Your health might have taken a back seat in the recent months and trust us when we say, you’re not alone.
Finalizing those end of year goals at work, planning all the holiday parties, attending to family needs and just life can get so busy that you often forget to look after yourself. Everyone knows what it’s like to feel like you’re fighting a losing battle when it comes to your overall health and fitness routines. It gets to a point where you need a helping hand to point you in the right direction.
If you’ve taken a break recently and need to get yourself back on track with some simple and realistic steps, then we’ve got you covered. Follow these seven easy guidelines to get you back into the swing of things. You’ll be glowing and glamorous again in no time.
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY
We’ve all been told this hundreds of times by our parents, but let’s face it, we haven’t really been listening. It’s true that a good breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and here’s why you need to get on board and tuck into something delicious every morning.
While we are starting to learn that just like anything breakfast can be very individual, for most of us eating breakfast can help to speed up metabolism. By feeding your body something nutritious you can kick-start your system into working more quickly and effectively. Studies have shown that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight, as they tend to over eat later in the day. People who eat breakfast also generally have healthier overall habits.
By filling up on a nutritious breakfast you’re less likely to need a snack before lunch and your body will be full of fuel for the rest of the day. Choose high protein, good fats and plenty of fiber meals as your breakfast choice. Foods such as eggs, avocados, oats, nuts and seeds will keep you feeling full for longer.
2. A MINDFUL MORNING ROUTINE
You often roll out of bed, still half asleep and rush your way into work. We’re all guilty of doing it. But believe it or not, this isn’t the best way to start your day. By taking a few minutes each day to meditate and clear your head you could be saving yourself a ton of stress over the course of the day.
The benefits of meditation are amazing, so try and start implementing a couple of minutes each morning. You’ll start to notice a reduction in your anxiety, fewer mood swings and you’ll feel generally happier. Yoga or a simple stretch is also a fabulous way to exercise your mind and body. Start by taking some online tutorials to master the basic moves and then head to a local yoga class. Say hello to leaner, longer and more flexible limbs. You won’t regret it!
3. MOVE THOSE MUSCLES
The muscles in your body are incredibly clever and you can do so much to keep them in check. Start a program of resistance training using free weights or even your own body weight. There are so many exercises out there which will work wonders for you and they are so easy to do.
If you’re not sure where to start try chatting to a personal trainer or check out your local gym. You can discuss your goals and current stamina and they will be able to guide you in the right direction of exercises for you. Even better, commit to an exercise routine with a friend so you can hold each other accountable. Get those muscles moving and you’ll feel like a brand new person.
4. NOURISHING NUTRIENTS
Once you have completed your rewarding exercise routine it is so important to nourish yourself properly. Whether you’re building muscle or trying to lose weight there are certain foods which are key to your post-exercise diet.
You should aim to eat as soon as you can once you have finished exercising. Your muscles will be tired and looking for that energy to start repairing themselves. Good quality protein along with some healthy carbs help to feed your muscles and restore them quickly after a workout. You can find protein in many foods such as eggs, chicken, fish, beans, chickpeas, hemp seeds, and nuts. You can even try adding a grass-fed whey or vegan protein powder into your smoothie for an extra hit of protein.
5. HAPPY AND HYDRATED
Your body needs plenty of fluids to keep it functioning optimally, after all it’s estimated to be made up of 70% water. While recommendations on the quantity of water we need vary, a general guideline is to aim to drink at least 7 to 8 glasses of water a day, more if you’re exercising or live in a hot climate. If you find water has a boring taste, try mixing it up with some fresh fruit and mint. Caffeine-free and herbal teas, such chamomile, peppermint or ginger are also great to keep you hydrated in the cold winter months. Water helps with all your metabolic reactions, helps to keep you regular and hydrated all day long.
6. VITAL VITAMINS
While we’re advocates for food first, if you often feel sluggish, tired or irritable your body might be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. A diet high in processed and refined foods, sugar, processed meats and low on fruits and veggies not only lacks those nutrients but it also strips our body of them. It shifts the balance of our gut bacteria, messes with our digestion and inhibits our absorption of nutrients.
Fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, unrefined carbs and good quality protein are your natural sources of obtaining these essentials, so make sure you’re getting a good variety of everything in your diet.
It is not uncommon for people to be low in many important vitamins and minerals, so if your symptoms still persist you may want to check in with a healthcare professional and look into supplementing your diet with a the vitamins and minerals you may be lacking.
7. RELAX AND REVIVE
Calming and relaxing activities might just be the key to an all-round healthy mind and body. Start doing activities that you truly enjoy and you will see immediate results. If you love reading or taking a bath, then just go for it. Allowing yourself to relax and switch off your brain can truly work wonders for your entire body. Treat yourself to a deep tissue massage if you’re feeling stressed or take a fun dance class to release any built up energy. You are free to do whatever your body needs, so listen to yourself and enjoy.
Follow these simple steps to get your body and mind back to where it belongs. Stay calm, be happy and get active. Your mindset will soon feel restored and you’ll have these healthy habits for a lifetime.
*This is a collaborative post.