Healthier Lifestyle – An Easier Way…

There are two occasions when magazine articles seem to focus on lifestyle. The beginning of a New Year is the obvious one, when we all are encouraged to make resolutions. The other time is now, as the mid-point of the year, draws near. At this juncture enough time has passed for us to be able to assess what any resolutions have achieved. Invariably we all think about lifestyle but other demands seem to distract us. Living healthily all seems so simple but it is never this easy. Some of us have more will power and greater motivation whilst others struggle. If you start with a negative mind-set you are doomed to failure.  Hopefully this article will provide you with some tips to help you develop a technique which works.

It’s not that long ago that eyebrows may have been raised if a middle-aged person joined a gym or kickboxing club, took-up Pilates or even started dance classes. Nowadays in many cultures, almost anything goes in the quest for a healthier lifestyle.  What we need to ensure, in this pursuit, is that we enjoy it. If trying to be healthier brings us pleasure, both emotionally and physically, then we will carry on and achieve our goals.

The first step is to get a training buddy then set goals and find ways of making things fun. You have to have an objective and a real reason that will encourage you to take the first step. Having a training buddy, where you arrange to regularly meet someone, will provide encouragement and also means you will probably have a laugh egging each other on. Once this becomes part of your routine then you are on your way to success.

The second step is to remember to start with small steps. Booking a session with a trainer and finding yourself in roomfuls of strange machines and pounding bodies can be really scary. So start off gradually and don’t be pushed into trying too hard. Once you know how to use the various types of equipment you will begin to enjoy it. Being surrounded by others, enjoying exercising, spurs on motivation. Joining-in with various classes also provides welcome variation. Of course if gyms are not your thing then you’ll just have to accept it and discover an alternative.  Even simple things like taking breaks from sitting at the desk or doing press-ups and stretching whilst the TV adverts are showing all helps to break an unhealthy cycle of inactivity. Regularly playing sports, swimming, tennis and golf or even walking and gardening can all play their part as forms of exercise. Gyms are not the be all and end all.

The third step is the 5 minute rule. If you struggle to get into your exercise routine, after a tiring day at work, then give it 5 minutes. Often, in such situations, it’s not a physical tiredness which is holding you back but the mental left-overs from the stresses and strains of work. Chilling for 5 minutes can make all the difference.

The fourth step for many is the real fun – adding ‘the beat’ to your exercise! Boosting up your pace with a lively beat in your headphones really does make all the difference.

The fifth step is all about variation. Variety really is the spice of life and by combining cardiovascular activity, at your own level of fitness, with weight training will achieve the best results.  The different routines will provide a more interesting programme of training that will also bring better health rewards. Hopefully your gym will have its own qualified trainer or coach, so seek their advice and guidance

Finally the sixth step is to realise that a healthy mind and a healthy body are intrinsically interdependent. Remember that training your mind, as much as your body, is of equal importance. After exercise, good sleep, sufficient recovery time and nourishing food are necessary requirements. If you are ill or injured you must not trying pushing yourself. Similarly when you ‘on a downer’ and lacking motivation having a good mental attitude and emotional skills will help get back on track.

This brings us back to the first step because, with the help of your training buddy, you’ll be able to remind each other that where the mind goes the body follows. In the process you will both enjoy, reaping the benefits, encouraging each other to lead healthier lifestyles.

Have fun………