Thursday, 20 June 2013

Health and Fitness routine- Part 1

As many of you know, I have a whole 11 weeks off school and I think the best use of that time is to get into the best shape I can possibly be. Not necessarily losing weight, but toning and just eating healthily, but hey, if I lose a few pounds, I won't complain!
A lot of people want to tone and lose weight because of the image forced upon them by celebrities and the media, however, I would like to do it just to feel comfortable with myself and make no one but myself happy.  As I said, I'm not looking to lose weight, just to be an all round healthier person. 

To do this, I created a 5 step plan...

Step 1-  Fruit and Veg
I believe that it's true when people say "you are what you eat". Healthier foods will make you feel better about yourself and more positive about things in general. Let's be honest, no one ever eats a chocolate bar and feels great after it. Your skin will also benefit from a healthier diet. 
To put this into action, I have told my mother not to buy me chocolate or sweets so there is no temptation. If I'm hungry, I'll reach for an apple or some berries, and once you've eaten it, you'll feel so much better! 
It is easier said than done. I mean, you won't be able to give up all unhealthy treats straight away, it's a process. To cure my cravings, I treat my self to a bar of chocolate or a piece of cake once a week. It's a sort of reward for a good week and motivates me to work hard next week.

Step 2- Water
Water is known to benefit your entire body by keeping it hydrated for longer periods of time and also helps to give your skin a gorgeous glow. Try swapping fizzy drinks and coffee for water. Again, I know it's easier said than done as water can be a little plain and boring. But... I have a solution. To make things a little more interesting, I add two slices of lemon or lime to my water. This acts as a natural flavour and personally, I prefer it to drinks such as lemonade and coke. My weakness is tea. It's one thing I cannot remove from my routine. I have, however, managed to cut down my tea intake to one cup a day, usually drunk in the morning. 
I've been sticking to water for around a week now and I have already noticed a difference in how I'm feeling and in my skin.

Step 3- Note it
This one may seem a little weird but it's a really useful tip.
For the past few days, I've been documenting everything I've eaten and what I've had to drink, as well as writing down how I felt before and after. I've found that I've felt the same before eating a piece of fruit or chocolate, eg.hungry/bored, but different after I've eaten it. For instance, after eating fruit, I felt energised and happy, but when I ate chocolate, I felt exactly the same as I did before I'd eaten it. I have found that the pleasure of eating chocolate only lasts when you're actually eating it. Once it's gone, it's gone. There are no positive feelings after it.
This also benefits me as I can look back at it and prevent myself from eating chocolate or sweets as I know I won't feel good after eating it.
You see my point?

Step 4- Exercise 
Often, the reason for eating rubbish is because we're bored, not even hungry. During times of bordem, I exercise. yay!
I like doing two types of exercise in particular, cardio and targeted workouts.
It's known that exercise releases endorphins which make you happy. So, not only is exercise good for your body by working the muscles, it's also great for increasing your mood!
*WARNING* If you're not use to exercise, please do not start everything all at once. It will cause more harm than good, and may actually put you off exercise all together. Please make sure you stretch before and after to prevent any injures. Also, remember to keep hydrated throughout your workout. It's VERY important!
Cardio- For cardio exercise, I've started going on jogs and walks with my friends. I go at least once a week and I feel really good about myself after I've been. It's definitely hard work but it all pays off. 
I also enjoy using my Wii and playing on Just Dance 4. There is a new setting called Just Sweat, which combines the normal Just Dance dance routines with little workouts. My favourites are the Intense cardio workout which combines dance and short boxing/kickboxing routines, and the Intense cheerleader boot camp, which again combines dance with short boot camp/circuit style routines. It's honestly so fun that you forget you're exercising. The great thing about it is that you can customise the time of your workout and it also tells you and estimate of how many calories you've burnt, very satisfying!
Targeted workouts- There are so many great workout apps available on the app store for both android and apple devices. I personally love the Daily butt, abs and legs apps. They're free and really effective. I must be honest, targeted workouts are the most strenuous and least enjoyable thing for me, but I know it's benefiting me and that's all that matters. 
If you're in need of a little motivation, you can find some accounts on apps such as instagram that post pictures of motivational quotes and recipes for delicious snacks. It really has helped me so far. 

Step 5- Sleep
Yep, this is a little obvious. But seriously, sleep is just as important as eating healthily and exercising. Without enough sleep, you won't be able to exercise and things will just become harder and harder until your body eventually shuts down and prevents you from doing any thing else. So.... just sleep okay :)

So, I hope I've helped someone out there.
I've basically been following this plan for the past few days, and despite that only being a short period of time, I've really noticed changes in my attitude and how I'm feeling day to day.

Keep your eyes pealed for part two! oooooh

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