How to prepare your mind and body for spring
There’s no better time than a change in season to reevaluate your goals and make positive change, says The Fit Pharmacist, Holly Louise.
People are always waiting for the ‘right’ time to start their health and fitness journey.
The fact is you’re never going to be 100% ready and it’s never going to be the perfect time. But if you want it, you just have to take the first step.
Now that spring is finally here, there’s no better time to start working on your summer body.
Here are my tips to help you shift to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
Set realistic goals
Rather than setting aside time to gather information, gain knowledge, and construct a reasonable plan for accomplishing their ‘goals’, people are often looking for quick fixes. Then when they don’t reach their goals in the first few weeks, they lose interest and quit.
The importance and value of goal setting is often overlooked.
The biggest mistake most people make is setting unrealistic or unspecific goals. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get fit” are the most common ones I come across with my clients. The difference between setting these goals and actually achieving them is in the details.
Let go of excuses
As the saying goes “when you let go of your excuses, you will find your results”.
We all know it but don’t want to hear it. Excuses are easy to make when things get hard. But making excuses won’t get you any closer to where you want to be.
Here are a few tips to avoid excuses:
- Be organised
- Prepare and plan your food ahead of time
- Make a daily schedule to fit in your exercise and avoid the “I don’t have time” excuse
- Train first thing in the morning to avoid the “I’m too tired” excuse later on
- Write to-do lists
- Where possible, involve your kids/partner/family members in your exercise
Create healthy habits
Improving your overall health and heading towards your goals can be as simple as setting a few daily targets for yourself.
Once you start making healthy habits you will create a routine. Consistency with this routine is what produces results.
I personally set these targets for myself every day:
- Drink at least 3 litres of water daily
- Eat 1-2 serves of fruit daily
- Eat 3+ serves of vegetables daily
- Aim to hit a minimum protein intake target
- Take at least 8000 steps daily
- Get at least 7 hours sleep each night
Eat for your goals
Everyone has a calorie budget, whether you’re trying to maintain your weight, lose fat or gain muscle.
Unfortunately, many people seem to ignore or disregard this simple fact.
Knowing your calorie budget allows you to structure a healthy diet, and it can help to prevent frustration when your results plateau. When you know your daily calorie budget, you can construct your own meal plan.
I recommend filling your diet with at least 80 per cent whole, nutritious foods and leaving 20 per cent for more processed ‘treat’ foods as this will help to eliminate feelings of restriction and improve compliance.
Moderation is key to creating sustainability and producing long-term results.
Find the right training program for you
You could buy the most amazing training program but if it doesn’t fit in with your schedule or you simply don’t enjoy it, you won’t follow it.
When it comes to starting a new training program, it is important not to set yourself up for failure before you begin!
Training can and should be:
We all want results fast, but sustainable progress will allow you to realise your full potential. In the end, we all want to achieve our goals in the most effective and efficient manner.
Track your progress
Tracking your progress is an incredible way to keep motivation high and increase compliance with your program.
It is best to use a combination of methods to assess your progress. The scales alone do not tell the full story.
I recommend tracking the following:
- Body weight
- Girth measurements
- Progress photos
- Body composition analysis
These are my favourite tips to stay motivated:
- Surround yourself with positivity
- Create a vision board filled with objects that inspire you
- Make S.M.A.R.T goals
- Believe in yourself
- Acknowledge your strengths
- Visualise achieving your goals
- Recognise your progress
- Reward yourself for small wins
- Be kind to yourself
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Take it one day at a time
Don’t compare yourself to others
The moment you stop concerning yourself with what everyone else is doing and start focusing on what you are doing, everything becomes so much easier.
It is only when you realise you should only be comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday, can you truly progress, both physically and mentally. Focusing your energy on fulfilling your own purpose allows you to reach your goals A LOT faster.
Comparing yourself to others with the subsequent jealousy and insecurity this creates only holds you back.
Something I often discuss with my clients is maintaining balance in their lives. When we face a source of external stress or pressure, we tend to focus on that one stress and as a result everything else gets pushed to the side and neglected.
It is important to give every aspect of your life equal attention – work, nutrition, exercise, relationships and rest/relaxation. When you can maintain balance in all of these areas, regardless of what is thrown at you, you will feel a sense of improved health and wellbeing.
If you have any further questions for Holly about preparing your body for spring, feel free to use our contact form.
Holly Louise, aka The Fit Pharmacist, is a registered pharmacist, certified personal trainer, online coach and ambassador for INC Sports Nutrition. Through evidence-based nutrition and training methods, Holly Louise helps others create healthy and sustainable lifestyle change. Holly Louise is also a champion of flexible dieting and positive body image and has created a large community of women who support and empower each other to become their best selves.
Find out more about Holly Louise on Instagram, Facebook and at The Fit Pharmacist.