Karl Henry: Feeling out of shape after the holidays? Here's how you can get back on track
After what has been the quietest July since the height of the boom, our clients and gym members are beginning to return from their holidays. We are heading towards one of our busiest times of the year, with new clients coming in to get in shape after a summer of excess and a holiday experience they weren't happy with. It might have been something as simple as feeling uncomfortable on the beach, looking out of shape in photos or just feeling generally unhealthy after too much food and alcohol. Sound familiar?
So this week I thought I would bring you a simple guide to help you get back on track as soon as possible after the holidays so you can start feeling yourself again - or even to get you started if you didn't like what you saw by the pool or how you feel after the trip.
1) Do it now! The worst thing you can do is to put your health on the long finger. The most important component is to commit to doing it now, today or this week. Get out your diary, commit to your day. Pencil it in and let's make it happen.
2) Measure: Once a week, at the same time on the same day, it's crucial to measure some aspect of your health. Weight, waistline, speed or distance - pick something to measure. Measurement increases your chances of long term health as you will be motivated when you see change. No matter what your starting measurement is, it will only get better.
3) Surround yourself with the people you want to be: Look around you, at the people who surround you. Are they healthy or unhealthy? Positive or negative? Optimists or pessimists? If you want to be healthier, then you need to surround yourself with those who are healthy or aiming to be. It's one of the most important aspects of health that can have such a big influence on your health and so simple to change.
4) Cook: Cooking your own food from scratch is a simple way to get back on track too. By cooking more, you naturally are eating better. You can batch cook at the weekend and freeze portion-sized meals to have during the week. You can learn and experiment, increasing your own health tools all the time. You can also help those in your home to learn more about the food they are eating too by giving them the tools!
5) Fit in your fitness when you can: So often people aim to overreach when getting back on track, doing too much exercise, trying to get too much into their week. Why not instead take a balanced approach. Just get in what you can. If that's 20 minutes a day, fantastic! Four one-hour sessions a day, brilliant. What works for you will work for life.
6) Apply the 80/20 principle: Long term health is about balance - being good most of the time and having the odd treat. This means you are not trying to eliminate everything unhealthy, but, instead, having the treat the odd time and enjoying it, knowing that you are going to have to work it off during the week!