It’s already the first quarter of 2012, do you still remember what you wrote down for 2012 Resolution. You know, the part where it says, “be healthier”? You have not done that? Well, we are not surprised if you haven’t done anything. But we will not scold you, but we’re not giving up on you either.
Let us help you get some ideas on how to start. We will start small, but those initial small steps are the ones that will bring us to the big steps. We’ll make it a series of posts to help you be on your toes. We all can be fashionable and gorgeous, but what would it matter if we are unhealthy and tired all the time? Healthy is always in fashion!
1. Let’s Move
Start with walking. A lot. Aim for 6,000-10,000 steps per day. I know it sounds a lot, but that is actually the recommended amount of walking.
If you are going to the mall, skip that “rockstar” spot, and try parking farther from the entrance.
Do more house chores.
Take the stairs instead of elevator.
Carry your own grocery bags to the car instead of using the cart or asking for the store clerk’s help (yes, we realize that it may take several back-and-forth trips, but that’s the idea).
While watching TV, do some light exercise during commercial breaks. Jumping jacks or ab crunches, anyone? You’d be surprised that it only takes 5-6 minutes to do 100 crunches.
2. Eat Right
We all know the basic knowledge – the evil of deep fried foods, thick coconut milk-based dishes, soda, etc. Avoid or limit these food as much as you can.
Do portion-control; restaurant meals are usually in excess of what we need to feel satisfied. If you have to eat outside, halve your portion. Eat slowly and wait 10 minutes. If you’re still famished, then you can dig in (slowly still) to the second halve of your plate.
Give up fast food. There are a lot of other healthier options.
Make the effort to read caloric values when you do your groceries, but don’t obsess over them.
Don’t view it as a diet – view it as a lifestyle change, so it’s sustainable for the long run.
And above all – don’t starve yourself. A sustained very low-caloric intake will only make you sluggish and tired throughout the day. But, by all means, you should not eat senselessly, because we tend to underestimate our caloric consumption. You think your dinner meal out at a restaurant is 500 calories? In truth, it may very well double that.
3. We all need to start somewhere
You think you’d pass out if you workout for 50 minutes non-stop? Then start with 20 minutes, and gradually increase the time every time you exercise. You will do 20 minutes today, tomorrow you’ll do 25. No big deal. Slowly building endurance is safer and it will prevent your from being burned out too soon (and then quitting altogether).
Don’t feel you have the strength to do aerobic classes? Then start with walking exercises, search them off in YouTube or DVDs. Your body will thank you.
Don’t underestimate what you can do. You’d be surprised of what you can do once you actually do it.
4. Know Thyself
A lot of us are scared to get a health check up because we are in denial of what’s really happening to our body.
Get a grip of yourself right now, go to the lab and ask for full blood work and urinalysis. If something is off the normal range, focus first on changing that condition. High cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and high blood pressure are more prevalent as we age because we become less active than when we were younger.
Find out how much body fat you are carrying. You can find out by Googling “Body Fat Calculator”. It won’t be super accurate, but it will give you a ballpark. You will need a measuring tape, available at the warung next door.
5. Ignore the Naysayers
You will come across people who say, “You’ll probably get bored working out and eating healthy food for a month, then you’ll get back being the same couch potato”. Prove to yourself that you are determined enough to be better for good. Don’t let it be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Find a support buddy. Check out FD Forum’s Health, Fitness and Body Image threads – you’ll find some comfort knowing that there are others who strive for the same thing.
All in all, it’s never too late to make changes for the better. The Fashionese Daily girls are moving along with you, trying hard to be healthier and fitter as well. I personally started an exercise regimen (and trying extra hard to eat well – don’t always succeed at that) since the 5th of January this year, after about eight no-exercise years. It’s an uphill battle for the first two weeks, but it will get better, it will get easier. I promise.