More Than Education

More Than Education, the health, fitness & coaching blog by More Than Muscle. This area of the site should be used as a reference point for everything educational relating to training, nutrition, health, fitness & coaching!

How To Start With Health And Fitness Posted on 30/08/2017

How To Start With Health And Fitness

So your here again, the kids are about to go back to school and you’re about to embark on your annual health and fitness quest. But, have you thought about where you went wrong last time? Consider these simple steps to keep your health a fitness kick, kicking all year long.


Goals

Start by writing down the reasons behind your new health and fitness regime. From this, think of where you want to be? How that will make you feel when you achieve this? How will this affect you, your family, your work and social life? Add a time frame to this goal and it suddenly becomes a task. Start by looking long-term i.e. 6 months+ you will then find it easier and more realistic to break down your goal into smaller and more achievable chunks. Write all your mini milestones down somewhere you can see them every day.


Preferences: Classes/gym/PT?

There are many ways you can begin with working out and it simply boils down to preference. If confidence is an issue I would suggest starting with a friend. Gym classes are a great place to start to, many have a fun and energetic atmosphere and are aimed at all fitness levels. Online fitness programs and e-books are another route you can take if you’re self-disciplined and have some general gym knowledge. Personal Training is a tailored and structured service specific to you and only you.


Other Activities

It’s not all about the gym. Re-join your local sports team, sign-up to a charity race or start attending a walking/running club. What often stops people in their tracks when heading for their goals is boredom. Enjoy the journey and enjoy what your body can do.


Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? 6-8 hours of unbroken sleep is the recommendation. Having this amount of rest per night will give your body time to repair ahead of a fresh and new day! If you don’t find it easy to fall asleep then there are a few things you can do to improve this. Firstly, try not to consume any caffeine a minimum of 6 hours before bedtime. Also, make sure your room is completely dark and a cool temperature. Lastly, there should absolutely no technology in the bedroom. Unfortunately, shining a glowing blue light into the retina of your eye isn’t the best form of relaxation. Try reading or listening to an audiobook before bed instead.


Hydration

Your water intake goal depends on your activity level, height and weight but usually around 2-3 litres per day will do it. If you feel thirsty, chances are you’re already dehydrated and if 2 litres of water sounds like an awful lot to you, then chances are you’re probably not drinking enough. Start by filling up a 2-litre bottle with water and sip this throughout the day. Staying hydrated gives a healthy glow to your skin, keeps hunger at bay, prevents headaches and keeps your digestive system regular.


Nutrition

This is where it tends to go wrong. Begin with eating natural and whole foods that you enjoy and don’t restrict yourself. Food is there to nourish your body and shouldn’t be used as your weapon of self-destruction. Typically we’re creatures of habit and tend to rotate around the same meals and ingredients week-in week-out, so keep things exciting by trying new foods and recipes.


Weigh yourself properly

People tend to shy away from the scales, but there really is no need to. Weighing yourself every day teaches you about your body and how it reacts to different foods or activity levels. Water intake, menstrual cycle, food intake and stress can all play havoc with the scales and its important we understand this. So if your going to weigh yourself do so on the same scales at the same time (morning preferably) every day and then calculate an average over that week.


Log your progress

Whether your goal is to improve yourself mentally of physically it’s important to log your progress. Personally, keeping a diary works for me but you can also use your phone to create notes, take pictures or record short voice memos. Achievements are motivating to see and great to look back on, you’ll never get bored of seeing results.