Keeping yourself healthy is a big business in Australia. From gyms, to active wear, cold pressed juices, supplements and the latest fitness crazes, the call to slim down and tone up is constantly presented to us all, especially on late night TV!
Before you start googling the best fitness courses online, start with some changes to your lifestyle to assist you in becoming fitter and healthier.
- Portion sizes: Simply. Eat. Less. This can be as simple as putting away a serving of a meal into a takeaway container and freezing it for another time. You might make a smaller dish by selecting a smaller cut of meat. You can also buy in bulk and divide produce into smaller amounts yourself rather than buying individual portions which are often larger than a standard serve.
- Plan ahead: On the topic of food, we’re all pretty much guilty of grabbing takeaway partly because we didn’t get around to thinking about what to cook or even having enough food in the house. Having a meal in mind that balances your food groups will assist you to avoid binging and overeating as your nutritional requirements will be met. This also includes consideration of your food shopping – knowing what you have/don’t have will mean less last minute trips. Takeaway is certainly not all bad, but know where to get healthier choices and their opening hours so you’re not stuck at a Macca’s 24hr drive through. The majority of larger suburbs and cities will have some late night options.
- Be active: This one is really all about habit forming, so review your day and see where you can fit in an extra 30 minutes (or more!) for a walk or brief exercise routine. This can even be broken up into smaller chunks if need be. The more you get up and about, the more your body will want movement. If you’re really resistant to structured exercise, build it into your day by making yourself walk further to events or to your job. Properly squat and lift your dog/shopping/child/clothes off the floor more than usual, and always make time for a regular break if stuck at a desk all day.
- Set goals: A vague desire to be fitter and healthier can be more difficult to maintain in the longer term because it lacks specificity. Deciding what you want to achieve and in what time frame is a great way to motivate yourself to consistently choose healthier choices. For example, you may want to be able to achieve 10 chins ups or be able to run 5kms. So decide a time by which you want to achieve this and then outline what steps you will take to reach it. This is ideally as specific as possible, such as ‘I will go running 3 times a week for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.’ Although you might miss a session here and there, knowing the plan to come back to helps keep you on track.