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Essential Tips to Stay Fit & Healthy

15 Essential Tips to Stay Fit & Healthy

Becoming fit and healthy should be a lifestyle choice that many of us wish to pursue, but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as you may think. You don’t have to spend every day at the gym or eat kale for every meal in order to stay fit and healthy. 

Just by wondering how to stay fit and healthy, you’re already on the right track! By proactively clicking this OriGym article for advice you’re showing dedication to your new lifestyle, here we assist you even further by breaking down the following topics:

Before we begin, if you’re interested in learning about health and fitness then you may be well suited for OriGym’s accredited personal training course. This is the perfect qualification for all newcomers who are looking to break into the industry immediately upon graduation.  

Feel free to also download our FREE prospectus too, where you will learn about all the courses that we offer.

Why is it Important To Stay Healthy and Fit?

From a young age, we’re told that we should be living a healthy lifestyle, but you may be wondering just why is it important to stay healthy and fit?

One of the common explanations behind this is that increased obesity and high levels of inactivity have become global issues. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), obesity levels have nearly tripled since 1975, making it a serious issue that must be tackled with immediate attention. 

Another reason in favour of being fit and healthy is that it can help to avoid any issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes. 

What's more, obesity significantly increases the risk of thirteen types of cancer. The list includes pancreatic, oesophageal, and gallbladder cancers, which are among the hardest to treat. 

Therefore, we can say that staying fit and healthy is important as there are links between obesity and a decline in life expectancy.

Furthermore, exercise may help to further improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and low moods, whereas a balanced diet can also have a positive impact on our general wellbeing and strengthen our immune system. 

This is just one example of how a positive dietary change can affect your body. For more examples check out our article on the benefits of healthy eating here.

Tips to Stay Fit and Healthy

If you’re looking for ways to keep fit and healthy but have no idea where to start, check out our tips for being fit and healthy below. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to make these changes and start your journey towards a healthier life.

#1- Exercise Regularly

You probably already know that one of the main answers for ‘how to be healthy and fit?’ is to engage in regular exercise. Alongside a healthy diet, exercise is one of the most important ways to keep fit and healthy. 

The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise a week. This is best done spread out evenly across 4 or 5 days.

Even if your goal isn’t necessarily to lose weight, it’s important to do some form of physical activity to stay fit and healthy. This doesn’t mean you need to perform high-intensity workouts every day but it’s good to keep your body moving. 

Activities such as brisk walks, water aerobics, riding bikes, and even housework are great low to moderate intensity ways to keep healthy and fit without trying too hard.

Not only is regular exercise great for physical health but also mental health. This is supported by a study conducted using twenty-four individuals with multiple sclerosis who had participants complete 20 minutes of exercise such as walking or yoga. 

The results of this supported the notion that such activities yielded similar improvements in overall acute mood symptoms.

Regular physical activity is beneficial as it also reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety by increasing brain sensitivity for hormones like serotonin. This impacts the entire body and stabilizes our mood, happiness, and feelings of well-being. 

#2- Stay Hydrated

Most of us worry we aren’t drinking enough water, with the recommended daily intake of fluid ranging from 6-8 cups, or around 1.5 to 2 liters.

This recommendation includes water, low-fat milk, and sugar-free drinks like tea and coffee. However, water is probably your best option as it’s simple and you can get it right from the tap.

If you find you suffer from headaches frequently or feel dizzy, this may be a sign you aren’t drinking enough water. 

Dehydration is when your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs, but what are the symptoms of dehydration? 

Urine that is dark in colour is a common sign people find when experiencing dehydration, as well as tiredness and dry lips, mouth, and eyes. Fortunately, dehydration is very easy to treat.

It’s a simple way to stay fit and healthy - just make sure you drink more fluids throughout the day. Once you start drinking more, you’ll find you become thirsty often, so it won’t feel as much of a conscious effort to drink water.

An easy way to ensure you drink more is to carry a water bottle with you whenever possible, to ensure that you can drink whenever you’re thirsty. 

This is especially important after exercise as your body loses fluids through perspiration. Be sure to drink plenty of water during and after workouts to replenish low levels.

