We often think of improving our health and fitness, but seldom do we want to give up the things we like, or spend more time at the gym.
But balancing life, fun and fitness isn’t an impossible feat and can be achieved by taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle, says Dalton Wong, trainer to Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence.
Making big changes in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle can seem daunting for many, so to get us started, what three small things would you advise we all try to do for better health?
1. Don’t worry about the things that you can’t control. Focus on what you can control, such as how well you eat, sleep etc.
2. Don’t get bogged down with the things that you didn’t do, and focus on the great things that you did do. For example if there are five reps of an exercise and you complete three, think about what great work you did completing those three.
3. And thirdly work on your weaknesses, not on your strengths. Don’t worry about nutrition and fitness if you’re good at those parts, and concentrate instead on getting a better night’s sleep for example if that’s what you’re not so good at.
Making lifestyle changes can also seem like a big commitment. Many of us would like to start on a new health and well-being plan, but we don’t want it to take up all of our time or give up all of the things that we like. What would your advice be for anyone who is struggling to balance fitness and well-being with also having fun?
Well even when following a healthy lifestyle you can and should still enjoy the social part of your life and don’t say no to going out with friends and family. I hear people telling me they say no to going out to a restaurant or for a drink with friends because of their health and fitness regime. It’s crazy! Your exercise routine should enhance your life not hinder your life. You work hard all week, enjoy yourself! My book even has advice on what to drink, how to be healthier in restaurants — it’s everything in moderation.
And what about balancing a healthy diet with all the tempting and delicious foods that we also want to eat?
Well I don’t advise my clients to cut things out of their diet completely. Around 80% of my clients are women, and there are often times they crave chocolate, for example when they’re hormonal. So I say have a little chocolate! Just a small bar, but don’t deprive yourself completely. It’s everything in moderation.
Do you have any guilty pleasures of your own that you like to indulge in?
Yes, I love dim sum. Every week my family and I go out to a restaurant and enjoy dim sum together. It’s a food we enjoy and it also gives us a chance to spend time together as a family.
And what about exercise, do we have to spend hours sweating it out in the gym?
Just 15 minutes a day, that’s just 1% of your day, to do some exercise can let you see and feel a difference. Try a 15-minute stretch in the morning or evening, or some of the 15-minute exercises from my book, but that 15 minutes is really important. When you feel fitter, then you can build up if you want to, to 20 minutes, 25 minutes etc. And when it comes to exercise, doing high intensity isn’t always best, try some yoga and Pilates occasionally too.
While trying to fit in that 15 minutes a day, make sure you are also making time to get enough sleep, and try to manage stress.
Finally, what is your own approach to a healthier, fitter, and happier life?
Make sure you enjoy life. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So make sure you’re resilient enough to handle the tough times but ultimately enjoy it.
Follow @htlifeandstyle for more.