No pain, no gain. This is the mantra of bodybuilders, extreme athletes, and other people who are engaged in a lot of physical fitness and exercise activities. Regrettably, it is also one of the most dreaded concepts of individuals who are considering on achieving a more ideal level of fitness. But the good news is that you don’t have to really push yourself to the hilt just to stay fit.
Here are a number of ways you can maintain fitness with very minimal effort.
Start Your Day with Protein-Rich Foods
Did you know that proteins contain essentially the same amount of calories per gram as carbohydrates? But the real difference is that our body tends to process proteins a lot slower so you get energy that lasts longer.
Start your day with eggs because this is rich in protein. As a matter of fact, eating two eggs for breakfast not only makes you feel less hungry throughout the day, you’ll feel a lot more energised, too. This shouldn’t be difficult, right?
Drink Before Meals
The amount of food that we eat is quite dependent on how fast our stomachs get distended to the point that it sends signals to the brain telling us to stop eating. One way to hasten this process is by drinking at least 2 glasses of water just before you take your very first spoonful of your meal. A study found that people who drank water before meals ate less 1 . The water distends your tummy while also allowing food to be processed more efficiently. You will still get the right amounts of nutrients, but the good news is that you will never eat more than what your body needs.
Walk, Don’t Ride
The modern car is a convenience most of us are not ready to give up. That’s why we always take our car even though we’re just going to buy something from the next city block. Ditch the car keys and walk. If you don’t like to walk, how about you ride your bike? The important thing to remember here is to use those muscles to help you keep fit.
Use Smaller Plates and Bowls
Fine dining restaurants always serve their fantastic creations on very large plates, even though the meal itself only sits straight on the centre. This gives you the illusion that you’re eating less, so the natural tendency is to order some more. Reverse this by using smaller plates and bowls to give you the illusion that you’re eating a really hefty order. Simple!
Try Intermittent Fasting
Most of us are familiar with fasting, but not everyone is familiar with intermittent fasting. It is essentially the same thing. The only difference is that you observe a cycle of eating and fasting. So you eat today, then fast tomorrow; something like that. Not only will this help you lose weight, it can also improve your metabolic functions since your body will be on its toes trying to keep up with the changes.
Staying fit can be made hassle-free if you try observing these few tips. They’re not much, but if you do it consistently, then you can achieve the level of fitness you’ve always wanted.
Be Conscious with What You Eat and Drink
The old adage reminds people to eat their food as medicine or they’ll eventually eat medicine as their food. Simply stated, be careful with what you put into your mouth.
Choose vegetables over canned goods, water over carbonated drinks, and home-cooked meals over fast food. Yet deprivation of all things sinfully delicious is also not advisable. Your option then is to follow 80-percent healthy, 20-percent indulgence principle.
Our bodies are made to move, not sit around. Thus, no matter how crazy hectic your schedule becomes, move. Learn a new sport, hike up a mountain, join a dance club, or simply walk your dog. Sparing 15 minutes a day 2 will suffice, so long as you exercise based on what your body needs. Tailor your regimen to your age, sex, build, and what other factor you consider relevant.
Know Your Cathartic Release
A healthy life is a mind-body-spirit affair. All three aspects have to work together, lest the balance is disrupted and things will start running rickety. So take good care of your mental health just as you mind your muscles. Know what de-stresses you. Is it writing or yoga? Do you feel relieved from work when you groom an orchid or perhaps sing your heart out? So long as the ways are not harmful, then do it. Find your own brand of happiness and follow it.
Know Your Limitations
Too much of something is bad enough, always. When it comes to stress, emotions, load work, partying, gadget use, and practically all other behaviours, know your limitations.
If working becomes too demanding that you forget birthdays, resort to instant processed food or are unable to socialise, file a leave and pamper yourself. If social media has consumed you, uninstall apps and disconnect for a while. Anything that saps your energy way too much disrupts the balance of life and turns you unhealthy.
Grow Your Faith
Regardless of religion, a healthy person generally surrenders to an omnipresence. A strong belief system provides an avenue for external attribution when crises hit or becomes a source of hope when trials come.
This is important since stress, depression, anger, resentment, or even catastrophes tend to break people down and take a toll on their physical fitness. Beliefs that life is borrowed also prompts people to take better care of their physical bodies. Nourish your soul like you nurture your body.
Value Your Relationships
Your inner circle of friends, family members, partners in life, mentors, and significant others shall become your support during trials, as well as influence you positively on health matters. So value your relationships — at home, work, school, or any other avenue.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. If you’ve strayed from the healthy path for one day or month, know that you can always move the sails around. As you research more about fitness, you’ll find more and more helpful tips. Just be reminded that at the heart of it all is balance (i.e., mind, body, and soul), discipline, and kindness to oneself.
1. Ji Na Jeong, Effect of Pre-meal Water Consumption on Energy Intake and Satiety in Non-obese Young Adults, Clin Nutr Res. 2018 Oct; 7(4): 291–296. doi: 10.7762/cnr.2018.7.4.291
2. Selene Yeager and Ashley Mateo, Women’s Health, The Benefits Of 15-Minute Workouts Will Blow Your Mind