Looking to get in shape? There are lots of different ways to do it and lots of different theories on what the best strategies are, but it’s always important to make sure you’re going about it in a healthy way and listening to your body. Here are a few things to consider when making a lifestyle change for the healthier.
1) Food. Eating habits are one of the first things people aim to change when they look to get healthier. Of course, there are always fad diets like the low-carb or low-gluten diets, juicing diets like Urban Remedy and supplements like Upgraded Self. Some people find that things like this work for them. Others swear by good old-fashioned calorie counting, and of course there are the old standard programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. There’s also a quiet but steady minority that says to just listen to your body and eat everything you want to eat in moderation.
2) Exercise. You should be exercising at whatever level you’re able to anyway, but if you’re making an effort to get in shape, this is definitely one of the main things you’ll want to look at. What type of exercise you’ll want to do depends on what you’re looking for. Of course, any good workout regimen will have variety, but if you’re looking to build a lot of muscle, you may want to work out with weights, whereas if you’re just trying to lose weight and get in shape, you may want to be more cardio-heavy. Programs like Zumba are good for easing your way into working out. There are also home workout programs like P90X and Insanity that are very challenging and make a big difference really fast.
3) Mindfulness. Many people believe that a good well-rounded health regimen includes getting your mind healthy. This can be through mind-focused exercises like yoga or through other means, like meditation. Meditation is a good practice to get into that is great because of its flexibility. You can adjust or adapt your mediation practices based on what works for you, what you have time for and what makes you feel best. HowStuffWorks has a great article with suggestions for starting out with meditation and they suggest starting with four to five minute sessions and working your way up to an optimal length of about twenty minutes. Still, though, you can adjust it to whatever works best for you.
4) Managing stress. It’s very important to manage stress and therefore keep yourself in a positive state. A stressed-out body is not at its best, so work on some stress management techniques. One way to reduce stress is to head it off before it starts, so learn to avoid over-committing yourself. When you start to feel yourself getting stressed out, work on listening to your body to try to get it back into a good place. WebMD suggests taking a few deep breaths and using a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders.
5) Treat yo self. You’re making your body work hard in the exercise arena and you’re improving what you put into it with your diet. Take care of the rest of your body too by visiting a spa for a nice massage, facial or manicure / pedicure. If you can’t afford fancy spa treatments, find some homemade recipes on Pinterest. Take time to pamper yourself because your body deserves to be treated. Even if it’s something as simple as a bubble bath, take time to relax fully and treat your body well.