At the beginning of every year, I share my Top 10 health and fitness tips. The top 10 tips for 2019 are ready, and I'm excited to share them with you.
If you've read my Top 10 tips for the previous years, you'll notice that I usually repeat 2-3 tips from the preceding year. In 2019, I'm serving you fresh tips that weren't on the previous lists.
Let's dig in!
My Top 10 health and Fitness Tips for 2019
1. Stick to the Fundamentals
January is usually the time of year when many people make commitments and promises to lose weight and get fit. That's why detox and cleansing programs sell like water in January.
New fad diets will pop up everywhere, and one or two magic teas might catch your attention. Please, don't allow yourself to get caught in the web of fad diets.
Fad diets will come and go, but the fundamentals will remain.
There are no magic formulas for weight loss, but there are fundamentals. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is to stick to the fundamentals.
A dietary strategy that works for you today may not work tomorrow, but the fundamentals will always work. Stick to the fundamentals. They always work!
2. Prioritise Sleep
One of the worst things you can do to your health and well-being is staying awake when your body is supposed to resting and rejuvenating.
Studies have shown that sleep is the master regulator of our hormones. Therefore, you must prioritise sleep in 2019.
If you're one of those people who are always their phones or watching television until midnight, you need to stop! Being awake when you're supposed to be sleeping is disruptive to your circadian rhythm and can increase your risk factors for certain lifestyle-related diseases.
For every hour you spend on your phone at night, the production of melatonin is suppressed by 30 minutes.
Melatonin is the sleep hormone. The human body begins to secrete Melatonin as darkness begins to fall. The appearance of darkness signals the body to wind down and prepare for rest.
The blue light from electronic devices suppresses the production of melatonin, thereby, confusing our brain and messing up our circadian rhythm. For the human body, darkness means rest and light means to be alert.
You’re sending confusing signals to your brain when you stay up late at night scrolling through social media or watching television.
Several studies have shown that sleep deprivation disrupts the appetite-regulating hormones thereby causing unnecessary gain weight.
Night time is for sleep, don’t spend it staring at your phone or watching television.
Get off your electronic devices at least 2 hours before bedtime.
3. Do Regular Breathing Exercises
Incorporating regular breathing exercises into your day can be beneficial to your overall health.
In a study that involved 21,563 participants, researchers found that systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate significantly reduced after six cycles of deep breathing exercise.
Yes, you read that right: deep breathing exercise causes a reduction in blood pressure and slows down the heart rate.
Make it have a habit to take 6-20 deep breathes throughout the day. Breathing exercises can be done anywhere, so no excuses not to do them.
4. Have Evening and Morning Routines
Routines make our lives more comfortable because they save us time and preserve our energy. Having the routines that we do every night and morning gives rhythms to our lives.
Your day starts the night before. What you do before you go to bed at night will have an impact on your morning the next day.
The evening routine doesn't have to be something elaborate. It can be as simple as shutting down your device and making your to-do list for the following day. It can also be doing a review of your day and writing down what you're grateful for.
My weekdays evening routine involves taking a long, leisurely walk while I listen to a book on Audible. It's my "me time", and I look forward to it every weekday.
My morning routine involves prayer and contemplative meditation. It's more elaborate than my evening routine because it gives my day a structure.
Create simple evening and morning routines that will work for you and follow them most days of the week.
NOTE: You may have to experiment with different things before you find what works. So, keep experimenting until you find it.
5. Break Your Big Goal Into Small Manageable Goals
As I wrote here, one major mistake people make when they're trying to lose weight or improve their fitness is that they try to do too much too soon. That's is a recipe for quitting.
If your goal is to lose 40kg in 2019, you know you can't make that happen in three months, so it makes no sense to focus on losing 40kg in the first quarter of the year.
What you should do instead is to break your 40kg goal into quarterly goals. By focusing on the target for each quarter, you stand a better chance of reaching the big goal.
Whether your goal is to lose 10kg or 40kg, you're going to reach your big goal 1kg per time. It'll happen over time not overnight. Therefore, break your big goal into small manageable goals.
6. Practice Total Immersion
As a weight loss coach, one thing I always strive for is to get my clients into the habit of showing up and doing the work.
As with any goal in life, there's no magic formula anywhere. The miracle happens when we stop looking for quick fixes and start digging our heels in the ground. Total immersion, that's how we get results.
In 2019, resist the temptation to run after every new diet or weight loss program your friend, Rebecca, swears by.
Let your tired be tired of jumping the ship after seven days on a program. Dig your heels in the ground and do the work. As one author rightly said, "fitness is not a finish line to cross, it's a lifestyle to live."
If you're in it, put your heart and soul into it.
7. Be Truthful to Yourself
As King Solomon of ancient Israel wrote, "there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens."
This year, know when to be hard on yourself, and when to be kind to yourself. Be your own best friend and best critic.
Don’t be that person who's always letting herself off the hook, and blaming the rest of the world for everything. Raise your bar and set your standard high.
Be truthful to yourself in 2019 because If you don’t tell yourself the truth, nobody will.
When it's the time to be hard on yourself, be hard on yourself. When it's the time to be kind to yourself, be kind to yourself.
8. Keep Track of Your Progress
Success, no matter how minuscule, is reinforcing. That's why keeping a written record of your daily wins and struggles is crucial.
Seeing a record of your past wins and struggles will provide useful perspectives when you need encouragement or a push.
Seeing how much progress you've made will make you become appreciative of past victories and inspires hope in your for what's possible in the future.
It can also prevent you from magnifying any present struggles because you've been there before, and you can say, "this too shall pass."
9. Find Someone to Hold You Accountable
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, it's better to have someone to hold you accountable than to your promises and commitments.
Transformation doesn't happen in isolation. If you isolate yourself you'll have no one to pull you back on track if you fall off the wagon. Hire a coach for professional accountability if you need to. You can hire me. I'm a good coach.
Don't travel the road alone. Find someone who'll shorten the long journey for you.
10. Be Your Own Best Cheerleader
It’s good when people believe in us and cheer us on. However, there are times when we need to be our own best cheerleaders.
Don't always wait for a coach or friend to shout "you can do it"! "You've got this"! Truth is, nobody can care about you more than you care about yourself because it's your life!
Be your own best cheerleader. Don't always wait for motivation/pep talk from someone else.
There you have it! My Top 10 Health and Fitness Tips For 2019.
I wish you a wonderful 2019. May you have joy, blessings and do great works.
Your Turn: Now I want to hear from you in the comments, which of these ten tips are you going to be using from today?