It can sometimes be so daunting knowing how to get started on the journey to a healthier you. So below I have given you my 4 top tips on small, easy changes that will make a big difference to your health.
1).WALK! Every day if possible! 30-60 minutes first thing in the morning is the perfect way to start your day. These longer walks, what I would call ‘Fat Burner Walks’, are best done on an empty tummy and here’s why. When you wake up in the morning your body has essentially been fasting all night (unless you’ve had midnight munchies!), so if you go for a low intensity walk first thing on an empty tummy, your body has to use your fat stores as energy. If you were to have some food first your body would use this food as fuel instead (our bodies are very clever!) I say 30-60 minutes because it usually takes at least 25 mins to get into that ‘fat burning zone’. It’s amazing what fresh air can do for your mindset and gets you set up for the day ahead.
If you aren’t able to fit this 30-60 minute walk in first thing, then I would recommend leaving at least 3 hours between eating and going for your walk for it to have that same ‘fat-burner’ effect. Now this only goes for low intensity walking. I would never recommend doing high intensity cardio or resistance training on an empty tummy, as this may lead to your body using your muscle stores as energy (not what we want!)
If 30-60 minutes sounds like a lot for you, and you’re stressing out just thinking about how you’re going to fit it in, then don’t panic! Even if you can only fit in a 10-15 minute walk every day you will be amazed at the difference it will make not only to your body but your mind and energy. Walking is one of the most undermined yet most accessible forms of exercise and stress relief and can really help you begin a healthier lifestyle.
2). WATER! I know you girls probably hear this all the time but that’s because it’s true! Don’t underestimate the power of being hydrated - a hydrated body is a healthy body! Aim to drink a glass of warm water (with a wedge of lemon if you like) first thing in the morning to rehydrate your body after a big sleep. This will help wake you up internally (I find the body reacts better to warm fluids and foods as it is closer to body temperature). It flushes the digestive system and gives your liver a helping hand at flushing all those nasty toxins from the body. It will vary from person to person how much water we should drink a day but start with 2 litres and go from there! Yes, you will probably be running to the ladies’ room several times a day to start with but your body will get used to it within a few days and you won’t need to go as much. Some benefits of drinking plenty of water include promoting healthy skin, increased energy levels, natural toxin flush, help with digestion, aids weight loss and much more!
3). EAT YOUR GREENS! Ladies get some more veggies in your life! Dark leafy greens are fantastic for boosting your energy and increasing brain function, and here’s why. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli are great sources of iron and Vitamin C which help reduce fatigue and can also strengthen your immune system. As for increased brain function leafy greens owe this power to their high folate (vitamin B9) content. They can help to improve concentration and overall brain function so make sure your stocked up on spinach before making any big life decisions!
4). SLEEPING BEAUTY! Sleep is so important as our body uses this as its recovery time. This is when we rebuild our cells, repair muscles and process information. The average woman needs about 8 hours sleep, give or take however this varies for all of us so it can take time to find the perfect amount of sleep for your body. Poor sleep can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and even obesity, so get snoring girls! A good night’s sleep can help boost your immune system, boosts mental wellbeing and can even increase your sex drive! If you struggle to sleep at night, try drinking a chamomile tea before bed as it is naturally caffeine free and has a calming effect on the body encouraging a relaxed sleep. Also, the more active you are throughout the day the better you will sleep at night, so get moving during the day ladies!
So if you are stuck on where to start then begin with these! You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!