We all dream of having that glorious beach body just in time for the summer – or even better, for keeps! (Don’t lie – you know you do.) The road to get there is pretty tough on its own, with tons of dedication and sacrifices made along the way that are supposed to make the end goal all the more worth it, even if along the way you’re convinced that’s just what you’re trying to tell yourself to justify the torture you’re willingly putting yourself through.
But let’s say you really do get there. You endure dozens of hours of grueling training and work out until you’re passed out and you find that you don’t look like a sack of potatoes anymore. Where do you go from there? Ideally, you’ll just stay in shape, but of course, nothing is ever so simple. It turns out that our bodies, combined with the general lifestyle people lead nowadays, tend to always gravitate towards decadence, and decadence leads to indulgence, indulgence leads to chubbiness, and chubbiness is where it all started, so you’re back to square one. But what if we told you that it’s possible to maintain that lean, trim physique you trained so hard for? Here are six things you should take care of if you want to stay in shape.
#1 Be on the move. Always. Never, ever stop moving
Chances are you’re working a desk job. While standing desks do exist, let’s be real here – you don’t have one and spend the majority of your day sitting down. In case you don’t know, sitting down is actually incredibly bad for your health, actually actively shortening your lifespan. As you can probably imagine, it’s also why it’s so hard to maintain a trim waist. The worst part is that it’s hard to combat it – 30 minutes of workout a day is not really enough to make up for all that time spent sitting down and kicking your health in the figurative nuts.
That’s why you really should do your best to be on the move wherever you can. There are a ton of apps available that can help you count your steps every day, making it a fairly effective way to at least maintain your weight. Think about all the times you took the elevator instead of the stairs and, after taking in all the shame that you should be feeling right now, try to take the stairs more often, or even forego the elevator entirely. We know lives today can be super busy, so just make sure you take every opportunity that you can to exercise.
#2 You are what you eat, so guess what you shouldn’t eat if you don’t want to feel like crap
Let’s start by addressing the elevator in the room – sugar has to go. Not only does it make it much easier to put on pounds you don’t want, but there are also a ton of health issues connected to sugar that it’s really not worth it. We know that sugary treats are tasty. But we also want you to not be sad or dead, so may we interest you in a piece of fruit instead?
#3 Get involved in the process, or “do you know what’s even in there?”
Speaking of sugar, your diet is what really determines how fit you stay. All the working out in the world won’t do you any good unless you get really hands-on with your food. Store-bought, ready-made meals can contain many suspicious ingredients that may actually cause you harm. You stand to gain a lot more than you think by cooking your own food from fresh ingredients – not only is it tastier this way, but you can give yourself a healthy dose of whatever nutrients you actually need. If you feel that you want to make your diet even richer and your gains last longer, check out some supplement review sites to see what you can add to your menu. Plus, cooking’s just a fun skill to have!
#4 Early to bed, early to rise makes a (wo)man jacked – what a surprise
If this article hasn’t been a good enough indication of this so far, good habits can really come a long way in maintaining your health. One thing that can really make a difference that’s actually often neglected is a good sleep pattern. Sleep is crucial, as this is the time your body recovers from pretty much everything and gets you ready for the next day. A steady sleep pattern has been linked to higher productivity, mental activity, and also gym performance. So watch out – those lost hours of sleep may come back to haunt you like a meaty set of love handles.
#5 If you think you drink enough water, think again
You probably take in quite a bit of water during the day, but chances are you’re doing it wrong. No, juices and sugary drinks are definitely not the way to go if you want to stay in shape. Additionally, studies have shown that not drinking enough plain water can actually lead to fatigue of both the mental and physical kind. Not to mention the fact that you can lose weight simply by drinking water, so if you want to make sure your trim physique stays that way, just lay off the Pepsi, okay?
#6 Always make time to stop and smell the roses
We’re all constantly rushing to meet deadlines and be as productive as possible, but it turns out that self-care is as important to your body as it is to your mind. Don’t burn yourself out too quickly, as not only will you feel stressed, but your physique will also actually suffer for it. So get out there – take a walk in the park, do some gardening, or take up yoga. Being in touch with nature and the needs of your body is one of the best ways to stay healthy and, more importantly, happy in this age where only deadlines seem to matter. We’re here to tell you that you and your health, both mental and physical, matter so much more!