Physical activity has always been second nature to me. I grew up running, cycling, swimming, playing soccer, basketball, track and field, badminton. You name it. I favoured running the most out of them, whether is was cross-country in grade school or national track and field competitions in highschool. Over time, you learn to love the way that you feel in relation to exercise and that’s what keeps me going. I associate it with relaxation, healthy competition, focus, and strengthening my faith.My tips for long-lasting health and fitness (Headache proof):
Contrary to most goal setting guidelines, I say don’t be too specific and measurable. In terms of living an active lifestyle, I do not believe having a specific number is good. When you reach it, then what? When you have your mind set on fitting into those jeans and you finally do… Cool. What’s next? From personal experience, I find that it is easy to get back into old habits after you reach a measurable goal. It’s that “I’ve achieved it” feeling, and suddenly you find you don’t need to work as hard.
So, make mini-goals. Something that will keep you on your feet. Engaging, challenging, fun, and exciting.
Instead of saying you want to be a certain number on the scale. Tell yourself you want to be stronger. Faster. More flexible. To be able to run father. To increase your stamina. This way, you psychologically prep yourself for success. There are so many ways that one can describe strength, hundreds of ways to be flexible. This is a long or even “life term” goal that you have to keep working at.
Get moving. If you have the choice between walking a few blocks or taking the bus/train. Walk. Use the stairs instead of the staircase. Make a playlist with your favourite songs that have a high BPM and crank it up, listen to it at the gym too. Dance in your room for 15 minutes. Squeeze in some core exercises before bed. And some random lunges throughout your day if the room you’re in permits it. It may seem frivolous, but it’s the small things that count and add up.
If you are thinking about it, most likely you should do it. Did you want to go for a 30 jog outside today? Don’t ponder about it for one hour! Start moving towards your closet and putting your running gear on. It’s that simple. Plan on waking up early to hit the gym? Set your alarm for 7 and starting packing your gym bag, silly. You’ll be thanking yourself in the morning when you are there. Be sure to mentally or verbally reward yourself when you do these things! This way you won’t end up being a classic ‘new years resolutioner’ at your gym.
Believe. No, not Justin Bieber. Believe that you can achieve a better, healthier, and happier version of yourself. Shut out all negative self perceptions. When you look in the mirror and think that you are not seeing results, tell yourself you are doing great anyway. Feeling frustrated with your progress? Refocus by concentrating on how exercise makes you feel… that you’re looking good and are going to look and feel better. Negative thoughts are poison to progress, and the mind is a strong factor in success.
Get excited about your food. This is big. Food and fitness go hand in hand. Here’s the most simple breakdown I can offer. Keep it simple, clean, and light. Start researching some of natures superfoods that are high in protein, fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. Understand what it offers your body. For example, ginger is great for the digestive. Apples work miracles for your energy levels in lieu of coffee. Make your trips to the grocery store faster by filling up your cart with fresh and colourful produce, then lean meats, and finally some grains. As a general rule, avoid frozen and boxed foods (or at least beware) as the chance of mysterious ingredients, preservatives, sodium, and fat increases. Food prep. When hunger strikes, we want something fast and easy. Take a Sunday afternoon to create and dish out some healthy snacks and meals to take around with you for the week. You’ll not only save money, buy you’ll have nicely portioned food so you save on calories.
Make a conscious effort to incorporate superfoods into each meal that you consume. Stretch your meal with some kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils, or spinach. Depending on your tastes, create a food staple, like oatmeal every morning. A daily fruit. A daily salad. Look up some interesting recipes. Here are a few of my favourite sites that inspire my dinners and make me excited to go to the grocery!
Nothing is forbidden. Heres my logic: Forbidden foods turn into restrictions. Restrictions make you feel like your dieting. Diets never last. The Londoner (my favourite blogger!) breaks down the 80/20 rule quite effectively. You will find that eating wholesome fresh foods are more satisfying and generally you will crave less salt and sugar after eating a balanced diet.
Get motivation. I’m not going to lie. I enjoy treats from time to time. Especially when it comes to my workout gear. It feels good to invest in something that I am actually going to use and that will be a positive contribution to my goal of living an active lifestyle. It would make look forward to going for a jog or to the gym 🙂
So thank goodness for brands like lululemon, and body language.
Active wear is pricey. It’s probably the dependable quality (stitching, durability), bright prints, and details that keeps me coming back for more. I prefer to get pieces on some sort of sale. If I don’t have it, I won’t buy it (or settle for anything less than what I truly want)
When your goal is to be stronger, lean, and eat a simple and clean diet, your body will take care of itself. Think about it, your body can’t hold on to pesky pounds for long and your waistline and legs will tone up 🙂