The UK, and the globe, is seeing continually increasing levels of obesity, particularly amongst children. While many call this the age of the obesity epidemic, the emphasis needs to go on healthy ways we, as the wider community, can encourage everyone to change/get active. A quick Google will provide you with all sorts of medical companies selling quick-fix pills, diets, powders and so on. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that.
There is an abundance of fad-diets going round – so many you could do a different diet each month for years. Instead, what is truly needed is a long-term, healthy, sensible drive on weight loss and health that can quickly be implemented.
With that in mind, here are four quick tips to start living healthier:
1 – Drink more water.
Despite all the emphasis on drinking 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day (according to the NHS), too often we are still failing to do this. It’s a no brainer to start here. Failing to hydrate properly means your body is working on ‘water starvation reflex’, rather than flushing out bad toxins.
Tip: My tip is to get a litre bottle of water, mark on it the time of the day you want to have drunk enough by, stick to it, and try to drink two full bottles during the course of the day. The times of the day on the bottle give you an indication of if you’ve drunk too much or too little.
2 – Eat more often.
Surprise… You might have thought that would say eat less, but you should actually be eating more often to ensure your metabolism is continually firing. Yes, you do need to eat fewer calories, but you need to eat little and often. Avoid fatty foods if possible, cut down on portion sizes and find a healthy balance. Getting your nutrition right is vital.
Tip: Don’t skimp on breakfast. Get your metabolism started as soon as possible, even if it is just a piece of fruit as you head to work.
3 – Get more active.
This is the most obvious one for us. Of course, it depends on your physical condition, but this doesn’t mean you need to go out and run a half marathon. It could be using the stairs instead of a lift, or a walk at lunch. Try to make it fun so you enjoy it. If you like dancing, try a class. If you like cycling, go spinning. Pounding the pavements running isn’t the only way to burn calories… And, of course, if you have an unhealthy office job, check out our blog on how to make it healthier.
Tip: Build physical activity into your routine. For me, that is travelling to work by bike or running during my lunch break. If that is too much for you, start small.
4 – Determine your “Why”.
This is the big one. Why do you want to get healthier? Think long and hard about your answer, and make your reason big enough to motivate you through the hard times that will inevitably happen at some stage. I wrote a blog on it being impossible to like every run, but why the bad ones are the ones to embrace. It gets easier. You’ll see improvements. You can do this.
Tip: Staying motivated all year round is hard. Once you have your reason in mind, hold onto it. Set yourself realistic goals to measure progress, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you skip sessions or miss your goals. Try and make a routine and start with baby steps.
Personally, I love being active as I want to be healthy in later life and I want to achieve my outdoor dreams. Exercise and physical activity, for me, are a massive release. Mentally, it makes me feel much more productive and happy. Physically, my sports performance improves and I can do the things I want to do. Just remember, it is your choice.