HOW TO LEAD A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
There really are no miracle foods or workouts that will permanently improve your health as much as making Healthy Lifestyle Changes (despite what the adverts tell you!).
Leading a Fit and Healthy Lifestyle really doesn’t have to be that complicated. Yes, you do have to make some initial changes, but after a while all these changes should become second nature to you and will most definitely be worth it!
So, how do you start to lead a Healthy Lifestyle?
Drink more Water
Drinking enough water to keep your body fully hydrated is the no.1 change you can make that will improve your overall health. A body that’s fully hydrated will function at its best. That means you’ll have more energy, your brain will be more alert and your body will be far more efficient at burning fat and building muscle.
Eat more Fruit and Vegetables
Increasing your intake of Fruit and Vegetables will feed your body vital vitamins and minerals it needs to be able to perform at its best. The majority of fruit and veg is low in calories too, which means you can fill your plate with it!
Keeping active on a daily basis is vital to improve your overall health, fitness and well-being. Exercise is not only good for the body, it’s also great for the mind. It can massively improve your mood as it releases Endorphins (Happy Hormones). You don’t have to do hours at the gym day in and day out – even just a 20-minute walk will suffice, as long as you get your body moving!
Getting enough sleep (although not always easy) is vital to get your body functioning at its best. When you sleep your body recovers, repairs and re-charges. Don’t skip this lifestyle change as something that you can’t control – if you struggle with sleep, try your best to establish a bedtime routine, address the factors that are causing any sleep problems and make it just as much a priority as your diet and exercise.
Again, this may be another difficult step to change as it’s not always in your control. But there are changes you can make to help you deal with this that can improve your stress levels. Learn to relax more – deep breathing, meditation, yoga or even just thinking calming thoughts can help!
Yes, I’m afraid YOU DO have to put some initial effort in, but the longer you stay consistent with your efforts, the less of a chore it will seem. Gradually those bad habits become good habits and you’ll finally be leading a Fit and Healthy Lifestyle that will bring you permanent results.
Age is just a number – Do you agree?
I can honestly say that at 45 years old I feel the most content I’ve felt in my life so far!
I was 35 when I started FitSista. At the time I was so worried that I was too old to be a successful Personal Trainer, as all the trainers I knew were buff 21 year olds. Luckily for me, I had the Life experience that they didn’t. I’d been there and done that (not just read about it!). My age was actually an advantage in my profession – and it still is as I get older!.
So rather than having a moan about the downside of getting older – Here’s to the POSITIVE POINTS!
- Life Experience – You certainly don’t have that in your 20’s.
- Greater Knowledge (although I do forget things!) – Hopefully by your 40’s you’ve learnt a few things.
- Increased Confidence – I do things now that I’d never have done when I was younger.
- I’m happy in my own skin – It’s taken me 45 years, but I’m extremely comfortable about who I am.
- I take no shit – The days are well and truly over that I try to keep other people happy at the expense of my own happiness.
- I’m much more productive – I’ve got fire in my soul and I’m extremely passionate about my ambitions.
- I need less sleep – I’m up and at ’em early and I get so much more done in a day than I ever used to.
- I know exactly what’s important to me and what I want in life – and I really don’t care if I don’t match other peoples expectations.
- I’m actually living my best life – Life is GOOD!.
This FAR outweighs the wrinkles, grey hairs, flabby bits, mood swings and hot flushes!
So whatever age you’re at – don’t use it as an excuse. It’s never too late to try something you want to do and quite often, being older has its advantages!
What’s stopping you from achieving your goals?
If you want to lose a stone, drop a dress size, run a 10k or get fit and healthy – what’s stopping you from achieving it?
Whatever kind of Goal you’re trying to reach it’s rarely going to be easy. There will be barriers along the way that will test your determination and willpower, but it all comes down to how important your goal is and how much of a priority you make it.
You have a choice – either you do it or you don’t!
Firstly, you must make sure the Goal you have set yourself is for all the right reasons. It should be something that YOU want to achieve, not something you think you should, or that someone else has told you to do – a goal should be personal.
