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10 From GEM: 10 Baby Steps To Health And Fitness

 

Creative Commons/billerr

Creative Commons/billerr

10 From GEM:
10 Baby Steps To Health And Fitness

If you’ve never been one for eating well and exercising, it might be more than a little daunting to make the changes necessary to reach an optimal level of health and fitness. It doesn’t have to be. Health and fitness is something you can work your way into–it’s not an all or nothing proposition. You can start with little acts and add on as you get fitter, stronger, and change your mindset. If you want to lose weight and get healthy, start today by following these 10 baby steps to health and fitness.

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1. CUT 100 CALORIES A DAY

Creative Commons/Stefano Valle

Creative Commons/Stefano Valle

You should definitely exercise, but even if you don’t, you could still lose 10 pounds in one year simply by cutting 100 calories a day from your diet. This is the ultimate baby step because this may mean just not drinking a can of soda or skipping spreads like butter and cream cheese. This is a good start.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Tips To Cut 100 Calories (Or More) Every Day

2. REMOVE THE JUNK FOOD…
SLOWLY

Creative Commons/Michael McKennedy

Creative Commons/Michael McKennedy

It’s not a revelation that you need to rid your diet of processed and junk foods. Unless you’re under a doctor’s order, there are no rules saying you have to completely overhaul your diet in one day. While it’s tempting to eat cookies if you have them in the house, it’s even more difficult to resist treats in the long term if you try to banish them from your diet forever. Remove “bad” foods gradually by swapping them for foods that you enjoy and can serve as a replacement. Work on two foods a week and keep adding as you go along.

Read more: The Doctor Is In: Healthy Holiday Leftover Recipes

3. DRINK LOTS OF WATER

Creative Commons/mbettik

Creative Commons/mbettik

There are many reasons to drink water, but when it comes to weight loss here are some reasons to drink half your body weight in ounces (75 oz. for a person weighing 150 pounds):

  • Drinking water before a meal may help you feel full faster
  • Water maintains muscle tone and lubricates joints
  • Burning calories creates toxins, which water flushes from your body

Drink up to keep your body running smoothly.

Read more: Beauty From The Inside Out: Eating And Exercising Your Way To Healthy Hair

4. DO CARDIO

Creative Commons/Technogym

Creative Commons/Technogym

If sprinting to catch the bus is the only cardio you do, you’ll need to pick it up. You’ll eventually want to get to at least 30 minutes of cardio five times a week. Start with getting your heart rate up two or three times a week for 20 minutes. Experiment if necessary to find cardio activities that you enjoy. If you like it, you’re more likely to stick with it.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Hearty And Healthy Fall Foods

5. KEEP MOVING

Creative Commons/colorblindPICASO

Creative Commons/colorblindPICASO

Even after you’ve done your cardio for the day, you should still keep moving. People who fidget or do every activity with purpose burn more calories than those who don’t. Do a dance when your favorite song comes on the radio. Do housework like your life depends on it. Challenge yourself to move faster by trying to beat a certain time to get the work done. Don’t forget to use stairs or park your car in the back of the lot whenever you can.

Read more: The Doctor Is In: 5 Tests You Need To Stay Healthy In Your 30′s

6. ADD WEIGHTS 

Creative Commons/Mandy Willard

Creative Commons/Mandy Willard

If you really want to be fit, you must do weight-bearing exercises to develop lean muscle. Muscle burns fat and that’s what you want. It’s fine to work out with a set of light weights, but you don’t have to. Exercises that require no equipment like squats, lunges, and push-ups are highly effective. You can keep them short and sweet by doing these exercises during commercial breaks.

Read more: 4 Strength Training Exercises to Incorporate into Your Daily Walk with the Dog : Parentables

7. PLAN AHEAD

Creative Commons/Opalgemblog

Creative Commons/Opalgemblog

Whatever your health and fitness goals, have a plan. Look to the end, but also plan short-term goals. As part of this, plan your day. It’s so much easier to stick to your goals if you’ve planned and prepared your meals and carved out some time for exercise.

Read more: Save Yourself! 10 Little Things To Do For A Healthy Heart | Good Enough is Perfect

8. FIND A BUDDY

Creative Commons/Gerard Fritz

Creative Commons/Gerard Fritz

A buddy will work out with you, share recipes, or provide encouragement when you’re feeling discouraged. You don’t even have to share the same goals. You both need to be cheerleaders for each other.

Read more: 5 Healthy Fats That Could Help Keep You Slim

9. TRAIN FOR A RACE 

Creative Commons/MIKECNY

Creative Commons/MIKECNY

Hear me out on this one. Training for a race gives you a solid goal to work toward and a date to reach it. Start small with a 5K race. There are many couch to 5K programs that are intended for people who’ve never really exercised or trained for a race. The objective isn’t to win, but to challenge yourself and finish.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Tips To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Day

10. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

Creative Commons/Ian M Butterfield

Creative Commons/Ian M Butterfield

Your mental attitude will make your day or be the bane of your existence. Be optimistic about reaching your health and fitness goals. It won’t always be easy. In fact, it may never be easy, but a healthy attitude will enable you to carry on when you face setbacks like overindulging, an injury, or several skipped exercise sessions.

Read more: The Happiness Exercise

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What about you? What baby steps do you take for health and fitness?

More From GEM:

Monday Morning Motivation: 4 Things You Can Do For A Better 2014

10 From GEM: 10 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter

The Doctor Is In: 7 Simple Ways To Cut Your Cancer Risk

 

picmonkey alexis

Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is managing editor of Good Enough Mother. Read more about Alexis on her blog www.lilliebelle.org or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.

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