I have been working a 12-hour shift ever since I started my digital studio two years back. One would assume that all the stress and hard work of a startup would keep me on my toes and make me lose a few kilos.
Well, in reality, it made me gain a fair 16 kilos with all the stress eating and guilty pleasures. I was always swamped with work from delegating tasks, reviewing work to conducting meetings with clients. Health and fitness took an easy back burner.
This hectic routine started taking a toll on my health, especially on my weight, stamina, and migraines, affecting my productivity at work. I was exhausted all the time and developed a stress-induced fatigue syndrome. So, I decided to restructure this cluttered lifestyle and incorporate a routine based on healthy living and self-care.
As we know there are multiple workouts available to stay fit and healthy. However, I was looking fun workouts that were exciting and keeps me on my foot. because I am not the kind of person who would wake up, and head straight to the gym to hold weights.
I love dancing, for fun, which does not essentially help you keep fit. So, I picked up workout style that fits my bill â€“ Zumba! Itâ€™s a combination of dance and aerobic exercises.Â
From footwork to strengthening and stretching, all set on the beats of music! This activity is an absolute fun workout that involves the whole body. It helps sculpt your body while contributing to weight loss, body toning, and reducing stress and anxiety.Â Â
High Intensity Yoga
If you are a fun workout lover like me, then high-intensity yoga is perfect for you! It involves practising high-energy yoga asanas at a fast pace which keeps you moving during the entire session, help burn more calories in less time, and achieve greater focus and balance.
Zumba greatly helped me with weight management, while Yoga improved flexibility and focus. The combination of these two different styles made the workout fun and not monotonous. And unlike gym workouts that focus only on a specific body part each day, they keep you moving right from head to toe. Both the workouts are guaranteed to make you sweat in less than 10 minutes. Means, more calorie-burning in very less time â€“ a total win-win!
However, exercise is just half the work done. This needs to be coupled with a change in lifestyle and eating habits if one wants to lose weight in a healthy way and keep fit in the long run.
Towards Healthy Lifestyle
I had to start with making little lifestyle changes that didnâ€™t look like typical exercises, yet helped in staying fit and active. I started moving more frequently and made sure to stretch and bend at regular intervals to avoid sluggishness (especially in the mid-afternoons). To keep myself moving, I prefer taking stairs instead of the elevator and walked to wherever possible. I also paired up with some fitness apps that helped me set daily fitness goals, count steps and supplement with weekly workout plans.Â
Similarly, changing weekend outing destinations from multiplexes and malls to hills, mountains, and adventure parks also made a great difference. It pushed stamina and strength and helped to stay in touch with nature, breathe pollution-free air and burn more calories through slogging on up the hills and indulging in activities like hiking, and rock climbing.Â Â Â
One should opt for healthy eating, rather than starving the tummy through fad diets or detoxes to stay fit. Therefore, making small changes in eating habits can yield significant results in the long term.Â
I made a habit of classifying food in two category â€“ first, food that grows naturally (from trees, plants, ground, or animals) and second, food that comes after processing and packaging (from a wrapper, bag or box). Every time I eat something, I ask myself how it is obtained, and if itâ€™s the second category, then I avoid having it.
I researched on â€˜what to eat and what not to eatâ€™ and also took advice from a friend whoâ€™s a nutritionist, which boiled down to cutting down sugar and junk food and including more and more homemade food in my diet. Also, there are some nutrition apps that helped in calorie management through diet plans, tips, and recipes for healthy eating that also remind to drink water at regular intervals.
How Can You Get Started
Firstly, choose a workout that you actually enjoy and would suit your routine. You can either join a class or go solo with the help of thousands of tutorial on YouTube and various fitness apps.Â
Apart from exercise, make wise decisions while eating to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, review your eating habits and make necessary changes in your diet. Once you are done with this, make a schedule and stick to it. Donâ€™t just follow a diet or an exercise under any pressure just because somebody has told you. Unless you really enjoy it, you wonâ€™t be able to continue it for a long time, and may end up finding excuses to avoid it.
Finding A Place Or A Group
Group workouts are more productive and fun than doing them solo. So, keep your eyes on upcoming fitness events or marathons or walks for a good cause and start training yourself to participate in such events.Â
There are many websites, apps and social media platforms where you can check out upcoming events or join groups dedicated to health and fitness on Facebook for useful tips, event alerts, and new gym or fitness club opening announcements.Â
What To Expect?
Achieving and maintaining fitness is an ongoing task. You have to be patient and consistent with all your efforts. Donâ€™t rush to get to the finish line. Go step-by-step, and donâ€™t feel guilty if you miss your schedule for a day or two. However, make sure you adjust your diet and workout to maintain the calorie-intake balance.Â
Expect realistic results from your efforts, invest in self-love but at the same time, never pity yourself!
Now, itâ€™s been six months being headed on the path of healthy living and am experiencing enormous gratitude for myself. I have started working with my peak efficiency and have definitely levelled up my life mentally, physically, and intellectually.Â