Some of you relish this opportunity to kick-start your healthy routines; some of you may see it as an opportunity to address the thought you’ve had at the back of your mind for some time now: “I need to lose weight!” What ever your motivation, it is definitely time to give some attention to our bodies so that we can be confident, comfortable, and healthy…and maybe even look our best!
Here are 5 steps to help you to achieve a wellness lifestyle and also shine during the summer.
Therefore, before you start on your body makeover, give your mind one. Take some time to work out why you want to make the changes and what it would mean to you of you were able to achieve your goals. Write your answers down on a piece of paper or better still find an image to represent your “big why” then put it somewhere you can see it frequently to act as a reminder and motivator as you start embracing your new wellness habit.
Outside of structured exercise sessions simply just move more. Moving your body improves the circulation of oxygen and results in increased energy. Moving also increases the glucose uptake of your muscles and helps prevent excess fat storage. If you spend long period sitting during the day, take a movement break every hour or hour-and-a-half. For example, standup and walk around, roll your shoulders, do some stretches, squats or lunges.
Aim to do 8-12 repetitions of strength toning exercises for your various muscle groups either in the gym or at home using equipment such as UNICA. If you don’t have time to go to the gym or have equipment at home, you can tone using your body weight. For instance, do exercises like press-ups, tricep dips, squats, planks and floor / mountain climbs. Tip: slow down the exercise in the lowering phase to a count of 4,6 or 8. This will increase the intensity and shock your muscles in to working harder.
Eating a high-quality, high-protein diet, which includes a lot of vegetables, fruit, beneficial fats, and other nutrient dense unrefined / processed foods, is an effective way of reducing body fat and promoting optimal body composition. Whole foods require more energy for the body to digest and utilise them than processed foods.
A high-protein diet and lower-glycemic carbs (i.e. those not composed of refined sugars and saturated fats) also results in you eating fewer calories. It sustains lean muscle mass for a higher metabolic rate. Reducing your calorie intake without raising the amount of protein in your diet result in you losing muscle along with the fat. This means that the amount of calories your body burns at rest plummets. Consequently as soon as you return to eating normally you gain the fat back very rapidly.
Relaxed deep breathing, visualisation and meditation are good ways of reducing stress if you find yourself feeling uptight. You can also plan enjoyable, pleasurable activities to do with family and friends to keep your spirits up and moods positive.