Where do I start?

Typing “Get fit” into Google yields 134,000,000 results.
Typing “Get healthy” into Google yields 491,000,000 results.
Thankfully getting fit and healthy is becoming a more popular aspiration. Some may yearn the aesthetic benefits, some speed and strength and an increasing number want the health benefits foremost and want to feel better and get more out of life with their new found energy and outlook.

The internet and popular media often provide conflicting information, such as:

  • It’s all diet
  • Exercise is the key
  • High intensity exercise burns more fat that running
  • Eat this, don’t eat that
  • Intermittent Fasting is the silver bullet
  • Don’t eat after 8pm

Here’s what not to do:

  • Adopt a new ‘diet’
  • Start a 5 times/week exercise campaign
  • Buy a whole set of new gadgets

Instead try this approach:

  • Only make a few changes, but add to them over time
  • Prioritise the changes
  • Understand the health related components of fitness: Cardiovascular fitness, Body composition, Flexibility, Muscular endurance, Muscular strength
  • Consider lifestyle changes which help to improve the components mentioned.

Begin by keeping a food diary – this can be using a notepad and pencil, spreadsheet or one of the free food tracking applications available for your phone or tablet. Keep the diary for a full 2 weeks. Don’t be surprised if during these 2 weeks you lose weight and start to eat differently. The act of keeping the diary has some powerful effects on the mind it also brings facts to the table – both great things.
Start moving on a daily basis – 10000 steps is popular but how about aiming to walk for 1 hour each day – that can be in one session or spread over the day – try and do it with your eyes and ears wide open and your head held tall (no looking down at your phone every 5 mins).

Start to perform body weight movements in the house or your garden. Free standing squats, walking lunges, press-ups and chin-ups if you can manage them – look for alternatives where you can do – 10-15 mins, 3-4 times per week.

Fast forward two weeks
Analyse your food diary and look for obvious changes.

  • How much of your food is processed, fast food, a takeaway or a ready-meal?
  • Are you eating fresh vegetables and some fruit each day?
  • How much obvious sugar are you consuming?
  • Do you feel constantly hungry?
  • How’s your water intake?

You’ll need to find strategies to make it easier to eat well.
Have a cooking session which will provide you with food for 2-3 days and prepare healthy snacks. If something tasty is available for a mid-afternoon snack it’ll save that trip to the vending machine for crisps or a chocolate bar.

Make time in your day/week for this healthier you – time for walking, exercise, food preparation, quality sleep, stretching. It’ll always come down to choices – 2hrs slumped infront of the tv or time for a healthier you.

In conclusion, observe where you are now. Make some changes, see what difference it makes, change things again if necessary. This is the rest of your life we are talking about now not a 30 day plan to look better in your holiday photos. Make it enjoyable and sustainable.

If this all sounds complicated then seek help, here at QoLUP I specialise in helping people make the right changes in the right order to take control back in their lives and enjoy getting to where they want to be.  I enjoy the feeling when people “get it”, start making positive progress and become self-sufficient.