Health and fitness is a wonderful facet of our lifestyles. Every meal, workout and act of self-love is an opportunity to nourish, energise and strengthen our mind, body and soul. For a lot of people, however, these activities can be nothing but a chore. They are overwhelming, exhausting, time-consuming and, simply, not satisfying. Often when people feel this way, it's because the expectations they put on themselves aren't sustainable for their lifestyle; they are on restrictive diets, putting too much pressure on themselves and just not enjoying what they're doing.
There are a few simple steps that we can take to turn our perception of health and fitness around and finally start to embed some basic techniques into our days to take the feeling of being 'overwhelmed' out of it all.
Here are a few of my personal tips to "Get It Together"
- Set yourself some goals. Goals ain't just for the hippy folk. They allow you to set your intentions and map out a path to get you there. Keep it simple. Set yourself a weekly goal, a monthly goal and a three-monthly goal to start.
- Detox your pantry. Clear out all of the junk and give your kitchen a big cleanse. Stock it with an abundance of clean wholefoods. If getting to the shops or markets is a chore, do your grocery shop online each week. Plan your meals out for the bulk of the week. Write down your breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners for five days. This takes the confusion and feeling of being 'rushed and overwhelmed' out of the work week. It also makes for better food choices and is better for the budget.
- Aim for three workouts a week for around 15 minutes at a time. Yep, 15 minutes. Aim for quality (intensity) rather than quantity (length of the workout). That's 45 minutes a week! Find windows of opportunity to fit in theses workouts, whether it's early morning, lunch time or in the evening - do what works for you. Keep in mind that you don't need expensive clothes and the latest shoes to do a workout. I often do mine in my PJ's, barefoot and on the bedroom floor!
- Start to show yourself some love! Stress is related to 99% of all illness. It's also a factor for a lot of people holding onto excess 'fat'. Calming your mind and thoughts is one of the hardest jobs in the world for most of us. Learn how to meditate, download a meditation app, or head off to a Yoga class that also teaches meditation and start to implement some 'quiet mind time' into your week. Even just once a week to start for 15 minutes. Start to take notice of your thoughts. Watch them bounce around. When you look at yourself in the mirror each day, replace any negative thoughts with positive ones. YOU are beautiful inside and out - believe it!
- Take the pressure off yourself. Come back to basics and realise that health and fitness is all about nourishing yourself, not punishing yourself. Sometimes less is actually more.
Brand Manager and Head of the Realm at Hachette Australia Books. Mutant power: Aggressive humour. Lifelong Trekkie (I don’t find that offensive) comic book reader and former proud bookseller. Likes: Literary, contemporary and speculative fiction. Dislikes: Haters. Ideal date: My birthday.