Eat More Natural and Healthy Food
Cutting out bad food does not mean starving yourself. On the contrary, eating healthily often means eating the same volume of food, with higher quality, fresh, and nutritional rich ingredients. Eating a balanced diet high in plant-based nutrition is a sure-fire way to get in shape. Replace junk food snacks with healthy alternatives, and get sugar from fruit rather than sweets. Enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients, using lean proteins, whole grains, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats. Taking a general approach to eating healthily is more advisable than taking on any sort of extreme diet or weight loss techniques; such diets tend to miss the point of living healthily, and can lead to yo-yo effects. Just try to eat healthily, and treat yourself every now and again.
Watch What You Drink Too
All that effort of eating healthily will go to waste if you don’t watch what you drink too. Soda drinks often contain copious amounts of sugars, and are extremely high in calories. Tea and coffee with a lot of sugar and milk may also amount to a lot of calories, as will drinking beer and wine. Drinks usually go unaccounted for, but a bottle of coke can be a daily dose of sugar in one sitting! Sugar free alternatives and sweeteners have received mixed results from research, sometimes showing to have more negative consequences than refined sugar. There may be no way around it. Try to drink water most of the time, and fizzy drinks only very rarely as a treat.
Diet is only half of the picture. The other is exercise. For some it comes naturally, for others it takes immense willpower. If you want to be in shape, it is imperative that you exercise regularly. An easy way for anyone to exercise is to integrate a simple routine that can be done at home. This could be done for 45 minutes everyday, in the mornings for example, and could consist of stretching the whole body gently, and then exerting yourself with some jogging, sit-ups, or push-ups.
Design your own routine to suit your needs; if you want to lose weight you will want to engage more with intense cardiovascular activity. If you want to build muscles you will want to lift weights, or do pull-ups. If you simply want to feel healthy in the body some stretches and gentle warm ups might do the job. The trick is to try to do it daily, to make exercise as normal as having breakfast. It will set you up for a more focused day too!
The routine will lay a good foundation to build upon, and as you become more accustomed, and dare I say start to enjoy the exercise, you can begin to experiment with some more methods that suit you. Play off your own interests; if you like swimming, go swimming more, if you like the gym, go to the gym more. For me it is walking. I like nothing more than a long walk on some challenging terrain, up a large hill or mountain. Whatever your method it is important for everyone who wants to stay in shape, to make exercise a normal part of life.
I bet you were all expecting an all-in-one wonder tip at the end. Well I’m sorry to disappoint but I think the key to staying in shape is the same as it always has been. Eat healthy, natural food, and do plenty of exercise. That is it. Everything else is a matter of balancing your pleasures and vices with your need to be healthy. Ever wondered why a hangover feels so disgusting? Because it is extremely bad for your body. Choose wisely when to drink, instead of making it a habit. Eat some pizza as a treat, but eat it everyday and don’t expect to be in good shape. Balance my friends, balance.