We all have a set of core beliefs about what we believe we are possible of achieving. Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right. You have to believe in yourself if you want to achieve your goal as you’ll never achieve anything that you don’t believe you can.
So, if you’ve already decided on your goal, make sure it’s a S.M.A.R.T Goal.
Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve?
Measured – How will you track your progress?
Achievable – Are you capable of reaching it?
Realistic – Is it a sensible goal to set?
Time-framed – When do you want to achieve it by?
If your goal isn’t S.M.A.R.T you could be setting yourself up for a failure from the start. Setting your goals too high is the most common way NOT to reach your goals. For this reason, I’ve never been one to promote quick fix diets and gruelling exercise programmes. I’ve seen it happen time after time – embarking on a plan that becomes a chore to do and although it may have instant results, it’s just not attainable in the long run and often leads to injury, gluttony, burn out and ultimately you end up back to where you originally were. If you want to make permanent changes, it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to require you to be committed and will require a Lifestyle overhaul, not a month of extremely low-calorie diets and over exercising. Again, the choice is yours.
If you’re guilty of any of the following excuses there’s a back up plan for them all!
1. Putting it off until ‘someday.’
As ‘someday’ never appears on the calendar, you’ll never accomplish your goals if you keep putting them off. If a goal is important to you, create a time framed plan of action and stick to it
2. Waiting to take action until you ‘feel’ ready.
If you wait until you feel ready to tackle something tough you may be waiting a long time so act now!
3. Not being prepared
Change isn’t easy – there’ll always be barriers in your path to your success sent to try you, so be prepared! Some days are harder than others but once you develop a plan for dealing with those situations you’ll feel more confident in your own abilities to keep going. Use your mental strength to keep reminding yourself you’re going to need to work hard to achieve your goals.
4. Seeing mistakes as failure.
Progression rarely happens in a straight line. Sometimes, you’ll have a blip and take one step back but it doesn’t mean you’ve gone all the way back to square one. Just because you failed to reach a goal in the past, it doesn’t mean you will fail again. Don’t let your past experiences doubt your future aspirations. Rather than thinking you’re destined for failure, learn from it, move on and get back on track.
5. Not making your goal a priority.
Goals are easy to set but actually doing the work is another story as you have to decide what kind of priority you’re going to give your goal. Otherwise, all your other daily activities will take over. Whatever your plan is – write it down and put it in your diary and again STICK TO IT!
6. Giving up before you see results.
Everyone wants results to happen immediately but just because you can’t see results, doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted. You need to stick to your goals longer than you might think before you start to see and experience the changes.
7. Sabotaging your goals just before the finish line.
This one may sound strange, however, the fear of successfully reaching your goal can sometimes be a real problem. Perhaps you don’t believe you’re worthy of success? Be honest with yourself and be on the lookout for warning signs that you might be about to give up.
8. Setting your sights too high.
If you’re really excited about making positive changes, you might be tempted to set the bar too high but if you take on too much too fast, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Set some short-term achievements and celebrate each milestone along the way.
Are you prepared for the Challenge?
Once you’ve decided on your personal goal, you’ll need to be fully prepared if you’re going to achieve it so preparing in advance is vital. Having a sensible plan and being mentally prepared is what will make or break your achievements.
Excuses will arise that may prevent you from taking action, however try taking away all the negative thoughts and reasons you CAN’T do it and replace them with reasons you CAN!
Think positive – you’ve got this!
A Day in my Life
As a Personal Trainer, Class Instructor, Writer, Business owner and a single Mum, I have no choice but to lead a super organised lifestyle. In fact if I haven’t got each day planned out in advance I get too stressed out to manage it all, so being organised is my No.1 priority. I’m very lucky to be able to say that although my weekdays are hectic, I really love my lifestyle and all the challenges that go with it!
The Morning routine……
My alarm goes off at 5.45am each morning. I’ll be completely honest here – I don’t jump up full of motivation. I hate getting out of bed BUT once I’m up, dressed and I’ve talked myself round, I feel ready to tackle the day ahead.
