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How to 'Health & Fitness'...

What is Health & Fitness?

The words 'health’ and ‘fitness' are thrown around a lot these days, especially within the world of marketing.

Companies use the term to promote their products which aren't even necessary related to health and fitness, take energy drinks or protein supplements for example...

Just think about when you go food shopping, how often do you find foods labeled or portrayed as healthy, or packaging using logos and text related to fitness and exercise?

Health and fitness seems to be mostly used to describe physical actions or massive lifestyle changes, often associated with a community or a social media following… not always the most positive form of media.

Health and fitness can relate to small actions, as little as going for a regular 10 minute walk or achieving your five a day, it doesn’t have to be hours in the gym or 45 minute runs.

The two words by themselves are very vague, purposely left open to interpretation, leading towards the representation of the ‘ideal’ lifestyle many tend to strive for, without providing any clarification to what the writer/user actually means or what it entails to become ‘healthy’ or achieve a good level of ‘fitness’.

The truth being, health and fitness incorporates a large number or variables and lifestyle factors, most of which the average individual wouldn’t relate to a health and fitness lifestyle, such as getting adequate sleep, reading a book, or setting time aside for a little ‘me time’.

If you were to search for the definition of health and fitness you will probably come across something similar to the phrases below...

  • Health is a state of complete mental, physical and social well-being; not merely the absence of illness or infirmity.

  • Fitness is the ability to meet the demands of the environment.

How can we integrate health & fitness into our lifestyle?

So what does it mean to take part in 'health and fitness'? Jogging, 'clean' eating, lifting weights, walking the dog, reading, yoga...

Well, potentially all of them.

Part of a healthy lifestyle is staying at a moderate weight which you are happy and comfortable with, and that lets you get on with your daily needs and performance requirements.

Over time it is natural to drift away from a healthy lifestyle, trying to forever keep a balance and handle all the things happening in life.

So how do we get back to maintaining homeostasis? (balance).

'Move more, eat less' are the famous words of most fitness influencers, generally used to promote fat loss, but is it that simple?

If only it was as straightforward as that...

Our lifestyles, personality, and education inevitably dictate how we move and how we eat.

Which means in many cases there are several obstacles that prevent us from the simplicity of ‘move more, eat less’.

The answer to achieving 'move more, eat less' is to create an environment, new routines and habits that don't sacrifice who we are and what we enjoy.

That being said, there has to be some level of sacrifice to achieve your goals, though for the most part these actions are only temporarily.

By changing your environment you put yourself in the best position to create positive decisions.

For example, taking a premade lunch into work most days rather than buying it from a local deli or work canteen.

Suddenly sacrificing your lunchtime treat, from a daily to weekly treat, doesn’t seem so bad, resulting in saving hundreds of calories over the course of a week, which leads to pounds lost over a month.

In conclusion, living the ‘health and fitness’ lifestyle can be as simple as maintaining a body weight you are comfortable with which lets you carry out your day to day requirements.

That means if you’re getting out of breath climbing one set of stairs in your office block, or struggling to get up from the floor after playing with your kids, then you are not fit enough to meet your environmental needs.

Health and fitness acts can be a collection of little actions consistently done over weeks to months.

A daily walk, socialising at the pub, and setting a regular bedtime are all habits which can be associated with a health and fitness lifestyle.

Take a look at your weekly routine, evaluate where can you make small changes and implement daily actions to better your mental and physical health.

A few of ideas to get you started...

  • Change your route/transport to and from work

  • Reduce the portion sizes of your main meals

  • Drink more fluids throughout the day (carry a water bottle with you)

  • Create a bedtime routine (read a book to wind-down)

  • Take the dog on more walks, or a longer walk

  • Listen to an audio book when on a stroll

If you want to make some bigger actions try...

  • Join a local sports or activity club

  • Learn how to cook meals that support your goals

  • Find someone in your circle of friends/family who you can learn from/get involved with

  • Invest in professional health (coach/PT/therapist)


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