Increasingly in modern life, we are finding less time to dedicate to getting or staying healthy; but that old cliché “every little helps” couldn’t be more true when it comes to being active and eating well. So I’ve put together a few of my top tips to help you fit some new habits into your weekly routine to keep yourself on track.
MAKE IT SUSTAINABLE:
Eating healthily and trying to lose weight does not mean that you have to eat rabbit food every day. Half a baby gem and two slices of cucumber is not a meal. Every week there seems to be a new “2 week beach body” diet or a “how to get abs in 3 days” plan, which aren’t sustainable. Eating healthily is a lifestyle choice but you should never completely cut out things that you love. You don’t need to eat food that you don’t like just because it’s good for you.
If you have a sweet tooth that just won’t quit, try keeping a bar of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) in the drawer at home or in the office. When you get that low after lunch time, have 1-2 pieces (not the whole bar) to take the edge off – it has a lot less sugar that the regular milk chocolate but is enough to satisfy those cravings.
This sounds like an obvious one but try to think of ways to increase the number of steps you do every day. Take the stairs instead of the lift (or take the lift to within a few floors of your stop if you live or work in a tall building). In the office ask yourself “do I need to send that email or can I just walk down the corridor and speak to the person directly?'' If you get the bus to work, try getting off a few stops early. Set yourself a target of around 10,000 steps a day. Most smartphones these days have pedometers, which makes it easy to keep track of your progress.
A normal HIIT (High-Intensity Interval / Training) session lasts around 20-25 mins and it tones muscles and burns fat at the same time. Experts will normally do an exercise for 40 seconds and rest for 20. If you’re a beginner, you can start at 30/30 or 20/40 and build it up over time. HIIT doesn’t require a gym or equipment to do it. All you need is space and a timer (or go on YouTube and follow a professional. There is countless free content out there). HIIT can be adapted to suit your level of fitness.
Now this one is pretty tough. If you regularly go to the gym, try swapping some of your cardio sessions for some resistance training or better still, some HIIT classes. Doing more resistance training will not only tone but for every pound of muscle you put on, you’ll burn around 50 extra calories a day without doing anything.
Bruce, Senior Creative Designer at Minerva Research Labs