People start their fitness journey for a whole host of reasons, but for 90% of the people I have worked with and come across, the biggest reason is to lose weight. Now there is nothing wrong with having this as your focus and for this to be your goal, however, I think health is a more important factor, which often gets overlooked.

Over the past few years, this has become the most important factor of my life. I realised if I put my health first, then all the other benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, will come as byproducts. If your only focus is weight loss, this may be enough to motivate you and get results initially, but what happens if you gain the weight again, or what happens when you reach your ideal weight? If you view health as the most important factor, and you commit to making more healthy choices, then maybe this will change your life and impact you in more ways than just your weight.

You may realize that because of these healthy choices, you’re sleeping better, you have more energy, your appearance improves, your mindset is better, your concentration improves and a whole load of other benefits. Here is a list of the 5 choices which I recommend to all my clients and incorporate into my own daily life.

Move more

It is extremely beneficial to move more and spend more time throughout your day being active. Research has shown numerous benefits of standing up compared to sitting down, including; improved posture, increased blood flow, reduced pressure on the digestive system and many more potential benefits. Everyday your body burns a specific number of calories just by staying alive. This is known as Basal Metabolic Rate. This figure is based on your height, weight, and age. When you combine your BMR with the calories you burn through physical activity, you get your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). If you increase the amount you move, then your TDEE will increase, therefore burning more calories. How about try to: park further away from work, take your dog for a longer walk, stick your headphones in and walk to the gym instead of driving. These factors can increase your TDEE and increase your overall health.

Drink more water

The benefits of water are so numerous that I am going to follow this blog post with a whole post about the subject. Hydration is key to optimal health, it supports food digestion, improves the quality of your skin and nails, improves cognitive function, reduces hunger alongside a whole host of other benefits. If you’re not sure how much you should be drinking, then follow this simple rule. Drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day if you’re sedentary, if you’re active, then increase your intake accordingly.

Eat single ingredient foods

This is very important and with the way we produce and consume foods this is getting harder and harder to do. The term single ingredient foods, means foods in which only have one ingredient, food we could have sourced 200 years ago. Foods such as cereals, crisps and frozen products, are packed full of additives and preservatives which increase their shelf life and make them taste so good, but this is where the problem arises. When a product has been changed from its natural state, such as breakfast cereals, all the natural enzymes have been removed and replaced with other substances, which the digestive system finds hard to digest. These product changes can lead to digestion discomfort, bloating and even intolerances.

Find something you love doing

I play football and I am extremely passionate about it, I would play it 7 days a week if I could, however, I hate running and cardio. Funny how I never complain about the running when it involves a football isn’t it? I would suggest finding a passion such as this, because you will be surprised how great you feel when you take part in something you love. If you’re looking at the bigger picture, then exercise has to be sustainable. Simply put, if you don’t enjoy the exercise regime you are on, you won’t stick to it. Therefore, its key that you find something you love and stick to it. Like I mentioned above, my passion is football, but I also resistant train 5 times a week, as this is a great way to control body weight and build lean muscle tissue. It doesn’t just have to be the gym, you can dance, play tennis, swim or martial arts. Whatever it is, your journey will be more enjoyable when you do something you take pleasure from.

Eat more vegetables!

Aim for 10 portions a day. Yes, you read correctly, 10! Every fruit and vegetable is packed full of its own essential vitamins and minerals, that you’re missing out on by not consuming enough! The government only recommend 5 portions a day because they know that 90% of the population will be terrified if they think they need to eat 10 portions! But when you commit to doing it, it isn’t that hard. For example, add a few portions of fruit into a smoothie, add fruit to your porridge, swap chocolate for fruit, double your fresh vegetables in your dinner, blend vegetables up into a soup, the list is endless. Keep in mind, fruit should be a smaller part of your diet than vegetables because of the high sugar content in fruit. The general rule when it comes to more fruit is that the thinner the skin the chances are the more antioxidants the fruit has, so think strawberries over bananas. Starting with 5 a day is good, but if you can increase this then you’re onto a winner.

 

So, that’s my 5 tips to making healthier choices. Give them a go and let me know how you get on.

If you would like a more personalised approach to training, which is bespoke to you and will change your life, then I am currently taking on new clients on my online programme. For more info check out the services guide on this website.

Any questions drop me a message.