3 Tips on Easing Yourself into a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy living has become a new buzzword, and this isn’t such a bad thing. People are increasingly understanding the importance of watching what goes into their bodies, encouraging more physical activity and trying to drop bad habits. However, living healthy can be a challenge for many, especially after years of adopting and practicing unhealthy habits. For this reason, instead of doing a dramatic switch, it’s often best to begin healthy living gradually and make it more of a process. On that note, this article is going to help you ease into that process by sharing three tips on healthy living with you.

Begin Changing Your Diet 

One of the first things that you can do when trying to ease yourself into healthy living begins by changing your diet. Try assessing your current eating habits and writing them down. You can then look at the unhealthiest of the bunch and see what healthy eating habits you can replace them with. If, for instance, you notice that you skip breakfast every day, try putting a cereal bar in your bag the night before so that you can eat something even if you’re on the go. In the same light, if you notice you have a tendency to eat snacks that consist of empty calories throughout the day, consider surrounding your home and work desk with healthy ones instead. Some healthy snacks you can try include crispy chickpeas, avocado toast, apricot oat bars, spiced nuts, spiced almonds, baked tortilla chips, and oven-roasted kale.

Make Getting a Checkup Routine 

Aside from changing your diet, another way that you can ease yourself into healthy living is by making it a priority to get routine checkups. Nothing gives you peace of mind like knowing that all is well, and your body is functioning as it should. It is typically advised that you consider getting a checkup at least once a year. You can choose to go to your usual doctor or visit a hospital if you need to run specific checks. There are platforms where you can check reviews to ensure you get the best care as well as help others by choosing to review a hospital on platforms such as HealthSoul. You can also try asking friends and family if you can’t seem to find one on your own and see what they recommend.

Try New Activities 

Not everyone is naturally athletic or a sports enthusiast. If this is the case for you, going from never attending the gym to going seven days a week may be unrealistic. Instead, why not try finding an activity you enjoy and doing it with a good friend? This way you can get the physical exercise you need in a way that is enjoyable. Some fitness activities you may want to consider include dancing, training for an active vacation, going on a treasure hunt, or trying something new like horseback riding or skating.

Healthy living is something that you have to commit yourself to if you want to be consistent with it. By trying some of the tips mentioned above, you should find that it gradually becomes easier. Every day offers different challenges; however, by focusing on the end goal which is a long and healthy life, you should be motivated to keep going.

Why Reaching Your Fitness Goals Is Primarily About Diet

If you’ve heard the saying that weight management is 80 percent diet and 20 percent working out, there’s something to it. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, which is why your nutrition needs to be at the foundation of your goals. However, remember that what you eat isn’t just about feeding your muscles and reducing fat cell size. In fact, nutrition also affects the mind, which is why your diet can fight fatigue, help mentally get you through a workout, and get you excited about taking a new class or going up in free weights.

It really is mind of matter, and your “matter” is what you’re trying to control. It’s a great idea to work in tandem with a nutritionist and personal trainer if you’re at the start of your journey (or anywhere along the way). These experts can help you pinpoint what it is you want to achieve and map out the best way to do it. After all, if you don’t know what you want to do, how will you know the tools you need to get there?

Reducing fat cells

There’s no such thing as “losing weight” unless you get surgery such as liposuction. All you can do is reduce or increase the size of your fat cells. Everyone is born with a set amount. Diet is at the core of reducing fat cells, although it’s more complicated than calories in/calories out. Still, this is a very basic framework, and it’s important to understand the caloric content of what you’re consuming. Even more important is making sure what is within those calories to nourish your body.

Reducing the number of calories you consume will likely reduce your fat cell size. However, even with working out, you can’t target fat loss areas. Everyone also has a natural shape and often pockets of fat that are too stubborn to move. The best way around this is to contour your body by building muscle in key areas to help off-set this natural tendency. That’s where muscle mass comes into play.

Some people, particularly women, shy away from building muscle because they think it will make them look too masculine. As a woman, this isn’t possible—women simply don’t have the hormone balance to achieve a masculine look. Everyone should focus on muscle mass because sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) begins to really kick in during your thirties and increases with every decade. Muscles are important for daily activities, protecting the body, and keeping you strong.

