The Western world has long had a bit of a problem with over-indulgence. When it comes to snacking on delicious but naughty foods, Britain is no exception to the rule. Whether it’s cake, chocolate, or crisps, many of us could admit to eating a few more than perhaps we should and it’s starting to affect our health. The good news is that many of us are aware of our bad habits and it seems that this year has brought about the urge for change in a lot of Brits. There are plenty of ways to go about losing a couple of inches and getting a bit healthier, but these are some of the most popular and some of the most inventive.
For some people, the idea of an hour’s yoga is more than they could bear, but you can get good results with as little as five minutes per day. This yoga practice was created for the relatively sedentary poker player, but it would suit anyone with an office job equally well. A lot of people have begun to ease themself into regular exercise routines by taking it a minute at a time, literally. The idea behind these micro workouts is that once you’ve done the first minute, you’ve got over the hard part. Our brains are wired to gain motivation once we’ve already begun the task. So, the thought of getting out of the house and running for half an hour might seem impossible when you’re cozy on the sofa, but the idea of putting on your running shoes and stepping out the front door is a lot easier to handle. Once you’ve made it outside though, you’ll be far more likely to go for a run than you will to go back inside to the sofa. Tricking our brains into doing just a couple of minutes of exercise is often enough to get us to enjoy a full workout, and if it isn’t, then two minutes of exercise is still better than none!
Getting Everyone Involved
For those who can’t seem to keep themselves accountable, it’s sometimes easier to get a friend involved. Brits have come up with some ingenious ways of involving their friends and neighbors in their fitness regimes. One boy began playing badminton with his neighbour over the garden fence as a way to keep fit. If you don’t fancy getting the rackets out, then simply agreeing to meet up with someone at a set time for a run might help you to stick to your exercise goals more closely. Whilst missing a solo workout means that we’re only letting ourselves down, missing a running date means we’re letting a friend down too, something most people find much harder to do. Find yourself an exercise partner and watch your body get fitter and healthier.
Back to the Gym
For some people, there’s no alternative to the gym. The multitude of different machines, the pumped-up atmosphere, the motivational music – for many of us, it’s the only exercise regime that really works. This year has seen a marked increase in the number of Brits signing up for gym memberships, which is great news for our collective waistlines. Although the majority of people still cite weight loss as their number one reason for going to the gym, there’s a growing movement in those who just want to feel healthier. This shift in attitude is a really positive one, showing that, as a country, Britain is moving away from the idea that skinny is the only way to be sexy and is instead embracing the idea that a healthy, happy body is the best kind of body that there is. It’s now in the hands of gyms to promote exercise for health rather than vanity. Classes that focus on building strength, endurance and keeping our cardiovascular system healthy would be a massive bonus to the big chains and an even bigger boost for people starting out on their fitness journey.