Most people want a strong, lean and healthy body, yet a majority of us only think about it. Only a few actually do something to achieve this goal. With more and more people fighting unhealthy weight gain and the associated health risks, it’s sadder to note that many think they have done nothing to contribute to their condition.
I often get to hear these statements: I eat very little but I am gaining all this weight. I don’t have an exercise routine but I move around a lot at home so why am I still putting on the kilos. I have tried exercise for a month, lost some weight but gained it back and more when I stopped so what’s the point of it all. I feel tired when I exercise, I’d rather just be fat. I am past the age where I need to exercise, it’s all downhill from here anyways…
One extra kilo did not matter, then it became four and you thought I can easily lose this weight, and then it became 10 and 20 and even 30 kilos of excess weight. And then you did not even know how to deal with it anymore. You blamed it on poor genes, erratic lifestyle, stress, loneliness, family, but you never thought about your role in this entire process.
The confusion, the denial is rooted in a person’s mindset. People do not want to accept the responsibility of being the ones who are allowing whatever is happening to their body. But think about it, why would you want to not look you best, why would you not want to feel your best, why would you not want to be strong and healthy and feeling fit and fantastic
The wakeup call, unfortunately for many people, comes after the onset of diseases, their inability to walk even small distances without getting breathless, an unhealthy gut, sleep problems, looking older than your age, negligible sex drive, and emotional trauma among other issues.
Whether your goals is to lose 20 kilos, get ripped, compete in a body building competition, or just breeze through life with absolute confidence in your body, you must begin to exercise and eat healthy on a consistent basis.
It’s not going to be easy, but it is not impossible. It begins with discipline. However, you may feel about taking a break from a workout routine that you have recently started, or however tempted you are to dig into that bag of chips, only YOU can do something about it. It starts with the mind and once it translates to the body, you will understand how easy it really is.
Here are a few tips to take you forward:
- If you have never exercised before, are over 35 years of age, have a health condition and are on medication, always consult with your doctor first.
- Make small changes but be consistent. Start by a brisk walk every day even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Do it come rain or shine. Gradually increase your pace, intensity and time.
- Consult a fitness expert to create a specific routine for your needs and goals. Always train with a certified professional. Graduate towards higher intensity programs in consultation with your trainer.
- Always warm up and cool down during exercise to avoid injury.
- It is not a race, so exercise at a pace suited to your body and fitness level. Don’t compare results with anyone else. It is different for everyone.
- Don’t expect miracles overnight and don’t push yourself to frustration. Read up, discuss, and learn more about your body and what will work for you by observing yourself closely.
- Eat clean. Avoid processed food. Buy local, fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits. Create a balanced diet and maintain portion control. Don’t go on a crash diet, you will only fail. Eliminate comfort foods like chocolates, chips and sweets as best as possible.
- You don’t really need to eat more than two times in a day. Make sure your food is freshly cooked, nutritious and well balanced. Try and include salads in every meal. If you feel hungry in between, have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts and seeds. We often tend to confuse thirst with hunger, stay hydrated at all times.
- Eat consciously, slowly savouring the taste, and eat main meals at the same time every day. Make sure your environment is calm and unrushed.
- Get a massage regularly.
- Find time to meditate even if it’s for 5-10 minutes every day. Sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and go within. Just watch your breath.
- Learn to be happy. Do things that bring out the best in you. Read, paint, dance, listen to music, spend time with kids, take your spouse out on a date, spend an entire day with your parents, walk the dog, sign up for a hobby class; little things that matter and make life meaningful.