Health Mistakes and Tips:
Where to start, what to do, who can help?
70% of the UK population want to be healthier, so why aren’t we? I blame choice; have you ever been to a restaurant only to be given a short novel rather than a menu? Too many choices are overwhelming. Everyday there is a new health craze or diet and this constant bombardment has caused us to pick up bad habits. Here are my top 5 mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Trying to be healthy & fit.
Ask yourself, is your goal health or fitness? Although often coupled together they are two very different things which require a completely different approach to achieve. I only really made this clear distinction last year when I ran the Paris Marathon. After crossing the line I was on the brink of collapsing, threw up within 30 minutes of finishing (even though I had literally nothing left inside me) and couldn’t walk properly for days. Yes I had a good level of fitness and it was an amazing achievement but does that sound healthy to you?
If your goals are to increase your energy levels, feel better in yourself and lose weight then you should focus solely on health for now. Once you achieve optimal health then you can focus on getting lean or completing an event. However do not try to do both at once because you’re setting yourself up to fail.
Mistake #2 – Trying to do it alone.
Of course I’m going to say this, but hear me out. Being accountable to someone (that could be anyone) increases your chances of success by 24%. You can learn a new language, musical instrument or get a degree on your own but we all know a teacher, mentor or coach will get you there faster. Health is no different.
The quickest way to improve in any area of your life is to surround yourself with people who are better than you at that particular skill. Not only will you learn from their expertise & guidance but the law of mimicry means you will naturally pick up some of their traits as well. However the main reason you are more likely to succeed by hiring a coach is because we simply don’t value freebies. Yes we love them initially but how much easier is it to skip a training session with a friend than one with your £50 an hour PT? How we spend our hard earn money is a direct reflection of our priorities so if you want to change your health – you need to invest in your health.
Mistake #3 – Focusing only on the result.
This one scares people but here it is; your health is something you need to work on everyday for the rest of your life! People fail when they stop trying to improve. Instead of only focusing on losing a stone, focus on what you can do everyday to progress towards losing a stone. Health is a constant spectrum and the choices you make everyday will determine whether you move towards good health or poor health. There is always something you can do to better yourself so stop worrying about perfection and instead focus on the daily progress you ARE making.
Mistake #4 – Spending 60 minutes at the gym.
Exercise increases stress hormones, when these are high for a prolonged period of time, your ability to burn fat plummets and the risk of stress related illnesses sky rockets. For health & weight loss goals you need to cut the amount of time you workout to 20 minutes but increase how many times you workout to 5-6 per week. This will allow you to get the numerous benefits of exercise and movement without the damaging effects of stress. If you don’t have a gym membership, start at home for free, there are enough apps, youtube videos and DVD’s to help you find a type of exercise you enjoy. I personally love getting outside and getting it over with as quick as possible which is why I love this Tabata Workout.
Mistake #5 – Distracted eating.
Digestion starts in your brain, smelling the food then tasting it sends signal to release essential enzymes which aid the rest of the digestion process. Inhaling food with minimal chewing is like a surprise ambush on the body. To effectively absorb the nutrients from our foods we must be in a relaxed state, have the chance to register nutrients are on their way in and be able to break down the food. The first change I make with clients isn’t what they eat, it’s how they eat.
For optimal digestion you should; have no distractions, take a deep breath before you start eating, put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and the most important one – chew your food. 🙂
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Thanks for reading.