One of the most common themes of questions asked on my blog is the hesitation to begin or being unsure. I hope this article gives you a broad insight that there are so many changes/ habits to adopt to allow you to begin living a healthier lifestyle.
DON’T SET DATES
We often pressure ourselves into starting things at a certain date, or in preparation for a holiday or for a New Year’s resolution. Don’t set a date, start when you feel ready. Whether that be today, or even at 4pm!
BE READY FOR A LIFESTYLE NOT A FAD
Fads and diets come to an end and often does your motivation and zest alongside it. Prepare yourself to make healthier choices and be aware of what you are putting inside your body. A healthy lifestyle is a commitment and is a tool to better your mind, body and soul each day.
I can’t stress this enough! It is always the common referral point in my previous articles and the benefits are endless. Hydration, detoxification, digestion helper, metabolism booster, hair + skin’s best friend. Begin to monitor your water intake and aim for at least 2-4 litres depending on how much you workout. I would also recommend drinking hot water as part of this intake to help your digestion and avoid bloating. You may find you are going to the toilet more than usual, however your bladder will soon get used to this over time.
ORGANISE YOUR MEALS
Trying to be healthy can go slightly off track if you haven’t organised meals if you are living a busy lifestyle. Perhaps use the Sunday to organise your food shopping and purchase your essentials to prep great lunches for work. I am listing some great ingredients for your lunches that you can try. If you are vegetarian or vegan please ignore what is not relevant to you.
- Quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, caulirice
- Buckwheat noodles/ brown rice noodles
- Kidney beans, chickpeas, broadbeans
- Spinach, kale, pak choy, broccoli, celery sticks
- Rainbow veg! Think peppers, carrots, aubergines and courgettes
- Salmon/ Mackerel, lean meats like chicken/ turkey
- Vegan cheese
- Sauerkraut/ Kimchi
- Spices such as ginger, turmeric
- Coconut Oil (I prefer Lucy Bee!), extra virgin olive oil
- Biona Rye Bread/ Amaranth bread
Great places for healthy snacks and essentials are As Nature Intended, Planet Organic, and Wholefoods.
You can create so many vibrant meals with these ingredients and not get bored. Whether that’s stuffed peppers, buckwheat noodle stir fry or lentils with quinoa and salmon. The options are endless J
BUY A NEW PIECE OF CLOTHING FOR YOUR GYM KIT! TREAT YOURSELF
You can buy a new piece of clothing to add to your gym kit to make things more fun. I can never say no to a new pair of leggings! This can help motivate you if you are starting a new workout regime and increase your confidence by strutting your stuff in new active wear.
I personally purchase my gym wear from the following websites, they are long lasting and comfortable, no matter whether that’s yoga or running!
If you cannot cut them out, reduce them as a start. This includes all the fancy sugar names! Substitute with unrefined sugars such as coconut sugar and dates. When beginning a healthy lifestyle, gradually stopping your intake of refined sugar will have a great effect on your body mentally and physically.
KEEP A DIARY
To track your progress, keep a diary or use the notes section on your phone to help you celebrate your success and carefully analyse where you need more nutrition. Perhaps you need more greens or you haven’t eaten enough that day.
DON’T GIVE UP
Whatever your goal may be, just don’t give up. Always remember you may go off track but just get up and keep going. Don’t give up, keep trying. Build a healthy relationship with your food and exercise and you will notice that itself is innate motivation. Don’t use exercise as a tool to punish yourself for bad food you have eaten, use it as a tool to move your body, detoxify and tone!
WATCH YOUR DIGESTION
Health starts with good digestion. What your body is happy digesting will result in a happy tummy. Keep a note of foods that upset your stomach and cause any bloating, flatulence, gas, rashes, spotsand so on. You can then reduce this food and be mindful going forwards. You may find sensitivity to wheat or dairy and even find that cold foods leave you bloated.
- Dandelion Root
- Green tea
- Hot water
- Apple Cider Vinegar
LISTEN TO YOUR MIND AND BODY
On a final note, pay attention to what your mind and body feels and needs. Healthy living is connecting the mind and body both. Yes you are embracing a new healthy lifestyle but do not stress yourself to achieve perfection in a short space of time. Just be the best version of you and don’t compare yourself to what you see on social media. There are times where you will be too tired to workout, try meditation or a slow form of yoga instead like Yin. Take a walk to clear your mind, read a book or listen to your favourite music.
Be positive and always say ‘I can do this’ and enjoy your meals and really be proud of the new habits you are adopting! You will begin to see changes soon and that’s all because of your hard work and dedication.
5 Game Changing Workouts to Try in 2018
It is never too late to start a new fitness routine or be on a journey to be your best, strongest self. Don’t rely on New Year’s resolutions or milestones! Start now!
I have listed the following workouts I swear by and are a great way to add a challenge to your fitness routine, work new muscles and be sculpted. You may be bored of your current routine or even hit a plateau with your progress- throw in these workouts and you’ll be noticing the difference.
