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Stressed? Put Your Health First!

It’s a balancing act. Life that is. You have work (often very stressful), family life, friends, partners, children, university/college, the list goes on. Now add the training and healthy lifestyle into the mix.

When things start to get too much or too stressful, most people cope by giving training a break (it’s a little hard to put your children on break) and replacing planned healthy meals with quick and unhealthy alternatives. Exercise and healthy eating is often the best medicine for stressful periods in life, yet most give that up first.

Exercising and healthy eating can:

  • Increase endorphins, which improves your mood. It also helps with neurotransmission in the brain, thus helping you make “better” decisions at work and over issues that may have been worrying you.
  • Improve your energy. This means you can get more done.
  • Helps you rejuvenate. Spend some time alone – switch off the phone and play your favourite tunes. Reset and come back to sort out any outstanding issues or tasks.
  • Improve health & weight management, which will elevate mood and self-esteem.
  • And much more…

 

Here are some tips to help you stay motivated and keep your health in check:

  1. Incorporate exercise into your day: Even if it’s as simple as going for a walk, bring a pair of runners, chuck them on at lunch and go for a 30 minute walk. Or, wake up a little earlier and on the way to work, get off a couple of stops earlier and walk. Make it so that it’s easy to maintain and part of your current  routine.
  2. Do you do any type of resistance training (weights or body weight)? Then stop using the scales! We see a lot of our clients who use the scales as a “success” indicator. If you are doing any sort of resistance training with weights or body weight, using scales are a 100% mood killer and not a true indicator of your success. Any sort of resistance training will make you build muscle. Muscle is denser and more compact than fat, so although you may weigh the same, you look more compact (see image below). Use a pair of favourite jeans or dress as inspiration and motivation.

    fat vs muscle
  3. Stop looking at Instagram selfies for inspiration: Your health and fitness goals are about you. If you are inspired by a particular story, then great but don’t let pictures get you into a cycle of negative talk & end up killing your motivation. Remember, you’re unique and so is your lifestyle and life commitments.
  4. Have a cuppa: Caffeine and green tea are great easy tools than can help to improve fat loss. They are also known to improve performance and endurance during training (the energy from the caffeine plays a role). In addition, they help manage your appetite. Keep in mind, when referring to caffeine, we aren’t talking about “lattes” and “cappuccinos”, we mean the more hardcore stuff, so long blacks and espressos; hold the milk. If that isn’t your thing, there are many supplement options on the market that can provide pure caffeine and  green tea extract in an easy-to-use capsule. 
  5. Don’t feel guilty: It happens, not everyone can be 100% perfect all the time (remember, social media fitness personalities only show part of the story so don’t believe they never slip up - they’re human). If you have a piece of cake, followed by a pack of chips and wash it down with ice cream, let it be. Let it go and move on. Basically, get over it. Drink plenty of water, have lots of green veggies or greens drinks and go for a walk or have a training session the next day. Just try not to have these slip-up days too often.

Remember, if you don’t look after yourself and your health, you cannot be the best you can be for those who rely on you. So make sure you’re at your optimal mental and physical health, so that you can then look after your family, friends and other commitments in your life.

For more help, support or advice, please feel free to pop-in or drop us an email.

 

Added 2014/05/06 Author: Helen Kantilaftis

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