As we turn to 2024, so many of us are penning down our fitness goals that look far-fetched at this point. But there’s a secret toolkit to get fitter this year and the application is very simple. Whether you’re looking to shed some extra inches, build muscle, or simply improve your overall health, these 10 tips will help you kickstart your fitness journey on the right track.
“All you need to do is wake up on Day 1 and decide to make tiny changes in your old routine,” said Saurabh Bothra, CEO, Habuild.
How do you do that?
Well, follow these simple tips and habits that Bothra swears by for a balanced and fitter life.
Have a morning routine
How you start your day, determines how you create your life. “Having a fixed morning routine where you include activities like meditation, exercise, reading, walking, practicing Surya Namaskar or journaling will shape your mindset for that particular day,” said Bothra.
Once you kickstart your day with such a routine, you will develop a proactive mindset for making healthy choices throughout the day.
Avoid boredom by incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine. Try sprinting, strength training, yoga, and mobility exercises to keep things interesting, said Abhishek Gaggneja, founder and health coach, Goodveda.
Focus on your breath
Using the power of your breath is like discovering a secret weapon for fitness. Once you start focusing on slow and deep breathing, your stress will melt away, your mind will become calmer, your blood pressure and blood sugar will become stable and you will make better decisions wherever required, Bothra mentioned.
Mindful eating is magic. When you savour each bite, make better food choices, and listen to your body – you develop a positive relationship with your food. “Mindful eating brings us to the present moment and when we are eating while being aware, we digest our food better and avoid overeating,” said Bothra.
Aim to strengthen mind-body connection
Engage in activities like yoga, pranayama, and meditation – these will build awareness and strengthen the mind-body connection. How will this help you stay fit? “Once we are aware of what we eat, how we talk, how much we sleep – we automatically begin to analyse and change our bad habits and take right actions to develop good habits and positive mindset,” said Bothra.
According to Gaggneja, checking the weighing scale every day won’t help much, however keeping track of your workouts, measurements, and achievements on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, will help you analyse your progress and stay motivated.
Move every hour
Breaking up long sitting periods by moving every hour is a game-changer. “It prevents stiffness, boosts circulation, and improves metabolism,” said Bothra, adding that micro-movements like walking, stretching, or simply dancing around in a room will keep your body active and engaged – significantly contributing to your overall fitness.
Proper hydration is the key to being fresh and energetic throughout the day. It regulates body temperature, aids in digestion, and ensures your muscles and organs function properly. “Start your day with a warm glass of water – you can feel the boost and freshness that this habit brings,” said Bothra.
As you go about your day, make sure to drink adequate water, particularly before, during, and after your exercise, added Gaggneja.
If you want to stay fit and prioritise your sleep, start by having a bedtime routine. “Keep your devices away, engage in relaxing activities like meditation, reading, taking warm baths or simply sitting in a dark and clean room,” said Bothra.
How could having social connections help you stay fit? When we have a good supportive system, our mental health improves, stress melts away and we experience a motivation boost. “Best way is to have a group of friends with whom you can exercise or start some club that can further boost your healthy habits,” said Bothra.
Practicing gratitude is no less than an elixir for both your mental and physical health. “A positive mindset helps develop positive habits. We become strong in challenging situations. Our stress hormone, which causes a lot of trouble in our bodies, decreases,” said Bothra.
Regular health checkups
Incorporating regular health checkups into your routine can fuel your fitness journey. This is the process where you will know more about your body and take action to make things better. Prevention and early detection can save lives!
Here’s to a year of growth, health, and the best version of you!