It is more than likely that you haven’t been able to do exactly what you had intended in the summer of 2020. Holidays were cancelled, family reunions were called off overnight and huge sporting occasions such as the Euros and the Olympic Games were put on hold.
Therefore, there is no surprise in the fact that many are looking towards the summer of 2021 as a glimmer of hope. The ‘best summer ever’, some are calling it, a whole 10 months before it has even begun. If you’re planning a holiday for this time next year and are looking to bulk up a few pounds or lose a kilo or two, these seven health tips should have you on your way to a better body for a better time.
The forgotten summer
Without a doubt, 2020 will go down as the forgotten summer. Despite having the sunniest April on record, Brits were not able to fully enjoy it due to lockdown measures. Other than a small number of storms, the hot weather continued throughout the summer and only in July and August was the nation able to partially take advantage of it.
The planning, then, starts now. Getting in shape for summer 2021 should start as early as possible, but don’t pressure yourself too much as this could be unhealthy. Take it slow – you have a whole year to be in better shape and feel healthier than you do now.
1 – Set yourself a target
First of all, set yourself a target. Decide whether it is the losing or gaining of weight that you intend to chase for the next 12 months and create realistic goals, month by month, in order to reach an end aim.
Having one, intangible target can be overwhelming and daunting, and with results seeming a long way off it will be difficult to motivate yourself to eat healthily and exercise more on a daily basis. Having a smaller target at the end of each month or fortnight is more likely to get you moving and cutting, or raising, the calorie count habitually.
2 – Analyze your diet
Once you’ve set your goal, be it to lose or gain weight, tone your stomach or build your arm muscle, it’s time to analyze your diet.
Have a rummage through your pantry and take note of the items you are buying all the time. No doubt there will be some items in there that you bought once and never used, something that was given as a gift and you haven’t got round to cooking with or some luxury items that you purchase once in a blue moon. However, there will also be your staple diet.
Try writing these down and then researching their properties, in terms of calorie count, protein content or nutritional value. Based on how you want to change your lifestyle to make yourself look and feel better for next summer, decide which of these need to stay and which of them need to go. Remember that a complete and instant reform of your diet such as ditching dairy can upset your body, so attempt to make changes positive but gradual.
3 – Get into home exercising
Getting into exercising at home is a superb way of doing more each day, as no motivation to go to the gym is necessary, while cutting down on travel time, membership costs and also avoiding the risk if leisure centres are shut down for a second time.
According to Myprotein’s research, there was a significant change in the way the British population exercised following the breakout of COVID-19. Of those surveyed, 41% had started doing more cardio, while YouTube had become the number one source of workout inspiration. Jumping on this bandwagon could be your ticket to a healthier 2021.
4 – Couch to 5K
Between March and the end of June, over 850,000 people downloaded Public Health England’s ‘Couch to 5K’ smartphone app. The fitness regime encourages and coaches those who were not previously into running to be able to complete 5 kilometers without stopping.
Taking part in schemes such as this, especially if you can convince a friend to join in with you, is an entertaining and rewarding way to meet next summer’s goals.
5 – A little every day
The phrase “little and often” is commonly used for a number of activities, particularly with practicing skills such as playing an instrument. It is also incredibly relevant to exercise. Older people are especially benefitted by exercising a little amount every day, with findings suggesting that even the most modest movements are associated with the regeneration of cells.
For bulking up or losing large amounts of weight, this might not be the best method. However, for simply living a healthier life, losing a little weight and building key muscles, small activities such as taking the stairs rather than the lift go a long way.
6 – Make pacts with friends
To encourage you to do this daily exercise you should make pacts and promises with friends. Challenge them to walk more steps than you, trackable using most smartphones, or to meet you once a week for a short run. If you are in a group of friends who have vowed to eat healthily together (try meat-free Mondays, not drinking alcohol on weekdays or giving up a sugary vice) or exercise together, you will be more likely to stick to the plan than if you were going it alone.
7 – Don’t place too much pressure on yourself
Finally, do not place too much pressure on yourself. While many of the aforementioned points and plans should not be dauntingly difficult, the thought of changing your lifestyle for the next year most probably is.
Pressuring yourself a little is what will make you succeed and reach your goals. Peer pressure is what will encourage you to work out with your friends more. Too much pressure, however, is what can make the whole experience unenjoyable and cause you to be more likely to give up. Take it easy, make small changes where necessary and, hopefully, see results.
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