At some time or another, we have all struggled to maintain our level of fitness, for one reason or another. It may be that we simply do not have the time to put in the required amount of training for example. It is certainly not due to bad intentions, but only because of the difficulty of balancing a healthy lifestyle with the pressures of modern life.
Exactly, for this reason, it is important to possess a number of helpful hacks that can assist you in your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. However, it cannot be emphasized enough that these alone are not the magic bullet you have been waiting for: all must be accompanied by healthy eating habits and an abundance of lifestyle routines that promote and support the health and body you are seeking.
1. Keep drinking small amounts of water regularly throughout the day
The benefits of water are well documented at this stage, but it is also important that you try to regulate the amount of water you drink each time, so instead of taking on all of your daily recommended amount in one or two large guzzlings, try to drink smaller amounts more consistently, which allows the body to absorb the water at more consistent intervals. Water is great for fitness too in that it is proven to increase your energy levels.
Another issue is that, as we get older, we do not appear to sense thirst as dramatically as we do when we are younger. And because most of the time we are reactionary in the way that we consume food or drink, if our body is seemingly not telling us that we are thirsty, then we are less likely to seek out the water than we need just as much as if we had all the tell-tale signs of thirst, such as a dry mouth.
“For me, the best way to ensure I am getting the right amount of water throughout the day is to carry around a handy water bottle that I never leave out of my sight. In this way, it is like a visual prompt, constantly there to remind me that I need to be drinking water. And in this way, it is also easier to take on small amounts regularly,” says Jeanine Charvis, a health and fitness writer at Brit Student.
One last thing when it comes to drinking water. There is also a lot of noise surrounding other things we drink, such as sugary offerings, caffeine, and alcohol. Water trumps all of these when it comes to taking on the liquid that you need, but apart from sugary drinks, which offer few benefits, drinking caffeine and a little alcohol will still see you taking on the fluid that you need to a certain extent. Similarly, eating water-rich foods such as fruit and salad also contributes to your daily intake. However, there is no substitute for good, old-fashioned water.
2. Use a virtual fitness trainer
At one stage or another we, or our friends, have espoused the benefits of a personal fitness trainer – someone to show you the ropes and motivate you through those workout regimes. However, we also know that fitness trainers come with the added caveat of time and cost: we simply cannot always afford to engage a personal trainer to take us through the exercises we need.
As always, technology offers us an alternative in the form of virtual personal fitness trainers. There are many examples of such assistants on the market, but some, such as the free Fitnet app, are able to utilize your phone’s camera to assess the suitability of particular exercises that you are undertaking, giving a score based on certain criteria. Not only that, the app can then connect directly with a human fitness trainer who can use the data collected on your fitness regimes to suggest amendments and improvements, along with supplementary routines and habits to produce a better result. This is about forging a relationship between technology and people, not looking for an either-or scenario.
3. Get your protein for breakfast
Whatever exercises you are doing and fitness routines that you are pursuing, it will be very difficult to achieve the level of fitness that you desire if you do not eat properly in the meantime. Eating properly doesn’t just involve exactly what you consume, but how much of it you take and when you take it.
Breakfast is often cited as the most important meal of the day and for good reason: after a good sleep it is the meal which kickstarts your metabolism and sets up your initial energy levels – get it wrong and it could lead to a day of bad habits. For that reason, going heavy for breakfast is not a bad idea at all.
It is therefore highly recommended to get plenty of protein for breakfast, for the dual reason that protein provides sufficient energy, but also gives you that sensation of being sated, and therefore less likely to snack before your next meal. That being said, snacking in itself is not necessarily a bad thing either, depending on what and how often you eat. 30gs of protein for breakfast is a commonly recommended amount to follow.
4. Work out with a friend
We are all different, and it may be that you prefer exercising alone so you can set your own pace. However, for added levels of motivation, and indeed exertion (as long as you have chosen the right workout buddies), doing exercise with friends is a great way to ensure you maintain the habit of performing regular exercise, and vitally, you enjoy it when you do it. Quite simply, if we do not enjoy something, we are less likely to do it, so getting social with friends in your workout is a great way to ensure you stay committed to pursuing your fitness goals.
Making exercise fun is one of the most important things you can do to ensure successful fitness habits, and in this regard, there is no end of options. Team sports are particularly great because socializing is in-built to the dynamic of these activities.
“I cannot recommend highly enough working out with friends. In fact, I have empowered friends to look out for all aspects of my fitness and health regimes: even allowing them to act as ‘spotters’ with regard to what I am consuming. It may not work for everyone, and you have to have an element of trust with that person, but I have failed so many times on my own that I need the buy-in of others if I am to success in pursuing a healthy lifestyle,” advises Trish Solomon, a fitness blogger.
5. Get creative
One thing you absolutely do not want to do is make exercise and fitness in general, boring and routine. That’s one of the quickest ways of making the activity unenjoyable, and you will soon lose the motivation to continue.
For this reason, try to be as creative as possible in the way that you try to achieve your fitness goals. Try out some new exercises such as crawling, or build in some little routines in your place of work so you are effectively killing two birds with one stone. Too many people get caught in the mindset that exercise means the gym or a run, and it really couldn’t be further from the truth.
Author: Michael Dehoyos is a marketer, editor and all-around business expert at Academic Brits and PhdKingdom. He assists businesses in their marketing strategy concepts and contributes to numerous sites and publications.