The Site That Helps You Reach Your Fitness and Healthy Living Goals
Whether you are active of sedentary, able bodied or not – a fit and healthy lifestyle is within your reach. Here at Healthy Ambitions, we believe in taking incremental steps that will boost your health and wellbeing over the long term.
Key to getting the many benefits a healthy lifestyle can bring is to build slowly. Trying to do too much at once will often be counterproductive. Instead, you should focus on building incremental habits, that will build a platform for the next steps. Getting active is just one aspect of this. Your diet also plays a key part. Steps as simple as cutting out sugary drinks or snacks can have an outsized impact.
Start Your Health and Fitness Journey with a Personal Audit
While some people might aim for a marathon or 10k race – for others simply getting started is the key. The best place to start is by being honest with yourself about your goals, and your starting point. If you have a medical condition, disability or are receiving treatments, then your GP is the best starting point. They will be able to advise you on support within your community. They will also be able to advise on how exercise might impact with your health.
If you are already doing exercise, then a fitness test with a personal trainer would be a great idea. This can assess your strengths and weaknesses, and give you areas to work on.
Many people who are brand new to fitness are not yet ready to join a gym or club. This is natural and normal. The best solution is to start with walking, jogging or using home exercise equipment. Once you have that start, you’ll feel a lot more confident about joining a group or gym class.
Ideal Home Gym Equipment for People New to Fitness
I recommend that you look at home exercise machines which are able to ‘start slow’. If you go for something that can also give you a vigorous workout, then you’ll get more value. That machine could be with you throughout your fitness journey. Making sure that it is robust enough to last is always a great plan.
There are two types of home fitness machine which are great for those starting out. These are exercise bikes and treadmills.
The big benefit of a stationary bike or exercise bike is that you can start very gently. You will find the effort required to pedal is determined by the resistance level. This varies from very easy (almost like pedalling downhill) to very tough – mimicking a sprint or hill climb. You can also start with short sessions, moving to longer and more intensive rides as your fitness level improves.
One of the less talked about benefits of home exercise bikes is that they are quiet. This means you will not be disturbing others. It also makes them suitable for riding while watching the TV.
After a few sessions on a home bike, you might be confident and fit enough to get a road bike and head out into the great outdoors!
This is the first thing most people think of when considering exercising at home. A home treadmill will start at a walking pace, which is ideal for those getting started on the long road to fitness. You can mix in light jogs with walking to begin with. After you gain confidence and start to feel the benefits, you can start mixing in some runs.
Safety is important on treadmills. Look out for models which have an emergency stop. This is a key which fits into the machine, which you attach to your clothing with a clip. If you do fall off, the key gets pulled out, and the treadmill will stop.
Treadmills are a little noisier than exercise bikes. Fortunately, you can get models which are compatible with music and smartphones. You can sing along while you run!
Health Lifestyles and Diets
While you do not need to give up tasty food and eat only lettuce, your diet should be considered as you get fit. There are many foods which are very low in nutritional value, and contain poisons like processed sugars, artificial fats and chemical preservatives. As you get fitter, you’ll start to notice that healthy food makes you feel good and junk food slows you down.
The easiest thing to cut out first is extra sugar. Say no to sugary pop (zero sugar equivalents can be taken if you really can’t do without), and cut down on cakes, biscuits and pastries. If you have sugar in your tea, switch to a natural sweetener instead. This has long term health benefits, and once you are over the initial changes, your body will appreciate it.
Starchy carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and potatoes can also be reduced over time. Replace these with vegetables and you’ll feel the difference.
Fresh food beats out ready meals, which are full of salt, sugar and processed fats. If ‘going fresh’ all at once is too big a change, try doing this incrementally. For example, start with the weekends, when you have more time – then add a weekday once you get into good habits.
Keeping Track of Your Progress
Since a fit and healthy lifestyle is a long road, you should track your progress. Celebrate those small wins, and make sure you buddy up with someone to keep yourself motivated. While there are a lot of fancy apps and gadgets for tracking your fitness, a simple step counter will often do the job. These are cheap, and keep track of your movement. Once you start using one, you’ll have some extra motivation not to let the count go too low.
Remember, celebrating milestones is a great motivational tool. If you jogged your first 2k (for example), let your family know – and give yourself a treat (even if it is not a healthy one!).
Build on Your Gains
Fitness is addictive. Once you start to feel the benefits, you’ll wonder why you did not discover these sooner. Make sure you spread the word – and make sure you build on your initial gains. Adding daily (or near daily) exercise and quality food can help with a longer, healthier life!