Health and fitness often come in a pair. Health is achieved through exercise, a good diet, and the reduction of unhealthy habits, while fitness results from being healthy and exercising. Sadly, there’s a lot of impractical or downright incorrect advice regarding both health and fitness. This article is here to help you reframe what you’ve learned so far and move forward strategically and practically.
Pinpoint Your Goals and Be Realistic
The first thing you need to do is to figure out why you want to start living healthy in the first place. Are you worried about potential health risks because of conditions that run in the family? Has your health been compromised, and do you want to start rectifying your lifestyle? Is your current weight not within the ideal bracket?
Whatever your reasons are, you need to directly acknowledge them to have a clearer vision of what you want to happen. Your action plan will greatly rely on what the issues are and how you plan to solve them. Simply following a trend or succumbing to peer pressure will not motivate you enough to sustain a major change in your life.
Another point you need to keep in mind is to set your expectations and goals realistic. Don’t just think of the finish line; think of the race itself. There is a lot of hard work involved in a lifestyle overhaul, so knowing your abilities and limits is crucial. When laying down your goals, be objective, avoid larger-than-life success stories in your head, and start with what you can do. It’s much better to build upon your progress than to go overboard and demotivate yourself.
It’s okay to start slow, but be accountable. As mentioned, once you’ve found your goal, it’s important to start slow. While exercising has a lot of benefits, doing it too much can result in fatigue. You might end up doing more damage than good to your body. Get a physical trainer who understands your goals and will work with you to reach them properly and safely.
Reframe your mindset. Instead of complaining that you can’t be healthy, create solutions to your excuses. You know your family has a history of diabetes, so put in the effort to reduce sugar and exercise daily to maintain your blood levels.
You don’t have to spend too much. The best time to start is now, not when you have the money to make a lifestyle change. You don’t have to spend thousands to afford a gym; start exercising at home. Neither do you have to buy healthy meals; cook veggies and lean meat instead.
Be Consistent and Follow a Schedule
In anything you do, consistency is always the key. You won’t see any immediate effects the same week you decided to eat more veggies or start working out. It is through steady consistency where we see results. And in the topic of consistency, it’s best to set a schedule for yourself to make it easier.
By having a schedule, you’re following a routine that tells you what to do instead of grasping in the dark of what to do next. Integrate these lifestyle changes into your actual lifestyle and not make it a special case all the time. Eating right, exercising, and other general health activities should be part of your regular schedule.
Learn to Cook and Fix Your Diet
You won’t be able to eat right without having to learn how to cook. While you can opt for food prep services, the reality is that it’s simply unsustainable unless you have the cash to fund it. You don’t want to start the habit of eating right only to stop halfway through because you can’t afford it anymore.
Instead, learn how to cook. This skill will help you in your life, and you’re most likely to find the food far more palatable. You’ll be able to cook healthy foods in a taste that you prefer, giving yourself a far easier time eating them.
Bro-science Is Not Real Science
There’s a lot of misinformation out there, even ones coming from well-meaning folks. The most important thing to remember is to always question any form of anecdotal advice given to you. Take, for example, the often-spouted advice of “anabolic window,” or the time of the day when you should drink protein to supposedly “maximize your gains.”
There is no such thing, and it’s best to go to a professional nutritionist or dietitian to help you with your diet. It’s the only scientific way to optimize and maximize weight and muscle gain. Listening to your peers’ advice is all well and good, but verify it first.
With these ideas, you can focus on improving your health and fitness. The task doesn’t have to be daunting. You can always go slow at first and build your way up.