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11 ways to stay fit and healthy

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Staying fit and healthy plays an important role in our life.

Staying fit and healthy plays an important role in our life. People neglect their health because of the hectic daily schedules but there are little things that you can do each day that will add to being healthy and fit.

Here are some ways to stay fit and healthy:

1 Regular Check-ups:

One should get annual physical check up to make sure everything is as it should be. There is no harm getting regular check ups as it’s good for your own body. Do breast or testicular self-exams and get suspicious moles checked out. Getting exams regularly benefits you because if and when something is abnormal, you will get to know about it timely and can consult with your doctor.

2 Get enough sleep:

Getting enough sleep is necessary to stay fit and healthy, many of us do not get enough.

Lack of sleep affects our physical and mental health tremendously. It also affects metabolism, mood, concentration, memory, motor skills, stress hormones and even the immune system and cardiovascular health.

Sleep allows the body to heal, repair and rejuvenate.

3 Exercise:

Exercise is important for being fit and healthy. One should walk for few minutes everyday to stay fit.

It also improves circulation and body awareness and can help combat depression.

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Cardiovascular exercise helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, strength training helps to strengthen the muscles and stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury by increasing flexibility.

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4 Eat healthy food:

Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables,and whole grains to stay healthy and fit. Also include lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, tofu and beans into your diet.

One should eat a balanced meal and not overeat. Junk foods like burgers, pizza and those that are highly processed and contain artificial sweeteners should be strictly avoided.

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5 Do not skip breakfast:

One should have healthy breakfast as it keeps you energetic and fuelled for optimal mental and physical performance. Eating breakfast helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels and a healthy weight because you are less likely to overindulge later in the day.

6 Drink plenty of water:

Drink plenty of water as it helps in keeping our bodies hydrated and to maintain a healthy body. It is the natural cleanser for our organs and digestive system. Water also helps in flushing toxins out through the skin and urine.

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7 Do not take stress:

Stress is not good as it harms the body and can cause a myriad of problems, from heart trouble to digestive problems. Exercise, meditation, doing what you love, appropriate boundaries, spirituality, being in nature and enjoyable hobbies helps to alleviate the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Don’t overwork and take breaks and surround yourself with people who support you.

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8 Get off to a slow start

The danger of the typical New Year resolutions approach to fitness, says personal trainer Matt Roberts, is that people “jump in and do everything – change their diet, start exercising, stop drinking and smoking – and within a couple of weeks they have lost motivation or got too tired. If you haven’t been in shape, it’s going to take time.” He likes the trend towards high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and recommends people include some, “but to do that every day will be too intense for most people”. Do it once (or twice, at most) a week, combined with slow jogs, swimming and fast walks – plus two or three rest days, at least for the first month. “That will give someone a chance of having recovery sessions alongside the high-intensity workouts.”

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9 You don’t have to love it

It is helpful not to try to make yourself do things you actively dislike, says Segar, who advises thinking about the types of activities – roller-skating? Bike riding? – you liked as a child. But don’t feel you have to really enjoy exercise. “A lot of people who stick with exercise say: ‘I feel better when I do it.’” There are elements that probably will be enjoyable, though, such as the physical response of your body and the feeling of getting stronger, and the pleasure that comes with mastering a sport.

“For many people, the obvious choices aren’t necessarily the ones they would enjoy,” says Sniehotta, who is also the director of the National Institute for Health Research’s policy research unit in behavioural science, “so they need to look outside them. It might be different sports or simple things, like sharing activities with other people.”

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10 Be kind to yourself

Individual motivation – or the lack of it – is only part of the bigger picture. Money, parenting demands or even where you live can all be stumbling blocks, says Sniehotta. Tiredness, depression, work stress or ill family members can all have an impact on physical activity. “If there is a lot of support around you, you will find it easier to maintain physical activity,” he points out. “If you live in certain parts of the country, you might be more comfortable doing outdoor physical activity than in others. To conclude that people who don’t get enough physical activity are just lacking motivation is problematic.”

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Segar suggests being realistic. “Skip the ideal of going to the gym five days a week. Be really analytical about work and family-related needs when starting, because if you set yourself up with goals that are too big, you will fail and you’ll feel like a failure. At the end of a week, I always ask my clients to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Maybe fitting in a walk at lunch worked, but you didn’t have the energy after work to do it.”

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11 Don’t rely on willpower

“If you need willpower to do something, you don’t really want to do it,” says Segar. Instead, think about exercise “in terms of why we’re doing it and what we want to get from physical activity. How can I benefit today? How do I feel when I move? How do I feel after I move?”

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