After my breakfast (usually porridge) I generally train with clients from 7am to 12.30pm. Now that my children are older I’d rather be out of the way of the usual ‘are you up and dressed and ready for school yet?’ chaos!. If I don’t have to leave until later, I use the time to go for a run before work (again I don’t always feel like it but the feeling of going out for a run before I start my day is great so I have to talk myself into it!).
I always make the time every day for my own training (I schedule it in my diary at the beginning of each week). I usually go to the gym or go for a run as soon as I’ve finished training with clients. My clients sessions inspire me, especially if someone’s done a kick ass session – I go to the gym and do the same!
Going back to the diary……I’m a creature of habit. I like to do the same thing at the same time everyday which may sound really boring to some, but it helps me feel more organised and in turn I get more done.
After my gym session or run, I go home and have lunch which is generally some kind of salad, chicken or eggs and rice combination. I’m not the greatest of cooks but I try to be as creative as possible and if I’m taking a photo of my lunch to post on social media, I find I try a little bit harder with the presentation and in turn it actually tastes nicer. I then walk my dog and I use this time to re-charge my brain.
If you’ve got a hectic lifestyle it’s so important to look after yourself. As the saying goes ‘You can’t pour from an empty vessel’. It’s not being selfish, its self-care. I switch my phone off for just 20-30 minutes and try to clear my mind of any stress that’s going on. It’s not always easy to turn off from the outside world, but it’s very beneficial to your personal well-being and mental health to take just a bit of time each day to get some head space. Just breath and live in the moment without any distractions – even if it is while walking the dog in the rain!
So, after my half an hour of calm, the madness begins for round 2!
As the kids are returning from school I have my crazy 2 hours of the day. You know the scenario……I’m sat at my laptop trying to write, do my admin, pay bills, sort client folders etc. and the kids are asking ‘When’s tea ready?’ ‘Where’s my rugby shorts?’ ‘Can my friend come for tea?’ the dogs running around like a lunatic, the window cleaners knocking at the door and while you’ve successfully managed to sit and have a wee in private you get interrupted by a PPI call!
I constantly feel like I should do more with my kids – they always see me working, on my phone or going out to work. However, I was a stay at home mum whilst they were both pre-school so I suppose its good for them to see me now running a business and I’m hopefully inspiring them to do something they love and to work hard at it.
After our evening meal (which I always try to sit down as a family to eat) I’m back out to work to train my evening clients or class members. If it wasn’t for the fact that I love my job, there is no way I’d leave the house on a night. I’m a real home bird and could quite easily stay at home all day, but when I get to my class and see my class members giving it their all, I just love it! I’ve got a great team at my classes and along with my PT clients, as much as it’s MY job to motivate them all to work hard – they really motivate ME to do my best too.
I usually have a couple of hours on an evening before I go to bed and if I’ve got everything on my list done for that day I get chance to put my feet up and watch TV or read. Actually, this very rarely happens if I’m honest! In reality, I tend to walk the dog (again), pick up my phone, text clients, google workouts and post on social media (I’m working on not doing this as much BUT it’s a vital part of my job!). Then just as I’m about to get into bed I’m usually reminded that I haven’t washed a P.E. kit that needs to be ready for the next day!
Now I’d like to say I switch my bedside light off at 10pm and fall fast asleep but I currently have a bit of a problem with my sleep pattern. Sleep is so important for good health and I know I should go straight to sleep but my brain doesn’t seem to agree – this again, is an area I need to work on, but it’s so hard when you have a zillion ideas buzzing though your mind when your head hits the pillow.
So, this is my daily routine Monday to Friday and by the time the weekend arrives I generally switch mode. I’m an all or nothing type of person and although I love going for a long run on a Saturday morning, I also love slobbing on the settee in the afternoon. It’s the same with food, I eat healthily 90% of time but, I can eat A LOT, so I really look forward to my Saturday night Meal out or takeaway – it’s all about the overall balance. I haven’t drunk alcohol for over 2 years now and it makes a massive difference to my weekends, in fact it makes a difference to my working week too. Since giving up the booze I’m more productive, I perform my job a lot better and I seem to have more time as I don’t have to nurse a hangover which is a good job really as when my alarm goes off at 545am on Monday morning, I’m ready to do it all over again!.