Spring ‘diet and exercise overhauls’ seen in magazines and on social media can feel empowering, motivating and the warmer weather is a catalyst for change. But it can also be overwhelming, daunting and even intimidating for those that may not feel they have the capacity, time or knowledge of how to ‘Spring’ into action. Where to start?
It’s the less dramatic changes that can be easily ‘added’ into your daily routine which can achieve dramatic results! Because when you form healthy habits and continue doing something for a long time it’s when the noticeable changes occur and you are more likely to stick to it.
1) Drink more water. It sounds too simple but unless you drink at least 2L a day dehydration will cause lethargy, headaches and dry mouth feeling.. Feeling tired can be mistaken for hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and you may turn to high sugar snacks to try give yourself an instant energy boost. Excess sugar can lead to weight gain, unbalanced blood sugar levels and high levels of inflammation in the gut. Solution? Drink water first before reaching for any snacks.
2) Add high intensity cardio efforts into your workouts. Do this on cardio equipment such as spin bikes, treadmills, rowers and cross trainers. This form of exercise will force your body to use stored carbohydrates as the primary source of fuel and increase the ability of your body’s insulin levels – thus breaking down sugar more efficiently and not storing it as fat.
Take Action: Try Tabata training – 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of easy or rest, Repeat for 4 minutes. Add just 1 round into your workout as a start and slowly increase to 2-3 rounds each session.
3) Revisit body weight exercises to tone up. A full strength and toning workout can be achieved with basic body weight moves – squats, push ups, lunges, pulls ups; then add some lifts such as rows and jumps for high impact –bone density increasing exercise.
Take Action: Feel reinspired by these exercises (that you may have done before) by using:
– TRX (suspension training) straps
– Kettlebells as resistance
– Boxes for your jumps
– Squat rack equipment.
Suddenly you have an effective Functional Training’ workout – one of the latest buzz words in fitness to describe varied, interesting and challenging body weight training.
4) Consider investing in a Personal Trainer for just 1 month. The option of seeing a qualified trainer on a 1 to 1 basis for once a week for a month will cost you less than $200, and less than a $100 in a small group format. You would probably spend that easily on a night out, barely covering your dinner/ drinks – or alternatively an outfit you may never wear again.
Take Action: Book in for your first complimentary session with a Personal Trainer to just find out more and have a taste of how they can help you
5) Let salad be your new best friend. Rather than eliminate or restrict yourself from certain foods that have become habitual in your diet add in extra salad to your lunches and dinners. You will immediately fill up on sugar free, low kilojoule food with high nutritional value and hopefully feel the benefits of leading to healthier food choices throughout your day.