I’ve always found it interesting that a lot of women think that being fit and healthy living is only for the super-skinny size zero girls. Or they think working at getting fit will mean the pounds automatically drop away. Neither is necessarily the case. Healthy living isn’t all about your weight or the size you are wearing; it’s about your health and overall well being. What’s more, it’s perfectly possible to maintain a healthier lifestyle at nearly any size. Let me give a personal example… When I was training for my two full marathons I have never been in better shape. I slept well at night, my migraines were minimal, I drank little to no caffeine because I didn’t need it to keep me going, and I dropped a couple sizes. BUT the number on the scale barely changed. I think in total I lost 5 pounds during the entire process. My fat was turning into muscle so while I felt and looked better the arbitrary number on the scale didn’t necessarily reflect that. And I didn’t care.
It’s never too early or too late to get started on taking care of yourself and making healthy changes that will have a positive impact on your health and well being in the long run. To get you started, here are some healthy tips we can all get into:
Don’t Rule Anything Out
Don’t avoid joining a class or trying a new workout because you think that you’re the wrong body shape for it. Who cares?! It’s easy to see lithe yogis bending themselves into extraordinary shapes, or super-toned athletes seemingly lifting twice their bodyweight at the bench and to think that you could never do that. But, if it looks like fun and you think you would enjoy it, give it a try. Put your fears aside and sign up for a class. You’ll probably find that it’s not as difficult as you anticipated and if you end up loving it, it’ll be much easier to stay fit and healthy for life. And if it is as hard as you thought it would be at least you gave it a try and can now say that form of exercise isn’t for you.
Also go with what you like. If you loved biking as a kid, maybe it’s time to dust off the bike and hit the open road or try a spin class. Like the water? How about finding a local lake that will rent you a kayak for an hour or two and spending an afternoon out on the water working those arm and core muscles. Even just a good long walk, at a faster clip than normal can help jump start the process.
Invest in the Correct Workout Gear
I’m not saying go on a workout shopping spree, especially if you aren’t sure how dedicated you’ll actually be. But it is important that you feel comfortable when you’re working out. The right workout gear can help prevent chaffing thighs, bouncing uncomfortable bosoms, and excessive sweating. I’m always amazed at what a difference the right attire can make for the overall success of a workout. You can find some great workout gear for women of all sizes here at affordable prices, so you don’t have to worry about blowing your budget on sports bras and leggings. Honestly, Fabletics sells some of my favorite workout pieces – especially for spin or yoga classes. Plus, the company’s clothing comes in a wide range of sizes so everyone can be chic, comfortable and prepared.
Perfect Your Technique
Whether you’re a size 0 or a size 16 it’s essential to use the proper techniques in order to avoid injuries and get the most from your workout. The right moves will build muscles and tone certain areas, doing them incorrectly could build muscles but could also lead to unnecessary pressure on certain joints, injury and pain.
If you’re doing a workout and you just can’t get the technique down, consider hiring a personal trainer to help you through the beginning of your journey to healthy living at any size, or maybe try low-impact exercises like swimming, yoga, and Pilates instead. There are also plenty of videos available online from real trainers that show you the proper technique. Watching a few of those can help to make sure you’re on the right path. Or ask someone at the gym who seems to know what they are doing, or who works there, for a couple tips. From my experience people are usually willing to help others on their wellness journey.
Look at Your Diet
As they say, healthy living doesn’t start in the gym but in the kitchen. Muscles are built there too. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about being more active, and if you want to reach your optimum fitness level, you should give a good hard look at your diet. There are lots of diets, like the one here, or available on dozens of apps, that are simple and effective for weight loss, but even just cutting down on junk food and increasing your intake of healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains will make you look and feel a whole lot better, even if weight loss isn’t your ultimate goal. You’d be surprised what a big impact small changes can have. Just cutting out processed sugars or increasing your daily water intake can have a huge positive impact.
Take it Easy
Becoming healthier isn’t a race, and trying to do too much too soon could backfire and cause you to burn out or injure yourself. So, take it easy, increase your activity levels slowly and gradually improve your diet if you want to successfully stay fit and healthy whatever your current size. At times the process will seem laboriously slow and results may be slow in coming. But after a month or two, in which you didn’t see much day-to-day change, you’ll look back and realize actually you’ve come a long way in that time. Hopefully that will spur you on to keep at it. Slow and steady wins the race and maintains the healthy lifestyle that will make a huge difference for years to come.