#3 - Focus on Nutrition 

Some may regard the rise in global obesity to be the fault of the availability of unhealthy foods. Fast-food chains are everywhere and the option for junk food is prevalent in most establishments like shopping centers, cinemas, and sports stadiums. 

In the 1950s, most fast-food restaurants only had one portion size available, and meals typically contained far fewer calories than today. This kind of food was far less prevalent, and people didn’t consume it as often. 

After reading this you may be left questioning how to stay fit and healthy with all this temptation around us. 

The best thing you can do is ensure you’re eating a balanced diet that provides you with essential vitamins and minerals. Examples of these essential vitamins and minerals are Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iron, and Calcium.

Foods you should incorporate into your diet are:

  • Vegetables, especially beans and peas.
  • Fresh fruit.
  • Whole Grains and cereals – rolled oats, brown rice, muesli. 
  • Lean meat – beef, lamb, pork.
  • Poultry – Chicken, duck, turkey. 
  • Fish such as sardines and salmon, as well as crab and prawns.
  • Dairy – milk, yoghurt, cheese.

Eating a healthy diet may also help improve mood as foods that are high in sugar and fat, while providing a temporary boost in mood, often leave you feeling sluggish and depressed afterward. 

According to Harvard Health Publishing, ‘traditional’ diets, like the Mediterranean and Japanese diets, have shown to lower chances of developing depression by 25-35% in comparison to traditional western diets. 

If you want to get a healthier diet, why not try seeking help from a doctor or qualified nutritionist? They may be able to get you on the right track by providing you with advice and a plan that is better tailored to your needs and long-term goals.

If the topic of nutrition is of interest to you then why not enroll in our Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutritionist course to pursue the subject as a professional occupation.

#4 - Get Plenty of Sleep

Although sleep is one of the most basic and essential things the body needs to function efficiently, it’s also one of the most neglected. If you’ve been wondering how to be healthy and fit, this may be an answer to getting you on the right path. 

Undisturbed sleep allows your body and mind to recharge and should leave you feeling refreshed and energized when you wake up. In order to stay fit and healthy is important for keeping you alert and focused throughout the day as, without it, your brain can’t function properly. 

A lack of sleep or low-quality sleep can affect your immune system. This means you’ll be more susceptible to viruses and illnesses such as common colds or sinus infections. 

Alongside catching illness more easily, your body also finds it harder to fight off these infections. Those with sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnoea often suffer from this. 

If you’re wondering how to stay fit and healthy with sleep, the NHS recommends that adults should get between 6 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Adolescents should aim for slightly more, between 8 to 10 hours a night. 

If you’re interested in some tips for being fit and healthy we can recommend the following advice in order to sleep a little easier: 

  • Putting away screens, such as smartphones and laptops, at least an hour before bed.
  • Get a warm bath before bed to help relax your body and mind.
  • Use an eye mask or blackout curtains to increase the darkness. 
  • Ensure you have a comfortable mattress and soft pillows.
  • Try reading or listening to the radio and podcasts. This can help you drift off by distracting the mind and giving you something to focus on.
  • Use earplugs if you find yourself easily distracted, especially if you sleep with your windows open.

Sleep is important for getting fit and healthy as it impacts many different things. If issues persist and you find you can’t sleep no matter how much you try, seek medical advice as there may be a greater underlying issue. 

#5 - Track Calories

A great way to get fit and healthy is by keeping track of how many calories you consume on a daily basis. 

Many people underestimate or are surprised to find out their daily calorie intake as it’s often a lot more than they think.

While nutritional information and calorie numbers are on the box and packet of everything, most of us barely take any notice of them. Now, this isn’t to say you should be scrutinising food labels every time you cook or snack but it’s good to be aware if you’re trying to lose weight.

Weight gain occurs when you regularly consume more calories than you lose during physical activities. Therefore, if you're looking to get fit and healthy, creating a calorie deficit may be a good place to start.

Simply put, a calorie deficit is when the number of calories you eat is less than the amount you burn through physical activity. An example of this is if you burn 2000 calories a day but consume 1500, you’re in a calorie deficit of 500.

