Unless you’re a top model with a chiseled body, you’ve probably walked past your reflection in a store window and considered losing weight or working out more to put some definition in your body. Perhaps you even followed up on that thought and worked out for a few days or bought a gym membership.
But have you ever taken a moment to stop and think about your relationship with your weight? The reason behind why you exercise or what the effects your diet might be on your body? Take note that simply dropping pounds from your body does not necessarily mean you’re healthy.
If you’ve constantly been losing weight only for it to come back, consider incorporating strength training into your workout plans. Also known as resistance training, these are workouts that build your muscles and strength. You might think these types of workouts are limited to only bodybuilders, but there are surprising benefits to strengthening your muscles.
Stronger muscles and bones help fight back against diseases that come with age, such as chronic back pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, and fractures. Also, working on your muscles helps you burn fat and hold on to the muscles you’ve strengthened. Research has also shown that having stronger muscles in middle age helps you have a longer lifespan.
Ready to embark on a proactive journey to strengthen your health? Consider the advice listed below.
If you want to get healthy and stay healthy, you’re going to have to move your body daily. This is especially important if you’ve got a nine-to-five job where you sit in front of a computer. Be mindful about the amount of movement you’re getting, and make sure to stretch, stand up, and walk around.
Incorporate cardio activities such as running, jogging, or jumping rope every day for an hour if you can. Set aside specific days for going to the gym or working out. Be intentional about moving your body. If a particular setup just doesn’t fit your schedule, then incorporate an effective and seamless way to get your needed calorie-burning exercises.
There’s the adage that says, “You can never outrun a bad diet.” And it’s stuck around because guess what? It’s true. You can be working out seven days a week for an hour or more, but if you’re not eating right, you’re never going to become healthier.
And what does it mean to eat right? This means taking in a balanced meal that will help build your body (think dairy products, lean meats, fish like salmon or tuna, leafy green veggies, and nuts for stronger bones) and give you the energy you need to continue working out. Avoid processed food and opt for fruits, vegetables, and home-cooked meals to avoid the unhealthy sugars and starch that inevitably come with processed food.
Are you’re struggling in your relationship with food? Or perhaps you think you may have an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating that’s hampering your progress with a healthier body? Consider seeking medical help or going on a recovery plan with trusted nutritionists and dietitians. In the journey for a healthier body, you cannot keep pushing through without working on your relationship with food.
If you’ve ever gone for 24 hours without an adequate amount of good quality sleep, then you know how disorienting it can be. Getting enough rest is another important factor in maintaining your health and working on a stronger you. Your body needs downtime, so make sure you take days to rest in between strenuous workouts. Make sure to also make sleep a priority, especially if you’re used to staying up till the wee hours of the morning.
Poor sleep can affect your physical and mental performance and is also one of the strongest reasons people overeat and gain weight. A lack of sleep usually has your body craving food high in sugar, fat, and calories to get it through the day. This is one surefire way to undo all the work you’ve done sweating it out in the gym.
Lastly, unless you make working out, eating right, sleeping well, and generally staying healthy a habit, you’re never going to see the results you’ve been working towards. The goal of getting a stronger and healthier version of you isn’t a one-time thing. You need to incorporate your plans into your life and consider a healthier lifestyle as a long-term goal.
So you’re going to need to make it a habit. List down the reasons you’re doing this, go with a big goal but start with small changes, and keep track of what you’re doing. Stay consistent and disciplined because the motivation to work out will not always be there.