This time of the year is always ripe with crash diets, punishing workouts and self-deprecating chatter about how many mince pies and mulled wines you enjoyed in December. This year, rather than stressing over your appearance or those couple of extra pounds, how about prioritising looking after both your mental and physical health instead? We’re sharing some of our favourite tips and smart swaps that’ll improve your fitness and mental wellbeing without the need for anything drastic…
Set a Regular Bedtime
For many, sleep is a massively underrated part of their wellness. It impacts everything from your energy and mood to your ability to perform in the gym or lose weight. Avoid pressing play on yet another Netflix episode and hit the hay an hour earlier to wake up feeling more refreshed. If getting to the gym before work is your goal, don’t be unrealistic! Try aiming for 3 early mornings instead of 5 to make sure you’re not exhausting yourself.
Learn To Say No
Whether it’s a social gathering that you just don’t have the energy for, a work commitment that’s adding too much to your plate or yet another high intensity workout, saying no is key to staying well. Saying yes to too much will have you feeling overwhelmedand stressed – often leading to sickness or burn out.
Moderation for Deprivation
Instead of eating a depressing diet made up solely of lean protein and vegetables, try creating healthier alternatives of your favourite foods; and don’t be afraid to treat yourself ! It’s the other 70% of your diet that will make sure you’re keeping healthy and working towards any goals you may have.
Be Mindful About Emotional Eating
We’ve all been there: you get home from a seriously tough day at work and all you want to do is reach for the bottle of wine or chocolate bar (or three!). This is normal, and despite those articles telling you to distract yourself with a walk or bath, it’s unlikely that you’ll always be able to stop yourself from eating emotionally. So instead of trying unsuccessfully to stop this entirely, try to be mindful about why you’re eating and what has caused you to feel this way. Working things out in your head and understanding where the craving comes from is a great way to put the brakes on things before one treat becomes 3, 4 or 5.
Focusing on the Future Instead of Looking Back
It may be easier said than done, but stressing about the past achieves nothing but wasting your precious time. Our best advice? Try to see the mistakes and lessons that you can learn from any given situation, making sure you move forward instead of back.
Swap Driving for Biking to Work
Biking to work has more benefits than you can imagine; it gives you a healthy dose of fresh air, headspace, exercise as well as being kinder on your wallet too! That’s what we call a seriously smart swap.
Swerve the Food Coma
Sometimes restaurant portions can be downright ridiculous! If you’re feeling full, ask to take the rest home and you’ll save yourself the hassle of cooking tomorrow’s lunch as well as some pennies. It’s so much more enjoyable to savour that delicious meal tomorrow rather than stuffing it all down in one go.
Swap Your Dull Workout For Something Fun
Hate lifting heavy weights? Can’t stand the thought of going jogging? Mix it up and try something new. Whether it’s Zumba, boxing or Crossfit… a sustainable workout regime is all about finding the workouts that you enjoy.
Get Support From a PT
Struggling for motivation, need some tips on your form, or want an expert to plan you a tailored programme? There is a whole heap of benefits to gaining the perspective of a professional, and as long as you’re willing to do the work, it’s a surefire way to fast track your results. Don’t be afraid to do your research into their background and question why they’re getting you do something – you’ve got to make sure you’re getting bang for your buck!