Regardless of who you are, chances are you have something about yourself or your lifestyle you would like to improve.
Maybe you want to eat more healthily. Perhaps you want to feel better when you’re running. Maybe you wish you would even try running at all. It’s possible you’re in great physical shape and take wonderful care of your body, but you just wish your chest looked a bit different.
Wherever you are in life, here are five tips to help you look and feel better.
1. Get Help From a Professional
Whether you’re looking to improve your diet or need help managing your mental health, start with seeking out a professional. There’s a reason so many gyms offer personal trainers as an add-on to gym memberships, and you often get what you pay for. That’s not to say that a gym membership itself isn’t sufficient, but getting expert help that is tailored to your needs — whatever they are — is bound to be more efficient. A lot of people waste a lot of time and money spinning their wheels as they try to improve their life.
It’s not uncommon for somebody to spend a year trying to lose weight but not succeed because they didn’t realize the protein bars they’ve been relying on are basically candy bars. Does that story sound familiar? If that hasn’t happened to you, you most likely know somebody who’s found themselves in that situation. A dietician could have saved a lot of heartache.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, your body may not take the shape you’d like. Surgeons like Dr Jason Emer specialize in helping people achieve their goals through medical procedures such as jawline surgery, which can help with double chins. Don’t plan on professionals doing all the work for you, but enlisting their help can make all the difference.
2. Eat Real Food
You don’t have to go full paleo, but if the majority of your diet is manufactured by some company, you’ve got room to improve. What constitutes “real food”? You can name it as a simple ingredient and can probably figure out exactly where it came from. You can make all kinds of complex meals, but use real ingredients. An easy tip is if you can’t pronounce a food’s ingredients, think twice about eating it.
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other foods, but the majority of your diet should be real, whole food. Remember to get many different colors on your plate — this is an easy way to help your body get the various nutrients it needs to feel its best.
3. Exercise Consistently
Some of the best exercise advice you may ever hear is that you don’t have to go all out, you just have to go. Of course, having all the time you’d like for a quality workout is preferred, but a 10-minute walk is better than nothing at all. What if your day is so busy you don’t think you can even squeeze that in? Try to get as much functional exercise as you can: take the stairs and park as far away as possible.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s important not to over-exercise. While this may possibly bring some short-term results, it is actually very unhealthy and can be far more damaging than people realize. In fact, it can take quite a bit of courage to give yourself adequate resting time between workouts.
The best approach is to make sure you’re exercising consistently — the CDC recommends about 30 minutes of cardio five times each week, with two days of strength training.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that not getting sufficient sleep makes it harder to burn fat? So if you’re skimping on sleep to exercise, you may not be getting quite the advantage you think you are. Don’t plan on getting your energy from pre-workouts or coffee. You might supplement with these, but prioritize sleep.
Getting adequate sleep will help you perform better, think more clearly and feel better overall.
5. Stay Connected
There’s a reason solitary confinement is one of the worst punishments humanity can dole out — humans are biologically engineered to be social creatures. Stay connected to those you love, and liking a photo on social media doesn’t count. Call an old friend or meet up for lunch — it doesn’t have to be a big event, but a sense of connection does wonders for people’s mental health. If you’re feeling good mentally, you’re more likely to take care of yourself in other ways.
If you do these things, you are bound to see improvements in your life. By eating real food, engaging in regular exercise and getting sufficient sleep, you’ll set your body up for optimal performance. Don’t forget to maintain healthy social ties, and whatever your goals are, get professional help to make sure you’re making as much efficient progress as possible. Everybody deserves to feel amazing, and regardless of who you are, you can find ways to make that happen.