Busy with work, chores, family, cooking or studying? The list goes on and everyday, we struggle to find time to be THE superwoman who is fit and healthy-looking at all times. But everyday we go through battles – being tired, having daily conversations with ourselves on delaying or postponing work, sometimes salah/solat, and working out. We allow ourselves to dwell into unhealthy meals, snacking and drinking sweetened beverages.
About a year ago, my weight reached 51 kg and body fat percentage was 33%. The past months, I manage to keep my weight at 45kg, BMI 19 and body fat percentage 25%. I eat the most, alert and fastest at work. Working out and eating healthy are routines in my life. I am not a health expert – just an average jane who wants to improve health condition and loves to share.
The battles between making emotional and logical choices are always there. While we know we need to make logical choices, we are all emotional vulnerable beings. One way to avoid emotional choices is to embed healthier choices in daily routines. Here are 8 simple steps to keep a healthy lifestyle, which I practise on a daily basis.
1. First of all, know current body condition
Know your current:
- Body Mass Index. A normal BMI ranges from 18.5 – 25. If you don’t know your BMI, here’s the calculator
- Body Fat Percentage. The acceptable rate is 20%-25%. Here is the calculator
Know your ideal numbers and set your targets. Working towards meeting your targets.
2. Find an activity you can do on a daily basis
Just like praying and eating, make working out your daily routine. Once it is a routine, you need to be able to perform the activity anytime, anywhere. Find an activity that you enjoy and that motivates you to be be good at. As for me, even though I love swimming, I choose to run on a daily basis because it is faster and easier to perform. I perform other types of activities if I have extra time.
3. Find at least 40 mins/day to workout; 5 mins warm up, 30 mins workout, 5 mins cool down
You can find time to workout,
- Before Fajr
- After Fajr
- Before Work – After Work before Sunsets
- Before midnight
As for me, I plan to work out before shower or meal times ?. I cook or prepare meals while cooling down. It saves time.
Plan your day, make sure you workout in a safe environment if you are alone. If you cannot find a gym or unable to workout outdoor, tabata or yoga indoor instead. Make sure your family members know your whereabout when you workout outdoors.
4. Dress smartly, suit up in comfy activewear if you are NOT at work
Changing from office-wear to activewear can be time consuming. Therefore, always be in your activewear so that you can quickly run or work out when you have a 40 min window. ? You spend lesser time changing clothes and more time sweating out. ?Make sure your running shoes or workout attire and gears are accessible at all times. ? Leave them in your car if needed.
5. Eat healthy
Fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts offer you vitamins, protein and minerals to provide good nutrition for your body. It helps reduce body fat level. When you train your body to eat healthy, it will naturally reject unhealthy food over time. Healthy, balanced meals may not look fancy, but they are easier and faster to prepare. Tastier too!
Tips to eat healthy:
- Make and pack your own meal
- Fill up your kitchen with fruits, vege and nuts, especially those you can eat raw like carrots, banana, apples & grapes
- Baking or grilling brings out the flavour from meat, and they are healthier & easier to make
- Pick healthy menu when dining out
If you are eating healthy, ignore what others have to say about it. What you consume affects your body, not theirs.
6. Get 6-7 hours of good rest or sleep everyday.
Studies show that exercise helps you sleep better. When you sleep, your heart & blood vessels get repaired & healed. Hydrate your body well. Drink a glass of water before and after bedtime.
7. Track your weight, Body Mass Index(BMI) & Body Fat Percentage & achieve your targets
Don’t let your measurements slip! Make it a daily check if you can, even though it is not recommended by medical practitioners. It is harmless. Do invest in a good weighing machine that tells your BMI, Body Fat percentage & muscle mass. Then you will know how to balance workout and food intake that help you keep a healthy weight, BMI & Body Fat. Workout & eat healthy daily and watch these indicators improve.
8. Tweak your activities & food intake accordingly to achieve your targets. REPEAT
It is a slower process, but sustainable as the routine would help you understand your body and achieve a healthy and active lifestyle.
Don’t forget to visit, update, talk to and get feedback from your doctors on regular basis on your overall fitness condition. They are the best in giving medical and health advises.
Have a healthy lifestyle and fight all the excuses that delay you from achieving ideal fitness level. I hope the above sharing helps. I am just another lady who wants to keep healthy. Good luck & enjoy your routine!