Let's face it. Summer is over. That summer body you wanted to flaunt at the beach may not have been what you expected. But it's never too late to decide to jump back into that fitness life! I know what you are thinking: you are too busy, you don't have time, you work too much, you are going to start after you start that new position, after you finish X rotation. Trust me, I have used all of these excuses before. So how do you get out of the fitness funk? Here are some tips for busy people to ignite that fitness flame.
Realize it is a MARATHON, not a sprint
Eating healthy and exercising is not something you need to do for a few months to fit into bikini or show off your abs. It is a lifestyle, a way of being. It is your everyday choices that accumulate, from what you put in your mouth to deciding to take the steps instead of the elevator. There is no rush. Take your time, find your groove, and pace your self. Take it step by step and day by day. And don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day, it's not the end. You can do better with your next choice.
Just Do It
My biggest problem is I put too much pressure on myself and about working out. I'm an all or nothing person so if I feel like I'm not gonna put my all into something I won't do it because I'm afraid to fail. But I had to learn with fitness and healthy eating that thinking that way is detrimental and will leave you stuck.
Plain and simple , just do it. Don't make rules about what you can and can't do. Say yes to the walk on your lunch break. Say yes to the gym after happy hour (true story). Try new fruits and vegetables. Every little bit counts. Think about all that time you wasted on social media or watching tv. The time you are spending negotiating with yourself about whether or not to work out, you could have done 10 push ups.
Be Prepared and Make a Plan
Chances are you didn't get to where you are in life by winging it and relying on luck to get the results you want. Planning is the key to success! And fitness and healthy eating are no different. When planning, you don't want to over plan and create a life that is so rigid that you are unable to adjust to change but you also need to set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound
Invest in new fitness items, buy new comfortable workout shoes and clothes, buy a salad spinner, or a food scale, a blender, a new water bottle. Investing in your fitness will keep you motivated and make planning even easier.
Remember, being healthy is hard! But it's important to try and be positive, to accept your self the way you are and embrace all the stages of your fitness journey. It's never too late to start over and try something new.
Many people get frustrated because they want to wake up at 5am work out 5 days a week and do all the things the Instagram fitness stars do. Be realistic with your self and fitness goals. You may only be able to exercise 3 days a week, and thats fine! You may only be able to work out for 30 mins a day and thats fine as well! You may enjoy running and cardio over weight lifting or you may not know how to exercise at all and need to get a personal trainer and that's fine too.
I realized am not a morning person so I often exercise after work. I make sure to have a small cup of coffee or energy drink, change into my work clothes as soon as I get home, and put on my favorite workout playlist. The important thing is consistency. Once you have the consistency part down, then you can fine tune your workout regimen.
If you don't know how to exercise start, use apps like Nike Training App that show you step by step how to do workouts. If you have to, take it back to the basics and do the exercises you dreaded in high school gym class. Start somewhere and make improvements as you go.
This is the most important and critical and difficult part of leading a healthy lifestyle. No matter how much you exercise you can't outwork a bad diet. Eating a well balanced diet is essential not only to weight loss, but also important for how you feel. Keep track of the foods you eat and how much of them you eat and READ THE LABELS. The bag of chips you scarfed down was actually 9 servings instead of the 120 calories you thought you ate! You will be surprised how many calories some of the foods you love will cost you. Use food trackers or apps to get an idea of how much food you are consuming (My Fitness Pal). Keeping track of what you eat holds you accountable. if you know that piece of cake in the break room is 500 calories before you eat it, it looks less and less appetizing.
On that note, just say no to the work snacks. Instead bring your own snacks! I carry snacks with me every time I leave the house because in NYC there is amazing food everywhere.
When it comes to snacking, portion control is key. Use zip lock bags to portion out a serving. Bring a variety of snacks so that you don't get bored, some salty and savory, some sweet. High protein snacks are the best because they keep you full. They are often paired with fats and tend to be higher calorie so be sure to read the labels. Some of my favorite healthy snacks include string cheese, nuts, greek yogurt, grilled chicken, hummus and carrots , cucumbers, peanut butter, apples, grapes, strawberries, popcorn, and sugar free pudding.
Plan your meals and pack your lunch the night before. Food prepping is a sure way to eat healthier and save money. I love to cook and would throw together these extravagant meals that would take me 2 hours to make. But as a resident ain't nobody got time for that! Find some staple foods you like and early in the week, make lots of healthy proteins like chicken breast, ground turkey, tofu,and beans. Keep your flavors and seasonings simple so that you can use them for different dishes. For example, we buy chicken breasts and season them with salt pepper and garlic powder and then you can make a salad, a sandwich,chop it up with some vegetables, over rice, what every you heart desires!
Everyone you know should know you are trying to do better. Post it on social media and tell your family and friends! Because they will hold you accountable. Some will motivate you and support you. Others will call you out when you are stuffing snacks in your mouth. Either way, expressing your desire to live a healthier life style is helpful for actually doing it. Why do you think I wrote this post!?
Have other helpful tips for kickstarting fitness? Drop a comment below!
Helpful Apps and Websites
For food tracking: https://www.myfitnesspal.com
For exercise: https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/training/nike-training-club
For recipes and healthy food ideas: https://www.yummly.com