Yes. It’s that time of the year again, where we self-loath like there is no tomorrow over the stone in weight we put over the Christmas break. The New Year’s Resolutions kick in, and we vow to ban the junk food, lose weight, tone up, firm up, get active, get healthy, ban carbs, quit smoking, quite drinking…basically the same aim but each of us has our own way of putting it.
But, how many of us actually keep up these resolutions? How soon do we fall off the horse? True, some people make the changes and keep them up, but for many of us, going cold turkey directly after the feasting and jolliness of Christmas is too much.
It’s all about making the small changes, the lifestyle changes, which are easier to manage and sustain. Making small step changes can ultimately change your habits and push you to be a healthier, more active person.
So how can you go about making such lifestyle changes?
Get Out & About
Whether it is a long walk on a Sunday morning or getting off public transport a stop earlier, just getting out of your seat and moving around can make all the difference to both your health and personal welfare.
If you are in a desk job, it can be hard to find the motivation to get up and get moving once you have spent the morning sat down. But taking the time to have a walk to the shops or around a park on your lunch hour can boost your energy some and revitalise you for the remainder of the day.
Buy a Bike
Cycling has seen somewhat of a revival in recent years, and many people are now commuting around their towns or cities by bike. Whilst they can be a hefty investment, there are also cheap bikes for sale on sites such as eBay, Argos, Halfords, Go Outdoors and Gumtree. If you are a commuter, there is a good ranges of fold-up, commuter bikes now on offer from most good retailers, which make travelling much more simple if you have to get on a train or bus for part of your journey.
Cycling to and from work will save you money in the long run, despite the initial investment, and will also increase your fitness. Cycling in traffic may seem daunting but you will quickly get used to it…just don’t forget lights and a helmet!
Join a Club
Whether you fancy a gym or a weight-loss club, many schemes have great offers in January to entice those New Years flab-fighters and wannabe gym bunnies.
Weightwatchers offers monthly subscriptions, and you can choose to attend meetings and/or do everything from your computer or mobile. Tracking your weight, keeping a food diary and engaging with club members can keep you motivated. The scheme even allows you to have treats throughout the week and you can earn points by increasing your activity throughout the day, so in effect, you feel less burdened than you would if you were to say ‘I’m going on a diet’.
If a slimming club isn’t your idea of fun, then perhaps enrolling at a gym would be a more enticing motivator. Most gyms offer monthly subscriptions with the chance to have sessions with a personal trainer, who can really help you with your stubborn areas and ensure you are exercising in the correct and most efficient way.
It can be daunting changing your lifestyle, especially when your nearest and dearest either don’t have too or won’t make the changes with you. But partnering up with a friend who has similar goals to you can make the challenge a little less difficult.
Monitoring each other’s progress can increase levels of personal motivation and you can even set mini challenges with a ‘prize’ at the end to encourage each other to continue down the path you have set for yourselves.
Don’t Cut Out Carbs
Many people believe that cutting out carbs will make a tonne of difference to their body, when in fact we need carbs for energy. There are different types of carbs, and not all carbs are the same. For example, fibre which is found in wholegrain versions of starchy carbs is good for our health and shouldn’t be eradicated.
Cutting our carbs is rather difficult to do. They are the main source of energy for our bodies and in the absence of carbohydrates; our bodies would be deficient in certain nutrients leading to health problems.
If you need more information on carbohydrate consumption, please click here: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/the-truth-about-carbs.aspx