There are some moments that sweep you up in the overwhelming reality that your body is betraying you with age. Often, it’s observing, playing with (or surviving) our kids and their boundless energy that makes the penny drop.
With age comes experience, wisdom… and weariness. It’s usually around your thirties that people begin developing a new appreciation for one simple fact: if you don’t look after your body, your vehicle, it’s going to break down.
We are, none of us, eternal. But there’s a lot we can do to fight against the ravages of time.
You’ve likely tried some of them for yourself already; fifteen different diets, from keto to Atkins; endless exercise routines; muscle stimulation belts, in a desperate attempt to trim down that belly flub; daily runs; pricey at-home equipment; gym memberships that you eventually give up on (and develop profound sympathy for Chandler Bing’s struggle to end that monthly contract).
Wherever you are at in your journey to a healthier you, we’ve met dozens like you – you’re not alone. And the challenge shared by most everyone is the same – consistency.
Too often, staying in healthy shape is made more complex than it needs to be. And yes, if you want to look like Chris Hemsworth or Scarlett Johansson, you’ll need a rigorous approach. But for the rest of us, who just want to keep our bodies running smoothly for as long as possible, it’s not as complicated as it may seem.
That’s why we’re here today, bringing you 3 easy-to-follow healthcare steps straight from the mouth of a successful personal trainer.
Tip #1 – Stick to Your Deficit
First, an explanation for anyone who thinks we’re advising you to spend all your money and live on the redline. We’re not.
Your body has an ideal daily calorie intake, based on factors such as your height and weight. Sticking to a daily deficit is a simple process that involves:
- Finding out your ideal daily calorie intake
- Consuming less than that each day
There are plenty of calorie calculators available online for free. Simply enter your details and be honest when you do so. The calculator will tell you the rest.
Yes, this is a very black and white approach – but hey, we promised you simple steps, remember?
And yes, there are some people who will argue a Slimming World style ideology; that what you eat is more important than the calories in your food.
So, to clarify. We’re not suggesting that you reach your daily calorie intake by gorging yourself on chocolate bars and crisps – don’t fool yourself by thinking that’s ok ‘because you’re within your calorie limit’. You won’t get far if you do.
Use an app like Lifesum to keep track of your calorie intake each day (it’s free, but you’ll get more features on paid versions). And make sure you do your best to:
- Stick within your calorie deficit each day
- Eat food that’s actually filling and nutritious
Tip #2 – Do More than Before
(Don’t you love it when advice rhymes? It makes it so much easier to remember.)
Up next is a super simple concept, and this time it’s about how you exercise.
Essentially, this boils down to pushing yourself further than the last time you exercised. It’s up to you to be honest with yourself on this point, and decide for yourself what it looks like.
- If you did 20 reps last time, push yourself to 25 today
- If you did your routine twice before, try for a third go of it this time
- Made it through 20 minutes of exercise before? How about a solid half hour today?
You get the gist, we’re sure.
The great thing about this tip is that it’s not setting out a rigid routine for you. Instead, it’s letting you set the boundaries of what you’re comfortable with and how hard you want to push yourself.
As long as you’re abiding by that rhyme, you’re on the right track. More than before.
Tip #3 – More Than Less
Tip number three covers the middle ground between what you’re eating and the exercise you’re doing. And it comes down to a simple life tenet: have more good days than bad days each week.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. All of these tips require commitment. But where this final nugget of advice shines is that it allows you the necessary wiggle room to live.
So many of us find that we fall off the healthy wagon when the weekend rolls around. A cheeky pint or two, a Dominos stuffed crust with extra cheese, a Doritos share bag all to yourself.
It’s ok to enjoy a spot of indulgence. Just make sure that it’s balanced according to this tip – more good days than bad.
Yes, avoiding the indulgent splurges will get you into shape faster. But what’s the point if you’re not enjoying your life along the way? Tying everything together with tip #3 here gives you the freedom you need to stay the course and appreciate that a wobble doesn’t mean you give up.
So you splurged on Friday? Ok, make up for it on Saturday. So you just couldn’t resist a delivery on Saturday night from your favourite Chinese? As long as you had more good days than bad this week (in terms of food and exercise), you’re still on the right track.
No, we’re not listing healthy takeaways for you here. This isn’t an ad for Subway sandwiches.
What we’re hoping you’ll get from this post is something simple, easy to follow and remember. We see a lot of patients for CoolSculpting who think they’ve found the magic treatment they’ve been longing for – and they have… to a point. But unless you’re taking steps to take care of yourself each week, unless you’re conscious of your choices each day, you’ll always be fighting an uphill battle.