Working out is beneficial to the mind, body and soul. I highly recommend the below workouts and to check out their websites I have provided to find out locations, timetables and price plans. Your body is your temple where you should nourish it through movement, good food and self-love.
Please note, a healthy diet combined with exercise ensures best results.
Pilates is a strengthening workout which works your core, increases flexibility, tones and firms your body and results in a long, lean body with great posture.
It is vital strength training is part of your fitness routine to ensure maximum results. Pilates can be done at home, the gym, studio- anywhere! There are Pilates classes you can attend; alternatively you can get YouTube videos which have 30-60 minute workouts to work every muscle! It is generally a low impact exercise but you will feel your muscles working for the entire duration and after.
Pilates is great for achieving lean muscle tone, ensuring flat abs and a strong body overall.
This is one of the most challenging workouts I have ever done. My whole body was burning the next day! My body would shake during certain poses and that’s the deep core stabilising muscles working according to my personal trainer. It is Pilates on a reformer and other apparatus machines. From afar it looks like some sort of torture playground…It is machinery to sculpt, strengthen, tone and firm your body. It enhances flexibility and balance too. There are resistance bands which you can place your hands or feet into to do simple moves like leg raises, sit ups, planks, abductor toning and shoulder work. However, the machine makes it that extra harder.
The stretching element is great to increase mobility and building a strong spine. There different equipment to do different exercises on. I found the workout with an element of meditation too as I concentrated and focused very hard to remain in the posture and keep going. It is easy to give up once you feel your body is burning and hurting, however it’s when you go past that mind over matter mantra in your head that your workout becomes achievement.
I recommend starting this with a personal trainer so you get used to the machine and ensure your posture is correct. I personally go to reformer Pilates sessions in Third Space Soho. https://www.thirdspace.london/ However, there are reformer Pilates studios in most areas! Try TriYoga, Moveyourframe or search around on the web.
Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor, Liz Hurley and Jennifer Aniston are huge fans.
The sessions are normally 60 minutes to 90 minutes long. You will be addicted to this, I promise.
Barre is a ballerina-inspired workout which combines movements from ballet, yoga and Pilates. It uses isometric movements to work those hard to reach muscles and areas! Expect leg raise, pulses, resistance bands, burning, core training and using a small medicine ball or Pilates ring. This type of workout is improves strength, balance, posture, alignment and flexibility. I first tried Barre with Paola’s Body Barre (PBB) www.paolasbodybarre.com in January this year. You can visit her studio in Wimbledon or Fulham. There is even Hot Body Barre where the room is heated to increase cardiovascular activity and sweat! The classes also run at the Sweaty Betty Studio in Carnaby Street and Guildford. www.sweatybetty.zingfit.com
The workout is pre-natal and post-natal friendly but always check with a doctor before you begin any fitness regime. These sessions can be between 30 minutes- 60 minutes long.
‘FIGHT KLUB® was founded by celebrity fitness trainer and presenter, Troy Dureh, the man behind the late 90’s combat fitness trend “Khai-Bo”, the non-contact martial arts workout to music. In 2003, Troy landed a creative role with the GYMBOX TM Health Club chain where he was tasked with coming up with 105 original class ideas, and there FIGHT KLUB® was born!’ www.fightklub.co.uk
Calling all boxing fans! Fight Klub is a trendy, upbeat and fun HIIT workout using a professional grade punch bag and cardio circuits. There is great music and the vibe makes you work harder. I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the instructors and their never ending efforts to challenge you. It is a mixture of kick boxing and Thai boxing. There are so many areas that Fight Klub classes can be found and they also again operate at the Sweaty Betty Studio in Carnaby Street.
www.sweatybetty.zingfit.com. They are around 45 minutes long. Expect to feel great after this workout both mentally and physically. Your core, upper body and lower body are all being worked hard for this session. The elevated heart rate and HIIT element ensures your metabolism is revved high!
Move your frame
Frame was born out of the simple mantra that getting fit shouldn’t be a chore.
A place to MOVE, SWEAT and FUEL your Frame daily. We are known for our feel-good, energetic and fun-filled classes. You can sweat it out with a high-intensity fitness class; dance, shake and party like it’s 1999; or get Zen with a restorative workout for the mind’. www.moveyourframe.com
The class I tried was the ‘ASS & ABS’ one. Expect squats, plie jumps, weights, jumps, planks and more. The instructor in this class also incorporated arms with light weights too. I felt the burn the next day and what made the class so challenging was the reps and the repetitions being different each time. Your body was guessing with the explosive movements and no class is the same.
Treat Thy Body Like a Temple
It’s never too late to make a few healthy lifestyle changes to be a glowing human! One of the most common themed messages I receive is how to start being healthy or Yasmin how do I get clear skin? I’m going to share some lifestyle changes you can make so you can make a start on a journey of health. There is only one of you and you deserve to take care of yourself and build a strong bond of self-love through nourishing your body.
