Written by Suzanne Richards from Fittrvie

There is much evidence to support the fact that exercise is great not only for our physical health, but our mental health too. And I know from my own personal experience how true this is. 

I also know how what we eat, and drink has a huge impact on our mood, our energy levels, our sleep, and our stress levels. 

So, with this in mind, I want to share with you my top tips for staying fit and healthy (in both mind and body) from home. 

Fitness

Moving your body for just 10 minutes per day can have a huge impact on your energy levels, your productivity, your focus, and your mood so here are my top suggestions for that daily movement:

Home workouts

There are so many options out there that there is bound to be something to suit your own preferences and levels of fitness. Check out YouTube for everything from yoga and Pilates through to weightlifting, and everything in between. Or sign up for a 7-day trial of my own health and fitness members club and give my workouts a try 😉 

Get outside

Go for a walk, a jog, a cycle ride or even a kickabout in the garden with the kids. Not only will you be exercising but you’ll also be getting some fresh air and some vitamin D, both of which are amazing energy boosters too

Stick on your favourite music and dance

This will put a smile on your face as well as getting the blood pumping and those happy hormones flowing

Use household objects to create a resistance training workout

Tins of beans, bottles of water (or wine ;-)) are great options here…you could even use a bag of potatoes!

And these are my top tips to help you ensure you do get that regular exercise in:

Set a goal and set your intentions

By having something to work towards, or setting intentions with yourself (or your accountability buddy – see below) you are more likely to be committed to the process and you are more likely to stay consistent

Find some means of accountability and support
Maybe find a workout buddy who you check in with when you’ve done your workout/exercise? Or join a group (like my members club) where everyone motivates and inspires each other to get it done

Keep it simple

When we over-complicate things we can often end up finding excuses as to why we can’t (or rather won’t) do that thing…so keep it simple and you’re more likely to be consistent

Get it done in the morning

We all know what it’s like…we tell ourselves we’ll do it later and then we never do…the day runs away with us, we feel tired, so we slump on the sofa rather than pressing play. So, get it done first thing before the excuses set in…not only will you feel great for having got that workout done, but you will also be more energised, more focused and more productive for the rest of the day

Start small

If you are new to exercise, make sure you set small goals for yourself. The aim is to succeed (rather than fail) so by setting smaller, more achievable goals that is exactly what will happen. And when you keep succeeding you will keep doing the thing you are succeeding at – it’s a circular thing. So set small goals, succeed at those, and then gradually build from there. As a guide, I usually recommend my clients start with 2-3 workouts of 10-15 minutes per week as a starting point.

Make a date with yourself

Imagine you have put a date in the diary for coffee with a friend – would you pull out at the last minute because you didn’t feel like it? Probably not. So, don’t do that to yourself. Decide on how many workouts you are going to do that week, put them in your diary and commit to those meetings with yourself…remember it only takes 10 minutes to boost those happy hormones and you will feel energised afterwards 

Just do 5 minutes

If you really don’t feel like doing your workout, commit to giving it a go for just 5 minutes. If you’re still not feeling it after 5 minutes give yourself permission to stop, but in many, many cases that first 5 minutes will turn into 10 or 15 or even 20 minutes…and before you know it you’ve done the full workout

Don’t let yourself get bored

Change it up! If you are starting to find your current workout/exercise boring, then change things. Set yourself a new challenge, a new goal (see above) and reignite the excitement

Allow for rest days

All of us need rest days; our body needs them, our muscles need them, and our minds need them. So, schedule these into your week in much the same way as you do the workouts.

Nutrition

I don’t know about you, but I know that whilst being in lockdown my snacking has definitely increased. And it’s not as a result of hunger…it’s out of boredom much of the time. And I know from my own experience, and that of my clients, that what we eat has a huge impact on our mood, our energy levels, and our stress levels.

Here are my top tips on staying on top of your nutrition.

Be conscious of ‘bad’ habits and triggers

If you know what triggers cause you to mindlessly snack you can think of ways to change what you do when that trigger event happens.

As an example, let’s say you get to the evening and your automatic response is to crack open a bottle of wine and open a bag of crisps to ‘relax’. The trigger is ‘I’m stressed’ and the reaction is opening the bottle of wine and the bag of crisps. So, what else could you do to relax? Have a bath, go for a walk, chat with a friend, meditate, exercise, read a book? The list is endless but by swapping the wine and crisps for another action you are starting to break that cycle of mindlessly opening the wine and crisps each evening…and slowly you will change your habits

80:20 rule

My clients and I follow this rule! We eat whole, natural (unprocessed) foods 80% of the time, and then allow ourselves treats (and processed foods) the other 20% of the time. I believe this is a great way to ensure we increase our energy levels and nutrition (from the whole, natural foods) whilst still also enjoying a social life. It also helps to reduce the risk of binging, because you are incorporating the treats you might be tempted to binge on in your diet

Meal planning

I find it really helpful to sit down before my food shop and plan out exactly what we are going to be eating that week. I get the family involved too so that we all know that we have some meals in that coming week that we like. This helps us in 3 ways:

  • We only buy what we need so we save money and we don’t waste food
  • There is no decision-making needed at mealtimes because the decisions were made when the meal plan was put together
  • We are more likely to eat well-balanced, nutritious meals and feel

Meal prepping

This is a great way to ensure you have easy ‘grab and go’ meals when life is busy, or you can’t be bothered to cook! Batch cook some meals or prep some foods, then store them in the fridge for use during the coming days. Good options for batch cooking are soups, chilli con carni, bolognaise sauces etc. And great options for prepping are rice, roasted veg and cooking joints of meat

Colour

One of the easiest ways to ensure you are getting a good level of nutrition, and a good balance of vitamins and minerals in your diet, is to make sure you have lots of colour on your plate. The different colours in foods indicate different vitamins so by ‘eating the rainbow’ you are helping to make sure you get a good balance of these each day.

Stay hydrated

Hydration levels have a huge impact on gut health, energy levels, absorption of nutrients, sleep, and fat loss. You don’t necessarily have to drink pure water to improve your hydration levels (although I do recommend it). You can also increase your fluid intake from fruit and veg, soups, stews, and smoothies. And whilst tea and coffee won’t be as hydrating as water, they do have a hydrating effect, provided your not glugging down a double-espresso!

If you would like to find out more about me and what I do, read more of my blogs, or try my members club free for 7 days, then head to my website.

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Website: www.fittrvie.com 

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