Your fitness is incredibly important. Eating healthily and getting enough exercise to maintain good physical health is essential; you don’t need to work towards any particular body shape, of course, but being physically fit has a huge amount of benefits in everyday life. Improving your fitness isn’t easy, as there are so many rumours out there regarding what exactly helps and what doesn’t. We’re here to help you with that. Here are 10 ways to improve your fitness this year.
1. Switch up your diet
Diet is a huge factor in whether you’re healthy or not. Many people think that if they get enough exercise, they can eat whatever they like, and while this is true to a certain degree, your fitness won’t improve unless your body is getting the right nutrients. This means eating a balanced diet full of different nutritional elements, as well as balancing carbohydrates, proteins, and fat to make sure you’re maximising your intake. It’s not easy, but it’s hugely beneficial for you.
2. Pick up some home gym equipment
If you’re not too keen on the idea of joining a gym, then why not pick up some home gym equipment for yourself? You can get gear like treadmills, crossfit machines, and exercise bikes at surprisingly low prices, and if you’ve got the space for them, you’ll never need to set foot in a gym again. If you’re struggling, then you’ll find a whole host of online loans to help you amass the cash you need to buy what you’re looking for. Exercise doesn’t have to cost the earth!
3. Take more walks
Even if you’re not feeling up to exercising on gym equipment, just going for walks outdoors can have massive health benefits for you. Not only will it increase your physical fitness, but it’s also a great way to boost your mental health; it’s been proven that simply being outdoors and existing in nature can improve your mood and outlook. You can start slow if you’re not practised; take one 20-minute walk per day and then up the time if you’re feeling confident.
4. Cook more meals at home
Not only should you be thinking about improving your diet, but you should also consider cooking more meals at home. You can’t guarantee what’s gone into takeaway meals or restaurant offerings, and very often, those institutions will use a lot of fat or salt, which isn’t healthy for you. Again, you can start slow; cook simple chilli con carnes, for example, or pasta dishes. This way, you can observe and balance the calorie and nutrition values of your meals.
5. Don’t drive
Unless you absolutely have to drive, think about ditching your car. You can easily start to rely on a car as the easy way out, when in fact, there are often healthier and more fulfilling ways to reach your destination. Start by taking the train or bus instead of driving. This will give you a little extra to walk, thus incrementally improving your fitness. If you feel confident – and if the distance is viable – you could then consider ditching vehicles altogether and walking to your destination.
6. Try some yoga
Yoga can be a great form of physical exercise. Many practitioners and teachers make yoga look easy, but if you’ve actually tried it, you’ll know it can be very difficult; however, there are a range of different yoga programmes for beginners all the way up to experts, so don’t be intimidated. All you need is a yoga mat and a decent space in which to move, so yoga isn’t just great exercise, it’s also cheap and accessible for pretty much everyone!
7. Set clear goals
While this isn’t a concrete way to actually improve your fitness, setting clear goals will help you understand what you’re hoping to achieve, thus making it feel more attainable. If you’re severely overweight, for example, try setting a goal to lose a certain amount of weight each week. Make sure it’s a healthy and realistic goal, though, and try not to obsess over the numbers on the scale; it’s more important that you eat healthily and exercise regularly rather than just trying to change your body shape.
8. Don’t skip days
If you’re doing regular gym or gym-style exercises – that is, running or lifting weights – then you might think that you’re entitled to a day off after a particularly gruelling session. However, it’s actually a better idea to keep your body moving on rest days. You could, for example, do some yoga, as we discussed above, or go for a walk. Don’t push yourself too hard; a 30-40-minute walk on rest day is perfect for keeping your activity levels up.
9. Don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it
Some people say that exercise should be painful, and that you should push through the pain and the misery. Those people are exercising in a very unhealthy way. If you don’t enjoy your particular form of exercise, then try to find something you do like. We’re not saying it shouldn’t feel like work, of course, but you shouldn’t feel like every second is torture. If you do, then it either means you’re going too hard or that this particular activity just isn’t for you.
10. Find a schedule that works
If you’ve got a particularly busy lifestyle, then it’s important to find an exercise routine that’s going to work for you. That means weaving exercise into your schedule in a sensible way. Don’t ditch family or friends to go to the gym; find times for both if you can. If you can’t squeeze the gym into your schedule, then try to find a form of exercise that will work for you. Forcing an exercise routine into your daily life is only going to lead to resentment towards the programme later down the line.