Muscle mass

There’s no such thing as “toning.” Muscles can either shrink or grow. Toning usually means reducing fat cells and increasing muscle size simultaneously. However, simply strength training isn’t enough. Muscles need to be fed with protein immediately after a strength training session. Aim to consume at least 20 grams of protein right after a strength training session to kickstart the muscle healing process. If you don’t feed your muscles, and this includes the right amount of calories for you, they won’t grow. Worse, they might tear and be damaged from strength training without proper nutrition.

No matter your fitness goals, make sure diet is a critical part of the process. Otherwise, you’ll be working against yourself and will likely never see the results you crave.

Using Supplements to Help Reach Your Fitness Goals

For anyone getting into fitness in a big way, it will come as no surprise, if the realization hasn't hit already, that the human body can only do so much on its own. Whether it's then spurred on further by the use of weights, belts, and other assorted accessories, the body occasionally can benefit from just a little more inspiration. This often comes in the form of supplements.

Many people will reel at the thought of putting pills or powder in their body. However, this is not the same as someone using anabolic steroids. Supplements are a proven way to help with goals such as muscle gain, weight loss and even an improved immune system or sex life. They're not drugs, but a sometimes natural, but often simulated, product, or a compound of several ingredients, designed to directly work with the body's makeup to produce the desired results.

With regards to fitness, there is a range of ways that supplements can help. Firstly, the key to attaining good fitness, first and foremost, is weight control. If slightly overweight, then weight loss is the initial goal. To this effect, supplements can be taken for a variety of reasons, but the most popular types are those that suppress appetite (meaning that the user of the supplement feels less hungry) or metabolism supplements (so the user burns off fat quicker.) These are not a 'cure-all,' however, and, as any supplement will no doubt say on the side of the bottle, they are to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and some proactive body management.

Beyond weight loss, there are also supplements to help during proactive fitness. Anyone will have seen the plethora of shops which claim to sell the biggest range of health supplements, but the fact is that there are only a few different ones that are of consequence. Before hitting the gym and planning to neck a dozen different types of protein, however, it's worth speaking to a dietitian to see which supplements are the best choice for the user's type of fitness program and ultimate goals. Some will increase muscle mass in a general sense, while others will be intended to develop and build lean muscle mass, for instance. Others will be designed as a fat burner to be taken in conjunction with a fitness and gym orientated diet.

It's not all about building muscle, however. Many supplements are favored by other fitness enthusiasts; runners and athletes favor supplements that help aid rehydration and quench thirst, and others help ease the pain of lactic acid build up, or mitigate it altogether.

Whatever the end game, it's important to remember that supplements are intended, as their name suggests, to supplement something that is already in place, such as a healthy diet, or a strict and well thought out fitness program. A dietitian, for instance, may suggest a different set of supplements to what the internet advises, or may recommend leaving them alone altogether. In any case, when used correctly, there is little that can go wrong as they are the result of years of research into biology and dietary and fitness habits. Embracing supplements as the helping hand that they are will see improved results with less effort in the long run.

5 ways to achieve your fitness goals in 2017

As one year comes to an end and a new one approaches, we experience a whirlpool of emotions and an unparalleled motivation towards self-improvement. Being a spirited soul, you want the New Yearto be the best year of your life, your life's dreams seem well within your grasp and you're willing to make all the changes required to turn those dreams into reality.

This vigor lures millions across the world to set new year's fitness goalsthat most often than not take only a few months to be abandoned,leaving you wondering why you spent so much onthose new running shoes or that home gym.

Ever wondered why those New Year’s workout plans keepfailing every year? The reason is simple-we are not motivated enough to repeatedly do something ‘we don’t really want to do’.However, the good news is that there are a number of strategies that can help you stayfocused and help you achieve your body goals in 2017. Five of the most effective ways have been outlined below:

  1. Invest time in setting your goals

It is crucial that you identify the underlying motive behind your body goals. For instance, try to figure out why you want to look better or become healthier because it will be that very motive which will fuel your fitness efforts even on the days you will feel demotivated.

