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10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

“Get active,” they said. “It’s as simple as that,” they said.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of this tiring argument. But hey, the gym is way too crowded and pizza has just arrived, looking all steamy and irresistible. Tied down by our schedules or seduced by the world’s most sinful pleasures, we choose not to try. The truth is, developing healthy habits is a galaxy far, far away from easy, but that’s the whole point. After all, success is only sweet when it’s earned.

With a clear understanding that there’s no such thing as “just try, and you’ll see”, I offer you quick tips on how to start introducing healthy changes into your day-to-day routine. They demand a little time and sweat, but won’t give you beginner’s anxiety and frustration. Most importantly, they truly are simple to adopt – whatever your lifestyle choices might be. These 10 habits will prove sustainable and highly addictive, and, in time, they will motivate you enough to change your life completely.

1. It’s All About The Breakfast

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    We all have that one girl on our Instagram feed who’s ultra-fit. Day after day, she shares her pics straight from the gym, with her stomach still sweaty from the workout and a protein smoothie in her hand, looking just as irresistible as her toned abs. #Fitnessgoals, the caption says. But what Miss Perfect isn’t telling you is that she actually follows a dietary concept called the 85/15 rule.

    This simply means that around 85% of your daily calories should come from healthy food choices – food high in protein, like chicken, eggs, legumes and fish, nuts and olive oil for healthy fats, and plenty of fruit and vegetables throughout the day – and you can fill in the last 15% of your calories with your favorite snacks and junk food.

    Moderation is the true goal here, and the routine is effective simply because it offers a reward. But, how do you get there?

    Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic claims it’s all about the breakfast, and other professional athletes agree. In order to start introducing healthy eating habits, you have to start at the beginning – a bowl of nutrient-rich oatmeal, two tablespoons of honey, generously chopped nuts and seeds, a fruit infusion, coconut water and milk (non-dairy, if you are lactose intolerant) are just too tasty for anyone to say “no” to.

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    2. No Water, No Life

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      A large cup of water is an indispensable part of a lot of athletes’ morning rituals as well. It’s a boring tip, I’m aware, but it’s only because it actually works. As frequently mentioned, two liters a day is the goal you should shoot for if you want to stay properly hydrated throughout the day. It is, however, an average measure, which means that some people need less, and some – particularly caffeine addicts – need more. Consulting your doctor might be a good idea.

      Now, you might ask, “Why before a meal?” Well, water gives you a sense of fullness that keeps you from eating more than you actually need to. As for its general effects and benefits, I don’t believe that the ultimate elixir of life needs any particular introductions.

      In addition to keeping you energized throughout the day (energy levels tend to drop with dehydration), water increases metabolism, primes muscles, gives a natural makeover to your skin by relieving it from dryness and blemishes, and helps the heart pump faster and without any unnecessary effort.

      3. Love Your Veggies

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        Fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamins A and E – by themselves, veggies are packed with beneficial nutrients that help dramatically lower the risk of almost every common health issues you can think of, from high blood pressure and heart disease to cancer and diabetes. But, even if they weren’t so good for you, they would still be better from their alternatives, which is why a plate half full of greens is a plate full of health.

        What’s even greater is that when prepared in an imaginative way, veggies are a delight to eat. Broccoli cheese soup makes even the bleakest of diets seductive, while still retaining the much-needed amount of health-promoting vitamins and minerals. If you’re just learning to love flexible dieting, a carrot grated directly onto your chicken breast sandwich will make it impossible to resist.

        Don’t listen to what your burger-loving taste buds tell you – surprise them with unique, straightforward, and utterly brilliant flavours of Asian-style sesame and garlic green beans, sautéed mushrooms, or cheesy Brussels sprouts. As long as your nutrition is diverse and you stay moderate in your choices, feel free to take the best of both worlds.

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        4. Pack Your Almonds

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          Healthy eating habits are so hard to develop, not because wholesome food is tasteless, but because it takes time to make it delicious. Besides, it’s much easier to stop at the nearest drive-in or have your specialties delivered to the door than to roll up your sleeves and get creative. If you are someone who rarely takes it slow, eating healthy is almost impossible.

          Most commonly, that’s why we all fail. Even if determined not to eat processed food at home, we usually fall for it during lunch breaks. On the other hand, preparing homemade meals for your lunchbox the night before is, let’s be honest, a drag. Luckily, there is a quick, yet better alternative you can try out.

          There are three elements you cannot afford to ignore in these cases: nuts, fruits, and whole wheat toasts. Hopefully, you don’t have to be reminded to buy fresh fruit every couple of days. In addition to those, always have a bag of almonds and a pack of miracle bread in your bag wherever you go. Insanely nutritious, wonderfully yummy, and gentle on your stomach, this combo will soothe you whenever there’s no other healthier solution for your hunger pains.

