So…you’ve decided to get healthy?
Well done! It might sound silly, but realising that something needs to change is the first step to any lifestyle improvement. If you don’t know WHY you’re doing something, it’s that much harder to keep it up.
But now what? Knowing where to start to create a healthy lifestyle can be a bit like being at a buffet. There are just so many options! Well. We want to give you some tips. The Healthy Square way.
- Learn about it!
At Healthy Square, we believe that learning something new every day is essential to good health. Knowledge is power! The more you know about nutrition and health, the more control you have over your own body, and any decisions you make are informed ones. But watch out! There’s a lot of misinformation out there! Here at Healthy Square we recommend looking to accredited, reliable sources for health information.
Visit https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/food-and-nutrition for the Australian Government’s Health website. There you can find the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. These are evidence-based recommendations made by experts.
On the website you’ll also learn about the Australian Government’s Health Star rating, which is a labelling system for packaged foods. It goes from half a star (the worst) to five stars (the best!)
And do you know how many stars Healthy Square’s protein bars have?
You guessed it! Five stars.
- Integrate healthy habits into your daily routine.
We might think that any change requires mountains of self-control and willpower. But humans are creatures of habit, maybe more than we’d like to believe. If you manipulate your environment and routine to make healthy decisions EASY and unhealthy decisions DIFFICULT you’ll have a much greater chance of success.
So, for example, if you want to exercise in the morning, put your workout clothes within easy reach of the bed and your runners right by the front door. Once you’ve got your gear on, you’ll find it’s that much easier to head towards the gym.
Another effective way to do this is to make healthy food easily accessible and put the less healthy snacks out of sight. Leave a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter next to some Healthy Square bars. When you’re feeling peckish, seeing the delicious Healthy Square bars out ready to be eaten will make sure your snack is super healthy!
- Eat healthily
Now that you’ve learned about nutrition and made those healthy foods super easy to get hold of, let’s start eating! The first principle is that it’s important to enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups.
Many people find that a diet high in healthy protein keeps them fuller for longer and makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan. And if you’re doing weight training (more on that below!) you really want to keep the protein up. Healthy Square’s bars make it super easy to get enough protein in the day, with 15 g of protein per bar!
A lot of us also don’t get enough fibre. Fibre is incredibly important for gut health and reducing the long-term risk of chronic disease. Luckily, Healthy Square’s bars are high in fibre too!
And we all need more natural fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. Healthy Square uses only all natural, wholefood ingredients. You can relax knowing that when you eat Healthy Square bars as part of a balanced diet, you’re doing the right thing for your health.
If you still feel overwhelmed about what to eat and want expert advice applied directly to your own body and lifestyle, consider seeing a registered dietician. These professionals are highly trained in the science of nutrition and can help get you on the right track…and keep you there!
- Move joyfully
If the benefits of exercise could be put in bottle and sold, they would just fly off the shelves. The evidence is clear that exercise makes you healthier, happier, stronger, and more energetic.
And while we all know that exercise is important, the problem can again be: “where do I start?”
There are multiple different aspects to fitness (many more than we could cover in a single article!) But a simple thing to start with is to consider both exercise that improves cardiovascular fitness, and exercise that strengthens your muscles.
Exercise for cardiovascular fitness is anything that gets your heart rate up. If you’re not used to moving at all, introducing a daily walk is a great way to start. An easy way to do this is to walk instead of drive, get off the bus one stop early, or even just take the stairs instead the lift! Team sports are also a great way to spend time socialising and moving!
But it’s also incredibly important to strengthen muscles. Improving muscle mass reduces the risk of injury and chronic disease and protects the joints. If you’ve not done strength training before, start with simple body weight exercises, or consult an expert like an exercise physiologist or personal trainer. You don’t want to be injured as soon as you’ve begun!
If you’re strengthening and building muscle, it’s even MORE important to get adequate protein. Your body needs protein to be able to build and repair the muscle fibres. Try an after-workout protein shake or Healthy Square bar.
But remember to see your general practitioner before starting any new exercise program or diet! They can assess your health and make sure any new eating or fitness plan is safe for you.
- Get enough sleep
The evidence is mounting that hitting the snooze is as important for our health as hitting the gym. Sleep is needed for important metabolic functions and to repair muscles. In other words, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you won’t be getting the full benefit from your new healthy habits!
In everything we do, we’re aiming for progress, not perfection. If you can make just one little change every day, you’re doing great!
Grab yourself a Healthy Square bar today, and make it the first of many little things you do for a healthier and happier you.