In part 2 I’m going to conclude the five things that are preventing you from being in your best shape this summer. Here are the last two reasons…
3 – You don’t know “the best strategies”
Trying to get in shape can feel overwhelming. There is an overabundance of information on the net and elsewhere and it’s easy to get confused and feel in need of a clear path to follow.
The reality is that for most people who are overweight or obese (and have a sedentary lifestyle) having the best strategies won’t do much.
A recent article from the Harvard School of Health points out that the two most crucial determinants of success when it comes to dieting are:
- Quality of food (possibly cooked at home)
- Quantity of food consumed
They observed that obsessing over macronutrient ratios or calories in vs calories out was not as significant when it came to weight loss and general health. In simple words: buying fresh food, cooking it at home and simply watching your food portions are what most people need in order to lose weight and be healthier. (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-diet-quality-counts/)
The same goes for exercise. As I mentioned in Part 1, any sort of moderate activity is a good place to start. Not knowing how to run, swim or lift weights shouldn’t stop you from moving your body (even though in the case of lifting weight is always advisable to hire a personal trainer at first to avoid possible injuries).
4 – Your job makes it impossible to stay fit and healthy
Most workplaces don’t supply their employees with the most fit-friendly environment. Most offices don’t have adjustable standing desks and tend to be stocked up with sugary foods like biscuits and candies. On top of that, the hectic and stressful environment most jobs have makes exerting willpower extremely hard for the typical employee.
On the other side of the coin, we see companies becoming more and more aware of corporate wellness. Nowadays most employers know the importance of having healthy employees. A popular article from The Telegraph even shows that nearly half of the employers are “unlikely” to hire overweight workers. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11522021/Nearly-half-of-employers-unlikely-to-hire-overweight-workers.html)
Many companies even give their employees monthly cash bonuses to invest in their health – for example, buying a gym membership or hiring a personal trainer.
Also, it’s not so uncommon to see corporate health insurance companies (Vitality to mention one) featuring bonuses and rewards for the employees that complete fitness challenges (for example walking 8000 steps five days in a row may earn you a cinema ticket), usually using a watch like FitBit.
Whether the company you work for is investing in corporate wellness or not, it’s always up to you to make health and fitness a part of your lifestyle. Sure, sometimes there’s not much you can do to improve your working environment, and you need to do your best to stay active and eat healthily with the resources your office offers.
Something you could always do though is to ask Human Resources to take more health-related initiatives. This might take some time but you might be surprised by the outcome.
5-Your high-travel schedule makes it hard to create and maintain healthy habits
This is true for all the jobs that require you to travel on a daily or weekly basis, but also for people that go on holiday frequently or they regularly visit their families out of town.
It is common sense to think that a healthy lifestyle is the sum of many healthy habits. Maintaining these habits while traveling can be extremely difficult for most.
The precious routine that you carefully built back home gets thrown out of the window, quickly replaced by long flights, plane food, taxis and high-calorie takeaways. Exercise doesn’t fit in the picture anymore because of jet lag and the absence of convenient gym facilities. Put it that way, travelling seems like a recipe for disaster.
Amongst the five problems showcased in this article, traveling is probably the hardest to address because of its unpredictability. There are a few strategies that can help you keep healthy while on a business trip, but they do require a bit of preparation. Some of the most effective are:
- Preparing the food to carry with you before each flight (this will save you from snacking on comfort food or having an unhealthy airplane meal)
- Booking hotels that have a gym facility
- Booking yourself to some fitness classes in the city you’re going to
- Bringing a pair of running shoes with you, and having a morning or evening jog
- Cutting some time to go for a long walk
If your trip is very short, you won’t even need to do some extra physical activities, but watching what you’re going to eat is always advisable.
There is no quick solution to these five things that put up obstacles to your best body, but if you take small actions towards a healthier and fitter body you will soon enough reap the rewards
And maybe next year you’ll have that most longed for ‘summer-shape!’
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Davide Alfonsi