By: Virginia Bain, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist on Cyno
Health is our ultimate good. Isn't that what we all learned from the pandemic? It's so easy to forget in every day craze, up until you catch the next illness or get injured and you are reminded of how important it is again... Here are 6 things we should all stop doing in order to make a start to become or stay healthy overall:
1. Stop focusing on being skinny & start focusing on being healthy.
Yes sometimes they are both the same thing (i.e. weight loss is needed in order to get health markers up, be able to move better etc.), but when we approach our nutritional choices from a health perspective rather than a just weight loss perspective, I am certain many of us would often choose differently. Of course we still need to remind ourselves that many things that are healthy are also high in calories. I am saying more next time you have the choice between eating your second protein bar on the go while continuing to work or taking 10 minutes to sit down and eat a light salad with chicken and avocado, pick option number 2. Or next time whether you should allow extra calories for a 3rd glass of wine or eat a more satiating dinner with more veggies and salmon, pick option number 2. Minerals, vitamins, antioxidants etc are so incredibly important when it comes to fighting disease and boosting longevity. Theoretically most of us know that, but making choices accordingly is a different story. 2. Stop focusing on weight loss & start focusing on building strength.
If you approach your training target from the perspective of I want to get/ stay strong so I can carry my own groceries well into my 80s, so that I can be the person that can easily lift up her suitcase in the overhead compartment, so that I can be the person others turn to when it comes to opening the pickle jar, instead of thinking 'what exercise should I best do to lose weight' you will likely do both at the same time while building a roaring metabolism that allows you to eat decent quantities instead of having to starve yourself. Your older you will thank you for it.
3. Stop waking up with your phone & start your day with positivity and focus.
How you start your day is rather indicative of how the rest of your day is going to go. Organized? Positive? Motivated? One negative text message while you are still in bed or one complaint email while you are brushing your teeth and your mood is out the window, your plans to exercise right away might have been stretched in order to take care of this "urgent" think and maybe you even forget to take your beautifully prepared lunch to work with you. Point being - spend at least the first 30-60 minutes of the day WITHOUT reactivity and being proactive when it comes to nourishing your mind or at least being completely present and focused on what it is YOU want and what YOU want to get done today, not other people. Your mental health will thank you for it and a positive mindset overall also has a positive effect on your total immune system.
4. Stop under-consuming protein (especially in your first meal of the day)
Total protein consumption over the course of the day is incredibly important when it comes to healthy body fat levels and building/ retaining muscle mass. Within that though, starting your day off with sufficient protein also plays a crucial role for your cravings/ satiation over the rest of the day, blood sugar regulation, energy levels and much more. Don't "break your fast" with just a piece of toast, fruit or even just cereal. Break your fast with some poached eggs, high protein yoghurt or even left overs from last night. Proteins are literally the building blocks of our bodies. By eating sufficient amino acids you are doing your body a lot of good, in so many ways!
5. Stop cutting your sleep short.
What's the first thing to go when you have lots to do? That's right, for most people it is exercise closely followed by sleep or the other way around. Most of us are theoretically aware of its benefits when it comes to longevity, restoration, mental health, muscle preservation etc, but putting it into practice is something else. Next time you are thinking about cutting your sleep down below 7 hours or you think "oh what the heck it's just one night", remember that lack of sleep is incredibly closely linked to Alzheimer's, dementia and various forms of cancer. If you say no to sleep, you automatically leave the door a little wider open for these other things...
6. Stop blaming circumstances, other people or genetics.
Once again, mindset matters. For your physical health, your mental health and your success overall. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset. Victim mentality vs ownership. These are some of the main attributes that set successful people apart from those that are not successful and that applies to health as well as to any other aspect. It's easy to feel stuck in your environment or situation (I don't have time to prepare my meals, I need to work and look after my kids) or to get side tracked by your friends ('none of my friends work out and eat healthy, I had no other choice!') or be angry at your body ('the weight used to come off so easily', 'everything has changed since I entered perimenopause' or 'everyone in my family struggles to lose weight') - it doesn't mean it's not true, it just means that there is no point focusing on them and until you accept things for what they are and either change them or work with them, nothing is going to work out to your advantage. What you focus on, you create more of. So if you focus on what's not working you will only emphasize that., So look at your situation, make the best out of the cards you have been given. Health is not "fair", but it's still up to you to do what you can. We get you, none of these things are easy to stop, but again what do we have if we don't have our health - for our mind, our bodies and our spirits? So it is well worth the effort!
To get help with any of these book an appointment on Cyno with me to see how I can help you!
Virginia Bain, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist on Cyno