The Festive Season unfortunately isn’t all about sitting around a log fire, eating Mince pies and listening to Christmas Carols … For many of us, it’s a super stressful time where we run around like lunatics, trying to do everything and please everybody. Shopping, Wrapping, School Plays, Cooking, Travelling and Xmas drinks with friends take up so much time and planning that the festive season becomes a full-time job and the stress of it all can play havoc with your health.
The symptoms of Stress can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behaviour so being able to limit your stress symptoms at this busy time of year is really important for your health as it can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and weight gain (blame the stress not the mince pies!) To avoid getting caught up in the frenzy of it all, try to make sure you’re still sleeping, eating well and keeping up with your usual exercise, if at all possible.
Learn to say No
Saying no to Christmas party Invitations can be a challenge especially if you want to please others by constantly saying yes, when really you want to say no – this can have an impact on your wellbeing and stress levels. Just tell your friends or family the truth; that you love them and want to do it for them but you are just so busy and you have other things to take care of. Most people will understand as they’re probably juggling their own diary.
So many get super stressed out at this time of year feeling the pressure to buy everyone and their dog presents. Although it’s nice to, you shouldn’t need to buy a gift to show your love and appreciation for someone, especially if it’s going to put you in debt. Good friends and family will understand.
In the run up to Christmas, make some time for yourself. Whether it’s an hour at the gym, a massage, reading a book or sitting and having an uninterrupted coffee, It’s important to give yourself the same care and consideration that you would others, so take a break from thinking about the shopping, cooking and organising and have a few minutes of me time.
And don’t forget, you can always delegate. A problem shared is a problem halved, so get someone else to do the gift wrapping (even if it doesn’t look as neat as when you do it yourself) You can’t do everything singlehandedly!
Wishing you a Merry (Stress-free) Christmas!
The importance of leading a Healthy lifestyle
The importance of leading a Healthy lifestyle isn’t just about weight loss and physique. Investing in your Health, following a healthy diet and taking regular exercise helps lower the risk of developing many of chronic diseases associated with being unhealthy.
If you eat too much, drink too much, smoke and are physically inactive, do you honestly expect to be healthy? Would you be surprised if you became ill? If you’re not taking responsibility for your own health who is? You can’t blame the Government, your Employer or the Food and Drink industry, YOU are in control of your health.
The Health risks associated with an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle should be common knowledge, so why would you choose to ignore this information until the inevitable happens? Being at risk of Premature Death, Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancers, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Tooth decay, along with being overweight, Tiredness, decreased Memory – it’s an endless list….. Yes many health problems are down to Genetics and circumstances that are out of your control, but there are factors that you are able to control – your attitude, behaviour and how much you value the importance of good health can make a big difference to your future health.
Prevention is better than cure
Why chance being in a Health risk category before you take action when you could be doing something to safeguard your future health NOW?. It just takes willpower – something that won’t help you if you’re unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a chronic disease. Even taking out Health insurance doesn’t ensure you’re going to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life – it just covers you should you become ill. But why wait until you are advised by medical professionals that you need to change your ways? Isn’t prevention better than cure? There’s a lot of focus on treating symptoms and looking for cures instead of focusing on preventing ill health and it’s shocking that many people only make health changes when they’re at risk of chronic disease a or worse still when they actually develop an illness. Unfortunately, many don’t realise the importance of good Health until its gone.
Take action now!
It doesn’t mean depriving yourself of treats or running daily marathons, however there has to be a balance. You really do have the power to take control and responsibility for your Future health BEFORE it’s too late
- Follow a Healthy diet
- Drink more water
- Get enough Sleep
Following a Healthy lifestyle not only means you’ll BE healthier, but also, you’ll FEEL healthier too – and feeling healthy is a GREAT feeling!
I haven’t always been FitSista PT – My younger years were far from the Fit and Healthy Lifestyle I am so passionate about today!
As a child, I wasn’t sporty at all, I was overweight and I hated PE – I never got picked for any sport teams and I HATED wearing a PE kit!
During my teens, to keep up with societies ideals I tried every fad diet going to become slim, but it was probably due to the inspiration from my dad and older brother that I became interested in going to the gym and enjoying the ‘gym life’. I wouldn’t say at this stage I was a regular gym goer – I wasn’t fit or sporty and I didn’t have a great figure, but I came to enjoy the ‘buzz’ exercising gave me.
Of course, this fitter lifestyle was all completely forgotten about during my twenties, as my social life began to revolve around pubs, clubs, dating, eating and drinking.
