Putting our health and wellness first is not something that comes naturally anymore in a world where stress, fast food and sedentary lifestyles dominate. Add to it the current lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic and a plummeting economy and we’re all feeling the grind. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our health. Our lives have meaning. And, we must choose to value our overall well-being.
Here are the top three health and wellness goals and how to achieve them as easily as possible.
The Goal: Lose Weight
It’s certainly no secret that many Americans today are considered overweight and obese. The numbers are staggering and they’re continuing to climb. So, if your scale has been tipping too far to the right these days and your clothes are getting distressed as you stretch them over your rotund frame … it’s time to do something. You owe it to yourself.
How to Achieve Your Goal
Your diet is really 80-90 percent of the game. There are hundreds of ways to lose weight. Just do a Google search and you’ll find tons of sources touting all kinds of fad diets, simple weight loss tips and big promises to lose 10-pounds in a week. These diets may work to some extent, but at what cost? Usually, the cost is gaining the weight back in the time it takes a rubber-band to snap back after being stretched out.
Losing weight doesn’t have to involve rocket science or a daily regimen of cabbage soup or grapefruit. Nutritionists say keep it simple: calories in must equal calories out. If not, you gain weight. If your calories are less, you lose weight. But that isn’t everything. You could consume fewer calories every day, but your food choices have to be smart.
First, consume a well-balanced diet consisting of organic lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy and avoid sweets and fried fatty foods. Several studies have suggested that eating a small meal every three or four hours over the course of the day will keep your metabolism churning and burning, which ultimately means you will lose weight faster! Make breakfast a priority and stick to your guns about your goals, even if friends invite you to their lavish parties replete with gourmet gut-busting meals.
Keep your eye on the prize, and that prize is a healthier, trimmer you! If you need help, find a nutrition coach at your local NUTRISHOP® who can work with you and motivate you to eat right and stay on track.
The Goal: Tone Up
Losing weight is only half the battle. You need to exercise and lift weights, too, particularly if you want to be strong and toned. Some benefits of having a toned physique? Stronger muscles help the body burn more calories at rest, so losing weight will happen sooner. Secondly, toning the entire body, including the core, will help with posture and enable you to endure activities longer. Plus, your clothes will fit better, you’ll gain confidence and develop a more positive attitude.
How to Achieve Your Goal
Like dieting, there are a multitude of ways to approach toning up. But, the tried and true method of toning is weight resistance training – using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, ankle weights, your own body weight, etc.
To tone properly, you need to tone all over, meaning your arms, legs, back, chest and your core. Oh, and don’t forget the shoulders! Make sure you are doing at least three sets of 12-15 reps per exercise and make sure your last few reps are harder or else you need to increase the weight resistance.
The most important thing to remember when tackling the goal of toning up is you have to “mix it up.” Use free weights one week and machines another week. Do yoga or Pilates the next week. Do pushups in a doorway or squats from the chair. Your body loves to acclimate to your workouts, so, the more varied your program, the better results you’ll get!
The Goal: Live Longer
Heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer are all waiting in the wings to steal your health and vitality and claim your life! You have to combat these enemies with strong, healthy habits that will carry you through to a ripe old age where you’re able to experience all that life has to offer – from walking your daughter down the aisle (dads) and pinching your great-grandchild’s cheeks for the first time!
How to Achieve Your Goal
Did you know that exercise as a form of disease prevention has become so important that doctors have begun prescribing exercise for their patients? Patients who get into the habit of regular exercise can sometimes avoid becoming reliant on prescription medications, which can be very empowering for them.
The best news is, if you’re already working on goals one and two, you are well on your way to combating disease! Genetics, of course, play a role in your longevity and disease susceptibility, which is why it’s important to know your family history. However, being trim and fit will help guard you against diseases that would otherwise attack with full force if you were overweight or obese. The key is prevention!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for disease prevention, adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week along with weight training/muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups. This is the minimum necessary to help stave off disease.
Aside from exercise, you need to consume a diet rich in antioxidants as they will fight free radicals that threaten your system. Think of a rainbow of color when selecting fruits and vegetables as each has its own unique disease-fighting abilities. “Superfoods” are imperative in your battle against illness as well. Think strawberries, pomegranate, blueberries, broccoli, cantaloupe, tomatoes, flaxseeds/flaxseed oil, soy, walnuts, and almonds. Other lifestyle choices are just as important, such as quitting smoking, reducing stress, and drinking a minimum amount of alcohol or none at all.
You only have one life to live on this earth, why not live it healthy and strong?
1. Set health/fitness goals for you, not anyone else. Self-motivation is far more powerful than externally-based factors.
2. Make sure your goals meet your needs and aren’t set just to be cool and fit in with what’s currently popular.
3. Set your goals out of inspiration and strive for something positive, such as a feeling of wellness, rather than out of desperation or guilt after a night of indulgence.
4. Set realistic goals. Forget the size 4 dress if you’re currently eight sizes bigger.
5. Break the larger end-goal into smaller manageable ones.
6. Detail your plans and spell out how you’ll reach goals. The more specific they are, the more likely you’ll stick with them.