Improving your health and fitness can have a hugely beneficial knock on effect in other areas of your life, from your career to your relationships. Being in good physical condition will boost your self confidence, increasing your ability to take on whatever challenges the world might throw at you.
If you’re thinking of overhauling your lifestyle with a view to improving your health, it can be hard to know exactly where to start. As an indicator of general wellbeing, many doctors believe that your waist measurement is of great importance. As such, it can make sense to focus your attentions on slimming down.
Whilst this is an area many of us would want to work on anyway, if only for the sake of appearances, there are a host of medical reasons as to why you should pay particular attention to your weight. Whilst body mass index provides a good way of understanding whether or not you are overweight in relation to your height, it doesn’t account for the fact that where on your body excess fat is stored affects the health problems that you will potentially be at increased risk of developing.
For instance, fat around your belly is more likely to lead to diabetes and heart problems than fat around the buttocks or the thighs. Of course, there are a huge number of other complications that can arise from being seriously overweight, including various forms of cancer. Indeed, on average, obesity reduces your life expectancy by almost a decade.
To lose weight you need to form an action plan consisting of a two pronged attack. On one hand you need to reduce your intake of calories by reassessing your dietary choices, on the other you need to burn more of the calories you do take in through a regime of increased physical activity.
You should be mindful that, in order to make lasting improvements to your health, the changes you make to your routine should be sustainable. Taking extreme measures may help you shed pounds in the short term, but will you be able to keep the weight off? Many people find that the moment they come off a diet they quickly regain any weight they might have lost. This isn’t just down to resorting back to bad habits after getting ‘burnt out’. Very rapid weight loss actually reduces muscle mass and this can lead to a lower basal metabolic rate, making it easier to find yourself bulking up again.
By contrast, if you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein and exercising regularly, the mixture of muscle building and regular activity will actually cause your metabolism to work faster. Therefore, as long as you work on your fitness in a way that you’ll be able to maintain, things will get continually easier as you go on. The anabolic method of cooking is a good way to stay healthy while building muscle mass.
We are creatures of habit, so making small changes that you can enact everyday will often prove to be a path to success. Even something as trivial as substituting snacks like chocolate for more nutritious alternatives such as fruit will have a big cumulative affect over time. Similarly, opting to walk whenever possible will help you burn calories (try hitting the target of 10,000 steps.) Increasing the amount of activity you do overtime will keep you in shape and ideally you should get to the point where you’re doing at least 150 minutes of fairly intensive aerobic exercise over the course of a day.
It’s important to remember that once you’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle you won’ be losing weight indefinitely. Once you reach a good weight you’ll start to stabilise at that level. This shouldn’t be interpreted as your diet/activities losing their effectiveness. They are working to keep you at this weight!