Getting in shape isn’t difficult, but it requires discipline and hard work
Guest post by Julian Gnatenco
If you’re in London and thinking seriously about getting in shape, then you’ve come to the right place.
Staying on top of your fitness, especially in a busy metropolis like London, is essential for every aspect of your health and wellbeing.
Exercise can ramp up your cardiac health, do wonders for your sleep quality, rev up your metabolism, and keep unwanted weight at bay. It may also give that much-needed boost to your immune system.
Getting in shape, however, is one of those things that sound all good and dandy in your mind, but turns into a different story when it comes to actually have to do it.
It doesn’t help that London can sometimes be sweltering, too cold, too windy, or too rainy outside. That’s why we have put together 6 tricks to help you make a plan to get fit in London.
1 | Examine your Fitness Level
The chances are that you have some rough idea of how fit and healthy you are. However, taking a closer look at your baseline fitness metrics will give you the baseline from which you can assess your progress.
Here are some basic metrics to measure in order to assess your body mass, flexibility, muscle health, aerobic, and overall fitness level:
- Your BMI (body mass index), which tells you if you’re packing a little more weight for your stature
- Your heartbeat (preferably after walking after roughly 1 mile
- The time it takes you to walk a distance of one mile
- The time it takes you to run 1.5 miles
- Your waistline
- How many pushups or squats you can do in 5 or 10 minutes
- How far you can stretch forward (with legs in front) while in a seating position
2 | Invest in a Quality Heart Rate Monitor
Today’s heart monitors can do more than read your pulse rate; the vast majority can count your steps, monitor your sleep quality, and keep track of your caloric intake.
An incredibly handy workout companion, a heart rate monitor can also keep a tab on your exercises, training intensity, muscle recovery, and other aspects of your fitness. It’s a personal trainer wrapped around your wrist or chest! That’s why it is a must-have if you plan to get fit in London.
Factors to keep in mind when shopping for the right heart monitor include comfort, style (you gotta look your best in the Square Mile), whether wrist-worn or chest-worn and extra features like Bluetooth, ANT+, EKG, electrocardiogram (ECG), sleep monitors, etc.
You can check out this handy Healthcare Weekly guide to find out which heart monitor is perfect for you (and why).
3 | Take an At-Home Blood Test
At-home blood testing kits are designed to put the power of the medics in your hands. Exercise and workouts can take a toll on your body initially, especially if you’re out of shape.
As such, you need to take an at-home blood test to make sure you are healthy and nothing to worry about. This is particularly crucial if you suspect that you may have a condition that’ll make it hard for you to do physical exercises.
At-home blood tests are a dime a dozen out there, but we recommend this testing kit from imaware™. This intuitive kit screens for rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease from the comfort of your home.
As an initial screening test, it enables you to proactively engage with your dietician and primary care physician on the best course of action.
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which your immune system reacts abnormally to eating gluten, a protein found in rye, wheat & barley, causing damage to the small intestine. The only treatment option is a gluten-free diet, which can affect your fitness program.
On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory condition that’s characterized by joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. It can make physical exercising extremely painful.
In either case, imaware™ at-home blood test can detect the condition so you can seek advice from your doctor or dietician before you start your fitness program.
4 | Plan your Meals
Regular exercise should go hand in hand with healthy eating if you want to get fit. That means you should plan your meals around your fitness routine.
As you may already know, sweets, candies, sodas, and other sources of empty calories are a big no-no. While tossing a single SugarSin into your mouth may sound harmless, it can turn into another, then another … it’s all too familiar!
Instead, load up on fresh veggies and fruits – they contain plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and low on bad calories. Eating apples, for instance, will help keep your stomach fairly full for up to 5 hours.
Dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and green beans do a bang-up job in making your digestive system is in tip-top shape. You don’t need a reminder to avoid junk food like the plague.
For a more fitness-friendly diet, stick to small portions of beans and seafood like tilapia, tuna, and shrimp, as well as lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey. They are all jam-packed with good-for-you nutrients to help fuel and keep your muscles fit.
5 | Find a Fitness Buddy
Being in a new place can get lonely, which can spell doom to your fitness ambitions right out of the gate. That’s why it’s best to bring a friend or find a fitness buddy.
When your inner demon says it’s windy outside to go for a run, an exercise partner can help you stay the course. It’s far easier to bail out on your fitness plans than you think. Some studies concur that having a workout partner on your side can help you exercise longer and more likely stick to your routine.
Good thing, apps like Well Squad, Gymder, MakeMe, and TennisBuddy can help locate & meet up with workout buddies.
6 | Get Plenty of Sleep
Whether you work in London or visiting, life can get pretty hectic. There’s a ton to see, do, and experience in The Old Smoke.
Be that as it may, you need to get at least 7 solid hours of ZZZs. Sleep helps maintain a healthy immune system, robust metabolism, and general feeling of well-being, all of which are essential for your fitness goals.
As a rule of thumb, avoid vigorous workouts and strenuous exercises for at least 1 hour before you retire to bed. The same goes for stimulants like alcohol, and coffee.
To fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer, learn to practice mindfulness exercises like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises for a few minutes before bedtime.
Getting in shape isn’t difficult, but it requires discipline and hard work.Julian Gnatenco is a health coach and owns JGBilling.