We’re almost halfway through 2015, and even if you didn’t whip yourself into shape this Spring, there is still time to catch up and give your body the transformation it deserves.
But fitness is not just predicated by physical exertion; overall health, comprising mental wellbeing and a good, wholesome diet is part of the package. Before one embarks on converting fat into muscle for the summer and slipping into some of those clothes you’ve seen in your favourite department store think about diet, and taste, and texture.
MindBodyGreen lists 10 ways to improve your wellness, including the rising industry of the “stealthy healthy restaurant” – the eateries which don’t aim to promote themselves as serving particularly nutritious food, but do so anyway. The use of organic food and grass-fed meat from animals in good living conditions is now commonplace. If you can’t find hidden-healthy, or even obviously healthy fare, then at least go for a new flavor or trend.
For fitness, no enthusiast should feel like they need to pigeonhole themselves into trying just one exercise or sport in their lives. Physical trainers know that altering routines and regimes prevents muscles from adjusting and becoming more efficient to the point where the exertion loses much of its strength.
Therefore 2015 will be a year where more people take on two sports at once, which sometimes will not seem likely bedfellows. Football and yoga. Runner and riding. Tennis and tae kwon do. Polo and parkour.
Another way to get into shape is by doing body-weight training, where you don’t lift dumbbells or skip rope, but instead just use your own body weight as resistance through squats, press-ups, and the dreaded burpee. The advantages are numerous, as these exercises can be done at any time (even in the bathroom at work, if you like!) and easily be made more easy or more difficult.
We’ve spoken about changing your mindset to enjoy doing two or more different exercises, and body-weight training could be an obvious element of this. A month of combining jogging and lunges, for example, will give you concrete quads of which to be proud.
You can tell everyone about said pride using wearable technology, to track distances, heart rates, diets and routines. The old days of printing out or remembering a particular regime are long gone thanks to mobile technology and apps such as these. There’s even talk of eyeglasses that can track your calories burned and distance travelled. Advice from companies such as Fysiqal Nutrition can complete the overall picture.
Combine your work and exercise with rest and a good few hours of sleep, preferably without reading a small screen before closing your eyes, which has been linked to a lack of alertness the next morning and a lack of sleep, which in itself is linked to obesity and cardiovascular disease.
A final way of getting in shape – treat your mind well. Try out new movies, music and reading material. Watch TED talks and tackle puzzles to stretch your intellect. Network and arrange (healthy) lunches with old friends, and investigate new ways of thinking politically and spiritually. You don’t have to agree with what you find, but the mere act of participation will benefit your brain and your overall health.