But it was the year after my 1st child was born and going from working full time and having a busy social life to suddenly being a ‘Stay at home Mum’ that a long-term change of habits came about.
During the first year of motherhood I’d become even more lazy, unfit, unhealthy and had put on even more weight than whilst I was pregnant. I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw so I decided at that point I had to sort myself out before things got even worse. So, I joined a local Slimming Club. Looking back (and with the knowledge I now have) to what they advised me to eat to lose weight, the main principles weren’t good, however, I did lose weight steadily. I also started to run and this is where my passion for Health and Fitness all started……….
I had never run before, but I knew it was a great form of exercise and I also knew it burnt a lot of calories and at the time this was a good enough reason for me to start. Also, it was the only chance I got to have some ‘me time’ away from my baby and I figured out that the longer I could run for, the more time to myself I had! I also read a lot of Health and Fitness Magazines and tried to educate myself about how not just to lose weight, but to get fit. By complete coincidence about a year later I won a competition for a year’s free membership to a local gym. This was when I fell in love with ALL types of exercise (well maybe not Zumba) and made it part of my lifestyle, training regularly, eating healthily and constantly educating myself about everything I was doing. Even after having my 2nd child I was straight back to the gym and lost the stone in weight I’d gained during pregnancy within a couple of months.
I was very fortunate to be able to have the time each day to do this, in-between bringing up my young family and as soon as my son started nursery I made the decision to become a qualified Trainer. I loved every minute of my training courses (I still do when I get ongoing qualifications) I learnt so much and was surrounded by like-minded people and as soon as I finished all my training courses I began my new career as a Personal Trainer and FitSista Personal Training all started………….
Motivation: A theoretical construct used to explain behaviour. It gives the reason for people’s actions, desires and needs
Motivation is something that drives you – It’s the force behind your ambition to reach your goal. You may get a trainer, a coach, read a book or look online to educate yourself about motivation, however, to be self-motivated, it must come from within.
Your goal maybe to lose a stone, but it’s the REASON you want to lose a stone e.g. to look sexy in your summer bikini, for health reasons due to doctor’s orders, or even that you just don’t want to be a size 16 anymore. Whether it’s a positive or negative ambition, these are the underlying reasons that give you the motivation to reach your goal, not the actual weight loss itself.
Most people have a sudden burst of enthusiasm to fire up their fitness motivation initially, but its STAYING motivated to keep working towards your goal that’s often the hardest part, so you’ve got to continuously remind yourself of how good you’re going to feel in that bikini / getting the all clear from your G.P / dropping a dress size.
First and foremost, you need to believe in yourself and that you CAN achieve your goal, recognise both your positive attributes, which will help you reach your goal along with your negative attributes which may hinder your progress.
Set yourself some S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time framed) goals. A goal without a plan is just a wish and creating a plan of action of how you’re going to reach your long-term goal is essential. Set short term goals also – One day / Week / Month at a time but always keep the long-term goal in mind as the route may change along the way. Having vague goals doesn’t work, as how do you know when you’ve actually achieved them?
It also helps to create a strong image of your goals to help visualize what you’re wanting to achieve, know exactly what it is you want, your reasons for wanting it and keep these images at the forefront of your mind on a daily basis (I have a goals photo gallery on my phone which I go through daily to Motivate me to work hard towards achieving them).
Surround yourself with positive, supportive and like-minded people that will help keep you on track and moving in the right direction – there is nothing more likely to distract you from your plan than a negative person who saboteurs your efforts along the way. There are also great benefits to your own motivation if you help motivate somebody else along the way, so having a motivational buddy / mentor can help.
It’s also important to reward yourself along each small step of the way, recognise your progress and focus on how far you’ve already come rather than how far you have to go. This is particularly important on those weeks that you may not have achieved what you had wanted to and feel like giving up e.g. You may have not lost the 2lb you were wanting to but if you’ve already lost 10lb in previous weeks you’re still nearer to your goal than you were when you first started. Learning how to cope when things don’t go to plan is probably the hardest part of keeping motivated, but is also the most important skill to learn to keep on track and not give up just because of one bad week.
- Take it one day at a time
- Surround yourself with positivity
- Create a Vision board
- Make S.M.A.R.T Goals
- Reward yourself
- Believe in yourself
- Recognise your progress
- Visualize accomplishing your goals
I’m proud to be a part of the Panel of Experts for the R.E.P’s (Register of Exercise Professionals) Fitness Matters Magazine