Being fit and healthy is important for everyone. Your fitness levels can greatly improve your quality of life, as well as helping to promote a long life. But when people decide to get fit, they often do so in a surprisingly unhealthy way. We live in a world where everything is made as convenient as possible and where many of us have lost the art of practicing patience. The truth is that if you’ve let your fitness levels and general health slip, it is going to take some time to get back on track and build your body back up to what it used to be.
The key to success is consistency and it’s important that you take the right steps to get back in shape and at your peak performance in a sensible way that is recommended by genuine healthcare professionals. Here are a few steps to take that can help you to achieve your goals and sustain the results for the long run:
Eat Your Recommended Calorie Intake
Many people start out by trying to lose weight. Sure, this can be a fair goal if your doctor notes that you are overweight or obese and recommends that you lose sufficient weight to hold a healthy BMI. But even in this scenario, it’s important that you still consume your recommended calorie intake. All too many people make the mistake of casting calories as the enemy and doing what they can to consume as few calories as possible. This is dangerous. Calories are simply a unit of measurement showing how much energy is in different foods and you need to make sure that you’re giving your body enough energy to complete the day to day tasks you demand of it.
Eating too few calories can drive your body into starvation mode and prove bad for you. The recommended calories for the average adult will differ depending on factors such as your age, sex, activity levels and whether your doctor has recommended going into a calorie deficit or not. You should talk to your own doctor for unique and accurate recommendations. For those looking to maintain a healthy weight, the recommended calorie intakes are as follows:
- Children aged 2 to 8 – 1000 to 1400 calories
- Girls aged 9 to 13 – 1400 to 1600 calories
- Boys aged 9 to 13 – 1600 to 2000 calories
- Active women aged 14 to 30 – 2400 calories
- Sedentary women aged 14 to 30 – 1800 to 2000 calories
- Active men aged 14 to 30 – 2800 to 3200 calories
- Sedentary men aged 14 to 30 – 2000 to 2600 calories
- Active adults over 30 – 2000 to 3000 calories
- Sedentary adults over 30 – 1600 to 2400 calories
Make Sure Your Meals are Balanced
Getting sufficient calories isn’t where the journey to a healthier diet ends. You could stay within your daily calorie recommendation, but if all of those calories you choose are junk food, nutritionally devoid or packed with excess sugars, salts and fats, your body isn’t going to thank you for it. Instead, you need to make sure you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure that you’re getting all of your recommended food groups in moderation. Don’t make the mistake of completely cutting out certain categories of food, such as carbs. Ignore fad diets and make sure your body is getting what it actually needs to fuel you through each day. Meal planning can help with this. It gives you the opportunity to plan out all the meals ahead of you for each week, helping you to save money and waste less by using leftovers and also ensuring you get all of your food groups, fruits and vegetables.
If you notice that any areas of your diet are lacking, you can always incorporate some supplements into your diet too. From B12 to prohormones, there are options out there that can make up for missed spots in your food intake – whether that’s because you have a limited diet (such as veganism) or simply need a boost in other areas.
Get Sufficient Exercise
It’s recommended that the average adult gets one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, or seventy five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week. Do you hit these targets? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. A significant percentage of adults fail to meet their recommended weekly amounts of exercise and the reasons vary drastically. Some have too hectic a schedule and feel they can’t fit workouts in. Some simply don’t enjoy exercising and want to avoid it entirely. Whatever your reason for skipping out exercise, it’s important to change this. Getting exercise can help keep you at a healthy weight, build your strength, improve your balance, enhance your flexibility and boost your stamina.
There are countless ways to get exercise, so it’s important that you consider all of the options available to you. You don’t necessarily have to go running around your local area or sign up to a local gym – though these are options that suit many people. Take some time to think of physical activities you’d actually derive joy from engaging with. Whatever it is, give it a try. You could do anything from yoga to pilates, roller skating, swimming, cycling, dance classes, fitness classes, team sports and so much more.
If you feel unsure of what to do to achieve your fitness goals or really need some extra motivation to engage with fitness, you may want to hire a personal trainer. They’ll show you the ropes, teach you exercises that will help you meet your goals and see you achieve the end results you want.
Leading a healthy lifestyle takes time and some getting used to. But eventually, it will become a habit and you won’t even have to think about it. As long as you’re willing to put the effort in, you can be fit and healthy. You just need to make sensible choices and stick to them!