FEATURE: Ely-based personal trainer Kevin Hurley’s four ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle in 2020
- Credit: Archant
Now that the New Year is just beginning, it could be the perfect starting point for those of all abilities to achieve their goals while understanding more about building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Having run my personal training business Hurley Fitness for seven years, helping people achieve their health and fitness targets has been a core aim of mine.
It's that time of the year again. We're recovering from over-indulging on mince pies and tubs of chocolate sweets, not to mention the dreaded booze.
But it's also a time of reflection. 2020 is a chance to start afresh, avoiding the mistakes we've made.
The traditional New Year resolution may typically involve something to do with improving health or losing weight. You've probably made the same promises the year before, and the year before that.
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Let's be honest, it doesn't provide a sustainable plan. It's something vague to make us feel better at the year end, where failure is likely.
But having began small group training sessions to help making a healthy lifestyle affordable as well as achievable, here are four steps you can take to improve your health and fitness, not just for 2020, but forever.
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Take Up Weight Training
This idea is becoming mainstream, but there's the myth that weight training makes you bigger.
It's fuelled by images of muscle-headed men or ladies looking 'ripped' on stage in body-building competitions.
Firstly, bodybuilding isn't weight training. Bodybuilders have eaten, trained several times a day, taken supplements and pills to achieve that enhanced look.
Weight training improves strength, posture, boosts metabolism, burns fat and improves confidence. It will also make everyday tasks like lifting shopping easier.
If fat loss is your goal, be aware that weight training over a prolonged period burns more fat than traditional cardio.
Monitor Your Calories
What works for one won't work for another.
I detest calorie counting and the apps that help you do so. For some, it's a method that has revolutionised their understanding of nutrition.
Calorie counting is unsustainable and pretty boring, yet it's the go-to method for almost everyone, which I recommend.
Firstly, focus on food quality. Keep as much as possible to natural, wholesome, foods. Secondly, monitor your portions, not by measuring calories, but with your hand.
Based upon three to four meals a day for females, each meal should contain a palm-sized portion of protein, a fistful of vegetables, a cupped handful of carbs and a thumb-size portion of fat. Men should double these amounts.
This is a starting point, so you may have to reduce or increase your portions depending on your progress.
What's NEAT? It's a mouthful: Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
Simply, this means everything you burn while you're not eating, sleeping or exercising, such as housework and even fidgeting!
While we focus on improving nutrition and getting more active, we could become more active daily.
The average person who has a busy life and a demanding family usually needs to start moving more at the outset.
Things like standing more or a ten-minute walk before dinner may seem insignificant, but they all add up!
Give Yourself a Reason
I've spoken to people over the years who exercise for the sake of it. They know it's good for them, but that's about it.
That's unlikely to motivate you when things get tough and you don't feel like moving when nights are dark.
'Getting fit' is extremely vague and doesn't make your heart burst with inspiration, does it? That's why fitness regimes usually crumble within weeks. What does inspire is having a clear reason to keep working towards your goal.
This can be done by, for example, writing in as much detail as possible how you'll feel on your summer holiday having achieved your goal.
By using these four points in 2020, you could be well on your way towards developing and sustaining a healthier, active lifestyle.
For more information on Hurley Fitness, visit https://www.hurleyfitness.co.uk/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.