If you google “health and fitness” I bet your search would show a couple of million results. Some of them would be legitimate articles about health with real research to back up their claims, while others are trying to sell sports clothes, fitness programs, and other gear.
If you are new to the world of health and fitness it can be totally overwhelming. So, where should a newbie start? With the gear? The food? Exercise? Here are some easy tips for getting started on your wellness journey.
Just get up
First and foremost, it’s important to get moving. Stretch, walk, run, or hike - it doesn’t matter, just get out of the normal groove of work and couch surfing. Start with five minutes a day and stay consistent. Do this for about a week. When five minutes feels so easy it’s ridiculous to not do more, bump up your time or go a small distance further. The aim here is stirring up the boring routine and get that body moving.
Get the right gear.
Most people start with the gear. They go out and buy fancy trackers, hats, clothes, gloves, etc. Sure, it’s fun to buy stuff, but some people are dropping a small fortune on new digs and falling off the wagon a few days in. Why is that? Gear shouldn’t be the motivator. Sport/smart watches are merely tools to help you in your new chapter. The motivation needs to come from within. Get moving, see what you enjoy and then get the gear to match your new activity.
Once movement becomes a routine, you’ll find a natural progression into healthy eating. Fitness habits support good health habits and visa versa. It’s important to start small. Remove junk foods from your home (workplace, purse, vehicle, etc) that aren’t your favorites to avoid mindless eating. Swap out an unhealthy choice for a healthy one every time you grocery shop. Reduce your portions if you feel you’re eating too much and increase the amount of (small) meals if you feel you’re not eating enough throughout the day. Plan and prep your meals around your schedule one day a week and try to curb those impulse take-out orders.
Sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle. When you sleep your body goes into repair and restore mode. It aids digestion, stress levels, moods, and often times our patience with basic daily tasks. Oh and your memory! (Almost forgot that.) If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, find a time that you can start winding down every night. For example, have a cup of tea at 8pm each night to jumpstart your “getting ready for bed” process. Over time your body will recognize that tea as a trigger and start winding down as soon as you smell that cup of chamomile.
This is huge. No one wants to do things that make them unhappy. Don’t force yourself to run if you hate running. Walk or cycle instead. Or try yoga. Or massage. Find activities that you love and it’ll be that much easier to keep up with.
You know what’s best for you.
Do what feels right. Take care of yourself. Seek guidance from a medical professional if you need it. Speak to a nutritionist, a personal trainer or your own doctor. Educate yourself on what it takes to achieve the goals and results you are after. No one can do this for you. It’s your journey, so take that step - one little bit at a time.