Spring seems to have sprung in the United Kingdom these last few days and as summer approaches, the panic will start to set in. The fear that you will soon be wearing less layers and more skin revealing clothing. This is a horrid time for some people who are embarrassed about their bodies, feel they are over weight even by a tiny bit. It’s still an issue for many people around the world as they fight to gain a beach perfect body.
With that in mind, there will also be an increase in companies offering ‘the best new diet’ or a ‘groundbreaking new supplement that will get you ripped in two hours’ COME ON!
Take advice from somebody who has both tried supplements and more recently done it naturally, these diets and schemes DO NOT WORK. Unfortunately they will often get endorsed by a big celebrity name and fool you in to thinking you too can have a body like this person, who let’s not forget, will train for about five hours a day due to the fact that IT IS THEIR JOB!
Many of these companies have setups where you to can be a ambassador for them and sell their product, called a pyramid scheme. These are intelligent marketing strategies from the companies that get thousands of people around the world selling their products for them, making it an easy way of running a profitable business.
We’ve all been convinced by one of these schemes or an extreme diet, including myself. I am one of those people who doesn’t have a great metabolism and if I continue to eat poorly and not exercise, I’ll put on weight. Some people out there can pretty much eat what they want and not put on weight, although they may look fine on the outside, their insides and health will suffer.
I’ve needed to keep fit to maintain a decent body and my health, but I also struggle with motivation and will quite often have a meltdown and eat my body weight in crisps and chocolate. Recently I’ve been naturally living healthy and doing small exercises at a low cost without high gym memberships around my 8 hours a day job, it can be done and here is how.
It needs to become your lifestyle
You need to get it in to your mind that you are now a healthy person, when you’re out with friends or at home, you must get in that mindset. Be active around the house and move around quicker, keep your energy levels up. When you’re out, promote the fact that you are fit and active, be proud of it and make it your priority.Be motivated.
Exercise 5 or 6 days a week but make it varied, short and energetic
Finding time and motivation are the two things that stop people exercising. I’m the same, the last thing you want to do after an 8 hour shift is to then go out in the cold and run around in circles.
You should try and get some form of exercise in 6 days a week and then have one rest day. It’s not about doing hour long gruelling routines, get a quick session in for 10-20 minutes a day and up it if you want to. Do what you can to start with and find your best time to do it whether it be before or after work, everyone has a preference.
Vary what you do, if you do Davina’s workout video every night, it’ll get boring. Here are some varied ideas that I recommend.
Free, simple and there are about a thousand different choices you can do. Type in to youtube something like ‘cardio blast’ or ’15 minute workout’ or my favourite one ‘kickboxing cardio’. There are so many different options, find the one you find easiest, most enjoyable, fun, however you want to play it. Find something that suits you. The kick boxing one is fun and allows you to take out your frustrations from the day!
Buy a skipping rope or paint a hopscotch on to your driveway
We all loved doing this as kids and if you blast out 15 minutes with a skipping rope in the evening, you’re going to get the heart rate up and burn a decent amount of calories, it’s also fun.
In the summertime, go for a run or cycle along your nearest canal or countryside.
If you struggle with running like some do, then go for a brisk walk or cycle, you’re still exercising and you’re still burning weight. There’s nothing better on a cool summer’s evening than finding a beautiful scenic route to run around taking in the fresh air and allowing yourself some thinking time whilst the sun’s going down. This will also be good for your well being and happiness. You don’t need to go far especially if you’re starting out, half a mile to begin with then up it as you go, to as far as you like.
Use the stairs as a stepper
No equipment needed, free but will guarantee a good burn out. Quicken the pace as you go and step up to the second stair, build on it and don’t stop.
Jog on the spot
Too cold to go for a run? No worries, jog on the spot for 20 minutes, you’ll still burn that fat.
Set yourself goals and targets and let people know about them
We’re naturally competitive and are actually very stubborn, if we set ourselves a personal target the chances are very high that we’ll achieve that especially if we tell friends and family about it to gain encouragement. It doesn’t have to be huge, it can be something like ‘in two weeks I aim to run for five minutes extra’. That’s still an achievement and challenges yourself. If you’re feeling brave, set yourself a goal and enter a triathlon, fun run, 5k, or a full marathon like I have next month!
Record every single exercise you do daily on your diary
Every time you look at it, it will motivate you to keep it up.
You might lose ‘friends’ but post about your achievement’s on Facebook
OK so it might annoy some people, but to hell with it, be proud and tell people what you’ve done. Their ‘likes and comments’ will encourage you and your true friends will give you the inspirational comments you need to carry on.
Swimming is possibly one of the best exercises you can do, especially if you struggle with joint pains or injuries. You will burn good calories and give your body an all over workout. You will also enjoy it, everyone loves the feeling of floating around in water, you’re more likely to keep at it if you’re enjoying it. Swimming is a great starting point if you’ve never exercised before.
Find a sport/exercise class that you can enjoy with friends
Turn your exercising in to a social gathering. We all need to be social and see friends regularly in order to keep happy, why not combine the two? Badminton is always good for a laugh and get that competitive energy flowing. Or perhaps doing a class with a large amount of people, suck in the atmosphere and challenge yourself alongside friends. You can find a sport you can play for free, football you can go over to the park and kick a ball around for example.
Get out more
If you have children, grand-children, cousins etc then take them to the park more often, go to a beach, go play catch with them and don’t make excuses. Family time is hugely important to your well being, appreciate and make the most of your time with them but combine it with being active.Bring back the British tradition of going for a country cycle on a sunday afternoon.