          5. Use Chopsticks, Practise Patience

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            So, your workout session has been long and effective, you’ve just taken your shower and now you feel like you’ve finally reached all of your fitness goals. And there’s a frozen yoghurt in the fridge, too, the one you’ve been thinking about in order to chase away the burn from your outer thighs. Unfortunately, the moment of sweet, sweet victory lasts for about a second, and before you know it, the glass is empty. And then, you reward yourself with Nutella, straight from the jar.

            For food lovers, that moment of pure delight is often too short, so we keep on eating to prolong the enjoyment. Eat slower, count your chews. Although obvious, this hack is usually unsustainable, since at the end of the day, we don’t exactly have the willpower needed for overcoming our urges.

            But what might work is ditching the fork and going Asian-style instead. Years ago, a mate gave me chopsticks for my birthday to encourage me to practise patience and it’s a piece of advice I’ve been passing on ever since.

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            6. Some Walks You Have to Take Alone

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              If regular exercises are not your strongest suit or you really don’t have any time to spare for frequent visits to the gym, you can still use your boots for walking even if you’re absolutely ignorant of everything that’s currently going on in the fitness universe. Stretching your legs at least three times a week is not a habit that needs to be developed – it’s an ability that separates you from the spiritless and disconsolate.

              Ditching your car might be the hardest thing on this list and possibly a habit that will take the longest to develop. If you’re driving to work, park at least a 10-minute walking distance away from the office. Not only will your heart be healthier, but by the time you finally reach home, your mind will be clearer and ready for new, exciting adventures that await you in your family nest. Ultimately, staying in shape is not all about being healthy, but being cheerful and enthusiastic about simple pleasures as well.

              7. Sweat Those Excuses Away

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                As a student, I’ve been in continual struggle with my bodyweight. Additionally, studying sessions were not particularly gentle on my back. Perpetual all-nighters were making me tired and snappy, while my kitchen remained pretty much unused. Until, one day, when I hit a wall and decided that enough was enough. My first goal – a 20-minute exercise routine.

                Having experienced the non-stop working regime firsthand, I no longer believe when people claim that they don’t have half an hour a day to commit to at-home physical training, because it’s simply not true. Getting ready, going to the gym and getting back home is a different thing, and it often lasts longer than the training program itself, but doing a routine in your own room every other night before going to bed is absolutely sustainable.

                YouTube is brimming with such routines and I guarantee you that you’ll work, sleep, and eat better once you’ve included them in your schedule. Along with a 10-minute worth of breathers and a 15-minute long shower, it’s a habit that requires an hour of your time and the one that will fully transform your mindset, health, and without any exaggeration, your life.

                8. Think In Mantras

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                  Meditation is something that has helped me out a lot in life, and it’s quite an easy habit to pick up. Though inseparable from physical exercising, healthy living concerns both the body and mind. I’ve found my peace through regular training, since it helps me clear and reset my mind as well, but incredible benefits of spiritual relaxation cannot be denied.

                  There’s plenty of meditation styles to choose from, from counting your breaths to just focusing on what you feel as you sit and letting each sensation and thought slowly pass away on its own. Beginners are advised to go small until they catch the pace, which is great news for busy people. For most, 10-20 minutes a day is quite enough to calm your mind, refresh your focus, and get ready for new battles.

                  9. Hug Your Pillow

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                    You’ve guessed it right – no health article can avoid discussing the massive importance of regular sleep, and mine is no exception. It is, after all, what balances our arduous daily efforts out and what allows us to dream on. And, when it comes to restoration techniques, nothing beats a good old ticket to slumber land.

                    The rules to improving your sleep cycle are clear and easy to follow. Go to bed and wake up every day at approximately the same time, be clever about naps, make your chambers tech-free and comfortably dark, and avoid coffee intake after 6-7 p.m.

                    Heavy sleepers, myself included, have all those brilliant alarm clock apps to lean on, while newfangled methods for reversing sleep cycles work even for the most notorious of night owls.

                    10. Have Fun! (Seriously)

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                      Last, but not least, remember to take deep breaths, soak up the sun, drink the stars and, celebrate your victories – however tiny they are. A healthy exterior starts from a healthy interior, where our universes are endlessly complex and beautiful. Once we learn to cherish their fragility and nurture their strength, the world will be a healthier place for all.

                      As you can see, it’s not that difficult to start adopting simple habits that can, eventually, lead you to a much healthier and happier lifestyle – just tough it out in the beginning and find a good source of motivation.

                      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/psco/ via pexels.com

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                      Nemanja Manojlovic

                      Editor at MyCity Web

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                      1. Exercise Daily

                      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                      The basic nutritional advice includes:

                      • Eat unprocessed foods
                      • Eat more veggies
                      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                        5. Watch Out for Travel

                        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                        6. Start Slow

                        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                        More Tips on Getting in Shape

                        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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