’t push yourself too hard right away: Start with 10 minutes on low-intensity workouts. After two weeks, you can bump up the intensity.
• Ensure to include 3 components: Combine cardiovascular endurance, resistance training, and flexibility in your workout program. This will give you the most longevity to your goals.
• Take rest days: Give your body time to repair and replenish. These days are the key to long-term wellness.
• Warm-up before; cool down after: Warm-ups prepare your body for increase in activity. A proper cool-down will reduce soreness and allow your heart to normal resting-rate.
• Start and finish with stretches: Include dynamic stretches like leg swings, inchworms, hip rotation stretches, plank to downward dog stretches and butt kickers. See the stretches here.
• Go slow and focus on your form: Be conscious of your movements and focus on your form, your breathing and your control.
• Listen to your body: Know the difference between pain and muscle discomfort. Stop when something feels weird.
• Sleep when feeling fatigued: Initially, you’ll feel tired because your body is burning more calories than usual. So, if you need to sleep, tuck yourself in. Your body will thank you.
• Do it with a friend: Find a friend who’s already working out. This helps with motivation and accountability.
It’s probably best to cut out some foods from your diet. For a low-carbohydrate diet, you can minimise sugar and starch and get more out of rich foods such as protein and healthy fats. Here are healthy foods to include in your diet:
• Meat: Unprocessed meat is good for you like beef, lamb, pork, and chicken.
• Fish: It’s fulfilling and rich in omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients. Fatty fish like salmon is great.
• Eggs: One of the most nutritious foods and healthy, especially omega-3 eggs.
• Vegetables: It contains fibre and nutrients and should be consumed daily.
• Fruits: Rich in fibre and vitamin C but eat in moderation if you need to lose weight.
• Nuts and seeds: Various nutrients, but high in calories. Eat in moderation if you need to lose weight. You can include almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
• Potatoes: Root vegetables are healthy but high in carbs. Eat in moderation if you need to lose weight. Can be replaced with sweet potatoes too.
• High-fat dairy: Rich in healthy fats and calcium and include cheese, cream, butter and yoghurt.
• Fats and oils: Choose saturated fats for high-heat cooking like frying. Use olive oil, butter or lard.
Ways not to quit
When it gets too hard, we tend to give up on exercising and eating healthy. It’s normal; it’s human. Hopefully, our advice will keep you from quitting.
• Show up and try (not too hard in the beginning): It’s a case of getting into the action of activity. You’ll see when you’re there, it’s not as bad as you thought it would be.
• Have a reasonable plan: Figure out a routine that works for you. High in volume, but low in intensity.
• Try active recovery, while resting: Still stay active when resting between sets. Jump rope, walk on the treadmill or pace around to keep your heart rate up.
• Don’t skip stretches: Looking great is good but moving great is sexier. Stretches are an essential workout.
• Be into yourself: Swim in Lake You and focus on yourself and your progress.