Has your New Year’s Resolution to make 2016 the year you get fit and healthy already started to stall?
Changing your eating and exercise pattern can be tough, but there are major benefits associated with improving the nutritional value of your diet and relieving stress by working out. As we move into March the weather will start to get warmer and the daylight a little longer, making outdoor exercise more bearable. There are also lots of great greens in season you can experiment with in the kitchen, like asparagus, broccoli and spinach. So whether you want to lose a few pounds, or simply improve your overall wellbeing, we’ve got five top tips to help you stay healthy this spring, and change your lifestyle for the better:
1. Preparation is key
Plan your weekly meals and do a big food shop at the weekend. Avoiding the shops after work means you’re less likely to pick something pre-prepared that may contain a lot of added salt, sugars and saturated fat. Bringing your own lunch to work also means you can avoid the temptation of the sweet aisle at the nearest corner shop or cafe!
2. Try vegan-ising a meal a day
Going vegan often leaves you no choice but to make your own lunches, as most premade meals contain meat or dairy. Try making an extra portion of dinner to take into work the next day. This means you are able to control what additives and fats you consume, avoiding saturates and artificial sugars as much as possible. There are also major environmental pros to going vegan. Studies have shown that a vegan diet can cut your GHG emissions by a half! Start with a meat free Monday and see how you can progress. Minimalist Baker has some delicious and simple recipes to get you started. Like this Spiced Red Lentil Curry.
3. Don't hang your boots up! Add exercise to your weekly routine
See if there’s an exercise class you can commit to on a regular basis. This will help make fitness part of your weekly routine so that it seems normal and natural, and therefore less effort! If you really want to get fit, once a week is not enough. You need to work out 3-4 times a week to see a real change.
4. Get a fitness buddy
Organising a workout with someone else makes you consider the activity as more of a social (and therefore fun) event. It also means you're less likely to skip a session last minute as you don't want to let your partner down.
5. Get Digging
As well as the added benefit of growing your own veg, gardening has many others benefits. It has been proven that gardening can help reduce the level of stress, direct exposure to dirt and plants and help boost your immune system and it can even keep you fit - 3 hours of moderate gardening can equal a 1 hour gym session!