A good wellness routine is the first step to feeling healthier and fitter. But even the most meticulously plans can fall apart if you aren’t covering all the bases. Whatever your goal – weight loss, less stress, feeling fitter – there are a range of factors you need to consider to create a healthy routine.
Hit a wall? Check out our five potential reasons for the slowdown and our five easy fixes below.
You’re not getting enough sleep
Can’t drum up the enthusiasm to get to the studio? Struggling to make it through the day without snacking on every carb in sight? It may be your sleep rather than your willpower that’s letting you down. Sleep is just as important for a healthy routine, as good nutrition and exercise. If not more so. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night will set you up for the day ahead. Getting any less than seven – or experiencing poor quality of sleep – can lead to cravings, stress, irritability and lack of motivation.
The fix: Make sleep a priority. Develop a solid wind down routine at night – dim the lights, turn off the TV, phone and tablet and light a few candles. And stick to the bedtime you’ve set yourself.
You’re not eating enough
If you keep falling off the healthy eating wagon, ask yourself this, are you eating enough? If you’re not, you may find yourself reaching for unhealthy options, struggling through workouts or feeling tired all the time. If you think the volume and frequency of your meals is spot on, ask yourself whether you’re hitting all the food groups. Fats, carbs and protein are all important for good health and getting the right amount of each is essential to support a healthy routine.
The fix: You may need to experiment with the best meals and snacks, and the timing of these. If you’re struggling, a nutritionist or nutritional therapist can help to set you on the right course.
You’re not having a day off
A militant workout regime or healthy eating programme, with no rest, is hard to stick to. You’ll struggle to see results if you don’t give yourself time to kick back. Plus, a routine with very little flexibility can be hard to maintain and you might start to rebel against. Regular days or evenings off, where you just chill or cook up a feast are enjoyable and can help to break up a schedule. Develop a routine that fits with your lifestyle with plenty of fun built in – and the room to be flexible when you need.
The fix: Stick to the 80:20 rule – 80% healthy living, 20% kicking back a bit. Have a few glasses of wine, eat your favourite sugary dessert, skip barre class for a few days now and again, it won’t ruin your routine.
You’re copying someone else’s routine
We’re all individuals, our bodies and minds are unique. So, we need to plan routines that work for us, and us alone. What makes your friend loses half a stone, get great arms or feel chilled out will not necessarily work for you. Forcing your way through 30 minutes of meditation a day is no good if you end up feeling stressed – no matter what Taylor from Saturday yoga says. And our bodies and mindsets are all different, some people can happily for run for miles or eat bucketloads of carbs, some love resistance training and some get stressed out by yoga. We’re all unique.
The fix: Stay focused on yourself. Make a plan with a few guiding principles that includes all the things that make you feel your best. Find healthy activities you enjoy, schedule them in your diary and stick to them. The same goes for healthy eating, eat what makes you feel good in body and mind and don’t worry about anyone else. Fads will come and go, but living a healthy life is easy if you stick to what makes you feel good.
You’re not being consistent
It’s great a to have a plan, but if you bin it off every time an exciting social event, family drama or work issue gets thrown into the mix you won’t make progress. The same goes for partying hard every weekend. You want to aim for an 80:20 split, not a 50:50 split! Consistency really is key to making healthy life choices.
The fix: You shouldn’t be a slave to your routine, but you should make ‘Plan B’ options. For example, have a 15 or 20-minute at-home workout you can do if you’re pushed for time – there are some great options online. Find an easy five to 10-minute meditation session you can do in the car or on the train if you know you have a busy day ahead. And buy in some easy healthy food options or sign up to a healthy meal delivery service if you know you’re heading into a busy period.