The A-Z guide to getting healthier

FIGHTING FIT: Mix up exercises for optimum results
FIGHTING FIT: Mix up exercises for optimum results



THE most popular New Year’s resolution is perhaps to get in better shape, but it is also the one most likely to be broken.

Many will start January in the gym and end the year regretting not sticking to a promise they made themselves to get healthier.

With that in mind, Eastern Eye consulted various experts to come up with a quick A to Z guide on how to stick to fitness routines and get healthier.

A is for Acclimatise: Let the body get used to exercise and slowly build up your stamina. Overdoing it early will often result in a demotivating injury or tiredness.

B is for Buddy: Having someone to train with will keep you engaged longer. You will have someone to be answerable to and get a push on the days you feel demotivated.

C is for Celebrate: Be proud of every step you take towards your fitness goals and reward yourself when you reach certain milestones, such as losing a kilo, with a gift, massage or pedicure.

D is for Dance: Remember exercise isn’t just about going through pain in a gym and can be enjoyable with activities such as dances that provide an all over calorie-burning workout. Perhaps, join a dance aerobics class.

E is for Everyday: If you are too busy for the gym, there are plenty of everyday things you can do to get fitter such as climbing stairs instead of taking a lift or walking part or all the way to a destination.

F is for Food: Having a balanced diet is essential if you want to get fitter. Eating healthy will quicken the results and give you added energy to work out.

G is for Group classes: Fitness classes are more effective than training individually, and you will be in the company of like-minded people with the same goals. You will also make new friends, work harder and get quicker results.

H is for Help: From personal trainers, nutritionists and gym instructors to online tutorials, there are plenty to help propel you towards your goals.

I is for Indulge: Getting fit doesn’t mean cutting out things you enjoy, so don’t feel guilty for having cheat days where you treat yourself to things you enjoy, in moderation. Don’t completely deprive your body of what you love.

J is for Just do it: Remember any exercise is better than no exercise at all – even if it is just going for a walk, doing something that gets your body active, or perhaps, doing sit ups at home before work.

K is for Keep track: Using a journal or app to record your progress and effort will motivate you. Those who see the progress or how much effort they have been putting in are less likely to quit.

L is for Love: Most of the battle will be in the mind, so instead of dreading the thought of training, learn to love the challenge of getting fit. As you progress, that love will grow, which will lead to more time spent on it. Also, exercise produces endorphins, which generate euphoria.

M is for Motivation: There are different ways you can motivate yourself such as buying that smaller top you want to fit in or using a holiday as a goal. Keeping your mind filled with positive thoughts is essential.

N is for Now: Live in the moment and don’t feel guilty about that gym session you missed or the chocolate you ate. Remember, each day is a chance to take a step forward, so leave the past behind.

O is for Outdoors: If you don’t like going to the gym, there are plenty of outdoor activities such as jogging, boot-camps, running clubs, walking, cycling, gardening and volunteering, which can burn calories.

P is for Pilates: Balancing out heavier workouts with exercises such as pilates or yoga will enable you to recover quickly and lower stress levels, which are essential for progress.

Q is for Quality: It is not about how much exercise an individual does, but the quality of the workout. So instead of worrying about how many times you are exercising, concentrate on getting a quality workout that makes maximum use of the time. That way you will need less days to get to where you need to be.

R is for Realistic: Don’t expect rapid results within a few weeks, and try to understand it is a long but rewarding journey. As you progress further down the road, you will feel better, fitter and much stronger.

S is for Sleep: Getting good sleep is essential when trying to get fit as a well-rested body will be more effective, and it is especially essential if you are exercising. So aim for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.

T is for Technology: There are more fitness apps than ever before that can help you stick to a training routine, which includes ones that measure distance, offer workout tips, give nutrition advice and count calories.

U is for Understand: A little knowledge does go a long way, so take time to learn correct techniques, the right nutrition, proper stretching and different workout options.

V is for Variety: The best way to keep exercise effective and interesting is to mix it up. Regularly switch between machines, classes, free weights and training routines.

W is Water: Sometimes when you feel hungry it is just the body feeling dehydrated. Staying well hydrated is essential and has countless benefits, from adding energy to better skin. Aim for at least two litres of water a day.

X is for X-crunch: The X-crunch is one of many effective ab exercises and everyone wants a flatter stomach. Mixing up the ab workout will get you quicker results because you are working different parts of that region.

Y for You: The right reason to commence a fitness routine is you. Various studies have shown that those who try to get in shape for external reasons, such as looking good for someone else, are unlikely to stick to it, but those who are internally motivated make better progress.

Z is for Zone: The various steps will get you into the zone and once you are firmly in it, you will be unstoppable. Believe in yourself and you will reach that magical zone where everything will become a habit.