Individuals from all over the world are being compelled to recognise the critical need of adopting healthy behaviours due to the rising prevalence of sedentary lives, poor diets, and lifestyle diseases, writes Meenakshi Mohanty
The health and fitness sector’s expansion has changed how people view exercise generally and its significance in daily life. The post-pandemic era has inspired many people to start practising healthy habits like frequent walking, mild exercise, yoga, pilates, strength and resistance training, and much more. There has been a renewed emphasis on individual well-being.
Scientific research has added to the increased awareness of and concern for health, giving many people a key place to start. Additionally, individuals from all over the world are being compelled to recognise the critical need of adopting healthy behaviours due to the rising prevalence of sedentary lives, poor diets, and lifestyle diseases.
Here are a few tips to start 2023 that can go a long way in picking up the necessary momentum to keep at pursuits of a healthy lifestyle:
Focus on hydrating properly
Water is an essential, life-supporting resource. Decreasing water levels in the body can make workouts feel harder, hamper performance and prolong recovery periods. Water helps in regulating body temperature, while facilitating the transport of essential micronutrients to muscles and organs. It helps in maintaining energy levels, and acts as a lubricant for joints, easing movement and improving performance. Water also helps in maintaining blood pressure when exercising, and aids in waste removal from the body. Thus, it is imperative that an individual focuses on their hydration for timely recovery and proper bodily functioning.
Start small and stay consistent
The ‘all-or-nothing’ attitude popular in today’s time can be overwhelming for most people. In reality, several studies have proved that intensity matters less compared to consistency when trying to achieve results and unlocking the long-term benefits of exercise. It therefore becomes essential for people to put in a daily effort, even if it means to keep workout routines moderate or light in intensity. The goal is to relax the brain, stress the body in a good way while indulging in the flow of hormones and endorphins.
Visualise and log workouts
The power of clear intentions can immensely help a person realise their goals and achieve the desired results efficiently. Building a roadmap that encompasses the big-picture, and all the necessary small steps needed to bring that picture to life can be a game-changer. For example, tracking weekly progress can be done via progressive overloading for strength training, which can also work to motivate a person as they are able to track their progress regularly.
Don’t overdo it
When starting a new routine, keep the workout challenging yet tailored to your personal abilities. The need to properly recover is as important as becoming better in the gym, or any other choice of sport and exercise. Including rest days, break-weeks, massage therapy sessions, and other activities can greatly benefit long-term fitness goals.
The advancements in digital technologies and the internet has led to the availability of free and extensive scientific studies that can provide insightful information for people to take advantage of. Learning about cognitive and brain health, and customising approaches to regular exercise can provide an opportunity for people to enhance health and well-being like never before. Physical activity improves blood flow to the various parts of the body, including the brain, and a well-oxygenated brain better regulates the organs which can help reduce cortisol levels and overall stress, slow-down ageing and improve verbal memory, learning and emotional control.
Use tracking devices
Proliferation of innovative technologies has enabled access to intriguing wearable devices that allow people to track various aspects of bodily functioning, such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and much more. These devices can become a useful addition to a person’s gear, allowing tracking of vitals and overall progress, while providing visual cues that can work to provide motivation.
Expect the unexpected
In any given fitness journey, it is crucial to remember that achieving goals is not a simple path. There will always be peaks and valleys along the way. Slipping from a routine is only natural, which happens with almost everyone, and one shouldn’t be too hard on themselves for a small set back in the grand scheme of things. It’s what you do most of the time that counts.
(Meenakshi Mohanty, Fitness Expert)