Kettle Bells/resistance bands
At a small expense you can get yourself some kettle bells or a resistance band. It’s important that you maintain strength and build muscle when doing your exercises. The stronger you are, the more you can do. You don’t have to lift heavy, just get what ever is comfortable for you. Kettle Bells are excellent, they combine cardio with strength and that’s pretty much a super workout.
Yoga, balance and core work
It’s so important to keep your body stretched and get as flexible and supple as you can be, it will help give you a good balance that will in turn strengthen your bodies core and allow you to perform better when you are exercising.
Take a picture of yourself before and then every two weeks
Pictures have always been my biggest motivator, I’ll see a picture of myself, get grossed out by it and then get back on the fitness. If you take pictures along the way, you’ll see your results and progression and that will be a huge inspiration for you.
YOU are the only person who can do this and make the excuses
Don’t allow that to happen, simple as that. Life will throw everything at you, but you need to remain focused, you’ll start to see a difference in your body and your health, that MUST be your motivation. Always find time and never put it off. Come home from work and don’t sit down, make it part of your day and get it out the way straight away.
You will start to feel more energetic and be able to do a lot more and enjoy those times with your families even more. Motivate those around you to do the same, become a fitness guru and then blog about your experiences, make a real difference.
Try and drink as much Green Tea as physically possible
Although it’s bad for your teeth (scrub the hell out of them afterwards), green tea is great for speeding up your metabolism so it will help you burn fat quicker. If you can, drink around 5 a day.
Train with a partner
Chances are if you are unfit, your partner will be also. Unfortunately it comes with being comfortable in a relationship. You can beat this by both vowing to get fit and doing it together. After all, there will be no better motivation than beating your partner right? Turn it in to BOTH your lifestyles, it will keep you strong and bonding together and give you a focus.
Eat well, but don’t starve and have a ‘treat day’
Food is amazing right? I’m not about to tell you to stop eating pizza’s or chocolate (in fact if you’re going to do a big run, a ‘healthy’ pizza can be quite good for carb loading the day before!). But you need to now be sensible with your diet. Just because you’re exercising doesn’t mean you can continue to pile in fat, sugars and calories in to your body. Be vigilant about what you’re eating, check the added sugar and saturates, make sure it’s fairly low as this will just sit in your body and become fat.
Get yourself a decent healthy living ingredients book and get involved with making your own food, it can be fun, social and enjoyable. It will also make you aware as to how much bad processed foods you have previously been eating. Always go for the healthy option when out and about and don’t give in to temptations, again promote the fact that you are being healthy and be proud of it. Educate yourself and impress your friends with your knowledge of foods and slate them for eating rubbish and not knowing what they’re putting in to their bodies. Be that fitness guru once again!
With all that said, you still need to keep happy and some foods we simply can’t be without. I understand that and I have a few treat days, normally one a week. You need this again for your well being, it’s important to feel that you’re not missing out or giving anything up. Just don’t go crazy on a treat day and try and make it on an exercise day if you can. But when that day is done, back on the healthy fruits, vegetables, rice, leans meats, veggie smoothies, grains, fibres etc.
My ideal diet?
In the morning I’ll roll with a low sugar cereal with low calorie soya milk (my partner is a vegan!). Usually I’ll go with oats or grape nuts. Both very good at slowly releasing energy and high in protein.
For dinner I’ll usually go for wholemeal bread of some sort and fill it with a a high protein meat substitute (I’m vegetarian), or something like some tuna or chicken for the meat eaters and salad.
In the evening I’ll usually go with rice, low sugar sweet and sour sauce (Uncle ben’s do a good low fat one), mixed beans and some more high protein meat substitute.
In between I’ll often snack on a low fat yoghurt, green tea, carrot, banana, orange, or a vegetable smoothie.
Do I still drink?
Hell yeah! I’m still young, I still need to go out and socialise and I’m hardly going to go to a pub and order and orange juice (despite the fact that there are actually a lot of bad sugars in most pub served orange juice). I do still have the odd pint of bitter but my drink of choice whilst living well would be vodka and a low fat diet mixer such as coke. I know it’s still not ideal but like I said, it’s important to still live your life and don’t miss out on things, but vodka is the lowest calorie alcoholic drink therefore it’s best to stick with that mainly.
To sum it up
The key is, if you’re exercising a lot, then eat to mirror that and have good high fibered and protein diets and remember to get your carbs for energy. You’ll work out what is good for you, everyone is different. I love and enjoy my diet and I’m discovering so many new vegetables that I’ve always been ignorant to and a real love for various different beans and peas!
We all fall down though, you’ll find times when you’re not feeling great or are simply too busy. Expect that but don’t slip out of your routine for too long, the longer you leave it the easier it will be to slip back in to your old routine. Just think of all the hard work you’ve been doing and the fact that you are now on a natural healthy diet and your insides will be thanking you.
Essentially you’ll feel so much better and likely to live a happier and longer life, we all want to enjoy our retirement right? After all, we’ve worked our whole lives saving up for it, let’s at least be active during it.
The main battle will be against yourself and turning your mindset in to being an athlete. Stop those lazy habits and just keep motivated. If you have a baby, take it for a run in the pram, if you have a dog, walk it more they love it and a happy dog makes a happy human. Being healthy is a lifestyle, it’s a routine.
So don’t fear summer, battle it and defeat it. Get proud, get to the guru level, anyone can do it.
Source : The News Hub