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Becoming healthier can seem intimidating and overwhelming. Shouldn't I be going to the gym every day? And only eating salads? And going to yoga on the weekend?
No. You shouldn't feel like you have to do anything. Changing your lifestyle is a personal journey and one to be taken at your own pace. If you're just starting out on your fitness journey then here are three simple steps to becoming just that little bit healthier.
Body: Walk More
Walking is extremely underrated. It is an incredible, low intensity, form of cardiovascular exercise. Not only does it burn calories and therefore increase your energy expenditure; but it provides you with much needed headspace. Going for a walk in your lunch break will get your blood flowing, but also give you time to reflect and sort through your thoughts and reduce stress. Plus, for those totally new to exercise it is a great way to get moving with a low risk of injury, and can be very social. Whether you take your dog for as longer walk each morning or get off your bus a couple of stops earlier; try to increase your daily steps and your body and mind will thank you for it.
Nutrition: Make A Packed Lunch
Half the battle with nutrition is knowing what we are putting into our bodies. We are so accustomed to eating pre-prepared meals and snacks, that we are losing touch with what food really is. A whole food doesn't need a label and it doesn't need an ingredients list. It has one ingredient, such as eggs, bananas or pumpkin seeds. Ultimately, our bodies break down whatever food we put into them and use it as fuel. If you're fuelling yourself with low quality ready meals laden with additives, don't expect to function effectively. By pre preparing a packed lunch, you are controlling what is going into your body and ensuring you're looking after yourself. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just make extra of your evening meal and throw it in a tupperware box. Meal prep doesn't have to take a long time, find a routine that works for you and take control of your diet.
Mind: Stay Positive
A healthy body is nothing without a healthy mind. Having a positive mindset is a huge contributing factor to overall mental and physical wellbeing. I believe that you can change your mindset and consciously work towards being a more confident, happy and positive person. One simple step to help achieve this is spending a couple minutes every night reflecting on your day and highlighting three positive things which happened. This could be anything from having banter a friendly cashier at the local supermarket, to receiving an exciting email proposal. Just take a moment to acknowledge these moments and finish your day on a positive note.
Start small and work from there, you've got this!
Photo: Lydia Collins