Would you like to move from someone who worries about their health to someone who is in charge of their health, proactively doing things to stay fit, and having all the energy you need for your daily activities? It takes time, effort and above all, patience, but it’s an incredible journey and worth every step.
In this post, I discuss ten tips, which are by no means all on my list.
#1 — the Human Charger
The Human Charger is a small device and a set of headphones that sends UV-free, blue-enriched white light into your brain via the ear canal. It replicates natural light, helping to reset your circadian rhythms, improve general health and wellbeing, and alleviate symptoms of jetlag and Seasonally Affective Disorder (SAD). I’ve been using it for a while and I think it improves my energy levels, but the true test will come in the winter months. Worth a look if you travel a lot of suffer from SAD.
#2 — start now!
Do not wait for the right time, there is never a right time! Decide you’re going to do it, and do it.
#3 — set small goals
Your overall goal might be big but the way to succeed is to set smaller goals along the way. So if your goal is to run a 10k, start by aiming to run 1k, then 3k, etc. if your goal is to lose 3 stone, start by setting a goal of 2 pounds a week, or just getting the first half-stone off. Smaller goals help to break up the journey to the bigger goal. It’s a lot like driving a long distance; if you knew you couldn’t stop off anywhere it would appear unmanageable. If you knew you could pull over every two hours, it suddenly seems doable.
#4 — celebrate your successes
This is very important. Once you’ve hit those smaller goals, celebrate your success! Go out for a meal, buy yourself a treat, enjoy a massage or spa, take a day off — whatever is a treat to you. Don’t allow a milestone, no matter how small, to pass you by without celebrating it. Each step forward is a step closer to your overall goal and that’s massive. If you fail to acknowledge the small steps, it easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come.
#5 — consider getting a coach
No-one will push you as hard as a coach, and a coach is the person who is best-placed to challenge you. Personally, I have a coach for business, fitness, public speaking, tennis and yoga. Top level executives have coaches. Elite athletes have coaches. Everyone needs an outside perspective, and that’s what a coach provides, as well as experience and expertise.
#6 — try a Tabata workout
Tabata is a form of exercise based on a 4 minute timeframe. You exercise as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 8 times. It’s a fast-paced, highly energetic form of exercise that gets great results. And all that for 4 minutes of exercise. Make sure you’re properly warmed up, then try doing squats, then burpees, then plyometric lunges in three separate Tabata sessions. I guarantee you that will burn!
#7 — use music/podcasts/TED Talks
Using music, or listening to TED talks and podcasts is a good way of distracting yourself from what you’re doing or giving you an extra lift if it’s dance music you’re listening to, for example. If I’ve got a session on the turbo trainer, I find watching TED talks is a good way to pass the time. Likewise for podcasts. Find what works for you, and use it!
#8 — use social media for accountability
I’ve noticed a lot of people have been posting their goals on Facebook and other social media platforms. I think this is a great idea to hold yourself accountable. One person set himself a weight loss goal, and then published it on FB. He then committed to posting his weight loss total each week, even on weeks where he hadn’t lost much if any. People offered encouraging words of support online, which spurred him on even more. There are websites and forums dedicated to this kind of thing if you find that helpful.
#9 — cross-train for variety
It’s important to cross-train for variety, for overall good fitness, and to keep yourself motivated and mentally stimulated. I do a mixture of running, boxing, circuits, strength training and yoga each week, and that provides me with enough variety to stay engaged. Doing too much of one thing can get a bit boring or overwhelming sometimes, and can lead to increased risk of injury. Cross-training will help mitigate the risk of that happening too.
#10 — smoothies
One of the many pieces of advice I have is to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet. A smoothie maker (I use the Nutribullet and strongly recommend it) means you can make vegetable-based smoothies quickly and easily, and get in 3–4 portions of veg in each one. If you haven’t explored smoothies as snacks and breakfast meals, I recommend doing so.
Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and Rise and Shine: Recover from Burnout and get back to your best and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit http://www.bodyshotperformance.com for more information or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.