4th January 2016
North East Times’ health and fitness correspondent Katie Bulmer Cooke shares her top ways to a healthier you, concentrating on mindset, nutrition and exercise
I genuinely feel for anyone setting out on a mission to improve their health, fitness and get in shape, because it is so hard to know where to start. There is so much information out there, most of which is conflicting and way too complicated.
So, I’m going to break it down for you, into nine simple steps covering mindset, nutrition and exercise. They are easy to follow and they will work!
Set a goal for four weeks’ time, and make sure it can be measured. Do you want to be in a specific size-12 dress, go to a certain shop and buy a certain size, or drop two inches from your waist? Whatever it may be, you need to be passionate about your goal! Four weeks is a great time frame. It’s enough time to notice your body start to change without putting too much pressure on yourself – and without giving yourself time to go off track.
Prepare. In every aspect of your life you need to spend time on preparation, from cooking your food the night before to making exercise appointments with yourself in your diary.
Rest. That’s right, when it comes to getting in great shape you need to rest. Have at least one day’s rest from exercise every week and also ensure you have a good night’s sleep to enable your body to recover and repair itself.
Eat regularly to prevent feeling hungry. We all make the worst food choices when hunger kicks in.
Be accountable to someone else. Whether it be your partner, work colleague or friend, tell someone what you are doing and, most importantly, why, so that they can support you along the way.
Track your progress. There is no greater motivation than when you start to see results. Make sure you take ‘before’ pictures, measurements, and even see a personal trainer to have your body fat percentage recorded. Do this regularly; ideally every three to four weeks.
Believe you can do it! Imagine yourself in four weeks’ time, achieving your goal, and hold on to the feeling of achievement, delight and confidence; use this to spur you on.
Keep a ‘truth’ diary, detailing everything from food and drinks, to exercise, sleep and mood. This is a great tool to help you stay on track.
Maintain momentum. Do something every day that takes you closer to your goal, whether that be a workout, giving up a certain food, preparing you meals in advance or planning your week’s workouts.
In my next column, we’ll delve a little deeper into what you should and shouldn’t be eating, but for now, start with the small stuff and build the foundations. From experience, I know that when you are overloaded with masses of information about exercise and diet it can all get too much – and the result? You quit. Here’s to not quitting this time!
Katie Bulmer-Cooke is an award-winning health and fitness entrepreneur, consultant and speaker (contact firstname.lastname@example.org)