Once you deduce the motivating force, decide your ultimate body aim for 2017 and jot down ways to achieve it. This might soundquite simple, however, this is the phase where most fitness plans start going downhill.

If you truly wish to attain your targets, you need to go beyond those stereotypical connotations of what a body aim is and how it is achieved. For example, you should avoid generic goals like shedding or gaining weight.Instead, go for specific and realistic goals like losing 7 kgs by the yearend or putting on 10 kgs in six months.

Once you've identified your aim, divide it into monthly or quarterly milestones as they will help you evaluate your progress, modify your fitness plan if need arises and keep you motivated. Then, translate these milestones into specific activities that you need to perform on a weekly basis such as going to the gym for an hour three times a week.

Moreover, for optimum results, try to combine physical exercises with a balanced diet to lead an all day health and fitness. Lastly, it will be a great idea to write down your fitness plan because research has proven that written goals have higher chances of being fulfilled.

  1. Streamline your diet

Whether you're planning to lose weight or put it on, it is important that you maintain your health and look attractive something  that can only be done with the help of a balanced diet. To start eating healthy, you need to first analyze your current food intake and calculate its macronutrient value.

Next, you need to tweak your diet by avoiding unhealthy foods like sugars and saturated fat and incorporate foods that are in line with your specific goals because foods such as these could increase the risk of  a possible Crohn’s disease which is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. For example, if you want to gain a few kilos,opt for foods that offer a generous amount of protein, nutrients and healthy fats.

On the other hand, if you want to burn fat, you should make low-fat, low-calorie and low-carb foods like lean meats, vegetables, nuts and fruits. Moreover, those who are self-conscious can choose foods rich in antioxidants that have anti-aging benefits and are capable of boosting biological processes like immunity, circulation and metabolism among others.

The crucial thing to remember here is that the key to making any diet work is following it through with consistency. Additionally, if you feel like you don't get enough time to cook meals everyday, make sure to opt for supplements that will safely fulfill your daily dietary requirements and keep you on a steady track towards reaching your aims.

  1. Avoid following a strict routine

Forcing yourself to abide by a fixed workout routine or a monotonous diet will eventually lead to boredom and it will get harder to stick to this. Try doing things differently than you normally would.

You can come up with an array of delectable dishes to switch between and divide your workout regime into phases whereby you stimulate different regions of the body everyday. For instance, you can do cardio one day, flexibility exercises on the next and strength training on the third.

Doing so will not only prevent you from getting bored but will also facilitate the attainment of your body goals by giving you a chance to perform a more detailed workout that will have maximum effect.

Also, you can try out new things that are in line with your goals and will work to preserve your interest and dedication such as attending a class at your local gym, partaking in a marathon or buying a new workout DVD.

  1. Get yourself a workout partner

Having a workout buddy is extremely effective in giving you that much needed nudge towards your fitness goals. Firstly, it instills a sense of accountability that is missing in solo workouts.

Simply put, you might not feel like working out on a certain day but you won’t be able to do so when a friend will be counting on you. Secondly, it brings about a friendly competition that will keep you on your toes and motivate you to go the extra mile in pursuit of your aims.

Thirdly, it can make the workouts more fun and exciting, allowing the two of you to indulge in one-on-one outdoor games or you could just teach each other new exercises and regimes to stay fit every week.

  1. Be prepared for setbacks

Modifying the human body is a long and hard process, therefore, it is but natural to dwindle somewhere along the way. This is particularly true for the initial months when you are adjusting to a new routine and other engagements are testing your commitment to your goals.

So, try to avoid self-loathing or getting bogged down because it will reduce your drive and make your goals seem tougher than they really are. Should you face setbacks, try to make up for lost time by picking up the pace for a few days/ weeks or start off slow and then gradually work your way up to your milestones.

The moment you decide to change your body for the better, you embark on a journey that will prove its worth with each passing day by allowing you to feel happier, healthier and more attractive. Just make use of these simple tips and you should remain on track and realize your body goals like never before.

AUTHOR BIO

ABOUT AlyciaGordan

fitness goals alycia gordonAlycia Gordan is a freelance writer. She loves to read and write article related to health and lifestyle, sometime on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about chocolates and you can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

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