There’s not enough hours in the day, right?! I always say if fitness is your priority then you’ll be able to find the time to make it to the gym. However, training for hours on end isn’t the only way to reach your fitness goals.
For busy parents or people with hectic jobs, I have created my list of easy lifestyle hacks to help propel you towards your fitness goals. People often find it hard to put themselves first, with both their physical and mental health, but hopefully this list will inspire you to make some healthier choices, and I promise, you’ll definitely start to notice a change in yourself.
Don’t overdo it and try to do these all at once!
-my best advice is to pick one and stick it out for a couple of weeks before adding another.
To be honest, the title is fairly self explanatory, so let’s just get to it...
1.Walk to work. Or part of the journey at least. Simply getting off the bus one stop early and walking the final leg of your commute will add hundreds of steps to your daily total, all the while burning calories! A brisk walk can do wonders for your aerobic fitness as well as being excellent for your mental health. You might even find that the extra 20 minutes of walking puts you into a calorie deficit for the day- result!
2. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Keep it close by and topped up: backpack, handbag, on your desk, anywhere you can get it easily. If it’s accessible you’re much more likely to use it and keep yourself hydrated. We all know the benefits of drinking more water, so I won’t get into that, but if you’re one of those people that vows they are going to start drinking more water and never manages it, then why not set a reminder on your phone? Every half an hour you can have a little H2O top up. Simple.
3.Get a hobby. That sounds silly, but is there something physical you love doing, past or present, that you could incorporate more of into your week? Playing for a sports team, having a kick about, a dance class maybe? Having a form of fun exercise will make sure that it doesn’t seem like a chore, and you might even look forward to it!
4.Eat the rainbow. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but it’s a pretty simple concept. It refers to fruit and veg, not sweeties, and having a vast array of colours on you plate means that you’re giving yourself the best chance to get all the vitamins and minerals you need to survive and keep your body working at its optimum. It’s proven to inspire you to eat healthier if your plate is bright and colourful. (For more information on all things vitamins and minerals, click here: https://www.walkerfit.co.uk/single-post/2018/05/07/Why-is-No-One-Talking-About-Micronutrients
5.Write three “to-do’s” a day. And do them, of course. These can be fitness related, but even if they aren’t, completing them will give you a dopamine hit and you’ll feel great. Boosting your mood and self-belief, as well as being your own motivation can never be a bad thing.
6.Stretch! Every time a cat or dog gets up to move they have a stretch, I don’t know when humans stopped doing this but it really is a super easy way to boost the body. 5 minutes of static stretches in the morning and evening will increase blood flow, reduce the risk of injury, better your posture and release stress and tension. You’ll get rid of your morning stiffness whilst burning some calories too!
7.Get some sun. Get outside, get some fresh air and soak up that vitamin D. It’ll do wonders for your mood in an instant. If it’s pouring with rain in December, the same effect can be achieved with a vitamin D tablet from the pharmacy too!
8.Forget sexy fad diets, do it properly. Eat sensibly. Use the 80-20 rule to make it enjoyable and sustainable. That means eating the foods you don’t necessarily enjoy as much but you know are good for you 80% of the time, and using the other 20% for treats that you love or having a drink with your friends. Without balance, an eating plan simply isn’t sustainable.
9.Don’t live by the scales. Yes, weighing yourself is a great way to track your progress- within reason, but it’s not the only way. There really are too many variables to make it accurate for a daily measurement. Try to use the scales sparingly and focus on other things to track yourself. How your clothes fit, your strength, your energy levels and sleep, your movements becoming less stiff and more comfortable, and of course, how you see yourself in the mirror. Those are just as telling as a number.
10.You-time. Arguably the most important and yet probably the most difficult. Step back and analyse your day. Do something for you. You could get a massage or do some reading? Yoga, walking, meditating, listening to music, anything that lets your mind rest. We have days off from training in the gym because we know the importance of rest, so why is our mind any different? There are many things in life that you might need a break from: work, relationships, money worries, just give your brain time to de-stress and de-clutter. (A sub-point of this worth mentioning is my strong belief that you should surround yourself with people who make your life better. If you are dealing daily with people that zap the life out of you and bring you down, not only will your interactions leave you exhausted, you’ll lose a lot of motivation because your energy will be focussed elsewhere. Spend time with people who love you, care for you and support you. Forget the rest.)
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, it really is the small things that add up.
Days turn to weeks, which turn to months.
Trust the process and you’ll find the small progressions will creep into your daily life. They’ll add up, and keep you inspired!
As always, I’m here if you need me. If you have questions or need help getting started, drop me an email!