10 Simple Changes for a Healthier You
Ok, so you want to lose weight, but you hate the thought of going to the gym. Only the people who have already been using the gym for years like going to the gym. They have managed to find outfits that accent their already beautifully toned figures and they move with the strength and grace of a dancer as they manoeuvre around the weird and wonderful selection of equipment available.
You stand in your baggy joggers, feeling like Santa in swimwear, surveying the illogical selection of buttons on a machine that you just want to run on, and the area in the corner that looks like a torture chamber of ropes and balls… and feel overwhelmed.
The exercise industry is a multi-billion-pound money machine. Every new piece of gym equipment, every book, every offering to the fitness world, promises to make us look like Barbie Doll or Ken with minimum effort. We pay to make that extra weight disappear and be replaced with athletic toned muscle as if by magic.
The truth is that everything works, and nothing works, all at the same time. Any calorie controlling up take of exercise for a sustained period will have an effect. So, every diet and training plan will work – if you stick to it...
And there lies the challenge: “Sustainability”. No short-term diet or training plan will work long term. As soon as you stop the strict self-discipline you imposed the weight will come back on. Especially when you treat your self to a large takeout and treats… for the next week!
The problem with denying yourself is you will immediately crave what you deny and end up eating more than you would have anyway! The problem with temporary change is when you revert back to your old ways, the weight comes back.
People will spend fortunes on Personal Trainers. All you are paying for is guidance and someone to drag you to the gym with you crying and begging for a day off. Then you cancel Sven, despite his rippling muscles. Even someone that pretty isn’t motivation enough to do another 10 rounds of burpees and planks!
As a practicing Personal Trainer, I specialise in working with people who don’t want to exercise. After our first consultation I offer the same basic advice: There is only one way to lose weight and it's simple! You must burn more calories than you consume. You do not need to be in a gym to do this. You do not need to give up all your favourite treats! You do need to consider small sustainable change.
Here are some things I always recommend that will make a huge difference to your fitness, body shape, mental state and over all wellbeing!
1. DRINK MORE WATER. Water is really good for us and most of us don’t drink enough. It will help to control your hunger as well has having many other benefits on the body.
2. MOVE FASTER. Exercise doesn’t have to be in the gym. By increasing the pace and energy you are doing anything with turns it into exercise. So, if you are walking the kids to school, cleaning the house, or doing the garden, speed up. Feel out of breath and a little sweaty and you are burning those calories!
3. GET A FOOD DIARY APP. Having an awareness of what we eat is important. Especially if you are a Snacker. There are hundreds of free apps on the market that will help you realise when, where and why the weight is sneaking on. Most people find just keeping a food diary massively impacts what they eat.
4. WATCH YOUR TREAT PORTIONS. Grab bags and sharing packets are a killer. You open it with the aim of just having a few and then suddenly the treat fairies have emptied the whole bag?? The only way to deal with this is to ration yourself. Don’t bring the whole bag out of the kitchen. Take a few. Put the bag away. Step away from the kitchen.
5. FIND A CLASS YOU ENJOY. The best way to exercise is when it doesn’t feel like exercise because you are enjoying what you are doing. Taekwondo and dance are great for this because as you concentrate on trying to get your technique your body is burning lots of calories. If you don’t know what you like, just try as many as you can. Have a look at the class in action before you join if you are nervous, and don’t be afraid to ask gym staff about what classes are like. If you love the class, you don’t notice the exercise.
6. GET A TRAINING BUDDY. A good training buddy has many of the perks of a personal trainer but not the fee! The commitment to meeting your friend makes you much less likely to back out of that session. Between you and your friend you can keep each other on track. You don’t need to go to the gym, either. Go power walking, go swimming, get an exercise DVD to do together at home. There are so many options!
7. SEARCH FOR HEALTHIER RECIPES. With the push for better health having run on for a long time, there are now so many recipes that are fantastic and also low calorie. The trick is to find things that you like and can work into your weekly meal rotation. Things like pizza, fish and chips, and curries can all be made in a much healthier way at home too. Eating right doesn’t have to be tasteless and bland.
8. TAKE A PICTURE. Face up to the body that you have. If you are not happy then change it. Put the picture on your fridge, your phone, your wall or your wallet. Where ever will be a reminder of the change you want to make.
Pick one positive change each week that you can stick to. Also remember a bad day is not a failure. You do not need to continue eating as if you have been homeless for the last year. Except you had a bad day and try to have a better one tomorrow!
Why not have a look through the selection of fantastic clubs and classes found in Raring to Go Magazine or search online for what’s happening in your area! Many clubs have free training offers in the vouchers section at the back, so you can have a try of a few things and find the right class for you. A good class means more fun, more friends and a better body to match!
Start 2020 as you mean to go on: healthy and happy.
Article by Katie Billingham, Instructor of Wyre Forest Taekwondo, 5th Degree Black Belt, Personal Trainer, and fully qualified and licensed Fitness Instructor. For more information on new mum friendly and family friendly martial arts classes in your area contact Katie now on 07885 293088.