Being fit and healthy isn't about downing protein shakes, spending hours in the gym and following a strict diet. It's so much simpler than that, but with the media constantly spoon feeding us information about the latest diet, exercise and super pill, the water has become murky and it's hard to identify what 'healthy' is.
For me, being healthy means that you are: active, happy and eating notoriously wholesome food. So if you are confused about what healthy is or just need a little bit of advice, here are my seven steps to achieving better health.
Your body is made up mostly of water so it's essential that you keep hydrated. Water can help to improve your skin complexion, how your body functions and it can make you look younger too. Sometimes our body mistakes thirst for hunger so drinking water continually throughout the day will stop you from eating when you are not hungry.
The worst mistake that people make when they are trying to become healthier is that they cut out a lot of food and a food group in particular, carbohydrates. Yes, you will gain weight if you eat a lot of carbs but you will also gain weight from eating too much of anything! Swap white carbs for wholegrains and make sure that you eat carbs after you work out to help your muscles to grow and repair.
My diet is rich in healthy fats, proteins and complex carbs, so I would say that I follow a healthy diet but I also follow the 80:20 rule. This means that I still allow myself to indulge in my favourite treats when I fancy it, and I never feel guilty for it. A diet that is restrictive is only going to lead to failure so if you fancy a treat, go for it!
If you have an office job, you will be surprised to see how inactive, you are during the working hours. Stop sitting and start walking! Every hour, get up and go for a walk. Walk to another floor, walk outside, walk around your office... it doesn't matter where you go, just go! Moving more during the working day will help you to burn more calories and shift stubborn fat.
Stretching can help to improve your posture, balance and coordination. We've all seen our posture worsen as we find ourselves crouching over our laptops and computers on a daily basis, so try to stretch out your back muscles to help to improve your spine alignment.
When it comes to being healthy, relaxing is just as important as moving. Pencil some me time in your diary and reserve a few hours every week, where you can just switch off from the world and relax. I like to do yoga or have a massage, but when I am short of time I simply just light my candles and listen to old school R&B music.
Exercise can be a tricky one. How many times a week should you exercise and what exercises should you do? My routine is a mixture of cardio and resistance training and I train 5-6 times a week. Exercising for just 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week will help to improve your health and overall athletic ability. If you don't like training in the gym, join a dance group, sports club or train outdoors. Exercise isn't just limited to the gym. Find a training method that you enjoy doing and exercising will suddenly become a lot easier.
We are happier when we are doing the things that we love the most and when we are happy, we are healthy. Eliminate everything that is toxic in your life and fill the gaps with laughter. We all have that we have been meaning to do, let's do it before it's too late. Smile more. Do more. Live more.
What are your top tips for living a healthier, happier life?
This post first appeared on www.tashiskervin.com