Sometimes it’s all too easy to put health and fitness into the ‘goals to be achieved’ bucket and revisit at a time in your life when it feels like more of a priority.
One of the worse things you can do is to workout hard for a few months then back off, stop training and let your healthy eating habits diminish.
Everyone lives a different life so there’s no one solution, but there are a few simple steps you can follow to introduce balance.
1. Make exercise fun
Whatever your physical activity of choice, make sure it’s enjoyable. Try lots of different activities until you find the things you love most. If you don’t enjoy your exercise you increase your probability to eventually quit. Associating fun with exercise helps to release endorphins whilst you are doing it.
2. Something is better than nothing
If your weekends get a little busy and you’re finding it difficult to get to the gym, try and commit to ‘something’ that will help you stay on track, like power walking around the block.
3. Introduce clean eating days
This is a great little trick to keep your healthy habits in check. Aim to eat clean – meaning avoid processed foods as much as you can – for at least 4 of the 7 days in the week. This will help detox your body through the week, boost energy and improve your metabolism and overall body function.
But be mindful not to go too crazy on the remaining three days! It’s more about balanced eating and less about the freedom to binge on sugar, alcohol or fried food etc.
4. Keep it consistent
Don’t forget that you are a human being and you deserve to live well. There will be occasions that you will go on holidays, birthdays or out to dinner. You don’t have to bring your own food everywhere you go, you just need to balance your meals throughout the week. For example, if you ate a lot on a Thursday and Friday, then treat Saturday and Sunday as clean eating days.
5. Reward yourself
Exploring the sensation of reward is a great motivator. After every training session, it’s important to feel good and say to yourself “I am fitter now than I was before”.
If you were to put rewards on hold until achieving your overall goal, the journey will feel even longer and less attainable. So treat every extra step or extra bit of sweat that you managed to give to your session as a reason to celebrate. For example, every 5lbs you lose, reward yourself with a night out at your favorite restaurant.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others
Finally but not least, never compare your body or your fitness levels with others. A better comparison is your own before and after. Remember, other people have different lifestyles, careers, commitments, body types and mindsets so it will always be an unfair comparison.