Getting fit is something that we would all like to do. However, reaching our ultimate fitness goals can be very challenging for many people. Modern-day pressures such as long hours at work, accessibility of fast food or convenience food, and stress can all get in the way. Really though, they shouldn’t and often we feel that people use some of these as excuses rather than genuine hurdles.
Healthy food can be almost (in not completely) as convenient as ‘convenience food’. Many supermarkets and shops sell an array of salad-like products that are pre-washed and ready to eat (rather like a bag of chips aka crisps if you are in the UK).
You may now be thinking that you have read that certain lettuces etc. found in salad are called ‘empty foots’ because they contain relatively little nutrition compared to other foods (although many lettuces have vitamin K and vitamin A at reasonable levels in each standard size portion). This may be true with some types of lettuce (some are largely water and simple fibres), but not true of all green leaf vegetables that can be obtained in a ready to eat bag. For example, supermarkets sell spinach, arugula (rocket), water cress and other dark green vegetables in ready to eat formats. Many of these come in a mixed bag allowing you to enjoy several flavours. This can be great when added to some cooked meat, cooked eggs and a healthy wholemeal bread bap. All these can be purchased on the day or if you have a little preparation time at home, put in a sealed plastic container. No (or very little) actual food preparation time is required. These vegetables, salads and other foods, in our opinion although prepared and not considered convenience foods. We think that as part of a sensible diet that these are healthy options and a great addition to a nutritionally focused eating regime. However, because these are prepared (washed, chopped and packaged), supermarkets/shops/producers will in some way ultimately seek to be compensated for the work and resources used to ‘prepare’ the food. This means that prepared food is sometimes more expensive that other non-prepared foods. If you have time to prepare your own the evening before it is needed and seal in suitable containers designed to keep food fresh, this may be a good option if keeping costs down is important.
When you get home from work, you feel tired. If you have a manual job, you may be physically needing a rest. If this is the case, save exercise for another day. However, of you have a conventional office job or work in a relatively low activity retail environment, your tiredness may be due to other factors, including mental fatigue and fatigue brought about by a relatively low level of activity throughout the day.
If this is the case, there is no reason not to be active when you get home. If there is daylight and it is safe to do so, get out – go for a run, walk or cycle within your limits (obviously always check with your doctor that activity is suitable for you and always act upon their recommendations rather than our ideas). Motivation to do this can be lacking in many people. This is where having a fitness friend or exercise partner can be a huge advantage. Ask a work colleague to meet up with you or arrange a time and location to catch up with a friend. The chances are that there are several people just like you who are all wanting to get active, but just need a little inspiration and motivation to get into action. Having a prior agreement to meet will mean that you are less likely to skip the activity because it is human nature to not want to let others down. Once you meet, there will be activities that you can both (or a group) do where one person pushes the other to higher levels. This means that you could help other people to reach their fitness goals and vice versa. Always ensure that any person you meet is known to you and meetings are in a safe environment where others are present.
Go on, make a change today. These are some little, simple tips to help you get fit. Do not dismiss these ideas, often the most simple plans are the most effective and can springboard much greater achievements later.
Thank you for reading. We hope that this has inspired you to get fit and make new friends. Try some of these ideas today. Remember, always stay safe and look after your body.