It’s the New Year and you’ve made a number of resolutions to improve your state of mind, body and spirit. But, you’re not sure where to start. Fret not – here’s a guide to help you through the early days of confusion and keep you on the wagon.
Plan activities with people
It’s easy and convenient to catch up with friends or spend time with your close ones over a meal. But why not engage in an activity with them? It can be as simple as a stroll or cycle around the park, or you can choose to embark on a more fun activity like bowling, indoor rock climbing or kayaking. That way, you’re still working out and having fun in the process.
Set yourself targets
Start slow and progress gradually; you can’t expect results instantaneously. Have set targets for yourself in terms of how much weight you want to lose or how many hours a week you want to work out. Document your workouts too; so you can keep track of your activities and compare it against your targets. It’ll also give you insight into what works best for body, which you can then replicate more often for maximum results.
Know your fitness level and design a program for yourself
One mistake many make is not being aware of their individual fitness levels. This more often than not leaves you injured or overexerted. There are many fitness level calculators online – such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculators – or you can get a professional assessment from a personal trainer. Then, depending on your goals, you can design a program suited to your fitness level and correctly target areas of concern.
Ditch the TV for some outdoor time
If you’ve been a couch potato and want to make some positive changes to your life, then switching up some TV time to go outdoors will not only get you moving more but also help your state of mind. Spending just ten minutes in nature has been said to lower blood pressures, stress levels and mental fatigue. Plus, staring at screens for excessive periods of time is not only a sedentary activity, but it also affects your eyesight.
Switch up packaged food for fresh food
You don’t necessarily have to eat only veggies and salads on a daily basis to have a healthy diet. Lets be practical, that isn’t going to be sustainable in the long-term. But modern, processed foods have added ingredients that may not necessarily be healthy – such as excessive amounts of sugar or salt. So, be smart and swap them for fresh food options, like homemade kale or sweet potato chips or why not even consume fresh fruit as is?
The power of meditation
Part of having a healthy body is having a healthy mind. And meditation is a huge part of mental health. The relaxation response that you get from meditation has been said to improve breathing, brain waves, decrease metabolism, improve your heart rate, and lower blood pressure. It also helps you focus on the positive if you meditate in the day and a few minutes of meditation before sleep gives you a more rested night.