The more I look into health and fitness, read articles and try new things the more I realise it is the essentials that matter. The fundamentals are the things that make a difference and are things we can implement with lasting change, that have long term effect.
This is especially important when it comes to the time of year when people are trying to commit to starting a new fitness or health regime. Completely overhauling their lifestyle for the better or at least to shed some pounds or get back in shape.
The truth is our bodies need to correct themselves – we have built in calorie monitors, we also have the ability to want to move and be active if need be. We just need to be able to trigger and listen to these signals and respond to them.
A woman once asked me if I knew a diet where you could eat anything you wanted. I said yes, but first she’d have to eat two pounds of salmon, three cups of oatmeal, a cup of blueberries, two bowls of mixed vegetables, and a carton of cottage cheese. After she finished that each day, she could eat anything she wanted! – Dan John
For me the health/fitness essentials for the new year come down to 3 things:
- No Food Stressing
- Exercising Properly
There you have it 3 essentials that can make a profound difference to how you look and feel, while being easy to implement and stick to for life.
Food Stressing – This is the profound one for me as at times I feel that stressing over “what, when, or how much” we are going to eat can be more stressful and cause more damage than actually eating junk, or eating too much.
We need less diet drama and more relaxation when it comes to food. When you give in a relax into eating food stops consuming your thoughts and you will naturally crave healthier and lighter foods.
Most people notice this anyway after a period of indulgence, in that simple and easily digested foods are craved. This is our bodies own mechanism kicking in to compensate for any weight gain. Its a point I emphasise in my e-book, although eating healthfully is key things tend to take care of themselves once we relax…..
Exercising Properly – When we eat too much and move too little our bodies release a hormone called leptin which naturally makes us move more and eat less, Basically forcing the body into a fat burning mode. When it comes to exercise it should always be something you want to or feel like doing. If you wake up one morning and feel drainedor exhausted then skip the workout and relax but don’t feel bad about it. When the time comes you will naturally start to crave movement whether it be a long walk, playing sports or hitting the gym trust that the urge to move will come.
It is easy to forget that exercise is another stressor on our body and therefore can cause our bodies to hold weight, overeat and be overtrained. If in doubt stick to the basics with stretching and walking as your workout, as these can be done anywhere and incorporated into even the busiest lifestyle.
Relaxation – Taking time out is another essential. Even the most intense and robust individuals need down time, find what works for you and implement it. For me relaxing means:
- Watching a Movie
- Reading a Book
- Taking a Bath
- Having a Massage
- Going for a walk listening to music
- Spending time with friends and family
It takes time to learn what works for you in terms of relaxation but we are all individuals and relaxation triggers can vary widely. Reducing stress comes first in being the most important thing for better health, in a way reducing stress makes all the other factors click and practicing relaxation is the first step.
If you can take these essentials with you into the new year you will find that your health will prosper and life will improve in all areas. Before worrying about the small stuff make sure you are implementing these three essential habits – they can be easy to forget as by nature we are always tempted to run before we can walk when it comes to health….
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And also checkout my e-book ‘A Simple Guide to Eating Well‘. Thanks for reading.
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