Welcome to the second half of the year folks! If you’re finding yourself mentally winding down with regards to holding steady on your health and fitness goals, we over here at inSing.com hear you, and totally empathize!
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, maintaining a healthy body and workout regimen takes lots of time, patience and effort. To keep you on track, motivated and energized, this month, inSing.com brings you five easy strategies that you can incorporate into your daily life to keep you focused on your health and fitness goals!
The easiest way to resist temptation is by removing it completely!
1. Prep your environment
Nothing derails your best intentions to eat a healthy meal, than having a freezer full of ice-cream, a kitchen cabinet bursting with chips, and your workstation piled high with chocolate bars. The easiest way to resist temptation is by removing it completely!
Use an afternoon this weekend to take an inventory of your food purchasing habits. Small substitutions, such as swopping out white rice for brown rice, full cream milk for soy milk, or frozen yogurt for ice-cream, and baked pita chips instead of regular chips, are easy changes that won’t leave you feeling deprived of your favourite foods, but will save you lots of unnecessary calories and fat.
To avoid falling into the habit of unhealthy eating while at work, aim to pack lunch to work twice a week, using leftovers from a home-cooked meal the night before. And to prevent yourself from getting curry puffs and ultra-sweet, calorie-laden milk tea for an afternoon snack, keep fresh fruit, granola bars, and juice boxes in the office.
2. Make it public!
Maintain your motivation levels by putting some “good” pressure behind you! Most of us already spend a sizeable amount on time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other forms of social media. How about turning your social media feed into a live record of your workouts?
Instead of the typical pictures of food that everyone takes and posts on Facebook, take a photo of your muddy shoes post-trail run, the distance meter on the treadmill or those impressive set of weights you just lifted! These status posts are guaranteed to generate “Likes”, shout outs of encouragement, and might even spur your friends to start getting similarly active!
To make things a little more fun, check out useful apps like “Map My Run”, which uses a GPS feature to track your distance and route and uploads the information onto you Facebook page. “Lose It” is another great app that lets you log your diet and workout habits. You could even get on Pinterest and start a new pin board featuring your healthy eats, shots from your daily workouts, or anything health and fitness-related that inspires you! Better yet, pin photos of yourself at regular intervals to chart your personal progress! Knowing that all your followers are out there rooting for you will definitely keep you fired up and focused on the goal!
Planning your workouts ahead keeps you organized, and increases your motivation to stick to your “To-Do” list
3. Plan ahead
Planning your workouts ahead keeps you organized, and increases your motivation to stick to your “To-Do” list. Think of your workouts as appointments that you love to keep, such as Sunday brunch with your buddies, or Friday movie nights with your partner.
Start to view your workouts as personal dates, or beneficial “me-time”, and you’ll look forward to your yoga session as an hour of mental rejuvenation, rather than a “chore”! If you’re someone who prefers knowing your schedule way in advance, then you might be motivated by signing up for a race a few weeks or even months in advance (refer to this month’s latest list of sports events for suggestions!) to keep give yourself a goal. Most folks I know usually have some sort of weekly workout schedule that they simply key into their smartphone calendars as reminders. And planning ahead doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
A useful tip I learned about planning ahead, is to simply take an extra five minutes before you go to bed each night to lay out your workout clothes or running shoes for the next day. That way, you save precious minutes in the morning by not having to rummage through your closet, and if you’re headed to the gym after work, then you’re already all packed for the day!
4. Expand your circle
We all have our favorite running buddy and yoga “kaki”, but rotating who we work out with has the benefits of expanding our network of active buddies and re-focusing us on our fitness goals! If you’ve been running alone for a while and getting into a rut, consider joining a running group that meets near your workplace, so you always know you can look forward to having like-minded folks to run and unwind with when you’re tempted to skip a session after a long day at work.
A quick google search will turn up a number of running, cycling and brisk-walking clubs that are organized by local community clubs or interest groups. If you’re used to lifting weights on your own, mix it up by going for a couple of “Bodypump” sessions or a “TRX” class for some group resistance training! What makes an endorphin high even more satisfying, is having a group of new workout buddies to go on a post-workout meal with!
5. Reward Yourself
To repeat the earlier mantra, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it takes time to build a fit physique. Regardless of whether or not you’re happy clocking 50Km or 5km, eat a whole grains and low-fat protein seven days a week, or only during dinner, be sure to reward yourself for sticking with each goal, no matter how small you think they might be.
A reward doesn’t always have to be something that will undo your best efforts, such as a giant buffet spread, but something that you enjoy and is beneficial to you, such as a spa treatment or a snazzy new pair of trainers you’ve been eyeing. If you must have a treat from that new cupcake bakery, go ahead and indulge yourself. Just remember Steps 1 to 4 above to keep an eye on your goals!
Everest Girl is Jane Lee, who is seldom found stationary. She is an accomplished mountain-climber, having recently reached the summit of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. When she is not climbing her way around the world, Jane devotes an inordinate amount of time to training for her next climb, marathon, or adventure sport. A serious endorphin addict, Jane ranks trail running high on her list of loves, and has pounded mud, sand, gravel and rocks on trails in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and her staple favourite, MacRitchie Reservoir. Her favourite motto? “If you’re still standing, then you’re not done yet.”