Have you ever started a workout program or a meal plan and abandoned it over time? If your answer is yes, don’t worry! It’s more common than you think.
Often, this happens because these plans don’t suit your requirements, are too abrupt, lack motivation, or it’s difficult to break bad habits. Changing your routine to improve your health is one of the best choices you can make in life, but it’s important to do it gradually, without being extreme, and taking small steps that lead to the ultimate goal.
Today, we’ll share 6 tips to stay in shape and incorporate a healthy lifestyle not just temporarily, but as a part of your life.
1. Set goals:
Start with simple goals and gradually progress to more challenging ones.
It’s important that they are realistic and achievable. You can’t run a marathon if you’ve never run 5 km. Setting overly ambitious goals can lead to frustration and giving up.
Begin with a list of small goals, set time frames to achieve them, and outline the action plan you need to follow to reach them.
Writing your goals down on paper can help you stay motivated, and keeping an exercise diary can be useful to track your progress.
2. One step at a time
As mentioned earlier, you can’t run a marathon without first running 5 km.
Understand your personal process and take it easy. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in effort or settle for the minimum; it means taking one step at a time.
For example, if your goal is to reduce body fat, instead of initially aiming to “lose 15 kg,” start with small goals like cutting out sugary drinks, processed foods, and sweets in the first week, aiming to lose 1 kg within a specific timeframe.
As these small goals are achieved, you’ll feel more motivated to reach the ultimate goal.
3. Physical activity
Physical activity is one of the key tools to stay in shape. It not only benefits the way our bodies look but also our emotions, mental state, and overall well-being.
The important thing is to find an activity you enjoy so that you see exercise as a source of pleasure rather than an obligation. If you’ve never engaged in sports before, you can start with a walk near your home, join a low-impact class, ride a bike, or go for a swim.
It’s also essential to reserve time in your daily schedule for exercise. Don’t make excuses about time because everyone, even if it’s just 45 minutes, can find the time to dedicate to this.
You can also incorporate physical activity throughout the day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther from your destination. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is crucial for good health. If you have a job that requires sitting for several hours a day, try to take regular breaks during the day to move around.
Exercise and nutrition are the perfect combination for staying in shape. Many times, we fall into the trap of thinking that if we exercise, we can indulge in whatever we want to eat. This is completely false.
Nutrition accounts for 80% of a healthy lifestyle change, and if we truly want to see the results of our physical activity efforts, it’s crucial to consider our eating habits.
It’s not about searching the internet for a diet to lose weight; it’s important to consult with a nutritionist who can assess the needs of your body and create a plan based on your goals.
5. Find companionship
Motivation doesn’t last forever, and one way to maintain the exercise habit is by finding companionship.
Invite your friends or coworkers to exercise together or go for walks. Exercise with your partner or other loved ones.
This can be crucial, especially on those lazy days when you don’t feel like exercising. Your workout buddies can provide a little pressure to help you push through.
It’s also important for your close circle of family and friends to understand that you’re going through a process of change to get fit and develop better habits. By communicating this to them, they will understand your journey and can support you in other ways, such as inviting you to healthy outings, avoiding gifts of desserts or foods that disrupt your plan, and more.
6. Rest and recovery
Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise itself.
Many people want quick and impressive results, but it’s not advisable to overdo exercise and not listen to your body. Getting enough sleep daily, taking muscle breaks to avoid fatigue, and being attentive to any discomfort that arises are essential.
Engaging in active rest activities that promote recovery, such as walking, stretching, or using foam rolling (a technique that helps alleviate pain and prevent injuries), are key to recovery.
To stay in shape, the most important thing is to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine. Don’t see it as punishment or a temporary diet, but rather as a transformation of your daily activities to give your body the best health possible.
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