Wednesday, 3 February 2016

10 Healthy Habits to Live By

Oh how I love that health has become cool. It wasn't long ago that choosing a salad over a burger had to be justified to people with a 'I ate not that long ago' or 'I'm on a diet', even if it wasn't true and you just fancied being healthy. Now it's the opposite, if on the rare occasion I go for the less healthy option I'll say 'I'll treat myself today' or 'Just once, don't worry I'm still me'. I don't know if this is down to getting older or Instagram's hold on the world with it's fitness hype. Either way, I love it. I finally don't feel weird for treating my body well and there are so many amazing & healthy places to eat now!

I don't believe in diets, they don't work, they are short term and make you feel awful if you don't quite stick to it. I do believe in a healthy lifestyle and having healthy habits. Like a puppy, being healthy should be for life, not for Christmas...or the week after Christmas in the case of a diet. So here are a few things I try to live by.

1. Set yourself steady, realistic goals Don't aim to lose weight or gain weight, because that can easily be reversed and is one goal that has a finishing line, aim to be fit and healthy. If you aim to lose weight,  you will cut your food intake, maybe eat less than you should or exercise more than you should. When you get to your desired weight, you will have no follow up goal, so it's likely you will drop out of the healthy ways you have temporarily adopted and gain/lose those pounds again. If your goal is to be fit & healthy, gaining or losing weight  will naturally come into it if you are over/under weight and it has no end goal! You will just love the feeling of being healthy and you can keep setting yourself mini goals to be that bit fitter or healthier, without weighing, focus on muscle/stamina or just how you feel within yourself.

2. Eat to Nourish This one is so important and one that so many people get wrong. Food is NOT the enemy. Your body needs a healthy balance of all food groups to have the energy to workout, carry out daily activities and generally survive without getting major 'hangry' issues. These two statements are key: If you are trying to lose weight, cutting major calories will make it less sustainable and your metabolism is going to be super slow. This means, when you start eating normally to maintain, your body will actually hold on to the food as it expects to not be fed properly for a while, causing you to gain some of the fat back. 
Secondly, if you are working out a lot, cardio or strength training...EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN.
On this topic, eating healthily or 'clean' doesn't mean just eating chicken and broccoli. You'd be surprised what every day foods are actually healthy (I sense an idea for a new blog post...)

3. Sleep I need not say more. This isn't just a nice thing, it's a needed thing. When you sleep your body heals itself, hence why if you don't sleep properly for a while you get ill. Sleep is nice, why deprive yourself?!

4. Work out in a way you enjoy Running for an hour every morning isn't for everyone, some people love it, some people (including me) hate it. 
I have just started training with a new Personal Trainer, I've only had two sessions so far (I just returned from one actually!), but I have never felt better! She has motivated me and reminded me how much I love the feeling of a killer workout. I really love strength training, the feeling of your muscles getting stronger. I also go horse riding when I go back to my parents house and attend gym classes a few times a week. Switch it up, keep it fresh and exciting! Find what works for you.

5. Recovery is just as important as the workout When you start to get really into the rhythm of working out most days, it can be hard to make yourself stay at home and give your body a rest. If you over do it, it is possible to do more harm than good. Take it slow at first, don't throw yourself in at the deep end, give your muscles time to adjust to the new found healthy you!

6. Prep & Plan Everyone bangs on about this. There is a reason... planning is key. I'm not a big 'meal prep' kinda gal, to be honest that's just tedious and I trust myself to roll with it a bit more nowadays and I have the time. I only do it if I know I'm going to be working a lot and not have a lot of time to cook. But I ALWAYS plan (I am an organisation freak), I get so panicky and my anxiety kicks in if I haven't planned. But I can't stress enough, that is NOT a good thing, I just use it for good in prepping my work outs, to do lists, meal planning etc. I use it to stay productive now, so turn your weaknesses into strengths, that IS a good thing!

7. WATER Drink lots of it...and then drink more. Not only does this keep your body functioning the way it should, it also keeps your skin lovely and glowy... which you all want. Hydration hydration hydration! You'll feel alive, fresh and beautiful

8. Balance is key Lets be honest, being good all the time is boring and not healthy for your soul. If you fancy that chocolate, have a little square, if you want a night out, go out with your friends and enjoy it, then work out with the same friends the next day. Just have a healthy balance of good and naughty. It is just as important to have a healthy mind, as well as a healthy body. What is the point in having a killer body if you're absolutely miserable? The way I see it, you won't get to having a killer body if you're miserable because you won't want to keep going or you'll end up leaning toward unhealthy mental habits... which leads onto my next point...

9. Stop beating yourself up Life is there to be lived, it doesn't revolve around being healthy 100% of the time, that isn't always the most important thing. There is no such thing as slipping up, there is only making the choices you want to make at the time for what will make you happiest in the long run. If you do something that you regret, don't dwell on it, it made you happy at the time and sometimes, that is fine. As I said before, you have to have a happy soul as well as a happy body.
Whatever your goal or end game, beating yourself up mentally will only set you back, positivity is the most important and biggest change that needs to happen if you want to become a healthier & happier version of you. Only do what you enjoy, nothing more and nothing less.

10. Think Positive ALWAYS. There is an upside to everything in life, even if you can't see it right now. Something good is just around the corner, I promise. If you're anything like me, most things seem like the end of the world at the time, are forgotten about the next day. So take a deep breath, shut your eyes and think rationally... There is ALWAYS something good to take from every situation.

And there you have it. I want to hear any other healthy habits you guys have, or anything you disagree with. Let me know!

Much Love,

Chloë Rona

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