For reference, men generally need 2500 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight and women typically require 2000 calories a day. 

Aim to lose between 1 and 2 pounds a week until you reach a healthy weight for your height. If you’re overweight, it’s likely you’ll lose more than this during the early stages of weight loss.

We have an article that can help you to achieve your weight loss goals, for more information check out our 19 tips on how to maintain weight loss here.

#6 - Phase out Bad Habits 

We all know smoking and drinking alcohol aren’t the best things for us, yet some continue to overindulge in this behaviour. If you’re wondering how to be fit and healthy one way to achieve this is by cutting out bad habits. 

Often making little changes can have a great impact on our lives, it may not seem like much at the moment, but if you’re interested in staying fit and healthy lifestyle changes must occur. 

When it comes to smoking or other recreational drugs, if you’re looking to get fit and healthy the best solution is to just quit completely. The reason for this is because they just can’t be done in a ‘healthy’ way. 

Smoking can be difficult to quit but there are alternatives to help reduce your nicotine intake. Aids such as e-cigarettes, nicotine gum, inhalators (which look like plastic cigarettes), nasal spray, and lozenges can all help you in your journey to stop smoking and getting fit and healthy.

Other vices such as junk food, caffeine, and alcohol, while still not healthy in large quantities, can be moderated easily. 

However, just because alcohol is more socially accepted, doesn’t mean it should be viewed as less harmful than smoking and drugs. For men and women, the recommended units of alcohol per week is 14, spread across at least 3 days. This is equal to 6 pints of 4% beer or 6 medium glasses of wine. 

If you find you’re dependent on alcohol and would like advice on how to handle the situation we strongly advise talking to your local GP. 

#7 - Regular Health Check-Ups

If you’re asking, ‘what does it mean to be healthy and fit?’ then a health check may be a way to answer this. You may know your body better than anybody else, however, it’s always best to get some general advice. 

Though older people are more susceptible to developing illness and disease, you shouldn’t disregard health checks just because you’re young, serious health conditions can develop at any age. 

However, for the purpose of addressing what does it mean to be fit and healthy?, it may interest you to know that if you are aged between 40 to 74 and do not have a pre-existing health condition, you are eligible for free health check from the NHS.

These checks are good for identifying signs of potentially life-threatening diseases and discussing lifestyle changes with your doctor which may increase lifespan and reduce risks of getting sick. 

Having a health check-up before starting your journey to get fit and healthy is good to ensure you don’t have any underlying conditions. Even if you’re well it can be a great way to relax your mind regarding any worries you have about your body. 

Furthermore, in the interest of staying fit and healthy a professional health check when you’re well may also make it easier to spot anything abnormal if it arises.

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If you’re enjoying this article on how to stay fit and healthy you will also enjoy these other OriGym articles:

#8 - Don’t Skip Breakfast

We’re often told breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day’, yet it’s also the one most people choose to skip. 

Such individuals skip breakfast for different reasons such as they weren’t hungry, they didn’t have time, or they just didn’t feel like it.

However, if you’re looking for ways to stay fit and healthy you should try your hardest to incorporate breakfast into your mornings. It’s important for boosting energy levels and alertness by replenishing your body’s supply of glucose.

You don’t have to spend lots of time or money on breakfast, just something that stops you from starting your day on an empty stomach. 

Some examples of a healthy breakfast are:

  • Porridge oats 
  • Wholegrain cereals – avoid breakfast cereals that are high in sugar and salt.
  • Muesli with milk or yoghurt.
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Whole Wheat toast
  • Fresh fruit
  • Smoothies

For all those wondering how to stay fit and healthy, we can say that simply by eating breakfast every morning you can fuel your body and reduce the risk of over-eating later on. 

Just make sure whatever you have is something low in fat, salt, and sugar. Grabbing breakfast from a fast-food restaurant is likely to cause more harm than good, especially if you’re trying to get fit and healthy.

For recommendations on what tasty snacks you could be eating check out this OriGym article on the 21 best healthy cereal bars. 

#9 - Change Your Daily Transport

Do you find you rely on your car too much, even for short journeys? Why not try one of our tips for getting fit and healthy and make more journeys on foot?

