Following these health tips will help keep you in shape and feeling good whatever life throws at you.
There are plenty of daily opportunities for you to give short bursts of physical effort. Running, rather than walking up the stairs is an easy one and has been shown to have real benefits. Or try parking the car a little further away from work, or doing the vacuuming when it’s not your turn!
Visceral fat builds up around your organs and you often don’t know it’s there until it starts to give you serious health issues. To check your risk factor, measure your height then halve it. If this measurement doesn’t fit around your waist you need to get exercising!
Your body breaks down muscle when it’s exercising. During rest days it recovers and rebuilds muscle. So you really need to rest, or just do gentle stretching and cardio, even when you are feeling energetic and desperate to work out.
Well done if you eat your 5-a-day. But don’t just stick to apples and carrots – mix up the types of fruit and veg you eat. This will give you a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. Eating a Mediterranean style diet will help you achieve this.
Counting reps backwards can make doing bodyweight and weights workouts feel easier. Psychologically, if you are at 3,2,1 you may be more likely to feel that you’re nearly there and keep going than if you’re at 9,10,11. Worth a shot!
Getting plenty of sunlight, especially in the winter, is important for your vitamin D levels and general mood. Try a lunchtime run or walk to make the most of the limited winter daylight, and make use of any benches and walls to do some resistance exercises!
Increasing the number of strides per minute (your cadence) is well worth trying. Overstriking puts more pressure on your knees and hips, increasing risk of injury. So try to take more steps by making your feet land underneath you.
If you’re short on time, do workouts that can be completed in minutes. Research shows exercise where you put in 100% effort – e.g. HIIT – has loads of health benefits. This 10 minute workout is a good place to start.
Mixing up your exercises will give your body many more benefits and boost your performance. Squats and core work will improve your running, for example. So check out all the options, from free weight to classes, at your local gym.
Prepare your weekday food on the quieter weekends so that it’s all ready to eat without much effort when you’re busier. Bulk cook meals such as easy stews, or make large quantities of filling salads to portion up to help you resist the temptation of ready meals and junk food.
Getting outside is crucial for mental health. During the winter I always try to get a lunchtime walk otherwise I don't see the sunlight all day!
forward food planning is a really good one. Otherwise it is quick snacks, takeaways, fish and chips - bang goes the healthy eating!
Ha ha - I've never thought of counting reps backwards before - that's a good tip and might help improve my reps if I start higher.