By Neo Mosoeunyane
Neo Mosoeunyane is an exercise science major at Wittenberg University in Ohio, USA. She is from Lesotho and is interested in sports and exercise as a whole in the country. Her key focus is team and personal fitness. “I believe that we as a nation have a lot of work to do in this field,” she says.
Here she discusses the first steps to leading a healthy, active lifestyle.
|Taking those first steps to a healthier you...|
More than ever we are told we need to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. We are told about the oh-so-good benefits of this lifestyle and how great it is for our quality of life. Unfortunately, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there, from the new latest diets – in this week out the next – to the latest ways to exercise.
As an exercise science student, I talk to friends and family all the time who want to start but have no idea where to start and what to do. As someone studying and working in the sports and fitness field, I hope I can shed some light for you with these five basic tips on how to start.
1. Know your starting point
We all start our journey at different points. It’s important for you to evaluate and understand where you are currently in terms of your lifestyle. The two most important things to always know are your weight and your waist circumference. Why? Because as you embark on this journey, these are the numbers you will look back on to help you understand how far you have come. There is no better feeling than realising you’ve lost a couple of kilograms. I highly discourage weighing yourself every day, rather do it every two weeks to let you know how your progress is going.
2. Set those goals and go get ‘em!
When you choose to lead this lifestyle you’ve got to understand why you are doing it. These very reasons are what will motivate you and push you when the going gets tough. From these reasons draw out your goals, what do you ultimately want to achieve, is it that six pack? Or to fit into your wedding dress? Everyone’s goals are different and unique to them, be true to yourself. Set realistic goals that are achievable and within a reasonable time frame. The worst thing you can do to yourself is set an unrealistic goal that will just discourage you instead of encourage you. Goals are there to push you not dissuade us.
|"Goals are there to push you not dissuade us."|
3. Food. Food. Food.
What you eat will make or break you. It’s time to stop seeing healthy eating as a short-term diet and rather as a new lifestyle choice towards a new better you. A lot of people fail in this area because they choose to do short-term diets that set out unrealistic drastic changes in one’s diet. The craziest one I’ve heard so far is having only crackers and coffee for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a steak for lunch. The key to a healthy diet is having everything in proportion. Too much of everything is not good for you.
4. Camel Up
You and your water bottle should be inseparable. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, it’s always a good reminder to stay hydrated. Did you know your brain doesn’t recognise the difference between hunger and thirst? Sometimes it’s not that you are hungry, it’s that you are dehydrated. Generally, you should drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day. Remember to track the amount of water you are drinking.
5. Be active!
The gym is not the only place to get fit. Home bodyweight workouts are fun, easy and can be very inexpensive. 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week is the way to go. Go for a fun, brisk walk with friends, do some gardening; the opportunities are endless.