Posted on September 27 2015
Yes, we've all been told how good exercise is for us and what the long term negatives are of being unfit. But not all of us find it that easy to stay motivated enough to work out regularly. The enthusiastic gym membership stays unused and the resulting guilt pangs refuse to go away.
MSM comes to the rescue with 12 easy ways to staying fit without hating it!
(Note before you read on: if you are overweight and have health issues as a result, please do not treat this article as an excuse to not do something about it.
If you are an exercise addict and crave your daily gym workout - why on earth are you reading this?!)
TIP #I: DO NOT DIET
Nothing makes us more miserable then going on a diet. Just eat sensibly and healthy and make it part of your lifestyle. Eat your greens (and reds and yellows), lean protein, whole grains and enjoy an occasional treat as you go along. Keep in mind, it's nutrition and not calories that you should be focusing on.
TIP #2: STAY ACTIVE
Walk, don't drive, wherever possible. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Don't stay seated for more than 30 minutes (especially if you have a desk job) - get up, get yourself a drink of water, stretch a bit. Remember - standing burns a third more calories than sitting and is also much better for your posture.
TIP #3: GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
(We love this one!) Surprisingly, sleep goes a long way in ensuring you have enough energy to stay active; it helps in metabolism regulation and in repairing your muscles.
TIP #4: NIBBLE ALL DAY LONG
(We love this one too!) Eat small meals every 2-3 hours - instead of three large meals - to boost your metabolism. Actively reduce the quantity of food you eat at breakfast time, for example, and then snack on a fruit and yoghurt between then and lunch. The key is to not let yourself starve between meals and then as a result over-eat at meal time.
TIP #5: EAT PLENTY OF SUGAR
Via fruit of course! Make sure you eat at least 3-4 portions of fruit a day. Not only will they satisfy your sugar craving, they are also packed with vitamins, trace minerals and plenty of fibre to keep you feeling full.
TIP #6: HAVE A DRINK
Of water! Most of us think we drink enough water but we do not. Water helps in keeping us beautiful and healthy both inside and out. There are many ways to ensure you get enough of it on a daily basis - start with a drink of water when you wake up and end the day the same way, just before bed. Commence every meal and snack with a glass of water. Before you know it, you will have met your quota for the day.
TIP #7 : DO SOMETHING FUN
Going to the gym regularly takes a lot of dedication and motivation. So if this isn't your thing, find something fun and do that instead. Learn a new dance, bike with your buddies, take group classes, join a city walking tour, swim, play in the park with the kids, walk the dog every day twice a day...
TIP #8: CARRY YOUR OWN BAGS
Now this is my pet peeve about us desis. Why do we like to hand over our bags to the nearest obliging person? Start carrying your own bags - be they shopping or office or gym bags - and see how your strength increases, not to mention all that muscle mass. And higher muscle mass means improved metabolism!
TIP #9: GET DRESSED AND STRETCH A LITTLE MORE
One of the best motivation tips we have is to just get dressed in your snazziest workout gear and do a quick full body stretch. Do it while listening to your favourite music or follow along on YouTube. Not only will it make you feel a lot more more limber, it will also flood your body with endorphins and get you in the mood for a bit of exercise.
TIP #10: MEET UP WITH YOUR FRIENDS
But not for a coffee! Plan to meet your bezzies in the park or on a trail or even for a spot of window shopping or mall walking. Much better than catching up over that hi-cal frappe or muffin!
TIP #11: HANG OUT WITH FIT PEOPLE
Habits are contagious. Hang out with people who are active, healthy and happy as a result of it. Their positive approach towards a fit lifestyle will rub off on you and keep you motivated as well. And there's all that social media to turn to in case your friends flake out on you. Discover some of these amazing Instagram accounts and get inspired - @mindbodygreen, @nikerunning, @twobadbodies, @shauna_harrison, @willsworkout and many many more...
TIP #12: START LOOKING AMAZING
This is less of a tip and more of an end result, but it's our favourite nonetheless. Forget about those health benefits and let's just be shallow for a minute and focus on all the great things happening on the outside as we start getting fitter. Not only will we start to look better in all those clothes hanging in our wardrobe, but our skin will start to glow as well. There's nothing better than good food, plenty of water and sleep as well as an active lifestyle to improve the quality of your skin and how you look and feel. For us, that is motivation enough!