Simple steps to a healthier you
We all know the deal. We start off the New Year with grandiose resolutions to lose ten pounds a week, cut out sugar, meat or carbs from our diets and get up at the crack of dawn (in the cold) to start an exercise regime.
But then reality sets in. Maybe we are able to skip on dessert for a few weeks, but then that fated day comes when a spoonful or bite turns into the entire cake.
Rather than staving off everything you enjoy, there are some simple things you can do to get a healthy start to 2013.
The Royal Gazette’s Lifestyle section asked two personal trainers to give us advice on how people can make good on those weight loss goals.
According to Betty Doyling crash diets claiming to help you lose 20lbs in two weeks or a dress size by drinking only lemon aid and paprika don’t work. Instead she said it’s best to think long-term and take it one step at a time with more healthy solutions.
“Make the kind of changes that are easy for you such as eating more vegetables and fruit, or eating a dessert only on the weekend,” she said. “Try to incorporate your changes permanently into your lifestyle. I prefer to eat real food over a pea on my plate.”
Another suggestion from the fitness instructor was to incorporate more exercise into your regular week. By working out in the morning before the day’s responsibilities get underway, you are setting yourself up for better success.
“I find that after my day is done I don't want to go and workout then,” Mrs Doyling said. “By putting your workouts off, you will easily get busy with everyday life and additional stress that it could bring.
“Simply walking a mile a day or taking reasonable exercise three times a week will substantially reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as strengthening bones and keeping them strong. If you walk, don't dawdle. Make it a brisk pace and get breathless.”
During her weekly exercise classes, Mrs Doyling tries to also give some nutrition advice to people as well. That’s because without healthy eating, your attempts to sweat off pounds in the gym is not going to do much.
She recommends that people try and eat whole-grain foods, such as bread, rice or pasta, at least three or four times a week. The move will not only benefit your health, but also your waistline, she said.
Her last tip is to have fun with it. Try and find an exercise routine that you enjoy, whether it be Zumba, yoga, pole dancing, badminton, roller blading or running.
If you enjoy what you are doing, you are more likely to stick with it past a few weeks or months, she said. The same can apply to your diet: if you enjoy fresh fruits, why not top that with yoghurt and granola for a sweet treat after dinner?
One of personal trainer Sergio White’s best tips is to find a friend to go through the journey with. Statistics show that exercising with a buddy helps both people to exercise more consistently.
“You can keep each other accountable. Knowing that someone is waiting for you to exercise with them can be great motivation to show up and get it done,” he said.
While you’re at it why not compete with that person to see who can get the fastest mile or lose the most body fat. Mr White said a little healthy competition can be good as you will have a goal to achieve and it will force you to try harder.
The personal trainer suggests for people to use the "I will show them all" technique, but only sparingly. He said: “Think about the mean people who teased you, the girl who refused to go out with you, a sneering sales person in the clothes shop, imagine them all, and ‘show them’ — by running fast, kicking high, and ending up being and feeling gorgeous.”
Mr White also suggests for people to choose music that they like to keep them encouraged and motivated through the exercise routine.
Another way to keep motivated is to set fitness goals that are unrelated to weight loss; aim to get a faster running time or have more energy to get you through the day.
Reward yourself, but not with food, he suggests.
“Invent a set of rules for yourself, for example ‘Every time I am not feeling like exercising, but do it, I will put $1 in my piggy bank’ or ‘Every time I achieve this or that goal — I will put $3 in’.
“At the end of the month go out and buy yourself the most impractical things you were craving, but denying yourself with this money.”
Though it’s easy to get discouraged when you step on the scale and don’t see the numbers changing too much, keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat. Another way to test whether you are losing inches is to see how your clothes are fitting, he said.
“Check regularly with your clothes, see how they become bulkier, whoop from joy, photograph the progress and create a photo gallery on your computer.”
Perhaps his biggest tip is not to wait for some big moment or big day before you start exercising. Mr White said it’s not always necessary to devote an hour chunk to the gym.
“Instead of sitting on the couch, saying ‘it does not matter, I am going to the gym the next day’, get off and do a series of push-ups, or skip with the skipping rope, walk down the stairs at work or around the block during your lunch break.
“This way you are exercising, fighting boredom, and don’t have to sweat in the gym for hours afterwards. These random seven to ten minutes activities will roll at the end of the day into a full gym session.”
Mrs Doyling offers Zumba classes at Sabor Dance School on Sundays at 10am; Wesley Methodist Church on Mondays & Wednesdays at 5.30pm. She also offers circuit toning classes at Bulls Head car park on Sundays at 9am and Tuesdays at noon.
Mr White is available for personal training sessions and can be reached via e-mail email@example.com or 295-0297.
Useful website: www.positiveresults.bm