So often we hear “just make time for your health and fitness”. While this is so very true (and is definitely a tune I sing) there is a bit more to it if you want to make healthy living part of your life long term. Here are some of my tips and tricks which I have picked up by doing exercise and sport psychology at University, helping clients prioritise their health and through my own experience. Be warned, there is a bit of thinking and writing involved if you are serious about this!
- First of all you need the desire to want to make the time! Lots of people want to feel and look their best, but just can’t quite push themselves that extra mile. Especially when so much is going on in their lives (university, careers, children, housework, partners and husbands, family commitments and much more!). To help with your desire I recommended you write down why you want to prioritise your health and fitness. Include reasons why leading a healthy lifestyle will benefit your other priorities (think happy mum happy baby, more energy for your career and/or children, more confidence for partner hunting, positives that will enhance your relationship etc)
- Ok, so now you know exactly why you want to prioritise your health and fitness, but what the hell is health and fitness? You need to be true to yourself and think about what this means to you. What are your expectations for yourself? Write these down! Health and fitness means different things to different people, and that is okay. You have to be honest with yourself as there is not much point in starting something you won’t continue with. Think about the modes of exercise you want to do and how frequently, and think about what foods you want to include and limit in your diet (it is better to focus on the ones you are going to include, and the ones your are limiting what are you going to eat instead?).
- What are your goals? What do you want to achieve and by when? Set and write down goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART goals). Some examples are:
To be exercising at least 4x per week by a certain date
To be able to walk/run a certain distance in a certain time by a certain date
To be able to do a certain number of exercises ie. press ups by a certain date
To compete in a half marathon on a certain date (this is a medium to long term goal which needs shorter term goals set within it to ensure you put in the training to achieve the goal)
To eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day by a certain date
To substitute high fat/high sugar baking for healthier alternatives by a certain date
- Now it is time to identify your barriers to exercise and healthy eating. Identify them, then write down ways and strategies you will use to try and combat them, or at least decrease their effect! For example if a barrier is being too tired to exercise at the end of the day; you should think about exercising in the morning or afternoon, you should think about how you could get more sleep if possible and you can go a step further and think about your time management – can you adjust your day to allow yourself to exercise during it instead of at the end? If your barrier is eating unhealthy food in the afternoon then plan to bring healthy food to snack on, drink plenty of water and you could even write down reasons why you don’t want to eat the unhealthy food!
- Next you need to share your desires and goals with your family and friends. The more support you have from them the more likely you are to achieve your goals. You might be able to get a family member or friend active with you too. You could even tell your boss or co-workers.
- Now you need to plan when you are going to exercise and plan some healthy meals. You should also start the week out how you want to finish it. Do a challenging yet fun and motivating workout. I recommend that you prioritise at least 4 workouts per week and then make one of those workouts the most important. This is the workout that you prioritise over nearly everything else in your life. This is so that if you have a hectic week or go off track you always have this workout to pick you up and keep you going on your healthy journey. You should also ensure your cupboards are full with food which fit with your own healthy guidelines.
- The next step is to be accountable, you need to be accountable to yourself but it also helps to have someone else who cares about your results and your success. This can be a family member or friend (as long as they share your desire and vision for your health and fitness), an exercise professional or even your doctor.
- Now it is time to just do it. Just cut the excuses, chuck on your sneakers and get out there and do it! You have planned well, your life will not suffer for it. You will look and feel great, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping you?
Hi Guys, My name is Kate Ivey.
I live on a high country sheep station near Mount Cook in the South Island of NZ, with my husband and three children – aged 6, 4 and 2 years. Life is hectic, but I love it that way (except when I am losing my sh*t with the children- around 5pm every night!).
I have a Bachelor of Physical Education majoring in Exercise Prescription and Management and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology. I gained these while having a lot of fun at Otago Uni. I am a keen sportsperson (limited now to the local Twizel Basketball Competition) and have been working in the health and fitness industry for the last 9 out of 12 years (12 out of 12 if you count chasing kids around the house or lifting babies in and out of car seats!).
I have set up my business (Kate Ivey – Fitness, Health and Inspiration) because I want to continue to help busy Kiwi women like myself to lead positive, healthy, fitness filled lives! One of the most rewarding experiences in my health and fitness career to date, was helping a client change her life. She reversed type 2 diabetes, lost 60kgs and went from sedentary to extremely active. Her new love of exercise rubbed off on all those around her, it was so contagious!
My own journey is also what drives me to inspire others. During changes in my life such as starting university, travelling and of course having children, I struggled to prioritise my health and fitness. This lead to feelings of dissatisfaction, weight gain and low self confidence.
Through all my pregnancies I gained 25-30kg (a lot of which was due to unnecessary over eating and lack of exercise), then worked really hard after each, to get myself back exercising and nourishing my body. I know how hard it is. I also know it can be done, and I know how to do it! It feels great to be fit and healthy, and I want busy women to see that despite all their commitments, they too can achieve their health and fitness goals.
I have designed online programs such as The Shape Up and DediKate http://kateiveyfitness.co.nz/programmes/with busy New Zealand women aged between 20 and 55 years in mind. I have created it using my knowledge gained at University, as a Personal Trainer and Exercise Prescription Consultant, as a Nutrition and Exercise Promoter, a Stop Smoking Facilitator and using my own life and personal experiences. It consists of the perfect combination of HIIT, weight training and cardio for getting fit, losing fat and gaining lean muscle, but without having to spend too much time. It is designed to enable you to make healthy eating and exercise part of your life forever, and not as a quick fix. It includes nutrition tips and guidelines, and motivational tasks to keep you on track. You can also purchase the bundle package which includes Extra Power Sessions, 5 Minute Bonus Abs and my Food Guide as well as the option to have personal contact with me to keep you focused. Plus I have included an optional FREE 4 week Pre Programme for those who need to strengthen up their core a bit more before they get started.
I can’t wait to support you all on your journey to a fitter, happier, healthier lifestyle. Please keep in touch with me on your journey via facebook and instagram. Let’s Go Girls!