Even just a brisk 10-minute walk can put you on the path of improving heart health and burning excess calories. Even better yet the time spent doing this also contributes to your recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week. 

While driving or using public transport to get to work may be your preferred option, walking can increase feelings of productivity and keep you motivated during your fitness journey. As mentioned earlier, it’s often the small changes you make which can have the greatest impact.

An example of these small changes can be as simple as running to work, or riding your bike for your commute.

You don’t have to limit your use of the car just for work. Why not try and incorporate walking to the shops or around the park for social purposes to make things a little more fun? 

However, we are aware of the safety precautions that come with this lifestyle change. If you’re walking in a dark environment try to avoid walking alone or stick to well-lit areas when possible. 

#10 - Plan & Prioritise

Above all else, the key to getting fit and healthy is by planning. You can plan meals, plan workouts, and plan your weekly activity, in order to make it easier to stick to a routine. 

If you’re just starting your health and fitness journey, it’s vital to create some goals. It’s good to have an idea in mind about what you want at the end of it, especially if it’s for weight loss. 

If you’re interested in learning how to set goals suitable for your current skill level then check out this guide on SMART goals.

Setting SMART goals is great for times when you’re finding it difficult to stay motivated. This helps you to see the ‘bigger picture’ and reminds you why you’re working so hard.

Creating a weekly schedule may also help you sort out your priorities. By doing this you will be able to plot when fitness and healthy meals can fit into your weekly routine. 

Weekly planners or whiteboards can be great ways to plan each day of your week. Be sure to place them somewhere you will see daily so you have a visual representation of your priorities to remind yourself what needs to be done.

The best thing to do when wanting to stay fit and healthy is to treat health and fitness as one of your top priorities, especially in the beginning. Work it into your routine so it becomes a part of your day and something you find harder to skip or ignore.

#11 - Address Issues In Your Personal Life

One of the most important ways to keep fit and healthy is to treat mental health with the same importance as physical health. 

You might have heard the expression ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, well, there’s quite a lot of truth in this. It means that if you tell someone about a problem you’re experiencing, it becomes easier to deal with.

Holding in negative emotions for too long can disrupt the function of stress hormones, impacting the body and mind. This can increase the risk of developing mental health conditions, chronic illness, and may result in lowered immune function.

Negative emotions, especially those surrounding ongoing problems, don’t just go away. They will reveal themselves eventually and the longer they’re hidden, the worse the consequences will be.

Putting a lid on emotions is the same as putting one on a boiling pot. Eventually, the contents will bubble up to the surface and spill out regardless. 

Try to talk to someone you trust about these feelings and why you feel they have developed in the first place. By simply sharing this information you are making a proactive effort to tackle the issue head on. 

Try and address what exactly is causing these negative feelings and see if you can come up with solutions for them. If these negative emotions persist for weeks or months, seek help from your GP who can refer you to a specialist. 

#12 - Avoid Stress

There are many different causes of stress, with frequent triggers being relationship problems, overwhelming workloads, money worries, or just generally being under a lot of pressure. Stress can be the result of positive changes too like an upcoming wedding, having a baby, or moving house.

Most of the time, stress is a temporary issue that reduces in intensity when the problem passes or is resolved. However, the consequences of stress aren’t something that should be ignored.

Emotional symptoms of stress can be a negative shift in mood, having difficulty relaxing, and avoiding people. Some short-term physical symptoms may be insomnia, dry mouth, chest pains, constant worrying, and changes in appetite.

While the short-term symptoms may be manageable, stress can have long-term consequences which can be life-threatening. This could lead to depression and anxiety disorders, cardiovascular issues like heart disease and heart attacks, obesity, hair loss, and skin problems such as acne.

Stress is a part of life but reducing it or managing it is crucial for staying fit and healthy. You don’t always have to seek medical advice during stressful periods. It’s most likely you just need to have some downtime.

Some simple things you can do to switch off and relax are:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga stretches
  • Go for a walk or run
  • Listen to music
  • Take a bath
  • Keep a journal
  • Draw or paint
  • Visit friends or relatives

You can also plan these relaxing activities in accordance with your rest days to ensure ultimate relaxation. 

