Don’t wait; Get fit as a family this spring!
It’s been a long hard winter for all kinds of reasons. But spring is definitely in the air and there is a growing sense of hope that life for all of us will begin to improve over the next few months.
Spring is a good time to emerge from winter hibernation and kick start your fitness regime. Whether you and your family are well, or are unfortunate enough to have experienced Covid-19, we are all increasingly aware of the need to take extra special care of our health from now on. Keeping and getting fit is an important part of that.
So here are five tips to help you and your family get fit this spring.
1. Eat more healthy foods
Healthy eating and a balanced diet is an important part of building a strong immune system and keeping you in good health. Aim to gradually introduce more healthy foods into your family’s diet, and reduce the unhealthy ones.
A rough guide of what you should be eating more vs less of is:
|Fruit and veg – at least 5 portions a day||Sugar|
|Wholegrain foods eg brown bread, brown rice||Processed foods eg crisps, bacon, ready meals|
|Fermented foods eg sauerkraut, kimchi||Artificial sweeteners and preservatives|
2. Watch your portion sizes
Even if you are eating a very healthy diet, you may still be eating too much. Most of us eat far more than we realise, and far more than we need. Regular overeating can not only cause you to gain weight, but could also affect your hormones, skeletal muscle and fat tissue.
You can check if you are currently in a good weight range by using the NHS BMI calculator. If you need to lose weight, the best way to track what you are actually eating is to log absolutely everything that you eat and drink and work out how many calories you are taking in per day. There are many different fitness trackers and apps that can help you to do this.
As a rough guideline, men should aim for no more than 2500 calories per day, and women 2000. You may need to make some adjustments to stay within these limits, such as reduce portion sizes and cutting out snacks.
3. Exercise every day
As well as managing your food intake carefully, one of the essential aspects of getting fit is exercise. You should aim to exercise for at least an hour a day. It can be very difficult to fit in this amount of exercise every day all in one go, so here are some suggestions for shorter exercise sessions that can be fitted into daily life more easily.
- Walking. Either go out specifically for a walk, or walk somewhere you need to go anyway.
- Running. If you are a beginner, try Couch to 5K (C25K) for half an hour 3 times a week.
- Cycling. The ideal exercise for a family to do together. Just half an hour would be worth it.
- Outdoor gyms. Many parks and public spaces now have these. Ideal for a quick workout.
- Home gym equipment. Check out local selling/donation sites for items such as an exercise bike.
- Home fitness circuit. You can use your stairs, door lintels, floor, and tins for weights.
- Youtube. There are so many fitness and dance videos available. Definitely something for everyone.
4. Rest your mind
Whilst making positive changes to your diet and doing more exercise will definitely begin to improve your physical health, remember to look after your mind too. You need to take time out of your day to rest and relax and to have some time just for yourself. This can be very difficult to do, but is vital if you are to be effective in other areas of your life.
So find something that brings you some joy and peace, and rests your mind. Try to build it into your day as often as you can during a busy week. Some ideas you could try are:
- Get up 20 minutes earlier in the morning to have a quiet cuppa and some time to yourself.
- Find 10 minutes during the day to meditate: there are many Youtube videos you can follow.
- Take up a creative project, such as music or painting or sewing.
- Let yourself get totally immersed in a good book.
- Indulge yourself in a long hot bath, with scented bath oil and candles.
5. Use the power of sleep
In general, adults tend to need between 6-8 hours of good quality sleep a night. If you continually wake up feeling tired you are probably not getting enough sleep. But it is important that you do, for a number of reasons. If you are chronically tired you are likely to:
- Have difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
- Feel anxious or depressed.
- Start falling asleep during the day, risking an accident or injury.
- Be more susceptible to serious medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.
If you are having problems sleeping, you could try:
- Making sure you go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Avoid using your phone or tablet for an hour before going to bed.
- Relax by reading a book or listening to the radio.
- Have a warm bath or do some gentle stretches to relax your body and ease any aches and pains.
- Write down anything you need to do the next day, or is on your mind, so you won’t forget it.
But if your sleep issues continue it would be worth seeking medical advice so that it doesn’t become a chronic condition.
We hope that the above tips help you to get fit as a family this spring.
If you are experiencing any financial issues during this time of change, then Loans 2 Go is here to help, for example with a quick online loan from £250 to £3,000.
Do check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Loans2Go.