Lifestyle Review 🧘
It Might Be Time To Make A Change.
The best way to achieve your health and wellness goals is to cultivate a lifestyle that supports them.
You can have the best fitness routine in the world, but if you’re ordering take-out daily, binge drinking every weekend and getting 4 hours of sleep each night, you’re not going to see any results.
Having a balanced lifestyle is extremely beneficial in the long run for your overall health. Additionally, a balanced lifestyle is also going to support a positive mindset, and mindset is the most powerful tool in our day to day arsenal.
If you’re looking to assess your lifestyle to identify areas for improvement, here’s where we recommend starting:
Diet is arguably the most important part of our lifestyle.
You’ve probably heard the term “abs are made in the kitchen”. Having visible abs isn’t a primary goal for most people of course, but the phrase refers to just how powerful a clean diet can be for your overall health.
You don’t have to be a health professional to know our bodies aren’t designed to consume copious amounts of processed foods on a regular basis. Making sure we have a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains, and good quality proteins ensures our bodies have the essential ingredients to function properly each day.
If you’re not sure where to start or have specific dietary requirements, it might be worth making an appointment with your GP, dietitian or a nutritionist to make sure you have the right information for you.
Getting into the habit of cooking each night will give you greater appreciation and control of the ingredients you’re consuming. You don’t have to be a chef - there’s plenty of delicious and super simple recipes online to give you an idea of what to cook. Plus, it’s a skill you can develop over time - the more you cook, the better you’ll get!
This might sound like a no-brainer suggestion but with apps like UberEats, Deliveroo and Menulog always just a tap away, it’s getting easier and easier to place an order rather than jumping in the kitchen.
We’ve already talked about preparing your work lunches ahead of time, but it’s also a good habit to plan out your dinners for the week. Set out your dinner plans in a calendar and use it to build a shopping list to ensure you get everything you need in one visit. That means when you get home on Wednesday night, “there’s nothing in the fridge” won’t be an excuse you can employ.
Ditch The Drinks
If you’re someone that regularly drinks alcohol throughout the week, it might be time to put down the glass.
While there’s no definitive research that says “alcohol consumption leads to weight gain”, we do know that alcohol is an appetite stimulant (makes you want to eat more), is often high in calories without any nutritional value, and can lead to long term effects such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.
There’s also no denying that we can often use alcohol as a method of stress management. How many times have you had a bad day and thought “I could really use a glass of wine right now”? Even if it’s said jokingly, it speaks to our society’s general reliance on alcohol for when the going gets tough, which isn’t a healthy lifestyle habit.
The key is to be more mindful of what kind of drinks you're consuming and how often - it might be time to make a change.
Moderation Is Key
You do not need to cut out all take out food and alcohol forever. It’s still fine to order some take out once a week or have a couple drinks at a social gathering - just don’t make it a daily habit. Moderation is key after all!
Plus, cutting back on UberEats and regular trips to the Bottle-o will help save you money in the long run.
Obviously you want to be able to track how changing your eating and drinking habits is helping you. Tanita can help you with that. A Tanita Body Composition Monitor can track changes a range of body metrics including muscle mass, visceral fat levels, total body water and more, so that you can gain a better understanding of your body composition, and the benefits of moderation for your body.
Get Better Sleep
Getting a good night's sleep can have a dramatic impact on your lifestyle.
According to sleep experts, adults require 7-9 hours of sleep each night to give your brain and body enough time to recover and repair itself for the day ahead. Think of sleep like rebooting a computer - if your computer is running slow and sluggish, the best thing is to turn it off and on again. Your brain is your body’s computer, and it needs to be “rebooted” each night to make sure all systems are working properly when you wake up.
You might find that you’re getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but you don’t feel very rested the next day. Here are a few things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.
Put Down Your Phone
Using your phone before, or in bed can disrupt your sleep patterns. The blue light your device emits tricks your brain into thinking it’s day time, when it should be trying to wind down. Your phone might have a “night shift” function that aims to reduce the emission of blue light, but really the best way to avoid this is by putting down your phone before going to bed.
Turn A Page
With so many great shows and movies to stream, it’s much easier to get stuck into the next episode of The Crown instead of heading to bed at a reasonable hour. Swap TV for a book each night - even if it’s a real page turner, it’s still less stimulating for your brain at night time.
Create A Wind Down Routine
Create a routine that you can start at the same time each night that relaxes you and allows your mind to wind down. This might include a hot shower, a cup of chamomile tea with a book, a soothing music playlist or even something banal like washing the dishes. Whatever allows your brain and body to start to slow down, make it a regular nightly habit.
Change Your Alarm
Sometimes we can be deep asleep before being jolted awake by our alarm - this is often what makes us feel groggy in the morning, even if we’ve had 7 hours of shut eye. Apps like Sleep Cycle track your sleep and can wake you up in an allocated time window when you’re in the lightest phase of your sleep.
Before electricity, at night humans couldn’t see anything in the dark which meant there was nothing else to do but sleep. As a result, we’re hardwired to start getting sleepy once it gets dark, but the lights from our homes, street lights and devices mess with this system. Make sure your bedroom is as dark, quiet and as cool as possible to get a good night’s sleep.
Our social media accounts keep us connected to our friends, family and the world at large, but we can often fall into the trap of endlessly scrolling through other people’s accounts. This means constantly comparing ourselves to images of people’s “perfect” lifestyles, even though we know these accounts are heavily curated.
This constant comparison can be extremely demotivational for some people. If this is you, go through and get rid of any accounts that are prone to making you feel bad when looking at them. Fewer accounts means reduced time scrolling, and following the right people that inspire you means you stay motivated each day.
You might even choose to have a social media detox for a period of time. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you’re not sacrificing the motivation and energy you need to get out and get active!
Try Something New
We’ve discussed previously how changing up your workouts and trying a new activity is a great way to stave off boredom and keep you motivated, but the idea of trying something new shouldn’t stop with your exercise.
Now that you’ve reviewed and planned to reduce your social media usage (and other time wasters), it’s time to put that time to good use! Maybe it’s time to find an engaging hobby, get outside in the garden more or just pick up a book more often.
You might be thinking, how does this help with my overall health?
Finding hobbies and activities that you’re passionate about keep your brain and body engaged - and means you’re not spending this time sitting on the couch or scrolling through your phone. The more engaged and fulfilled you are, the better your overall mindset - which leads to more consistent and healthy lifestyle choices.
These are just a few areas of your lifestyle that you may want to review, but the truth is that each of our lives is complicated and different from one another’s - and that’s great! If there’s an area of your life that you feel is wasting your time and energy, or you’re ready to shake things up and try something new - then now’s the time!