#13 - Get a Personal Trainer

A common misconception surrounding health and fitness is that personal trainers are just for athletes and pros. However, a personal trainer can be a great resource for keeping you fit and healthy. 

A qualified personal trainer can provide you with specific advice, especially if you have a set goal in mind such as aiming to complete a marathon, improving areas in a particular sport, or if you’re just wanting to maximize your current capacities.

Working with an expert is beneficial for beginners as it will start you off on the right track. It’s good for seasoned athletes too who are suffering or recovering from injury.

When exercising alone, it can be easy to skip workouts as there isn’t as much pressure to do them. But upon hiring a personal trainer you will be held accountable for your choices, ensuring motivation and focus remain for the duration of the program.

Another benefit of enlisting the help of a PT is that you get support in all areas in regards to your physical and emotional wellbeing. For example, trainers can also provide you with nutritional and lifestyle advice to optimise your workout results.

Getting fit and healthy can be challenging at the best of times, if you have no idea where to start we’d strongly advise you to hire a personal trainer. With so many to choose from, we’re here to help provide you with advice on how to choose a personal trainer

#14 - Stop the Guilt

An important thing to remember if you’re looking to get fit and healthy is not to beat yourself up on days when your motivation or productivity may be lacking. You don’t need to feel guilty if you’re in a bad mood or have had a stressful day and don’t want to exercise.

All this will do is increase feelings of negativity and will likely result in you putting more pressure on yourself. We all need a day off or some downtime, particularly during times of stress or high emotions.

If you break your diet or miss a workout, you don’t have to think you’ve messed up everything and ruined all your hard work. Although it’s likely these thoughts will cross your mind, just see the situation for what it is and move on. 

Eating some junk food or deciding not to exercise doesn’t mean you’re no longer fit and healthy. In fact, it may do some good, especially if you’ve become disheartened with health and fitness, as you may feel more motivated to work out the next day.

Unless you’re constantly finding excuses to skip workouts or healthy meals, you don’t have to feel guilty about not sticking to a routine. Just reflect and continue forward on the path of staying fit and healthy.

#15 -  80/20 Approach

Constantly pushing yourself too hard or limiting past pleasures completely is more likely to result in failure. While effort and sacrifice are required for staying fit and healthy, you shouldn’t take a 100% approach to diet and exercise.

The 80/20 approach, originally known as the Plato principle, states that for many things, around 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This approach can be applied to diet and exercise, ensuring a healthier relationship between the two things.

The reason this is a good approach for getting fit and healthy is that it isn’t a diet or tool for weight loss but a lifestyle change. 

This approach allows you to still have the food and drink you enjoy without indulging too much. By not limiting your intake of fat and sugar completely, it’s more likely you’ll stay on the right path to achieving your goals.

The worst thing you can do when reducing intake of certain foods is by referring to them as ‘bad’. You shouldn’t view foods as rewards or punishments, just a normal part of a balanced diet. 

Another way to approach the 80/20 rule is by allowing more calories on certain days. For example, if your aim is around 1,500 calories a day then you may increase it by a few hundred for two days a week instead.

The best thing to do if undertaking the 80/20 rule is to view it as a permanent lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. You should generally limit the amount of fat and sugar you consume anyway so this approach will get you used to reduce your intake.

There are plenty of other diets you can implement into your lifestyle, examples of which can be found in this article detailing risks and tips surrounding fad diets

Any change you make where you’re burning more calories than you're consuming is likely to bring about weight loss. 

However, this approach doesn’t just have to be for weight loss. It’s a great way to ensure a balanced diet by limiting unhealthy food without making you feel you’re missing out on things you enjoy.

FAQ

What are some unhealthy lifestyle habits?

We all have habits we know aren’t good for us. Entertaining them daily or even frequently can have both short-term and long-term effects. The longer a habit is continued, the harder it becomes to break. 