In terms of science, water is needed for bodily functions such as digestion, body temperature, circulation, moisture and even transporting nutrients. We lose water through exercise, daily sweating, urine etc. It is important we replace the water we lose for the body to work efficiently. I recommend starting your day with warm/ hot water in the morning and you can perhaps add lime, lemon or ginger to it to give it an anti-inflammatory or detoxifying kick. Your body has been fasting in your sleep and is craving water when you wake up!
I personally drink 4.5 litres of water a day, however this is taking into account I work out regularly and need to replenish my water to prevent muscle fatigue too! Aim to drink at least 3 litres of water daily at room temperature every day. Water will boost metabolism, hydrate your hair and skin, prevent overeating and will help your body eliminate toxins and cleanse.
No excuses! Build a workout routine! Exercise is great for mind, body and soul. The endorphins leave you feel mentally great and you are toning and taking care of your body. You can join a gym, go for a run or even view YouTube videos for workouts. POPSUGAR have some great HIIT workouts and I also recommend Women’s Health 5 minute workouts. You can combine these workouts and repeat them for a 40 minute workout even. Another type of exercise to incorporate into your lifestyle is yoga. Whether that’s Bikram, Hatha, Ashtanga or Vinayasa. Most areas have yoga classes running and if you are based in London, Richmond or Chiswick you are in for a treat! TriYoga do great classes as well as Bikram Yoga Chiswick. Yoga heals you from inside out, works your muscles and lets your mind meditate- of course you will be glowing.
It is important to change up your routine to keep your body guessing and challenged- it also helps to avoid the exercise plateau. Other fun workouts where you feel the burn is Paola’s Body Barre, MOVE YOUR FRAME, Fight Klub and TRX Training. All of which I highly recommend as I do these regularly myself. Visit their websites to find a studio near you J
There are some superfood supplement brands I swear by and can be incorporated in your diet and assist a busy lifestyle.
This is a new Ayurveda brand I purchase my Ayurveda supplements from. You can purchase them from Amazon or directly https://www.supaveda.com/. In particular here is what is in my drawer/ handbag:
The key magic in the Turmeric plant is Curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and very strong antioxidant. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals which cause aging and many diseases. Turmeric boosts metabolism, helps eliminate toxins and impurities and boosts your immune system.
This is a powerful adaptogen which supports the body to gain energy and vitality and eliminating stress. It can calm anxiety, enhance memory and cognition, soothe the nervous system and ensure a restful sleep. It has a double effect as this adaptogen can increase stamina and be a great start to the day.
Pukka Aloe Vera
I take one spoon of Aloe Vera in the morning by Pukka. It is fresh and uses the organic inner leaf gel for better taste. Aloe Vera has so many benefits! I feel it’s a perfect combination with warm water in the morning to kick start digestion and to avoid any bloating. Aloe Vera also increases blood circulation and the absorption level of nutrients accelerates too. In terms of skin, it can help diminish effects of ageing, pimples and dry skin. In addition to this, Aloe Vera has been proven to increase and promote hair growth and helps treat hair loss.
Organic Burst Acai Berry
I normally add a spoon to my porridge or take straight after a workout with water. Acai Berry is a powerful antioxidant and contains essential fatty acids like Omegas 3-6 and Omega 9- Oleic acid to keep you glowing. Acai is high in vitamin E which means it’s great for post workout replenishment, ensuring strong hair and nails, plump skin and radiance.
What you eat needs to nourish your body and provide you with lots of goodness. Aim to eat greens with at least two of your meals. Perhaps steam/cook your spinach, kale, runner beans and asparagus and use as a side dish. Vegetables are so important in your diet and ensure your plate is a rainbow! Blueberries, raspberries, goji berries and pumpkin seeds are great boosters in the morning too.
My favourite glow foods
- Lentils, legumes
- Fish: salmon, mackerel,
- Brown rice
- Wakame Seaweed
- Spriralising vegetables such as courgette and butternut squash
- Tofu and tempeh
- Coconut oil
- Sweet potato
- All the greens! Spinach, bok choy, sugar snaps, collard greens, kale
This list contains just a few of my favourite foods I incorporate in the week to create yummy meals. Try to have some of these foods for an added health boost. My Instagram account has pictures of how I use these.
Pampering your body
On a final note, pamper your body, enhance self-love and take care of YOU. Exfoliate! FRANK body’s Coffee scrubs are great for super soft skin, decreasing scars and stretch marks, tightening skin, eliminating cellulite and removing dead skin cells. You can purchase products from their range on https://www.frankbody.com/uk/shop/all/
And…every morning and before you sleep, look in the mirror and identify what you love about yourself! Whether that’s your legs, your hair, your eyes. Any feature, you are unique and beautiful.
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