August 25, 2017 11:59 AM NPT
We all want to be fit and are always doing one thing or the other in our quest for fitness – be it a juice cleanse or an extreme form of cardio.
But over time – when we fail to lose weight despite repeated efforts – we come to realize that fitness needs to be a daily routine, a lifestyle rather than a fad or something we do on a whim for a few days or few weeks at the most. We did some research and found out some ways we can make fitness a part of your lifestyle. Here are some simple things we can do at the start of every day that will surely go a long way in making sure we stay fit and healthy in the long term. We are calling them the five rules of fitness.
Eating breakfast is one of the healthiest morning routines you can have. It will help you jumpstart your metabolism, and give the appropriate energy you need to get on with the day.
Studies have found that adults who ate breakfast experienced higher levels of activity during the morning hours. On the other hand, those who skipped breakfast and continued to fast through the entire morning consumed more calories later on in the day. Also, the type of food consumed for breakfast is important. Breakfast foods with lower glycemic index and high in protein were associated with higher energy levels.
The long-term effects of this one healthy habit could result in better health status and metabolic disease prevention. Many fitness experts we spoke to said they started their day with a big bowl of oats topped with fruits of their choice. Many also had a banana before starting their workout.
Get some natural light
We are often cooped up indoors at work for most part of the day so make sure you get some much-needed Vitamin D early in the morning.
This will not only wake up your system but studies show that this simple activity synchronizes your internal clock and this is true for even cloudy days. Also, scientists have discovered that getting a good dose of early morning sunshine improves health by lowering body fat. Scientists believe even just 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight is enough to keep off the pounds. It is thought that early morning light triggers certain genes that are linked to the internal body clock and kick-starts the metabolism.
As part of a healthy lifestyle, get more appropriate exposure to light when you wake up. Throw open the curtains and then head out to the patio or balcony. If you have a garden area, then walk around and take in the natural surroundings. Giving yourself exposure to light – particularly sunlight – in the morning and the early part of the day is not only one way to improve your alertness and energy during the day but it may help you fall asleep easily at night.
Drink a tall glass of water
You start to dehydrate when you sleep. When else do you go six to eight hours without drinking anything?
Apparently, The Biggest Loser trainer Jennifer Widerstrom and celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak chug up to two water bottles of plain water when they wake up. You can also choose to leave a glass of lemon water on your nightstand before you go to bed and chug it when you wake up.
Drinking lemon water is a natural detox, and there is nothing like starting your day with clean insides. We guarantee it will make you feel fresh and energized. Also, drinking lemon water aids the digestive system, acts as a natural diuretic, and balances your PH as its alkaline in nature.
Stretch, if you can’t work out
Morning exercise could be a successful way to promote a physical activity habit in inactive people. This means that you are more likely to stick to a routine in the morning than any other time of the day.
A study showed that women who exercised in the morning experienced greater levels of satiety after eating over the course of 24 hours, compared to women who exercised in the afternoon. So, you are more likely to feel full after eating if you work out in the morning. However, if your mornings are usually rushed and you don’t have time to exercise, at least set aside 10 to 15 minutes to do some light stretches.
Start off with just some morning stretches until that becomes a habit, and then transition into yoga and other exercises when you organically start to feel like you could do more than just stretch.
Make mornings fun
Often times we find ourselves doing the same things over and over again in the mornings. The rigmarole of life takes over from the moment you wake up and just sets the wrong tone to the rest of the day.
Most of us get up, check our emails, drag ourselves into the shower, get dressed, gobble down some breakfast, and head to work. Beginning your day by slogging through emails can be a productivity and motivation killer.
Yes, there are many things to do and countless chores to attend to before you head out of that door but what’s stopping you from making it fun and interesting. Kick start the day by doing something you love, whether it’s writing, exercising, or reading. Have a cup of tea or coffee while reading the papers or looking through an interesting website that puts you in a good mood. Charles Darwin once remarked, “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” So put on some music and get into the right groove from the start itself.
Listening to music you enjoy decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which counteracts the effects of chronic stress. This is an important finding since stress causes 60% of all our illnesses and disease.