Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Still feeling a bit low even though lockdown is starting to lift? It can be difficult at times to stay motivated to get out and exercise, but once you do and the endorphins start to kick in, you feel a lot better for it; I know I do. Trying to start and maintain some smaller habits to begin with will help get you back to a healthy lifestyle and feeling a bit more like yourself again. Here are some ideas that will hopefully help with kick-starting some healthy habits, and get you back on track to be the best version of yourself you can be!
You might prefer the encouragement of a group fitness session to get you exercising. Now that gyms have reopened and are allowing outdoor group sessions, you could consider joining some classes or training sessions. I know a lot of people are more driven to exercise with the companionship (socially distanced of course) of other people. Plus it can be fun too! If the idea of exercising outdoors or in the gym isn’t for you, there are still plenty of online group glasses that you can follow on Instagram either live or through a pre-recorded session.
A Balanced Diet
If you are putting effort into exercising then you are also more likely to want to well make the same effort with what you are eating. I know being back in the gym encourages me to want to fuel my body with the right food and often choose healthy foods. The five main food groups you should be including in your diet are:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Eggs, fish, meat, beans and pulses
- Dairy (or non dairy alternatives)
- Bread, potatoes, rice and pasta
- Oils and spreads
Having a mixture of food from these five main groups is the optimum way to eat healthily, as opposed to cutting out one food group completely. This is because each food group provides different necessary nutrients for our bodies which we need to function well. For example, if you eliminate starchy foods you could be losing out on important B vitamins and dietary fibre.
I’m sure you’ve seen that I’ve spoken quite a lot bout supplements recently. It’s definitely a good idea to add some vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet, to really ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need. Some of the main supplements I’ve been ensuring to take are:
- Vitamin D. This is particularly useful in the winter months (and in lockdown!) when there is not much sun in the UK. Vitamin D is particularly good for bone health, as it helps our bodies to absorb calcium.
- Magnesium. This is a good supplement to take to strengthen your bones and improve the nervous system, which is good for keeping Osteoporosis at bay. We don’t produce this naturally in our bodies so the best way is to take this in supplement form along with a healthy diet.
- Omega-3. This is good for maintaining your heart health and is particularly beneficial after an exercise regime. It can help prevent muscle loss and reduce any inflammation, so helps repair the body.
If you are working on building up muscle tone and strength it can also be useful to supplement with protein. I have just stocked up on my weight loss protein online now that I am regularly back in the gym. The amino acids found in protein powder help encourage body cells to repair themselves quicker which will help when building muscle.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is a huge factor that contributes to a healthy lifestyle, so being able to get a good night’s sleep is important. It might not always necessarily be the quantity that matters, but the quality. A lack of sleep can lead to a range of issues, including weight gain, as your appetite levels are not fully controlled so you tend to eat more. There is also a greater risk of stroke, heart disease and affecting your ability to concentrate during the day. To improve the chances of getting a good night’s sleep you should:
- Reduce screen time before bed (so trying to avoid scrolling endlessly through social media, easier said than done!)
- Avoiding lots of caffeine in the evening
- Cutting back on daytime naps
- Not having a heavy meal right before bedtime
- Creating a relaxing environment in your bedroom
You will definitely feel better in yourself if you are sleeping better, you will have more energy overall and be in a better mood.
Hopefully these tips are a good starting place to help you get back into a healthy lifestyle and routine.
*This is a contributed post.