It can sometimes be hard to keep up the motivation for exercise, especially if you are not seeing results on the scales. Muscle weighs more than fat and so your weight may take time to decrease, and although a measuring tape is great for comparing week-on-week results, it is not always as satisfying as it can take time to take all the measurements.
When exercising, one way of maintaining motivation is to set achievable targets for yourself that can steadily increase – or decrease if necessary – each week or whatever timeframe you wish to follow. An example would be when on the exercise bike – you may set a target of cycling for ten minutes one day, eleven minutes the next and so on until you reach the level you want to maintain. Alternatively you may increase the distance – to reach a certain number of kilometres one week and then a slightly higher figure the week after, or you may try to increase your speed to break personal bests for distance travelled in a certain time period.
You could always think of rewards to help inspire yourself too, such as a new piece of clothing if you continue to keep to your exercise schedule. Even if you do not lose a dress size by the date you choose for your reward, you can still find an item that is likely to fit better thanks to your new, leaner shape.
It’s important to monitor your activity and be aware of how much exercise you are fitting into your daily routine. You may even find that you are doing more exercise than you think – something like walking up a flight of stairs can make an overall difference to your activity levels. Keeping track gives you an important insight into your general health and fitness levels.
Choose how you are going to monitor your fitness levels so that you can keep track of them effectively. There are lots of devices you can use, such as your mobile phone or a wristwatch specifically designed to monitor your activity. If you use your mobile phone, all your will need to do is download an app to count your steps or keep track of your gym sessions.
Keep an eye on how many steps you take a day and how many minutes of activity you undertake. This will be a good indication of whether you are getting enough exercise.
Healthy hair can make you look and feel totally different. It can help you to look better in general and to improve your state of mind if you are feeling a bit down about your appearance. Here are some tips for healthier, stronger hair:
- Have a regular haircut. Nothing brings down the appearance of hair quite like split ends. A trim will help your hair to look revitalised and refreshed.
- Eat plenty of protein. Hair needs protein in order to grow and stay strong. If you notice any hair loss, consider the possibility that you need to eat some more protein.
- Use a conditioning treatment. Choose something nourishing and rich that will leave your hair feeling soft and smooth. You may also want to use one overnight for intensive conditioning.
- Protect your hair from the sun. It isn’t just skin that gets damaged – hair can also become dry and brittle.
Dentists can be good for keeping up with your general health, as well as assessing how healthy your teeth and mouth are. They can tell a surprising amount from just examining your mouth and you could end up being more in the know about how healthy you are as a person. These are some of the things a dentist can identify for you:
- Oral cancer. Often the early signs will be very small, like a little blister or sore on the mouth or inside the cheeks. A dentist is much more likely to spot it than you are.
- Stress. People suffering from stress will often clench or grind their teeth. Dentists can help you to realise you are doing this and find ways to solve it.
- Bad breath. This could be a sign of problems with your digestive system. If you’ve been living with it for a while, you may not notice it.
Children are notorious for being fussy eaters. They prefer to eat things like chips and burgers than genuinely nutritious food like vegetables and fresh fruit. It’s a challenge to adapt a fussy child’s palette but it certainly can be done.
Try to cook some of your child’s favourite dishes but incorporate healthier foods into them gradually. If they like spaghetti Bolognese, cook it with less meat and more vegetables. If they enjoy burgers, try giving them a low-fat chicken burger or vegetarian burger and top it with tomatoes and other fresh vegetables.
Use lots of strong flavours to hide the fact they are eating vegetables, which can be quite bland on their own. Use things like strong cheddar cheese, as a little bit will go a very long way. You could try using reduced fat options if you are concerned about the amount of fat in your child’s diet.