How to integrate fitness into your lifestyle...

Many people out there realise in their late 30s or early 40s that they should start exercising. Our metabolism slows down with age, those extra pounds are creeping up slowly but steadily.

All of a sudden what has not been priority for years becomes the top priority and people tend to suddenly do everything and expect results within a week.

Ladies and gentlemen how can we expect results within a week or so ? My question is did you gain that excess fat overnight? The answer most probably is no. Therefore be patient, and follow the tips below for long term results. 

1. Do not change everything all at once! The key is to make small changes week by week, so that your body doesn't go into shock. When you change everything, it's so easy to fall back into the old habits. Be patient!

2. Change your breakfast. If you have been eating cereals or nothing for breakfast that's the first thing to change. Have a nice protein rich breakfast. Give your body the nutrients that it requires. Protein, carbs, and plenty of water. Yes, you need to get up a little earlier but for me the most important part of the day has always been the morning preparation. You need to prepare you mind, body and soul for the day ahead. Feed all three with the necessary nutrients. Listen to some soul filling music, or read a quote that sets you up for the day. Equally look after your body and give the right food to it. 

3. Hydrate. The more you drink, the fuller you will feel and the less you eat. Sometimes hunger can be mixed with thirst. Try the water first and if you still feel hungry, have a healthy snack.

4. Control your portions. Some people use calorie trackers, MyFitness Pal or similar apps. I never used any of these. All I use is the voice of my body. When my body says 'enough' I'll stop. Put a normal portion on your plate/lunch box, and when you finished, wait 5 minutes. If you are still hungry, then have a little more. I guarantee however that the feeling of hunger only exists when you finish your meal. After a little break it will go. Equally, do NOT cut the essential macronutrients. There are plenty of diets on the market, all stating how to transform within weeks. Yes, you will see initial results if you follow them. But the chances are high that those initial results are only loss of water and you will plateau. If you follow the 30% protein- 40% carb- 30% fat ratio, you cannot go wrong. Obviously it's not a one size fits all approach, we all have different goals but generally speaking this ratio is accurate.

5. Train regularly. Again, if you haven't done anything before do not start with 4 times a week at the gym. Take it slow and you will slowly build it into your life. Start with one session a week. Do some cardio, try the machines. Then slowly increase the sessions to 2-3 a week. Group fitness classes are a great way to start your fitness journey. And if you are lucky, your gym will have some strength classes available as well. Again, a mix of strength, cardio and body conditioning should get you on the right track.

6. Walk. 10-12.000 steps a day should be your aim. Even if you are working in an office, it is very much achievable. Instead of taking the bus to the tube station, walk there. Walk up the escalator as opposed to just stand on it. Use the stairs instead of the lift. Best way to think about these is: 'If it's effort, DO IT!'

7. Be patient and keep going. This is probably the most important element. Your small changes will turn into big results. But as the famous saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. If you survived the first 6 months, you passed the hardest part. After 6 months, when your mindset has changed, when fitness is part of your everyday life, you can set new goals and take it to the next level if you wish.

Hope you found this post helpful. If you need any help contact me:)

Good luck!