Boredom can be one of the main reasons why people swiftly abandon their mission of getting fit and living a healthier lifestyle. Thought of eating salad every day? Boring. Thought of running aimlessly on a treadmill? Boring. Same ‘motivational’ playlist on Spotify? Boring? Unless you find a type of exercise, or a particular diet, which well and truly motivates you, it’s going to be extremely hard to stick to a regime. These are the tips I use throughout the week, in terms of diet, exercise & general wellbeing in order to ensure enough variety.
This is perhaps the most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle to constantly switch up. There is nothing worse than being disappointed at the thought of an upcoming meal, as more often than not the temptation to then replace this meal with something a lot less healthier suddenly becomes very high. My main tip for avoiding this scenario is to meal plan. It takes 10 minutes, you have no excuse not to fill it with healthy, yet enjoyable food and it also hinders snacking (not on the meal plan? then don’t eat it).
There is a rather large misconception when it comes to dieting or keeping fit; in that you can only eat rabbit food, otherwise you won’t lose an ounce. If you’re exercising daily, or multiple days a week, this can often be more dangerous than beneficial. You need enough protein, healthy fats, fruit/veg and carbohydrates in your diet in order to assist any bodily changes. The exact macros vary, depending on what your goal is, (gaining muscle mass, carb-cycling, cutting etc.), but if you just want to ensure a healthy, balanced diet then aim for one item of carbohydrate, two portions of fruit or veg and a source of protein in every meal. Drinking enough water is also crucial, especially on day’s where you’re exercising, as it’s very easy to become dehydrated and fatigued.
Finding the right type of exercise which suits both your ability, time frame and will also ensure you meet your personal goals is KEY. There is no point deciding on a Sunday night that you’re going to go to the gym every day of the week for two hours because a) it’s fairly unlikely you’ll be able to fit that in to your weekly schedule b) you’re certain to get bored of the same routine and c) you’ll end up feeling negative and disappointed in yourself. Set more practical aims such as 3 days a week in the gym, coupled with an exercise class or a long walk, to ensure you have enough variety.
Finding the right type of exercise for you is also crucial; you want to be eager to go and workout, not counting down the minutes until it’s over. If you really detest the gym, then exercise classes such as the Les Mills series of Body Pump, Body Combat and Body Attack provide just as good a workout in a fun, relaxed environment. Swimming and outdoor running / cycling are also great additions to a cardio workout, with the added benefit of a change of scenery.
In terms of general wellbeing, it’s important not to get too obsessive. Yes, exercising and healthy eating are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and for many people they feel better in themselves for doing it. However, everyone needs a treat or something to look forward to, and if you deny yourself these things then even though your body may be healthy, your mind won’t be.
Try and eat/drink/do one thing per week which you know you will look forward to, and consequently motivate you. For me, it’s usually a chocolate desert or a night out, something which makes a particularly hard session worth it. Yoga and Pilates are also a great way to de-stress, perhaps during the end of a busy week in work. There are plenty of mobile phone apps which offer routines which you can follow in the comfort of your own home.