“Health & fitness is for life, not just for Christmas”, to borrow from an old slogan. As 2019 is creeping towards us, most people will be thinking about New Years Resolutions. Local gyms will be full, dry January will be in full force, the diets begin…….but for how long?

Why not think about just 3 things to focus on as a family, that will benefit the health of all members and make them ‘habits for life’. Try and set some realistic goals, get the kids involved and motivate each other throughout the year.

1. Food Planning

We need healthy, nutritious food for optimum performance every day. This means cooking from scratch but make it easy for yourself. I have a 3-week food planner for dinners from Monday to Friday. This means only cooking one dinner for the whole family, I know what to take out of the freezer the night before, what to order online and I include some of the kid’s favourite meals. Every now and then you can change one of the meals for variety.

2. Sleep Well

We need to get at least 8 hours sleep per night to function properly. Learn to wind down properly like the kids do! Have a bath with Epsom salts and lavender, read a book, don’t use any phones or devices for 30 mins before bedtime and the room should be dark and cool.

3. Move More and Move Well

Learn to use exercise as ‘medicine’ and have fun! Forget about exercising for weight loss, have a performance goal instead. If you eat right and train right, the weight will take care of itself. Exercise influences your hormones, your mood, your brain, your muscles, your bones, your metabolism, your stress levels, your sleep…learn to use the right type of exercise to your advantage.

  • Resistance & Weights. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn therefore increasing our metabolism. Cortisol ‘breaks down’ muscles, so this kind of kind training is essential if you are stressed. Resistance training also helps to strengthen the bones which is essential, especially for women, to lower the risk of osteoporosis as they head towards menopause.
  • HIIT. (High intensity interval training) This doesn’t have to mean high impact! This type of exercise stimulates the human growth hormone and improves insulin sensitivity both of which have a positive impact on the body. Best of all it can be done in under 30 mins, great for all those busy people!
  • Yoga. Participating in mindful exercise that focuses on breathing is really good for lowering stress. It also improves the bodies strength, posture, flexibility and mood.

So, let’s get going! Move. Live. Be.

Jacqui is a Health & Fitness Coach, specialising in using exercise for hormone balance. In addition to personal training and fitness
classes, Jacqui is currently running workshops and courses designed to help women over 35 understand peri-menopause, the symptoms and practical solutions to deal with the transition. You can find out more about Jacqui at www.fit-shack.com