Essential guidelines for a fitter & healthier lifestyle

Nutrition

Article by Sumaiya Hamid

September 2nd, 2021

A plate full of nutritious food.

People often assume that ‘fitness’ is a short term project or a fad they can adopt for a season. But in reality, fitness is more of a lifestyle, almost like a marathon that you keep on running at a steady pace without stopping. This article is not to convince you to be healthy but a blend of actionable tips that can help you in starting your fitness journey. So, let’s dive into it!

Nourish yourself

You are what you eat! A simpler way to put it, go back to your roots. Your outer body is an outcome of what you put inside your body.

Our bodies didn't grow up eating junk, artificial or processed foods, we grew up eating homemade, healthy and earthy ingredients from our own kitchen, and our bodies loved it!

But it's not just about what you eat but also how you eat it, what time you eat and with what emotion!

  1. Keep a check on your portion count - too much of anything is harmful so adapt the trick of moderation and watching your portions.
  2. Don’t skip meals as that will lead to fasting and feasting.
  3. Read food labels and nutritive values along with the ingredients they have - excess sugar, tons of preservatives etc - that’s your red flag!
  4. Keep yourself hydrated - don't wait till you are thirsty as that is the last sign of dehydration!
  5. Have an early dinner - by sunset and form a routine for better digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Fix Your Sleep Cycle - form a routine

Just like we have the day and night cycle there is an internal body clock called circadian rhythm which needs to be respected and maintained.

Looking at the screen for hours, not resting well and over-doing everything in the name of hustle is not the right treatment for your body. Your fitness journey starts when your body is well-rested and energized. For this, you can start by fixing your sleep cycle.

Actionable tips for fixing your sleeping pattern:

  1. Form a routine and try having dinner by sunset.
  2. Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea in the evening which can help you relax and induce sleep.
  3. Do not sleep with your phone by your side.
  4. Listen to sleep stories for a sound sleep.
  5. Light an unscented candle 30 minutes prior to sleeping.
  6. Use aroma oils to soothe your mind and even hot baths help relax which can help get a good night sleep.

Movement / Physical Activity

Our bodies weren’t meant to sit on chairs for 10 hours every day. If a machine stops running, its parts are going to start squeaking - very much like your body. Movement can be anything - running, yoga, gym, pilates etc

Here’s how you can keep yourself on the toes:

  1. Plan to move a little bit every day and make it a habit.
  2. Have an accountability partner.
  3. If you have a problem committing, make it a fun habit.
  4. Have short-term and long-term fitness goals for yourself.

Form Healthy Habits

When it comes to health and fitness, habits can play a vital role in making your journey fruitful. So start by forming healthy habits that are easy to follow and have long-term benefits. For example, add less sugar to your coffee or take stairs instead of the elevator.

However, a small note of caution – Do not start by making a list of thousand healthy habits. Make a small set of easy-to-follow habits, follow them for a month at least and then add a few more. This will help you in staying on track!

Actionable tips for forming healthy habits:

  1. Introspect to understand where you need correction in your lifestyle and form a list of healthy habits to start incorporating slowly in your routine.
  2. Make one change every week / 15 days and practice it daily.
  3. Start with habits that are the easiest to incorporate into your life.
  4. Reward yourself for staying consistent and following your habit chart.
  5. Self-awareness is the key to understanding how you can make your lifestyle healthier.

This National Nutrition Week lets prioritise our health and get back to Basics - if the foundation is strong there will be long lasting & holistic results.