Massive changes are hard to do and aren’t that much fun is most instances. Whether it’s cutting out that 3 bar a day chocolate habit, deciding to run a 10k on the back of 12 years of sitting behind a desk training, or getting back into your jeans from 10 years ago. Big changes mean drastic alterations to your lifestyle and time that might not work for you cause you to fail and put you off in the future. Think of how many New Year’s resolutions you’ve broken over the years and the money you’ve wasted on that gym membership or trainers you didn’t use (or used for a month).
Small changes, however, are a little easier to fit into everyday life and will accumulate. Also, small successes will give you a feeling of achievement and maybe push you on to greater things.
Walk a bit more
The classic way to getting a bit healthier. Leave for work a little bit earlier and get on and/or off the bus at one stop before you normally do. Over time this could be two or three stops. Don’t take the bus? Walk up the escalator/steps at the tube station; park the car in a spot the furthest from the entrance to work. Soon you’ll be like Forrest Gump.
Leave the desk and do something
Get out of your seat every hour or so and do a lap of the office. Walk over and talk to a colleague instead of shooting them that two line email. Take 10 mins at lunch to get out and do a brisk walk (and get the benefit of some much needed vitamin D). Take a resistance band into work and do some shoulder mobility, to combat that desk posture. Hell, get down and give me ten push ups. Once every 8 hours times ten is eighty. People might laugh at first but, hey, you’ll soon be stronger than them.
Switch the snacks
That pastry or chocolate bar you have with your 11 o’clock coffee; swap it for one or two pieces of fruit or a handful of nuts, or a combination of both. You’ll not get as much of a sugar crash and be giving yourself some vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. It might help with your lunch time food choice and lessen the amount you eat.
Hydration, hydration, hydration
Drink more. Water helps the body and brain function, and is needed to absorb some vitamins. Take a bottle with you and sip throughout the day. Connect this with getting out of your chair every hour by drinking 100-200 ml.
Put the device down
Sleep is important for the body to recover and the brain the process information from the day. Not enough can lead to problems in concentration, upset blood sugar regulation leading to overeating, and negatively affect your moods, amongst other things. Stop the Instabangin’ an hour or so before bed. The blue light mimics the effect of the sun and causes problems in the production of melatonin, which makes you sleepy, disrupting your body clock. Pick up a book, have a bath, listen to a podcast, do something relaxing. You can tweet about it in the morning.
By Rich Hudson
Rich is a Level 4 Strength and Conditioning Coach who has been in the fitness industry for 7 years. He runs his own business, New Heights Fitness, which is based at the Castle Climbing Centre, primarily trains climbers.