Ten healthy habits that keep me on track

Fitness and wellness will always be a huge part of my life. I love the way working out and eating well makes me feel, both mentally and physically. Whilst I do love my green smoothies and big chicken salads, I still love an aperol spritz (when not pregnant, obvs) and fun foods. All about balance. Anyway, I have put together 10 of my top habits that I personally believe in and have made a huge difference in keeping me on-track with my wellness and fitness.

 

Nutrition 

Set yourself up for a healthy morning

There's nothing better than starting your day with a healthy breakfast, water and a workout. It sets me up for a healthy day. In the morning, we are *hopefully* well-rested and motivated. Later in the day when motivation starts to lack, at least you have had a healthy breakfast and made sure that you broke your fast with something healthy (I'm not talking about intermittent fasting, we fast when we sleep!).

 

Have fall-back and go-to healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks

We all have days where we have little energy, feel tired, lazy, unmotivated and just want to grab something quick and easy for a meal. Have a meal planned that you know you can make within minutes when you are strapped for time. This could be as simple as a can of tuna, a pre-made salad and some pre-made microwave rice.

 

Shop smart when shopping for groceries

Whatever is in the cupboard or fridge is what you will end up eating throughout the week. If you stock up on heavily processed foods like cookies, lollies, soda and ice-cream and you buy zero fresh fruits or veggies, then you will inevitably end up snacking on the processed food. My top two tip? Write out your list before you go to the store and don't go to the store hungry! Trust me, you end up buying random stuff because you're rushing, not thinking properly and hungry! 

 

Utilise frozen foods

Frozen foods are generally cheaper and are super convenient! I love buying my berries, peas, corn and mango all frozen. Frozen does not mean less nutritious. In fact, a lot of the conventional fruits and veg that aren't frozen have been sitting there for ages. A lot of the frozen goodies are frozen much sooner. 

 

Working out

Plan your workouts the day before

Or even the week before - if you're super organised. That way, you are held accountable and you don't have to think about what to do the morning of your workout. Plus, if it's a group fitness class you've booked into, you won't want to cancel last minute!

 

Prioritise recovery

Stretching, foam rolling, using a massage gun and getting remedial massages are all great for your recovery. I love stretching for 10 minutes a night right after I do my prenatal exercises that my physiotherapist gave me. As well as stretching, I also get a remedial massage fortnightly which helps with my neck and back tension, but I do acknowledge that is a luxury and is not imperative for recovery. 

 

Figure out if you're an AM or PM person

I'm an AM kind of girl. I have always been the most productive in the morning. I always get my best workouts done in the morning and have the most motivation for work tasks. I will always do my most tedious tasks, hard emails and time consuming work first in my work day as I know I will be able to push through. So figure out which one you are and try to schedule in your workout then.

  

Lifestyle 

Sleep

Sleep can impact fat loss, muscle recovery, ageing, cognitive functioning, stress, productivity, performance, memory, immune system, hormones, mood and so many more factors. Cortisol (your stress hormone) is affected when you don't get enough sleep, and cortisol can target your collagen and therefore elasticity of your skin. I guess that's why they call it beauty sleep - you need sleep for that GLOW.

 

Notice who you are letting influence you

This is so important. And honestly, going to be vulnerable for a moment, this was so pivotal in improving my mental health and body image. Who you follow on social media influences you. If they are promoting unhealthy habits, this affects you, whether you are consciously aware of it or not. About 4 years ago, I found that I was leaving social media feeling awful about my body and falling into the comparison trap. I decided that it was time to do a bulk unfollow. I actually unfollowed a lot of Instagram models and started following Gymshark Athletes, fitness pages, healthy food blogs and a lot of faith-related pages because I wanted to exit the app feeling empowered, motivated and encouraged. I now only follow people who I resonate with or feel inspired by. I encourage you to do the same! 

  

Get outside

Getting fresh air and vitamin D is so important for our mental health. Go for a walk in the fresh air when you can. Even just for 10 minutes in your lunch break. It's crazy how much it can shift your whole mood.

September 14, 2021 — Beth Parkes

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