Staying fit and healthy has always been important, but since the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that followed, it’s been harder for people to keep this up. Gyms have been closed, and although outdoor exercise has been allowed, many have still been wary about venturing outside for long or even at all. Online workout videos have been useful to many, but others haven’t had space at home to throw themselves around and work up a sweat. In addition to this, more people have been making use of takeaways and indulging in other treats as a form of comfort in these difficult times.
Now that restrictions are being lifted, and people are feeling a little more normal than before, getting back into a good health and fitness routine is a priority. There have even been recent calls from the government to tackle a growing obesity issue in the UK. These unhealthy habits can be hard to break, however, and if you’re struggling to get yourself back on track after lockdown, use these 6 steps as a helpful guide.
Diet and Exercise
Of course, the first step is focusing on your diet and exercise routine! Everyone should be eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet, but this isn’t always easy to maintain. That’s OK though, having a treat occasionally won’t hurt you, but you need to make sure that they are treats and not becoming the norm. A good way to help maintain a good diet is by planning for your meals. This will reduce the likelihood of you picking up random items when you go to the supermarket, and in turn, will reduce the amount of junk food you bring home. Once you have your meals planned, you will also have a shopping list to stick to and will be less tempted to grab a ready meal or order a takeaway for dinner.
When it comes to exercise, it’s recommended that you get around 150 minutes a week if you’re doing moderate workouts. You might be keen to get back to the gym if you’re a member, but if not, try to get out for a 20-30-minute walk once a day to get your heart pumping.
Quit Bad Habits
Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, eating too much junk food, or even watching the TV all day are all examples of bad habits that will harm your health. It’s hard to do, but if you want to move towards a healthier lifestyle, you will need to try to leave those habits behind. Try to find alternatives or methods to help you quit, such as vaping for smokers, or ask your GP for advice.
Remind Yourself of Your Goal
It’s easy to lose motivation, especially when you’re trying to make a lifestyle change. To keep yourself on track, remind yourself regularly of your health and fitness goals. You can keep a diary, or leave yourself notes around the house as little motivational boosts. It might take a while to get where you want to be, but when you do, you’ll feel amazing for it.
Be Kind to Yourself
Making changes like this can be hard at first, and you mustn’t beat yourself up if you have an over-indulgent week or don’t stick to your fitness plan completely. By putting yourself down, you’re more likely to fall back into bad habits and lose motivation, but more importantly, this will have a terrible effect on your self-esteem. Remind yourself of your achievements and how well you have been doing despite these slip-ups!
If you’re making healthier choices because you’re trying to lose weight, but you’re not seeing the results as quickly as you thought, be patient. It’s more important to lose weight at a safe pace, and often the faster you lose it, the quicker it comes back on. Don’t be frustrated if you haven’t lost as much as you had hoped in a certain time frame, just make sure you’re practicing safe weight loss methods.
You’re Not Alone
Every single day people are trying to make healthier choices in life and improving their overall health and fitness. It can be hard trying to make those changes by yourself and sticking to a good routine. Where possible, see if you can get a friend to be a gym buddy or attend groups like Weight Watchers to keep yourself on track and get the support you need to make lasting, healthy changes to your lifestyle.
Everyone has a reason to be healthier, whatever yours is, use these tips to help you achieve your health and fitness goals!