Habits for a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Updated: Mar 26

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There is never a better time to make lasting, positive changes to your health and fitness. Whether your goal is to lose weight, to gain confidence, to feel more comfortable in your skin, to increase your energy or to create sustainable healthy habits, the following habits are essential in making lasting changes to create a healthier lifestyle.


SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS:


Regular purposeful movement


All movement has its benefits for our minds and bodies. Movement can mean a gentle stretch, a beautiful walk outside or a short bout of physical activity. All physical activity adds up to improve our fitness, health and wellness. When you engage in exercise it increases your heart rate, which results in burning more calories.





A schedule that includes cardio, strength, stretching and rest


Cardio is good for the heart and increases endurance, but it alone is not the best way to burn fat and help us to reach our optimal health. As we age, body fat increases and lean muscle mass decreases which leads to a lower metabolism, a decrease in strength and a softer appearance (even if you are at a healthy weight). To counter this, an exercise programme for mid-age should include cardio, strength, stretching and rest. A well-balanced exercise programme can strengthen bones, improve balance, improve functional movement, improve muscle tone and increase insulin sensitivity.


Prioritising Protein


Protein is used by almost every cell in the body. Benefits of protein include cell repairs, fighting illness, improving immunity, balancing hormones and transporting messages around the body. As we age, protein synthesis decreases so it is important that we increase our intake of protein. Try to include protein throughout the day, starting with a serving of protein with breakfast. This helps make you feel full longer as well as avoid a post-lunch lull.


Sleeping 7-8 hours each night


Sleep is essential in allowing our body to recover, rejuvenate and repair. It is also helpful when it comes to weight loss. When you are lacking the proper sleep required at night, your brain sends out hunger signals which may result in overeating. Chronic sleep deprivation impairs hormone balance, causing cortisol and insulin to rise, which promotes belly fat storage, inhibits fat metabolism, and increases appetite and cravings for sugary and fatty foods.


Hitting 10 000 steps each day


Studies show that people who sit actively by getting up every 10 or 15 minutes wake up their metabolisms and enjoy better long-term health than those who sit still for hours on end. By focusing on getting a minimum of 10 000 steps each day, it will motivate you to move more often.





SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE


Looking for a quick fix


Losing weight and increasing your fitness level can be frustrating, so many people look for a quick fix. Whether this is through fad diets, pills, creams or compression belts/wraps, many people grasp onto the hope of a fast and often drastic change.


It is important to be patient and trust the process. If you lose weight too quickly or make drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle it will be difficult to maintain the weight loss and lifestyle changes in the long term. Be honest with yourself and commit to consistent changes. It is through consistency in action that you will get lasting results.



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