So you want to start living a healthier lifestyle but have no idea where to start?
Forget about the FAD diets, because realistically they won’t work long term. It really is as simple as changing habits and making new ones.
You can’t expect to know everything straight away and to suddenly be a health and fitness guru after just one week of eating well…. It takes time.
Step by step
Probably the best advice I could give to people when they really don’t know how to start. Don’t look at it as one big picture that you have to change in one go, it can be overwhelming and you’re more likely to give up and fall back to where you were. Pick at little bits one at a time. For example if you have sugar in your tea, start with giving this up, I know it sounds like a very small change but starting with small changes like this will become sustainable and easy to achieve, rather than starting with cutting all sugary food out of your life.
Just like above, approach healthy eating step by step. Focus on one meal at a time, and then move on to snacks and drinks. This way you won’t get overwhelmed or confused about the preparation and planning.
Preparing food is key for living a healthy lifestyle. I hear a lot of people say ‘I don’t have time to prepare food’. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle you have to make preparing food a priority. Once preparing your food is in your daily routine it becomes so much easier as you don’t have to think twice about whether to sit and watch an hour of TV or make lunch for the next couple of days, it becomes a no brainer.
Invest in some cook books. If you’re not sure where to start with eating healthy and you’re not a confident cook then follow some everyday recipes. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, hard work or time consuming, it can be so quick and easy!
Exercise can be quite scary, daunting and a little confusing for some. To make it part of your life/routine just simply start with one evening a week, then gradually overtime increase this to what suits you.
Best tip: FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE. People tend to give up exercise because they don’t enjoy it, they see going to the gym as a chore or they might find exercises like running boring. Try something new! There are sooo many options: swimming, cycling, pilates, HIIT, spinning, bootcamp, Zumba, aqua aerobics, the list goes on. Once you find something you love it won’t feel like something you ‘have’ to do now and again, it will be part of your life.
Not sure where to start? Join some classes. The first time I stepped into the gym I headed straight for the treadmill, then the cross trainer, and then to the door to go home. I did this for a long time as I had absolutely no idea what else to do, until I started gym classes. That’s when I found my love for fitness. I starting lifting weights in body-pump and pushed myself in my first ever high intensity class. I loved it and wanted to do more. I took what I learnt from classes into the gym itself and started my own routines that didn’t include the cross trainer.
As many know, I love running, but only outside, and if you like using treadmills and cross trainers then that’s great! It’s just so important to find something you love and enjoy. Once you have this then including fitness into your life will be easy.
Social media is amazing. I know it has its flaws but for starting a health and fitness journey it has everything you need. You can share your meal ideas, watch exercise routines, look up events, read blog posts, etc. obviously you don’t want to rely on social media completely and you can’t believe everything you read…. But it can be so great talking to like minded people and having somewhere you can share your journey, especially at the start as this can give you motivation to keep on going.