It’s no secret that gyms see maximum footfall at the beginning of every year. New Year Resolutions anyone? But not everyone who resolves to stay healthy and fit by joining the gym turns into a gym rat. Some start slacking the gym soon after joining for various reasons.
If you’ve been a gym slacker and can relate to this, here are some natural ways to incorporate health and fitness into your daily routine:
Colors psychology has a lot to do with influencing your appetite.
Come to think of it, McDonald’s, KFC, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, and Burger King feature red and/or yellow in their logos. The idea is plain simple – to stimulate consumers’ appetite and make them eat more.
Similarly, there are colors like blue that do just the opposite. Replace utensils, upholstery, furniture and/or redo your kitchen using these ‘appetite suppressing’ colors. Take a cue from Kendall Jenner, who chose Baker-Miller Pink for her living room. According to a research in the 80’s, this color has been scientifically proven to suppress appetite.
2. Catch the Zzzzzs
Have you been putting on excess weight without a clue what’s wrong? Well, there are chances that you’re not getting adequate sleep.
According to a study in 2013, researchers found that sleep-deprived people chose larger portions of snacks as opposed to those who got at least 8 hours of sleep every day. Also, without sleeping and giving your body rest, you’re basically entering into a ‘drunken state’ and invite several diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.
While there are several ways that help you get a good night’s sleep, aromatherapy really does work wonders! All you need is to choose from aromatherapy products that offer stress relief and help you sleep like a baby.
This takes us to the next point.
3. Use Aromatherapy to Curb Hunger
Apart from helping you keep stress at bay and fall asleep at the drop of a hat, aromatherapy is also known for curbing hunger. You can easily cut down intense snacks cravings you get throughout the day by using essential oils that include but are not limited to – bergamont, peppermint, lemon, grapefruit, ginger or cinnamon. Additionally, they’ll give you a much-needed energy boost when you need it!
Carry these hunger-suppressing essential oil(s) with you wherever you go. Whenever you get the urge of grabbing a cuppa or feel like going for a sugary donut, just dab a drop on your wrists. This will take care of the hunger pangs, naturally!
4. Get Active with Your Friends
Getting healthy can be fun and more beneficial when you involve friends. Exercising, for instance, will become easier and fun without you even realizing it.
Form a ‘health club’ with your close bunch of friends (or coworkers) and keep a track of each other’s fitness activity.
Go jogging or walking every morning with them or plan for hiking or trekking trips on weekends. Alternatively, you can also join Yoga or Pilates classes as a group. This will not only help you all stay fit but also offer you something to look forward to daily. This way, you can easily inch towards your goal.
5. Put Fun in Exercise
Exercise sounds boring, drab and dull in the first place and you’re not alone who has this opinion. But you can surely find other ways to move those muscles and stay true to your fitness agenda! Here’s what you can do instead of plain exercise:
- Jump rope – Jumping rope is one of the best ways to get a full-body workout. It doesn’t cost a bomb, you can carry it practically everywhere and get started whenever you want!
- Keep Swimming! – Are you a water baby? Do you have access to a pool nearby? If your answer is affirmative, opt for swimming lessons or go for some water-friendly exercises. It’ll also help you cool down during summers!
- Dance your way to health – Zumba, Salsa, Bachata, Bokwa…take your pick and join a dance class to rapidly shed weight without feeling the burden of exercising! Even if you don’t join a class, you can follow these dance moves on YouTube and get moving.
- Ride a Bike – Depending on what work you do and where to ride a bicycle to work or for other errands like a trip to the green grocers. Apart from helping you get your daily dose of exercise, riding a bike will also help you avoid traffic, cut down your commuting expenses, save those parking woes and make you do your bit for the environment. How cool is that?
- Train for a Marathon – Marathons are happening everywhere. It doesn’t take much to participate in one and get trained for the same. Join your local marathoners and start training for upcoming marathons in your vicinity. You may even end up winning one someday!
- Play a Sport – Did you play any sports in high school or college but gave up later in life due to lack of time? It’s time you return to your favorite sports. Invite your kids, other kids in the neighborhood and friends to play friendly matches. The best part is, you don’t even have to play by the rules and create your own!
- Invest in Gaming Consoles – Gaming consoles such as Xbox Kinect and Wii Fit are technological wonders that help you keep fit while playing traditional video games. Invest in them and you’ll not regret the decision, especially if you love playing video games. What a time to live in!
6. Ditch Fad Diets
Atkins. Southbeach. Paleo. Cabbage Soup.
These are some of the most popular fad diets, which people swear by for shedding flab (in limited time). However, these diets come with their share of disadvantages too, as exemplified by the pre-wedding Sirtfood diet popularized by Pippa Middleton.
For instance, although the Alkaline diet promotes eating fresh food, it is strict, way too complicated and restricts even healthy food like dairy and meat. The Lemonade diet leads to side-effects such as fatigue, dizziness, and nausea whereas the Blood-Type diet has no scientific proof attached to it.
Stick to a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables for your health and wellbeing.
7. Prepare Your Own Food
More often than not, food cravings arise from the fact that people have “nothing to eat” and begin ordering takeaways.
A healthy menu for the entire week or even month in advance and preparing your own food is the apt solution for this. Starting from your breakfast to the lunch you carry to work and dinner, you’ll be eating healthy all day long without craving for fast food.
This will not only help you eat clean but also save money that you’d otherwise spend eating junk food!
Find a fix with the help of this healthy eating planner.
8. Say No to Drugs Added Sugar
Sugar is highly addictive and by adding lots of sugar to your food or drinks, you automatically sign up for diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer. And let’s not forget that it also causes tooth decay.
According to 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of your daily calories.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 100 calories a day, which comes to 6 teaspoons for most women. For men, this is 150 calories a day or 9 teaspoons.
Soft drinks, candy, and confectionaries, fruit-based drinks, dairy products such as ice cream and sweetened yogurt, are common sources of added sugar often hidden behind different names. Even certain “healthy” food have added sugar. Limit their intake in order to reduce the amount of sugar that goes into your system.
9. Read the Labels
The next time you go grocery shopping, make it a point to read the labels on everything you put in the shopping cart. The nutrition and ingredients list will help you compare two or more products and help you come to a conclusion. Also, reading the labels will help you avoid toxic elements present in the products.
To take an informed decision, check FDA’s Food Labeling Guide before you go shopping. This will help you shop healthier, better alternatives.
These are a few fitness perks, which even gym slackers can enjoy. Not a gym slacker? Still, give these pointers a try. You won’t be disappointed with the results. Guaranteed!