After such an interesting year spent indoors and a year feeling less healthier than we were, I’m almost certain that I am not the only one who gained a few pounds. If you were part of the lucky few who challenged themselves to a healthier lifestyle, good on you. Unfortunately, I cannot relate. My lockdown started off great, and then it wasn’t. I could give you every excuse about why it all went south, but that won’t help anyone. Instead, I would just like everyone who is in a similar situation to know that it’s okay. We had our slip up but now it’s time to get healthier.
WHAT DOES HEALTHIER EVEN MEAN?
When the word healthy comes to mind, I immediately picture fitness models, but are they really the healthier option for everyone?
Collins dictionary defines healthy as “in a good physical or mental condition; in good health.”
Based on that definition alone, it’s safe to say that a lot of us are not in good health following the year we just had. How then can we reverse the effects of 2020 and move towards a healthier version of ourselves?
CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE
Of course we need to keep our fridges clean so that we don’t fall sick, but have you been keeping it ‘clean’? And I don’t mean it in the normal sense, I’m talking about the junk that shouldn’t be there. One of the easiest things you can do is donate all of the unhealthy options in your fridge and pantry. This way you can start of with a clean slate – no pun intended.
When it comes to becoming healthier, it’s not sustainable to go from zero to a hundred with a click of your fingers. What works best is to slowly transform different aspects of your life for an easier transition. Start by swapping out a bar of chocolates for a fruit or a bag of chips for potato wedges. However slow you choose to go, just remember that slow progress is still progress.
The right food is great to help keep your health and fitness routine in check. There are plenty of protein-based snacks that can help stop you from munching when you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake.
A protein snack is great because it’s packed with nutrients needed to keep you full for longer. It’s a healthy snack that will enable you to indulge without having to overindulge in calories.
REDUCE YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
I get it, we aren’t spring chickens anymore, and being awake just isn’t possible without caffeine. I’m nearly thirty and cannot function without it! You know what’s funny? You can get better results without caffeine if you just ramped up your exercise and worked on your sleep hygiene!
Pairing healthy eating with exercise and sufficient sleep is the not-so-secret recipe for energy. Notice how I said healthy eating? That means giving your body the right amount of nutrients it needs. Cleaning out your diet is great, but if you just start eating fruits and forget about everything else, you won’t have the right balance of nutrients. The key is balance.
WORK ON A HEALTHIER ROUTINE
If the only exercise you’ve gotten over the past few months was the frequent trip to and from the kitchen, we need to have a talk. Walking is great, don’t get me wrong, but it needs to be paired with the healthy eating we mentioned above. If I showed you just how much walking I got done in the last quarter of the year, you would expect me to have washboard abs. Unfortunately, I was walking around with chips and biscuits in my hands. So the total calories consumed far exceed the amount of energy I was burning.
When it comes to setting a healthy routine, counting calories and sticking to a strict workout plan doesn’t work for everyone. So what I encourage you to do instead of mimicking a fitness model’s routine is to challenge yourself with something new each month. Whatever you choose to do, let it be something that you can easily stick to or have fun doing.
Some smartwatches have monthly challenges set for your current fitness levels. I personally try to win the monthly awards by reaching the goals set out for me. Another fun way to introduce exercise into your routine is to set challenges with your group of friends. My husband and I always compete with our Apple watches, with the loser stuck with more chores.
If you don’t have a smartwatch, you can still set up different challenges for yourself and your friends. You will need to be creative on how to track each person’s progress, but it can still be done. Just make sure to cater to anyone’s special needs or eating disorders.
CHECK OUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Going back to the original definition, being healthy is not limited to just your physical health. We also need to make sure that our mental health is in check. I have mentioned a few times before that lockdown was quite fun for me, but the shift in my schedule did mess with my brain. If you feel the same, know that it is absolutely normal! Just allow yourself time to readjust to the new norms, and keep a close watch on your mental health
If you have found the past few months to be particularly draining and emotional, consider speaking to someone about your feelings. Even if you don’t think you need it, try and schedule a few therapy sessions anyway. You never really know what will come out of it!
