With thoughts of New Year’s Resolutions fading fast and lots of left over Easter chocolate to eat, it seems that many of us have fallen off that healthy bandwagon, vowing to restart our healthier lifestyles on the Monday of a week that never comes. But with summer just around the corner there’s no better time to work towards a healthier you! And I’m not just talking fitness; being healthy is all about positivity, being active, embracing everything around you and getting rid of anything that makes you feel remotely negative or downright crap.
I wrote about my top tips for getting fit in 2016 here and had a really great response, so now that we’re a third of the way into the year I thought I’d share with you how my progress is going and the ways that my lifestyle has changed and helped me to become healthier and happier! As I said before, I’m in no way an expert, but it’s been about two years since I completely overhauled my life choices and I feel so much better for it!
1. Eat clean
I can’t stress this enough, but eating clean is vital when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle and getting fit in the process. You can exercise all you want but if you’re still binging on junk food and sugary snacks then you’ll see very little progress. Don’t think of it as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change. Your body is the most important thing, so fuel it with goodness and nutrients rather than crappy food that’s going to leave you feeling bloated, sluggish and just a bit bleugh?
For about a year and a half I’ve cut out junk food. I don’t eat sweets or processed foods, unless I’m enjoying a cheat day, swapping them for fresh fruit and vegetables. I’ve also cut back on gluten and wheat, as it leaves me feeling quite ill, and have started to reduce dairy in the past few months too. The results have been really great. I’ve slimmed down from a size 12 to a healthy size 6-8, I feel energised and healthy, and my skin, hair and nails are stronger and healthier too. It’s amazing how these changes to your diet can impact so positively on your body!
2. Find a workout you love
When I first joined the gym, I’ll admit, I hated going. I’d drag myself there, spend a little time bobbing up and down on the cross trainer, and then try some of the weight machines thinking doing a few chest presses would help me tone up. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was left feeling quite deflated as I wasn’t seeing much progress, and it wasn’t until a few months later when I started attending fitness classes at my local gym that I found that exercise could actually be really fun! Now I absolutely love going, and have tried pretty much all the classes on the gym timetable. Finding an exercise that you love is so important. Whether it’s going out for a run, lifting weights in a body pump class, power walking with friends, or moving your feet in step aerobics, it’s all about being active.
3. Lift weights
Being fearful of the sweaty, grunting men admiring their reflections in the weights section of the gym is a part of every woman’s healthy journey, but you needn’t be. Lifting weights is key to toning up and getting abs to rival Tasha Oakley, and a booty that is Kim K-esque. Having more muscle boosts your metabolism, aiding weightloss and it ultimately makes you feel so much more confident! This article by Pretty Fit goes into a little more detail if you’re interested in knowing more.
4. Get outside
The fresh sea air, rolling green hills, golden sandy beaches. Seriously, there’s nothing better than being out in the open and embracing nature. These days we spend so much of our lives sat inside with our eyes glued to a screen and we forget what a wonderful world we have surrounding us. Take an evening away from Netflix and go out for a long walk – you’ll feel so much better for it.
5. Take steps to get rid of negativity
If it’s a job you’re hating, a friendship that brings you down or if you’re just generally feeling a little low taking steps to make a change is important to living a happier and healthier lifestyle. I always used to worry constantly about what people thought of me, stretching myself to befriend everyone and trying to fit so many things into my already hectic schedule in order to please that it left me feeling completely and utterly worn out. In the past few years I’ve really learned how important it is to cut ties with people who negatively impact upon your life and, although this is easier said than done, I am a stronger, happier person because of it. Life really is too short!
6. Be creative
Whether it’s blogging, writing, drawing, painting, or even taking snaps that ensure your Insta-theme is on point, find something to get those creative juices flowing. I love how my blog has given me an outlet to constantly think creatively, and to pour my heart and soul into a hobby that I absolutely love. I now look at things in a completely different light, and love that I’ve changed this way.
7. Have an early night
Opting to live a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean just eating healthy food and working out, it’s all about looking after your body to and sleep is key. Sleep helps to repair the muscles, meaning you’ll be able to train harder and get fitter faster, whilst reinvigorating the mind helping you to be more productive. I’m like a gremlin if I don’t get at least eight hours a night, and I do find after tough workout I sleep like a lamb.
8. Take a break from social media
Ahh, social media. So essential to our everyday lives but not so fundamental to our health and wellbeing. While I’m as obsessed with social media as any other blogger, I’ve been trying to take little breaks here and there and am trying to log off earlier in the evening in an attempt to relax my mind before bed. Admittedly I do wake up and read my social media feed as though it’s the morning paper, but baby steps right?
9. Drink water
Okay, yes everyone goes on about drinking more water but the health benefits are so amazing! It helps get rid of bloating, flushes out toxins to improve your skin, it energises the muscles, and it has zero calories so great if you’re hoping to get in shape for your summer holiday. It also helps productivity as it hydrates the brain to keep you focused – great for those of you currently going through the stress of revision or dissertation writing! Slice some lemon or lime and add it to your water bottle for a little extra flavour.
10. Find the good in everyday
Finally, take each day by the horns and be grateful for every single second. I love being busy and constantly having something to do or someone to meet, but sometimes a day to myself is equally as nice and on those days where you’re feeling a little bleughh? Tomorrow is a new day full of fresh opportunities.
What do you think is important to live a healthier lifestyle?
Lots of love,