It’s the start of a New Year and if not already into health and wellbeing, most individuals will be thinking about it and taking the necessary action to do something about it.
One of the most common reasons for kicking off a new health regimen in January is physical reasons. For example, you might desire to bulk up, get fit, or lose weight. Equally important however, is how regular exercise and consuming the right vitamins and nutrients benefits your mental health and wellbeing.
So, if you are looking at starting your New Year health and fitness regime, here are 5 top tips from Katarina Cepinova, Nutritional Therapist at supplements brand Well Actually, on how to make sure you have the right plan in place that includes nutrition, a training regime built for your real purpose and how to avoid it turning into a one-month-wonder.
Tip 1: Set Goals – Having specific goals can help provide the additional motivation that may be needed to stick to a health and fitness programme. However, avoid a time-specific goal as once completed you are left without a reason to continue. Instead, opt for non-time-specific goals i.e. I want to feel more positive about myself, I enjoy attending group fitness classes because I like being around other people and enjoy the atmosphere, I want to feel more in control and better at making decisions. Try not to focus on changing your appearance, instead focus on having a positive mental attitude.
Tip 2: Ease into it – It is important to have realistic expectations when it comes to your health and wellbeing. If your goal is not realistic or attainable, it will make it harder for you to actually follow through and stick to it. If it’s something within reach it’s easier to set smaller goals to accomplish your resolution. Many people will get overexcited at the prospect of starting a new fitness regime and throw themselves head first into it. We all know that exercise has wonderful benefits such as boosting mood, burning calories and increasing energy levels, but just like anything else in life, moderation is key.
Intense exercise will place strain on muscles, joints and bones which causes fatigue and soreness that ultimately affects performance. It’s the uncomfortable moments of pushing too hard, too quickly, that your body remembers and will remind you of when you next decide to exercise again after taking a break. Don’t be too hard on yourself and ease into it.
For those embarking on a new fitness regime, consider taking a high absorption Vitamin C supplement which is a powerful antioxidant and can help repair tissue and aid muscle recovery after a strenuous workout.
Tip 3: Make Exercise an equal priority to your main priorities – Spending time with family, work, eating healthy should be in your top list of priorities but don’t put exercise as the last on the list. If you do, it will be to your detriment as when you do finally get in a workout, pushing yourself too hard can leave you limping around (and unable to exercise) for days or even a week which disrupts your exercise routine. Keeping a record of your fitness journey is a tried and tested way to ensure you stay on track with your goals, and don’t miss a chance to acknowledge the milestones you’ve achieved so far.
Tip 4: Boost your Nutrition – Nutrition provides your body with the fuel it needs to replenish itself, as well as boosting your mind, body and soul, especially if you are also implementing a fitness regime. Ensure you are consuming plenty of complex carbohydrates and protein, protein is an essential building block for muscle growth and repair. Avoid counting calories, focus on how much colour you are including in meals. Grab yourself a rainbow food chart and aim to include red, orange, yellow, purple and green foods into your meals. Not only is this a fun way to increase nutrition, but it will also give you better energy, clearer skin and reduce sugar cravings, all without a single calorie tracker in sight. Balancing both in moderation is key. Evidence also suggests that increasing your vitamin D intake can massively improve your exercise capacity. Well Actually’s high absorption liposomal Vitamin D oral sprays, are a quick, tasty and easy way to ensure you are receiving the correct daily dose you need.
Tip 5: Enjoy it- If you find that you are not enjoying your new health and wellbeing plan, consider why? Are you exerting yourself too much that it is becoming unpleasant? Or is it that the activity itself lacks your interest? Or maybe the foods you are consuming aren’t enjoyable? It shouldn’t be a daily struggle to exercise and you shouldn’t be dreading your next meal. Running on your own might not be enjoyable whereas participating in a yoga class with others in a social environment might be. Working out with a buddy, whether that’s a friend, partner or colleague, is great motivation for you both, and can help build lasting relationships and friendships. You might also like to try a different time of day to exercise or re-think your mindset by exercising in the early evening after a stressful day at work. Or for many, listening to music or podcasts adds another benefit to your workout and makes it more enjoyable. When it comes to diet, don’t overly restrict yourself from certain foods that bring you pleasure; moderation is key and you can still maintain a healthy diet whilst enjoying the foods you love, with added goodness!
In this crucial month, resolutions are formed and broken every year so it is important to really consider what your reasons are behind your choices, what you actually enjoy and to make sure it fits in to your lifestyle.