Getting healthy and fit is a challenge but it’s incredibly rewarding. Health and fitness is a science, but it isn’t rocket science. Most of the challenges of fitness are mental roadblocks—things we can’t overcome because we can’t allow ourselves to. Health is empowering and if we let our bodies experience the benefits, then health can be made simple and easy.
Of course, starting off on a new lifestyle can get pretty confusing especially when everyone has something else to say about health and fitness. Here is a comprehensive guide to get you started off on the right track.
Why is fitness and health so difficult?
Fitness and health is difficult initially, but saying that it’s downright difficult is a lie. In your lifetime you’ve probably had to start a new routine at some time. For example, let’s say the lightbulb in your room goes out and you can’t go to the store to buy a new one for a couple of weeks. How many times do you think you’ll switch on the light switch when you enter the room with no effect? Probably a lot because it’s part of your routine. Eventually you’ll remember that the light switch doesn’t do anything.
It’s the same way with health. In the beginning, you might have difficulty getting used to your healthy lifestyle. That’s okay. You might experience fatigue and soreness after workouts. The trick is to keep going. It takes twenty-one days to establish a routine. After that, it’s smooth sailing. You’ll start to feel refreshed after working out and you’ll actually become more tired when you don’t work out.
Health should start with food and drink. Working out won’t do much good if you’re still piling on the cheeseburgers every night. You can neglect working out, but you can’t neglect your diet. Here’s a quick primer of food, drink and the things you might want to consider in your diet.
1. Specialized Dieting.
There are so many options when planning your diet. You need to take plenty of time to consider what your goal is. Do you need to lose, gain or maintain weight? Do you want to gain muscle mass? What is your current weight and what is your recommended weight?
You don’t have to choose a specialized diet. If this is your first time eating healthy, then you probably will lose weight just by eating normally and exercising. If you want to push yourself or change your lifestyle then there are several diets you can try.
- Ketogenic- Ketogenic diet is also known as the low-carb diet. While it can help you lose weight quickly, it can drain your energy at the same rate.
- All Vegetarian and Vegan diets- These are morally and ethically responsible diets for many people. It is also proven that vegetarians and vegans enjoy a healthier and longer life than meat-eaters. Unfortunately, vegetarians and vegans can be prone to Vitamin B12 and Zinc deficiencies which can be easily resolved with daily supplements or by incorporating foods rich in these.
- Gluten Free- Many people need gluten free diets because they have celiac disease, but everyone who does cut out wheat from their diet realizes that they feel better in some way. Gluten free diets can ease stomach issues, aid in weight loss and give you more energy. Gluten free also has tons of substitutes like gluten free pastas and breads. Beware: the body needs carbs to fuel it so you’re going to have to find other sources of carbs that don’t come from wheat.
- Paleo Diet-The paleo diet has seen a lot of popularity in recent years. There are huge lists of the foods you can and cannot eat, but if you’re wondering, think “primal” or “caveman”. That means no pizza pockets. While the paleo diet can be challenging and borderline devastating for some people, it can help you lose weight (we won’t lie to you, it’s because there’s nothing to eat), decrease inflammation and get rid of all of those nasty additives and preservatives that are wrecking your health. There’s a lot of protein in this diet, but if you’re planning a big fitness regimen, you might be concerned about the lack of carbohydrates in this diet.
There are hundreds of diets, but these are a few of the most popular ones that don’t send you boxed meals, because unfortunately it’s hard to tell what ingredients they use to make them. While they may help you lose weight, losing weight and being healthy isn’t the same thing. This of course is not to say that all boxed meal diets are bad for you—there are some that use organic foods or do not include additives or chemicals.
Before you begin your diet, plan your meals. Pick out some recipes you’d like to make. Eating on a difficult diet can be fun if you take the time to prepare delicious meals every night. It can also shake up your routine if you’re used to dieting and only having three or four meals in your repertoire. After you plan your meals, go shopping. No impulse buys are allowed.
Only buy what you need which means you’ll have to make a shopping list beforehand. Cut out all of the junk food and the processed foods. If you want to keep ice cream in the fridge as a treat, try to find something organic and eat it in moderation and save it for special occasions. If you know you won’t be able to control yourself around it, then just don’t get it. Try to make eating healthy convenient. For example, make snacks for the upcoming week so you and your family will have some healthy treats for even the most chaotic days.
Remember to drink plenty of water. Your body needs it to stay healthy. It will help your skin clear up and energize you. Besides, you need water to live, so if it’s so necessary you might as well get plenty of it. Eight cups of water a day isn’t the necessary amount you need. It actually doesn’t have any scientific proof, so don’t stress yourself out getting in those eight cups. Just exchange sodas, sports drinks, and sweetened teas for unsweetened tea and water. Then try to keep a water bottle by you and take a few sips throughout the day. Within three weeks, you’ll be guzzling water like a pro.
Fitness often tends to be a personal preference. There are hundreds of ways to get exercise. What you pick depends on how important fitness is to you and if you want to lose weight or gain muscle. Here are some popular ways to get exercise.
- Simple stretches and exercise-You can do this in front of the television. Stretch one to two times a day and do exercises. This will help you build a little tone, but you probably won’t lose any weight unless you do a serious home weight-loss program like one of those ninety day ones.
- Running-Running is a great way to build tone in your legs and lose some weight. This is great to do if you like spending time outside or if you get a little stir crazy. If it’s too cold, you can run on the treadmill. Most gyms have televisions so you can watch a show while you run. Win, win! Running won’t build as much tone in your core or your arms, so you might want to supplement it.
- Lifting-Weightlifting is great for building tone everywhere. It is not the best exercise for shedding pounds instantly. Instead, fat is usually converted into muscle, while some is burned.
- Yoga-Yoga is great for relaxing, increasing flexibility and building tone. Once again, you have to work really hard to lose weight with yoga alone, but if your diet handles weight you can usually use yoga as a tone exercise.
- Zumba-There are two kinds of people—the ones who love Zumba and the ones who thinks it’s nuts. What’s truly nuts about Zumba is the amount of calories that it burns. You can lose weight and build tone while listening to some crazy music. Why not?
- Hiking-Like running, hiking builds tone in the legs and helps you lose weight. You can build endurance and walk longer distances if you’re hiking as opposed to running. You’ll also get to see some pretty cool views.
Chose an exercise that suits the kind of lifestyle that you want to have. It is also helpful if your exercise complements your diet. For example, do not pick a ketogenic diet if you’re planning on doing Zumba every day. Your body will crash if you don’t take the right care of it. (This diet and exercise combination is possible if you supplement your diet with the appropriate carbohydrates that will give you energy, but this can be difficult.)
Health and Fitness isn’t as challenging as you think. If you have the dedication, we can tell you how to get there. There are so many options that any dietary or fitness need can be easily solved. Take control of your lifestyle by getting back into shape this year, getting over mental hurdles and enjoying the benefits of health.