Some habits that can negatively affect you staying fit and healthy are:

  • Not having enough physical activity.
  • Consuming too little or too much, especially foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Sitting or lying down for long periods of time.
  • Smoking.
  • Frequently drinking too much alcohol.
  • Taking substances such as recreational drugs or over-the-counter medications.
  • Not getting enough sleep.
  • Ignoring pain and illness, both physical and mental.

Now, this isn’t to say you can’t ever drink alcohol or eat junk food again. However, it’s all down to how often you indulge in these behaviours. 

If you can pinpoint certain things in your life that leave you feeling less than stellar, it’s probably best to avoid temptation and cut it out completely. It can be difficult at first but just focus on how much better you’ll feel when you’ve kicked any negative habits. 

Some ways to keep fit and healthy are by cutting out things that you know do more harm than good. One of the better things about this is that it’s quite easy to know the habits you need to limit or stop completely. 

Some people can go ‘cold turkey’ and stop associating with things that aren’t good for them immediately. Others find it much easier to slowly reduce their intake, building up to eventually stopping altogether.

Just do what’s best for you! It’s your own journey to getting fit and healthy so only you can decide on the method that will bring you more success.

What are some tips to keep your mind healthy?

It’s important to get fit and healthy, not just for your body but your mind too! Fortunately, a great way to keep your mind sharp is to exercise regularly. 

According to the Alzheimer's Society, a literature review examined 27 studies looking at the effect of physical activity on brain function in people over 60 years of age. In 26 of the studies, there was a clear link between physical activity levels and cognitive performance, which suggests exercise may be an effective way to reduce cognitive decline in later life. 

Now, we understand that when most people are stressed, the last thing they want to do is focus on their thoughts. However, this can be a great way to gain a different perspective on an issue and focus on one thing at a time.

Having a creative outlet can be a great way to keep your mind active if you’re wondering how to stay healthy and fit. Drawing, writing, painting, making music, and gardening all have positive effects on mental health. 

Other ways to keep fit and healthy are by making sure your mind is stimulated, this can increase feelings of productivity and keep you sharp, especially in old age. Reading, word puzzles, and math problems are all ways to improve memory and keep your mind working efficiently. 

If you’re interested in reading about the psychological motivations behind how exercise improves mental toughness, click here

How to Get Fit and Healthy at Home?

If you’re wondering how to get fit and healthy at home, fortunately, it’s pretty much the same as getting fit and healthy anywhere! 

One of the easiest and simplest tips for getting fit and healthy at home is to walk everywhere. Simple ways you can do this are by not using your car for short journeys, doing part or all the journey to work on foot, and getting off the train or bus one stop early.

Running is also great for weight loss, and a great way to start with getting fit and healthy is to participate in the Couch to 5K challenge. 

This involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest between each run, and a different plan for each of the 9 weeks to ensure you reach your goal of running 5K,

There are plenty of home workouts you can try to stay fit and healthy that don’t require spending money on exercise machines or high-tech gear. 

If you’re thinking of different ways about how to be fit and healthy from home, why not try skipping? For advice on this subject matter can be found in this article on 13 tips on skipping for weight loss.

Before You Go!

If you clicked this article questioning ‘what does it mean to be healthy and fit?’, we hope that this article has provided some clarity on the matter. Keep in mind that just by reading this article, you’re already on the right path to a more active and healthier life!

The best way to make a lifestyle change is to gradually implement some of these tips into your daily life, replacing bad habits with more positive ones. We hope you don’t find it too daunting either getting fit and healthy or staying fit and healthy. 

Before you go, remember to enroll in OriGym’s accredited personal training course if you have any interest in entering the fitness industry, completion of this course can take as little as 4 weeks. 

Alternatively, our FREE prospectus is available too, where you can read about all of the courses we provide.

 

Written by James Brady

Fitness Writer & Enthusiast

James graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. His desire to find a place where he could combine his passion for writing and love of fitness is what brought him to OriGym. He believes his passion for daily exercise, especially running, is imperative in keeping him motivated and productive. As a result, he has a particular interest in the psychology of health and fitness and the relationship between physical and mental health. Outside of work, James enjoys reading, swimming, writing short stories, watching classic movies and has a keen interest in journalism and filmmaking.

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