When we read the enormous amount of health and fitness advice outlined in books and magazines, it’s easy to get lost in all the things we supposedly “should” be doing. With so many rules and so much time expected from us to maintain our health and fitness, it can become overwhelming to the point that many women wonder why they should even bother trying at all.
Too much information is sometimes not our friend, and it can lead us to forgetting the most important thing; that even the smallest changes do have a big impact! Whatever new habits you can implement now, even if you’re not ready to make huge changes, will quickly add up. Remember that 1% better every day is a heck of a lot better than 0% better, so be kind to yourself!
Below I’ve listed the most important habits (in my opinion) when it comes to health and fitness. Feel free to throw away the tips that won’t won’t work for you, without any self-judgement, and take on board the ones that will! Everyone is different.
1. Stop restricting and focus on what you can add
Yes, I said add! Instead of trying to eat less, going hungry and fussing over carbs and calories, focus on what you can have more of, such as high-fibre veggies and water. Make it a goal to pile more high-fibre veggies on your plate for both lunch and dinner (extra bonus points if you can find a way to include veggies with breakfast), and make it a goal to drink more water. For me 2-3 litres per day is ideal.
2. Eat at the table without distractions
Try not to answer your emails or scroll social media when you’re eating a meal. Make the time to sit at the table and just be exactly where you are, and enjoy every bite! Practising being present is a healthy habit for your brain, and it will help you get back in touch with your hunger cues.
3. Make time to prepare your lunch
Not only does making your own lunch save you lots of money, it also means you know exactly what you’re putting into your body! No preservatives, fillers or other junk. Grabbing a sandwich at a takeaway shop is fine for an occasional emergency (and it’s a heck of a lot better than going hungry, which I don’t recommend), but if you can make your lunch the night before it’s going to allow you the opportunity to make some really good choices.
Choose good quality protein, a low GI source of carbohydrate and lots of veggies. A good way to save time is to just make a little bit extra dinner and throw it into a Tupperware container!
4. Ignore the rules about making breakfast a priority
There are so many contradicting rules about this, it’s crazy! Some say it’s the most important meal of the day, others say that skipping breakfast is a really easy way to practice intermittent fasting. Personally, I fluctuate between feeling like a good hearty breakfast and not wanting to eat a single thing. I don’t force myself.
Intermittent fasting is particularly useful for men, but there are mixed reports when it comes to women due to our fluctuating hormones. What I recommend? Ditch the stress and pay attention to your own body to find out what works best for you.
5. Get more sleep
It can be hard to stick to a good sleep schedule, particularly when TVs, computers and phone screens keep us artificially awake. But there are more and more studies showing us that sufficient sleep is crucial to good physical and mental health, and proper recovery after workouts. Set an alarm an hour before your intended bedtime to remind you to turn off all those screens and start winding down! You deserve it.
6. Move as much as you can
Maybe you currently don’t have the time or energy for a workout five days a week, but you can still incorporate daily activity into your life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, shut the office door and do 10 burpees on your lunch break, park the car a couple of blocks away from the grocery shop. Trust me, as you make these little changes, you will find your body thanking you for it by increasing your energy! Then you can start joining me for my free follow-along workouts 😉.
7. Get your friend or partner involved!
This isn’t a necessity, but it sure is fun. Getting a good friend or your partner involved in your health and fitness journey can help you with some friendly accountability, and it can make workouts so much more enjoyable. Check out the recent workout I did with my very reluctant partner, Nick. What a legend! We had a lot of fun with this one.
I hope you enjoyed these tips! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you’d like to keep increasing your health and fitness, why not sign up for my follow-along workout calendars that I send out every month? You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel, just make sure you tick the notification bell so you never miss a new workout.
Have a great week!