I just want to ask the people who always want to be more fit when the new year rolls around: How consistent have you been since you made that resolution? Everyone talks about how much weight they want to lose and how they aren’t going to mess it up this year. There are even moments during the year when it’s #summerbody time or before Halloween where you want to wear a sexy costume with a bare midriff. Everyone goes around buying gym memberships, and “taking advantage” of the many, many gym deals and workout plans. But then what happens soon after? You’re back into your old ways and kicking yourself over and over for not working out, eating right, or being healthy.
I am definitely one of these kinds of people, who try to do everything at once. I go as hard as possible within the first week of my decision to be fitter, in order to see abs and lose weight or whatnot. I know I have the ability to workout and train hard but as soon as the first excuse to take a break comes or not eat properly, I’m done: My attitude goes away… That is until I step on the scale again or start comparing myself with others (bad habit I know, changing that every day).
I am starting to make marginal improvements to help myself instead of thinking that doing the most will get me to where I want to be faster in terms of my physical fitness. So, instead of throwing out a bunch of “get fit quick” tips, as there is no such thing as getting fit quickly, here are some small things you can do to put yourself on the right path to be fit.
1. Take a walk or stand for a minute
It doesn’t need to be an extend two-hour walk where you’re sweating and working out. Even one time around your office space or walking in one area a few times will be enough. How often do you sit at your desk, hunched over your computer, not moving because you need to get the report out by a certain time? Yet you’ve checked your Instagram at least ten times? This small walk can get you off your butt, your blood moving, and can get you some thinking time to complete that report.
Don’t think you can spare a minute to get your work done? But, you can spare a minute to go to the bathroom, right? On your way to the bathroom or leaving the bathroom: take the long way. Is the bathroom right next to your desk? Go to a further bathroom in your office building. No matter which way you split it, you can spare a small walk at any time.
Those of you reading this might say “But I really can’t leave my desk because I’m sooooooo busy” (please read that in the obnoxious always busy person voice).
If you really can’t leave your desk, get up and stand for a little while. They say that sitting kills and it’s nice to get the blood flowing from head to toe. Also, you do actually burn calories while standing more (at least that’s what I tell myself when I can’t get a seat on the metro in the morning).
2. Drink some water
Before you continue to read this, go take a sip of water right now….
Okay. Hydrated? Great.
It’s wild how dehydrated most of us are and sometimes it’s really hard to get the minimum 8 glasses of water per day. But besides good kidney function, better skin and a multitude of other functions that benefit your body in an amazing way, for losing weight by taking out some of those excess calories and sugars that we get from our daily beverages. Also, sometimes when you’re hungry or craving something, it's really because you're dehydrated and some water will help with that.
Again, this for me takes a bit of discipline as that I have a tendency to overindulge in sweets and sweet drinks. Also, here’s a hack when you go out to restaurants or want to eat less: drink a lot of water before your food comes. You fill yourself up with water which is 0 calories and less food. Boom! Easy way to get some calories down. Also, leftovers for the next day! Win win!
3. Sleep more
Sleep is something a lot of us neglect. When we think about being fit, we usually thinking about some hour-long workout and eating loads of protein and salads. But sleep is an integral part of your overall health and wellness. It’s the time when your body AND mind rejuvenates from the day’s activities. After googling and seeing how much sleep a person needs, it’s kind of funny to see some of the “people also ask” questions like “Is 6 hours enough sleep?” Or “Is it OK to get 5 hours of sleep?” Of course, it’s about 8 hours and I guess some people need a bit less or more.
But, I KNOW that after a busy day, you just want to lie down, with some TV or on social media liking pictures. By the time all of that is over and done, it’s been three hours and your phone reads 2:00am when you gotta be up by 7:00am to be at work by 8:30 or 9:00am.
For overall health, putting down your phone, closing your laptop, and getting your butt in bed 30 minutes to an hour before your plan on actually following asleep will make a big difference. If you have an iPhone, use downtime to shut off all the apps that you use before bed and leave the ones you need. Personally, I use downtime and leave the Spotify up so I can fall asleep listening to a podcast or have some entertainment that doesn’t require me staring at a screen. It even has a timer that when you fall asleep, the music or podcast you were playing goes off too (It might only be for podcasts though).
I know when I get a full 8 hours of sleep, I feel energized at work and when I train. I don’t need to take naps during the day AND my eating habits are better because I don’t make excuses to add a bunch of sugar to my coffee in order to get the rush I need to stay awake. There are even studies showing that the better you sleep, the better you eat during the day.
Now obviously with these three things, you can’t go around saying that you’re getting the best workout of your life or that you’re going to lose a bunch of weight. But with these few small steps, at least you’re putting yourself in the mindset of health and making the marginal changes you need to make in order to be consistent about being and staying healthy.
Question for you: What other small changes do you want to take in order to live a better, fitter life?