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Nurture your health

January 17, 2020

25 fitness tips to help you achieve your wellness goals

You don’t have to overwhelm yourself by trying to do all the fitness tips at the same time. Lasting changes start with small habits.

Here we are once again, at the point of listing down our resolutions and goals for the New Year. But have you ever written down “get fit” or “become healthier” at the beginning of the year and found yourself writing it again the next? Or wondering why you’re not able to achieve or sustain what you’ve started? 

Below are 25 bite-sized tips you can work to incorporate into your lifestyle. 

 

1.  Drink enough water. Keep your reusable bottle filled and close by at all times. 2-3L a day is a good amount to go for. Add slices of lemon and some grated ginger for flavor that alkalizes and keeps inflammation at bay all at once.

 

2. Work in intervals or sprints and take walking breaks. If you tend to sit on your desk the whole day, try setting a timer to stay focused on your tasks for 40-60 minutes and get up from your desk and go for a walk for about 5-10 minutes in between.

Maybe use that to visit a colleague to ask questions instead of doing it over the phone, or refill your water bottle. This gets your moving more frequently and also boosts productivity given the time constraint in which you have to accomplish things.

 

3. Practice reading food labels. Go out of your way to read about ingredients you’ve never heard of and understand how much sugar is too much. This way you’ll learn to decide what foods to include in your diet, what to have little of every now and then and what’s downright unacceptable.

 

4. Explore your movement options and stick to ones you look forward to doing. Go ahead and try different workouts! What worked for others may not be the same for you so find your own movement.

 

5. Don’t drink your calories. A cup of soda, fruit juice, milk tea, energy drinks and sometimes health beverages are often just as calorie (and sugar-dense) as your regular dessert.

 

6. Do drink your vitamins. Cold-pressed, mostly vegetable juices? That’s a different story, though. Low-calorie and packed with vitamins and minerals, fresh juice blends do the body so much good.

 

7. Make sleep a priority too. Sleep is the only time the body is able to fully recover from physical activity and daily stressors and yet, we make do with so little of it.

Establishing a healthy sleeping pattern, hitting the sack at the same time each night brings our body back into its natural rhythm that then affects other processes including mental clarity and physical performance.

 

8. Don’t start with a DIY fitness program. Hiring a professional coach or teacher or joining a class conducted by one is part of your health investment. You don’t want any strain or injury from poor form.

 

9. Pay attention to your stress levels and do something about it. Our lives get so busy we’re no longer able to tell when things like work or finances are taking a toll on our health. Recognizing what causes stress allows us to take a step back, and adjust accordingly.

I always recommend dialing down the intensity of workouts and including foods that are anti-inflammatory and easy on the digestion during high stress periods.

 

10. Start a meditation practice. Ten minutes is a good place to start.

 

11. Focus more on the quality of food you are eating rather than just how much. If you make sure your meals are packed with the nutrients your body needs, you wouldn’t have to worry about the amount of calories you’re consuming because your body’s hunger and fullness signals will improve. Quality over quantity.

 

12. Establish healthy meal timing. Help your body get into a rhythm or pattern and try to have your meals at the same times each day. It’ll thank you for it.

 

13. Occasional indulgence is part of a healthy diet. You don’t have to live with constant guilt each time you try to enjoy your dessert.

 

14. Learn where sugar hides and keep that in mind. Sugar alters the gut microbiome. We make efforts to cut it, but sadly don’t realize how they’re hiding under different names, even in packaged foods labeled “healthy.”

 

15. Cut out processed food from your diet. What’s quick and cheap today will slowly cost you your health and resources in the future.

 

16. Spend a couple of hours on weekends learning a wholefood recipe. The best way to learn to eat healthy is to start making food that doesn’t come from a package.

 

17. Your workouts don’t always have to be high intensity. Frequent movement is more beneficial than rare bursts of intense exercise.

 

18. Eat slowly. Chew your food well. Give your body enough time to signal fullness to your brain so you don’t overeat and digest your food properly.

 

19. Keep your phone away from you during meals and at bedtime. Having your eyes glued to a screen during meals takes the mindfulness out of eating. Chances are, you chew your food less and/or you end up eating more because of the distraction.

It also makes your food less enjoyable. Before sleep, the light from our screen gives off the wrong signals to our body (blue light tells our body it’s daytime) and keeps us from winding down and falling asleep. Put it away. The web can wait.

 

20. Get your eyes off any and all screens for a few minutes every once in a while. Most of us have little idea as to how much time we spend looking at our phones, tablets or computers. Make it a habit to give your eyes a break and bring your gaze towards nature (trees or the sky if you’re at work) or even the actual human beings around you.

 

21. Shut off all devices about an hour or two before bed. The light from our devices tricks our body into thinking it’s still daytime keeping us up longer. Work or social media also stimulate your brain, making it more difficult to wind down and get ready to rest.

 

22. When joining a fitness class, check your ego at the door. Remember that nobody is really keeping score at how often you choose the advanced options when you know you’ve yet to nail the basics.

 

23. Quit obsessing over the number on the scale and look at other markers of health and fitness instead. Body Fat percentage, Visceral Fat score, even how your clothes fit are far better ways to track progress than just your weight.

 

24. Fast in between dinner and your first meal the next day. Fasting has a long list of scientifically proven health benefits and it doesn’t take any restrictive dieting to do. Simply have dinner as early as possible and have breakfast at least 12 hours after on the next day.

 

25. Incorporate a good balance of strength, cardio and mobility training in your fitness regimen. This helps you move better, recover and progress faster, reduces the risk of injury, and gives that overall sense of balance in your training.

 

From drinking enough water to establishing a fitness regimen, doing these small steps consistently will result to a fitter and healthier you by year-end. After all, being in good health is another form of wealth that we should all strive for.

Consistency is the key to lasting results. You don’t have to jump into intense fitness trends and other diet bandwagons, you just have to do small good habits frequently that make you feel great about yourself. When you like what you are doing and you feel that it is contributing to your wellbeing, you will be driven to aim for being healthy long term.

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