Pro-tip: therapy can be pretty expensive, and you can get the desired results from speaking to someone you trust.
What are some of your tips for getting healthier this year? Have you started a healthier regime?
And those are my tips on getting healthier this year. If you’d like to chat a little more about mental health and lifestyle, head on over to my blog so we can chat! Also, do make sure to check out Olivia’s post on my blog as she has also covered some of her own.
Great tips!! I never would have thought of clean the fridge though. But thanks for the reminder 😉
Thanks so much for reading!
I love that you ended on a high note with mental health. Sometimes we neglect our mental wellness and it should be considered just as important as the rest.
It’s so important we remember our mental health as well as physical!
My pleasure 🥰
Thank you! 😊
Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader)
Excellent ideas. I am focusing on mindfulness and mediation this year. I am hoping it will help me sleep better. Sleep has always been a problem for me.
Sleep has recently become an issue for me too. I have created a routine that involves no electronics an hour before bed and I have this awesome sleep balm from LUSH that I use that works wonders! I hope yours improves soon!
Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader)
Thanks. I will look for the sleep balm at LUSH. I love their products.
Its called sleepy 🙂
Great ideas. I’m tried to eat more healthier food this year.
Thanks for reading 💖
I am twice your age and lock down has had it’s ups and down as well as on the scale. I am now planning another organic garden with 3 more raised beds to join the ones I already built as the worst part of being locked up is winter in Zone 5/6 thank goodness for books, paints and my camera all good for my mental health.
Thanks for reading! You sound like you’ve got your hands full!
Great tips especially this one with cleaning our fridge from junk food. Sometimes due to low cost budget , junk food is unfortunately the first option we have
Yeah it’s not just budget at this time of the year though. I’m sure people have a lot of Christmas goodies still lying around. Thanks for reading!
You’re welcome! I enjoy reading this type of articles as I love so much healthy lifestyle. I’m trying to add this type of content to my blog as well.
Thanks for the feedback! I’ll head over and check your blog now 😊
Thank you ^^
Hi Oliva, compliments of the new year.
I enjoyed reading this blog post, great tips, one of my goals to get healthier is to go for monthly body massages and reading more books.
Getting healthier is one word I would like to describe my 2021.
Thanks for reading 💖
Suzanne- Happily Decluttered
I try to keep healthy food around and avoid late night eating. In the summer I have a garden so we stay pretty stocked on fruits and vegetables but in the winter I need to be more mindful to pick some up when I’m shopping.
I am one of those who added some pounds too. Looking forward to reduce some kgs. I did a lot of sleeping and eating blast year.
Welcome to the club 😅
There was definitely a lot more couch potato-ing for me than there normally is. If my watch could talk I’m sure it’d be telling me to get off my lazy behind 😂
I think how much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Under-eating can prevent a healthy lifestyle just as much as overeating can. There needs to be a balance between input and output for a healthy outcome.
Great post, I have started regular walks in a park near me. But I need to start eating better. Great tips in this post too. I am a fussy eater, but gonna make a effort to try new foods this year
This post is a great reminder to keep me motivated with eating healthier and looking after my mental health 🤗
So helpful omg!🖤🖤🖤
These are great tips✨
I needed this. Starting with cleaning the fridge to skipping. I love the way you wrote this piece Shelly. So empathic and understanding —we can’t be hard on ourselves. Any progress is good.
Thanks for sharing. xx
Thanks so much for reading 💖
I was a caffeine fiend till me mid 20s. Had to give it up because I had constant headaches. I enjoy it in moderation now and am much happier for it!
This is exactly the reason why I choose to not drink any caffeine at all. I hate seeing so many people rely on it to get through the day. Its literally like a drug addiction! 🤣
That’s exactly what it is Haha no two ways about it!
The Caffeinated Powerhouse
I was with you, sis. The. You said reduce caffeine and l…. 🥴😂😂. I can try the others, but I’m not touching that one with a ten foot pole. Between having a toddler, being a housewife and running a business, I need to keep being nice! 😫