Tuesday, 6 October 2015

From Inactive to Athletic in One Week


   Working in an office alongside a fitness magazine, I kind of feel as if I should be doing SOMEthing exercisey-ish with my spare time. For a long time, that wasn't the case - I'm a massive bed potato at heart - and I hated the thought of working out, getting sweaty and losing my breath. However, sitting at a desk all day, it wasn't long before I noticed my body changing: I was slouching more, my legs were losing tone and anything I ate would go right to my stomach and make me feel slightly bloated.

   Sexy, right?

   Well, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to change that. I started slowly, making small changes in my diet and my activity levels, and then the ball began rolling from there. I've noticed tiny alterations in tone and even size (whether it's all in my mind, I don't care) and the most important thing is that I FEEL healthier, lighter and less lethargic. Here are my super easy tips for going from inactive to athletic in one week (note: I can't guarantee you'll become Beyoncé, but by all means have a go!).

#1 GO TO BED EARLIER

   You never realise how much your body depends on sleep until it starts to show in your face, your body and even in how you function throughout the day (I can get projects finished so much quicker when I've had at least 8 hours of sleep, compared to my usual 6 and a half). People were telling me I looked tired, and it was true - I didn't look like someone in their early twenties, I looked as if I'd been on the daily grind for years.

   Better yet, people who get more than 8 hours of sleep a night DOUBLE their chances of losing weight, according to the NHS. I started by going to bed half an hour earlier on my first night, then increasing it from there. Can't get to sleep? Use a meditative sleep app or read a book to relax - but try not to use social media in bed, as it drains time.

#2 CUT DOWN ON CAFFEINE

   Notice how I didn't say 'cut out'; if you usually intake a lot of caffeine, cutting it out completely will only make you feel sluggish and make you crave it more. It was common for me to drink around three cups of tea a day (which probably isn't much in the grand scheme, but every little helps), and I slowly cut this down to one regular tea and two green teas. I already feel healthier!

#3 DRINK MORE WATER

   I can't stress enough how much of a miracle worker water really is. It'll help you lose weight, maintain healthy digestive functions AND aid in clearing your skin. Eight pints is the recommended amount, and that may seem like a lot, but it's easy if you set yourself a reminder every hour to grab a glass of water. Sure, you'll go to the toilet more, but that's a tiny downside compared to the benefits!

#4 EXERCISE WHEN YOU CAN

   If you've got a busy lifestyle - that'll be most of you, I guess - you don't have to set aside an hour in the day for your fitness fix. Little things, like power walking from your car to your office, will help you get into the active mindset. 

   Why not try deskercise? Sit in your chair and squeeze your glutes for 10-15 seconds, then release and repeat!

#5 REWARD YOURSELF

   Hard work pays off - so why not reward a week of thinking fit with a day off? Spend it any way you like: Netflix binge, shopping spree, pumpkin spiced latte, duvet day - we all love a holiday once in a while, so go ahead; you've earned it! But try not to binge eat, as you'll bloat yourself and it may cause irregular digestive functioning.

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