8 steps to start your lifestyle switch to better nutrition and fitness
If you are considering making a shift to a lifestyle to improve your nutrition and fitness, I’ve come up with a few tips to help you get started…
- The first 2 (maybe 3) weeks of your new fitness and nutrition lifestyle will be the hardest. Do what you can to push through this initial period. Your body will thank you for it.
- Find a fitness regime that makes you smile and you can have fun with! The first 2 weeks will probably provide you with some fatigue and muscle soreness. STICK TO IT! Finding something you enjoy will help you to keep going, even when you are sore and/or tired. Consistency is key! While I do love running, I have found that indoor cycling really keeps me motivated! A few classes each week really keeps me in the right mindset – and I have fun with it!! (bonus here – I don’t have to worry about the weather, since I’m not outside!) If you don’t have a gym membership or are looking for inexpensive options, walking is by far one of the cheapest things you can do for yourself!
- If you can swing it (or if your health insurance covers it) make an appointment for a yearly wellness exam, DO IT! You’ll have a good base of numbers to launch forward. Knowing exactly where you are starting can be very motivating down the road when you look back at your numbers. Find out cholesterol, weight (ugh), blood pressure, thyroid (TSH) levels. Knowing these numbers, you will have a better idea of what type of nutrition to pursue. Don’t be surprised if your physician suggests meds to control some of these areas. Typically they opt for prescriptions instead of fitness and nutrition as their first course of action. Proper Fitness and Nutrition can do so much more for you, without all the side effects of most medications. Do yourself a favor and try to avoid the meds if possible (some might be needed in extreme cases)
- If you are making a change in your nutrition, the hardest parts are (1) not giving up and (2) being prepared. This is especially true if you have a busy lifestyle. I do try to plan some meals ahead, but I also leave room for changes in that plan. The more you plan ahead with means and snacks, the less tempted you will be make the quick, not so healthy decisions.
- Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate. You NEED to drink more water, especially during any activity. There is a great deal of conflicting information out there on how much water you need to drink and you will need to find the sweet spot for you. I generally will drink 75-100 oz/day, depending on how active I am that day. One key to remember… if you feel thirsty, you are already partially dehydrated. Stay ahead of the game! Try to drink consistently throughout the day. There are several apps out there that will help you track your water, and even some fun water bottles that remind you to keep drinking!
- When I start my day with a good breakfast that contains fiber and protein, I don’t end up with those mid morning cravings and snack urges. For me, a few hard boiled eggs and some string cheese are usually a good option when I have to get out the door in a hurry. If I have more time, scrambled eggs with toast or a bowl of oatmeal really keep me going.,
- Think Smaller Meals. Like most typical Americans, as kids, we were taught 3 square meals a day, ending with a large dinner. Over the last few years, I’ve been eating 4-5 small meals per day: breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon and dinner. You don’t need a HUGE meal in there anywhere! Spacing out meals not only helps keep the blood sugar in check, but it also keeps my workouts fueled to get me through
- Fitness can be fun, but I promise, it’s even more fun with friends! If you are heading to that class at the gym, bring a few friends along! Hitting the sidewalk to get in a walk, swing by the neighbor’s house and have them join you! Not only will you have fun, but chances are, you will motivate each other to go a little further or push a little harder! Besides, then on those chilly mornings, stopping for coffee after is more fun with a friend!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I am sure there are tons of other tips and ideas that can help you get started and keep going, but this was meant to be a starting off point!
Looking for more ideas or want some help to get your journey starter, shoot me a message! Together we can create a plan for you to get started on YOUR journey to a healthier and more active lifestyle, that fits who you are (and who you want to be!)
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