At The Power of ME we don’t just define health physically - we understand that mental, physical and social wellbeing are all equally important in achieving a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Here are 10 tips we believe to be key in achieving this.
We passionately believe in the benefits of exercise in all it’s forms to improve lives, whether it’s going for a walk in the countryside or doing deadlifts in the gym. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day has been proven to increase levels of physical and mental wellbeing. And it’s also a great way to meet people and have fun – honest!
#2 Eat flexible
Many people wrongly believe that in order to achieve fitness or health goals that they must stick to a bland, low carb, high protein diet all the time. While there are well documented benefits to increasing lean protein in-take and limiting saturated fats, starchy carbs, sugars and alcohol etc, they can still be accommodated in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
It has also been proven that restrictive diets don’t work for the majority of people and lead to binging and negative long-term results. We believe it’s better to make gradual, healthy tweaks to your existing diet, exercise more whilst still enjoying the odd beer or chocolate bar as a reward for your efforts!
#3 Get organised
Being organised is critical when making time to exercise or prepare healthy meal options whilst leading a busy lifestyle. Try and have at least 15 minutes before you go to bed every night to plan for the next day. This could be getting your gym kit ready for the morning, preparing a healthy lunch option or even just ironing your outfit for the following day. You’ll feel better going to bed knowing your ready to go and you’ll have more time to fit in the things you want to do.
Unfortunately many of us lead fairly sedentary lives especially if your job requires you to sit down all day. This can lead to muscle tightness and a decrease in flexibility. It is therefore essential to dedicate some of your day to moving around and stretching out any tension that builds up. Stretching is also extremely beneficial before and after exercise as it increases flexibility, blood flow and can help reduce the risk of injury and stress – just ask any yoga teacher!
#5 Set goals
Try setting yourself a goal every day and stick to it. Whether it’s reading 10 pages of a book or eating more healthily, focus on achieving that goal for the day. Bigger, longer term goals like focusing on an event or key milestone are also important, whether it’s running a 10k or looking good on holiday – set yourself a target and work back from it, breaking it down into daily and weekly goals that you can tick off as you go. Once you achieve one goal, make sure you find a new one so you can maintain your gains and make even more progress.
Sleep is essential in order to recover and recharge your batteries, whatever your day has thrown at you. Having insufficient or poor quality sleep over a time period has been shown to be associated with increasing risk of medical conditions such as chronic heart failure – which we’re not a massive fan of.
There are many factors in getting a good night’s sleep, one being limiting caffeine in take to a minimum of 6 hours before sleep and not looking at your phone or tablet screen (or at least putting it into night mode) for an hour before bed being another. Not taking on too much liquid – especially alcohol and blocking out sound and light if you are a light sleeper can also make a difference. Ear plugs and eye masks might not be sexy but they might save your life!
#7 Listen to music
Listening to music can help relieve stress, increase concentration and motivation. It can also help you get in the zone before and during exercise. So whether it’s Thin Lizzie or a spot of Drizzie – stick your earphones in and find your flow.
#8 Put your phone away
Sometimes just putting your phone away for an hour can be a great stress reliever as the distractions of social media can be a time and morale vacuum depending when and how you’re feeling at that particular moment. They also consume your mental energy which could be used for positive actions like solving global warming or going for a jog. Which you can then share on Facebook and get trillions of likes.
#9 Get outside
It sounds obvious but getting outside and breathing fresh air is important for a whole host of reasons. If you can get out of the city and into the woods or countryside, even better. If the sun’s out, you’ll also get the vitamin D production benefit of catching a few rays. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a funky hat if it’s a hot day!
#10 Make time
Relaxing is just as important and often quite difficult to do for many of us. Enjoying periods of relaxation will allow you to focus more intensely on tasks as your brain and body will be under less fatigue, making you more productive and responsive when the time requires it. So Netflix is just as important as deadlifts when it comes to all round happiness!