When it comes to health and fitness, everyone is looking for shortcuts. The sad truth is, there is no easy way to get fit, and it takes a lot of hard work, a healthy diet and an iron discipline that’ll keep you on track. Keeping this in mind, there are a few tricks and tips that can be offered to make your journey to fitness that little bit easier.
Choosing healthy snacks
While a burger from McDonald’s might be the more convenient of options, it is far from the wisest. The salt, saturated fat and calories found in most fast foods are enough to take you back three steps for every step you move forward. Choose snacks high in fibre and protein and low in sugar and fat. Something like Slim Secrets protein bars will keep your protein intake high, multigrain pretzels are a great alternative to chips with a handful only containing 100 calories, and frozen blueberries will give you vitamins, antioxidants and fibre.
Don’t focus on successes or failures
Many people will tell you that positive reinforcement is a good motivator that it’ll show you results and keep you working. Others will tell you that negative reinforcement is better, that failure is a greater motivator to keep improving. The truth is that both of these methods aren’t so great. Focusing too much on your success can leave you prematurely self-satisfied and keep you from working harder. Focusing too much on failure will frustrate you and soon you’ll find yourself making excuses and giving up. Just remember that the journey to fitness, health and general well-being is a long one, where one day’s success and another day’s failure are simply part of the process. Keep at it.
Avoid the phrase ‘I know.’
You know what it takes to be fit and healthy, you know that you shouldn’t eat that piece of cake for dessert, you know you should go to the gym more than once a month, you know you should make your exercise routines more intense. You tell yourself and others that you know, but you keep your old habits. ‘I know’ is a cop out, a poor excuse. Stop ‘knowing’ and start applying your knowledge. Actually do what you know you should do and avoid what you shouldn’t.
Happiness is the key to success
Hate weights? Hate paying for the gym? Hate running? There are alternatives to every exercise routine and if you hate a certain exercise, then you’ll dread doing them and are more likely to do nothing at all. Replace the things you hate with things you enjoy. Rock climbing might be a more enjoyable solution to building upper body strength. Skipping or dancing might be a better solution for cardio. Try some yoga to improve flexibility. Do something you enjoy and you’ll find it easier to exercise.
Get professional help
Professional trainers can be expensive, but hiring one for a single session to understand your fitness level might be beneficial. These people are motivating, knowledgeable and skilled enough to tell you what you need to work on, how you need to go about it and what your diet should consist of. Most of those radical transformations you see on TV and magazines are done with a lot of help from professionals. See if they can help you.
Adrian Rodriguez is a freelance writer and university student who is a keen advocate for getting fit and eating healthy. He has recently undertaken yoga at his local Fitness First gym and found it’s harder than it looks.