Updated: Mar 7
"The first wealth is health" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Amidst a flurry of over-indulgent festivities in December, new year's resolutions often call upon healthier lifestyle choices for the upcoming year. With sore heads and tighter jeans we swear promises of juice cleanses and rigorous fitness regimes. January arrives and immediately our relationship with our health is put to the test.
And here we are, 1st February 2020.
Congratulations, you have officially survived what for some might have felt like the longest month of the year... and how are we looking on the resolution front?
Bravo to those of you still on track! We know that lots of our clients have made serious strides towards healthier lifestyles and we couldn't be more proud. But what can we say to those who might have fallen off the wagon? Is all lost?
Over the last month we have been discussing how we can incorporate more realistic and therefore sustainable lifestyle changes into everyday life in an attempt to move away from punishing ourselves and instead enjoying little successes. While training in the gym once a week certainly points us in the right direction we can make minor adjustments to our everyday lifestyle choices in order to ensure we stay on track.
With this in mind we have comprised a short list of our top tips to help you to be more realistic, stay on track and start repairing your relationship with your health!
1. Get Real
All of our personal training programmes begin with an initial consultation where, before anything else, we discuss what our clients like and dislike. While this may seem like an obvious question, there is a common misconception that training can only be gruelling and painful in order to be effective. However, if you want to make sure you stick to your new regime then make sure it's filled with activities you enjoy! Why not take a long walk on the beach, try indoor climbing, go for a kayak or finally take up skateboarding! If you are going to drag yourself out of bed at 5am to run on the treadmill for an hour, chances are you'll hit the snooze button the next day. Identify the physical activities you don't enjoy and avoid them. Simples.
2. Be Prepared
Making sure that future you experiences as few bumps in the road as possible is of vital importance to staying on track. Plan ahead and reduce the chances of frustrating slip ups caused by avoidable stresses. Why not pack your gym bag the night before to make for a swift early bird departure? Prep healthy meals (that you enjoy!) in advance to reduce the temptation of easy, after work takeaways and pay in advance for fitness classes to increase chances of attendance. Be your biggest cheerleader! 'You Go, Glen Coco!'
3. Get Moving
Our everyday activities can be divided into two categories: active exercise (i.e. going for a run or bike ride) and all other 'subconscious' activities (i.e walking up the stairs, carrying shopping, hovering the house). It is not just the time that we spend 'actively exercising' that develops our fitness. N.E.A.T or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis refers to these subconscious
activities that can increase your daily calorie consumption. Going for an hour long run doesn't really make sense if you're going to sit for the rest of the day so why not up your N.E.A.T? Take the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus one stop early, bike to work (or skateboard because you're now a pro) instead of drive. Get creative!
4. Get Chummy
A variety of external factors can make or break your fitness journey. Work and family commitments, illness and even weather can grind progress to a halt. Make sure that you have the support and encouragement of those around you. Try and include others in your regime, play team sports with your kids, organise a group bike ride, play tennis or take a spinning class, teach someone how to skateboard! Not only can making exercise a social event enhance your positive relationship with fitness but you are less likely to skip sessions when you might let someone else down.
5. Be kind
A cheat day (or 10) does not a failure make. Adulting is tough and life gets in the way. Be kind to yourself. Drink enough water, get enough sleep and if your body is telling you no then give yourself a break. Focus on your intention for your fitness journey, work out why you started and what you would like to achieve. Be realistic and stay positive! But most importantly, enjoy it.
This February at Echo Fitness we are reaching out to those embarking on health and fitness journeys. Whether you are soldiering on with new year's resolutions or would like to kick start a new regime what better time than now. We have a wide range of group fitness classes running each week. Let's get chummy, team up and help each other stay focused on whatever goals you have set your sights on. Tag #FitFeb on any posts you share, let's get moving!