The (hopefully) far sunnier summer months generally mean people ease off heavy meals and switch to lighter options instead. The brighter days, warmer conditions and flowers in full bloom somehow manage to make people feel healthier, or at least want to be healthier.
An upcoming holiday may provide the conscience prick you need to put down the chocolate and pick up the fruit, to get off the couch and take to the streets, to make those necessary lifestyle changes that will improve your overall health.
Approaching a healthier lifestyle for my people can be a daunting challenge. It reminds this columnist of facing into a mountainous climb, staring at the summit from its base, thinking it an impossible destination to reach.
Rather than thinking of the ultimate goal, the path to a healthier lifestyle should be viewed as a series of steps. Each and every minor change you can make goes a long way to improving your overall health, be it limiting sweet desserts to once a week, ditching the cigarettes or taking the stairs rather than the lift. Every little bit helps, as the saying goes.
When it comes to exercise, take your first steps to fitness slowly. Begin by easing yourself into exercise at home or in the garden before stepping it up to the local park or streets.
Free of charge
Don’t over complicate things – try to keep it simple. Try some fail-safe exercises like walking, jogging, push ups, squats and lunges. Not only have these basic exercises been a staple of fitness regimes for centuries and proven to work, they are also free of charge and can be done anywhere.
Variety is the spice of life, so make sure you try out different things. Give everything a go and keep your body guessing. However, if you do stick to one thing make sure to push yourself harder each week to ensure you are challenging yourself sufficiently.
On the diet side of things, try to stick to the basics.
Ultimately, everybody should attempt to eat whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, eggs and nuts and avoid processed foods.
Snacking can be a killer too so cut out those unnecessary crisps, chocolates and sweets from your daily diet.
During the winter months, people tend to gravitate towards heavy meals based around starchy carbohydrates such as bread and potatoes.
The summer is the ideal time to switch that up and attempt eating more salads, vegetables and fruits in particular.
It’s no harm to revert back to old ways when the bad weather begins to creep back in, but good habits can be established over the summer months, so why not make the effort?