Nowadays, you get a lot of conflicting information about how to live a healthy life, and there are also many different points of view as to what constitutes being fit and healthy. People who do a lot of cardio will swear by it, while those who love yoga will tell you to do yoga instead. Vegetarians will tell you about the health benefits of the raw food diet, and protein enthusiasts will tell you to eat more chicken and fish. What are you supposed to do? Here are a few pointers that will guide you through any health-related dilemma:
1. What Makes You Feel Good?
Exercise is not merely a physical activity. Sure, you use your body to do it and it results in greater physical health, but it can also feel good to the mind; it can help you to relieve depression. Many runners will tell you that running is meditative for them. It allows their mind to wander. Yogis will tell you that doing yoga makes them feel calm and peaceful. So, you need to figure out what gives you that mental high and then do that. Every time you perform that activity, you’ll feel good, and this will motivate you to keep going.
2. Are You Following a Rounded Regimen?
Doing what makes you feel good is always a good idea, but sometimes, you can end up doing too much of one thing and not enough of another. If you’re only doing cardio, you might ignore your upper body or your core. This is not a good idea. Make sure that you are following a rounded regimen, or at least as close to it as possible. Switch up the types of activity you do, and you’ll end up using different muscles.
3. Increase Slowly.
When you’re exercising, it can be very tempting to just keep going to the limits of your endurance. If you’re a runner, you probably want to run as hard and fast as you can. If you lift weights, you might want to increase your weights and the number of reps to the max that your body will allow. However, this is usually not a good idea because it can result in injury. Sometimes, people will push their body once and, since it doesn’t object, they’ll keep doing it every time. But, the truth is that, sooner or later, your body is going to break down. You might sprain, strain, or pull a muscle. This can even result in your not being able to exercise that part of your body for days or even weeks. Increase the intensity of your exercise slowly, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.
4. Give Yourself Time to Recover.
It is common knowledge that you’re not supposed to exercise the same muscle groups two days in a row. If you do bicep curls on one day, don’t do them again the next day. Give your muscles a chance to recover. However, you might think that your muscles aren’t feeling particularly strained the next day. Your body isn’t aching. So, do you really need that rest day? You do! If you wish to lift weights every day, try to alternate between different parts of the body. One day, you can focus on upper body; the next, you can focus on lower body; on the third day, you can focus on your core muscles. This way, each part that you’re working will get two days to recover, which is ideal.
5. Be Consistent.
Overall, the best thing you can do for your fitness is to be consistent. It’s good to do something every day, if possible. It doesn’t have to be something very rigorous. Instead, it can be a brisk half an hour walk. When possible, of course, throw in something different, like jogging, weights, yoga, or pilates. However, if you don’t feel up to anything else, just listen to some music and take a walk. That way, you’ll still be doing something for your health on that day, and you’ll be developing a consistent exercise habit, which will set you up for fitness success far into the future.
6. Try Different Things.
Different people have different types of bodies. Some bodies react well to cardio, while others react well to weightlifting. The only way to figure out what type of body you have is to try out different forms of exercise. Try out different types of cardio. Experiment with different types of weightlifting. Try stretchy bands. Go to a yoga or dance class. And don’t give up after just trying everything once. Try to put a reasonable amount of effort into figuring out whether a certain type of exercise is working for you. If you have one bad day at work or in a new relationship, you don’t give it up altogether, do you? Then why would you do this with your health?
7. Love Yourself.
The most important thing, when you’re trying to be fit and healthy, is to love yourself. A lot of women work out just to lose weight and fit in with the contemporary ideal of slimness. You don’t have to be extremely skinny to be beautiful. In fact, losing too much weight is dangerous to your health. And, when your health suffers, so does your beauty. Your skin loses its natural glow, your hair becomes dry and brittle, and your nails start breaking because they’re so weak. Instead of working out too hard and eating very little, make an effort to give your body the nutrition and exercise it needs. Remember that sleep is important, too. So, make sure that you get eight hours of it. Show yourself love in whatever way you can. It’s always possible to be a little nicer to yourself and stop pushing yourself too hard.
Contact us for more great tips to help you lead a healthy and happy life.