Getting healthy can be a lot of work for those who aren’t used to it. Getting educated about health means some hard truths are exposed. Like suddenly realizing how unhealthy some of those previously innocuous habits of yours really are. Then finding out what you should do and why. It can be a real information overload if you’re trying to learn bit by bit. Especially when you start throwing fad diets and ‘shortcuts’ in the mix. We’re not going to be looking at those. Instead, we’re going to take a broad look over what getting healthy really means. The basics of what you aim toward and what you should start building your knowledge off of.
To begin with, we’re going to look at a couple of the personality traits and mental skills that you need to develop. Before and during your fitness regime. A lot of people focus on methods and diets without making sure that they are mentally prepared for the task they’re about to undertake. Particularly with exercise, it is vital to maintain a high level of motivation. The simple fact is that it makes exercising easier. Perhaps never ‘easy’, but easier than it is without. There are a lot of different tools you can use to motivate yourself, too. Setting records, listening to music, inviting a friend. Find the method that works for you.
Then stick to it. It’s a lot more difficult for beginners to hit the gym the third, fourth and fifth time than for the veteran to hit it for the hundredth. At a certain point in your regime, exercise becomes routine. Those difficulties don’t really feel like difficulties anymore. But to get to that point, you need to develop discipline. Self-discipline doesn’t just help with exercise, of course. So you shouldn’t think only about how to be more disciplined with your exercise. Remove temptations and build a focused routine that you stick to. Even with menial things like housework and taking time for whatever your hobby is. Discipline reaches through all aspects of life, so build it through all aspects of life as well.
Now to look at what you actually need to start doing as part of your regimen. In terms of exercise, there are really two different forms that you need to focus on. From there, it’s all variation. The first is aerobic exercise. Commonly used for those who are looking to shift weight. However, it also has real benefits for cardiovascular function, too. Any kind of mobility, from a brisk walk to high intensity interval training, is aerobics. What you’re aiming for aerobics that raises your heart rate and gets you tired. It’s recommended you join some sort of fitness club so you can learn the proper way to warm up. As well as how to push yourself and give yourself more relaxed intervals for a full aerobic workout.
Getting truly fit isn’t just about aerobic exercises, however. Even if you don’t want to start packing on the muscle, it’s vital that you incorporate some form of muscle building exercises into your workout. For one, if losing weight is a priority, then high repetition muscle building exercises can do that. But it also has a variety of benefits like improving balance, mobility and posture. All important to being truly healthy. Whereas losing weight isn’t localized, muscle building is. Working out your arms doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to lose arm fat, but it does mean you’re going to build arm strength. So naturally, the key to muscle building exercises is to do them multiple times a week, targeting different areas. If you’ve never done them before, expect some debilitating stiffness and pain a couple days after your first go on that area of your body, too.
Keep it measured
One thing that you need to get nailed down is the importance of measuring what you do. Not just your weight and calories you eat. Measure your exercise. How long you go for, how much you lift, how many repetitions. Your heart rate throughout the day. Not only can it help you calculate its effect on your caloric balance. Recording your fitness regime helps you set better goals.
The reason you diet
When we’re talking about diet, we need to think about the goals you have and the reasons you diet. If you’re trying to lose weight, you obviously want to go low calories. If you’re building muscle, then you need protein, omega acids and other vitamins. Whatever you do, however, you need to find a balance of all the individual components your body needs. This means whole grains, protein foods, fruits, vegetables, dairy and plenty of water. Regardless of your eating habits, you can build a balanced diet. For example, if you’re vegan, there are a lot more calcium rich foods available than just dairy. What’s important is that you keep yourself stocked up on the individual bonuses of each food group. As for treats, there’s very little benefit to sugary sweets, fried carbs and the like. We all have our treats from time to time, but you need to make sure they only make occasional visits.
Supplementing your diet
Depending on your diet and your goals, it’s not always possible to get all the nutrients you need within your diet itself. This is where supplements come into play. Protein powders, for example, can play a huge role in pushing the results of muscle building workouts. The caloric intake necessary for some workouts means it can be easier to get vitamins through supplements. Then there are certain aspects of your health, like digestion, that can take a hit from dietary changes. You can soothe these transitionary woes through probiotics, which have health and digestive effects. There are all kinds of supplements for all kinds of regimes. Just make sure you do your research on them.
The mental side of fitness
The physical benefits of a healthy lifestyle are obvious. It builds strength, loses weight and makes your body healthier all around. But there’s also a lot to be said for the mental side of those benefits, too. For example, we’ve already mentioned that getting fit can be a big contributor to building a more disciplined lifestyle. It can also help to deal with some of the most common mental disorders, however. For example, regular exercise can prevent stress hormones from being produced. It gives an endorphin rush and promotes better sleep, which can help with depression and anxiety. Mental health is as important an aspect of wellness as any of the bodily benefits. So it’s only right that you know just how a healthier lifestyle can help you better achieve that as well.
Hopefully that has helped you understand what you need to do a bit better. This is no comprehensive guide, but it should be enough to help you get a healthy understanding of what fitness is really all about. Do what you can to help yourself develop the motivation and discipline to get on an exercise routine and stick to it. Understand the impacts of aerobics and muscle building exercises. Understand why both are necessary as part of an all-round health lifestyle. Don’t estimate how much you lose, how much you eat, how much you work out. Treat it like a bank balance. Get the real figures and learn how to improve from there. Know what you need from your diet and how to supplement it. Finally, be aware of all the gains that a healthy lifestyle makes, not just physically, but mentally.