It’s a new year, and whatever your new years resolutions are, here are a few more healthy habits you need to start.
Set realistic Goals
We all have ambitious goals to gets abs of steel, or run a marathon but these can take time to achieve. You need to ensure that you are setting realistic, SMART goals which you can achieve.
Make sure your goals are achievable for your current fitness and ability. Your ultimate long term goal may be to run a marathon but a wiser short-term goal would be a 5km fun run. Remember, consistency is the key and each step forward gets you closer to your longterm goals.
Drink More Water
Water is essential for a healthy body, and even more so during the hotter months. It’s simple, free, and very important, but a lot of people do not drink enough water.
Get in the habit of drinking more water by carrying a bottle of water wherever you go. Pay attention to how much you drink, and you might just be shocked how little you’re drinking.
A good guide is to aim to drink 2–3 litres of water per day. On hotter days, especially training days, make sure you drink more before, during, and and after your training session.
Eat More Protein
Protein is a macronutrient (with the others being Carbohydrates and Fats). Your body needs a healthy balance of all macronutrients for optimal health and performance. How much of each macronutrient we need will depend on various factors such as gender, age and weight.
Protein and essential amino acids are the basic building blocks for muscles. Protein also has many other benefits:
- Aids in muscle recovery after a workout
- Keeps you feeling fuller for longer after eating
- Encourages your body to burn body fat for its energy
We have skipped over the complicated explanation, but trust me: eat more protein!
Eat Whole Foods
Cavemen survived for tens of thousands of years without protein powders and vitamin pills, so why do we need them? In short, we don’t!
Try to get the majority of your calories and nutrients from whole foods where possible. Supplements do have their place, but they should supplement your diet, not replace it!
Improve Your Sleep
In our busy, digital, always-connected world, we all struggle to get enough sleep. Apart from the obvious daytime fatigue you feel from a lack of sleep, there are other factors involved:
- Lack of sleep increases your stress hormones
- Reduced Human Growth Hormone (HGH), essential for building muscles and aids in fat burning
- Fatigue may cause you to look for an extra boost of energy, often from unhealthy snacks
Improving your sleep can be as simple as getting more of it. Go to bed earlier, stop staring at your TV/phone screens a couple of hours before you go to bed: Facebook can wait!
Lack of sleep, anxiety, mood swings and irritability are all signs of stress. Work, finances, family and plenty of factors may increase your stress levels. An increase in your stress levels can have negative impacts on a variety of things in your life. Keep your stress in check by following these simple tips:
- Sleep more, listen to your body
- Leave work, at work. Switch off your phone, stop checking your email and use your personal time to relax
- Exercise more. Just 10 minutes a day helps to release endorphins which help fight off stress
Make It Fun
Whatever “it” is, I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Whether “it” is exercise, healthy eating or work, you need to enjoy it!
Keep an eye on the blog as I’ll cover each of these topics in greater detail soon! Join the mailing list and Follow Bailey’s Bodies on Facebook to get updates.