Sticking to New Year’s resolutions can be tough. While we all try our best to commit to achieving something, more often than not 12 months down the line we’re back to where we started. And, with most of the same old must-do’s at the top of our list, perhaps it’s not what we’re hoping to achieve, but how we’re going about achieving it that causes us to fall short. Ahead of the New Year Living North speak to the experts, to find out what you’re doing wrong, and how 2019 could be the year to make your life-changing difference.
Getting fit offers endless benefits to your health, and your well being too – it’s hard to find fault with getting fit. With the wealth of apps, gyms, and online advice out there, finding the best place to start can be daunting, so we’re taking things back to basics. As Duncan Edwards, Director of Bodyguard’s gym points out, ‘getting fit and healthy actually boils down to just a few simple principles.’ While there’s undoubtedly a complex science behind it all, sticking to a few basic principles will make it easier – think, exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. Working towards a realistic balance of these will allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Don’t jump onboard rigid and strict diet plans. ‘These are likely to be lost just as quickly as they started,’ Dominic explains. Instead be sustainable, flexible and work towards long-term results. That way you can stray from your plan every now and again and enjoy yourself, without running your plan aground completely.
DUNCANS RESOLUTION TIPS
• Live by the 80 percent rule, apply it to your nutritional plans, exercise plans and your lifestyle in general. Look after your body by sticking to your plan 80 percent of the time, but allow yourself 20 percent for indulgence, this way you’ll be able to maintain it for longer. Try to be as good as you can on weekdays, then allow yourself some leeway on weekends.
• Balance shouldn’t just be applied to when you exercise but to the types of training you do too, so make sure you use a wide variety of exercises. People can get bored with the same workouts and classes, and changing things up will reduce boredom and give your body new challenges, which increases your chances of improving faster.
• In order to create some form of motivation and direction, have a goal. Start by identifying what it is you want to achieve, dig deeper than simply ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fit’ and think about what being lighter, fitter, healthier and burning off excess fat would allow you to do?
While food may provide us with the nutrients to build cells it can also boost our mood by giving us energy. According to nutritionist and food blogger Melissa Kuman we should be increasing our intake of fibre-rich foods, which will help with our urge to snack. ‘Beans, whole fresh fruit and whole grain breakfast cereals all contain fibre, which is great for gut health and makes us feel fuller for longer – making us less likely to reach out for sugary snacks,’ she explains.
Melissa says that drinking is just as important as eating when striving for a healthy lifestyle. ‘Everyone concentrates on eating healthy – water is so underrated,’ she explains. With 70 percent of our bodies made up by water, we need to replenish our supply constantly. ‘Dehydrated driving can pose a similar risk to drink driving,’ explains Melissa. ‘It leads to slower reaction times, loss of focus and muscle cramps, so make sure you keep on top of your water intake.’
MELISSA’S RESOLUTION TIPS
• Swap energy dense for nutrient dense. We all want a sweet treat now and again and the good news is there are natural sweets out there. Biting into a chewy date (filled with fibre and antioxidants) could help with those sugar cravings and might be an alternative to having that super-sugary sticky toffee pudding.
• If you’re struggling for inspiration why not invite your friends over once a month to cook together. If everyone brings along a healthy ingredient to make a dish, you can not only cook up a delicious meal from scratch (a great alternative to buying ready meals, which are normally high in salt and fat) but discover new recipes too.