Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle contains a number of factors. Physically these include exercise and healthy eating and mentally it includes reducing stress and being happy with where we are at in life!

You’ve all heard of creating a budget to get your finances on track, now I’d like to examine creating a health budget to get you physically on track! Sound a little crazy? Here’s how it works…

The first step is to get an accurate record of what you are actually doing to contribute to your health. This means keeping a track of what you are eating and what exercise you are doing. This can be the tricky part because you need to be absolutely honest with yourself! Everything you put in your mouth needs to be recorded and the exercise that you do needs to be not exaggerated! It is also beneficial to record the times of when you ate and when you exercise.

Keep a health diary for at least a week. (Download the 7 Day Health Diary) At the end of the week, consider the types of food you are eating, the amount of exercise you are doing and the times that you are eating and exercising. Use the following as a guide as to how on track you are:

  • Ideally, you should be having three main meals per day and two snack meals. This equates to breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • You should be focusing on having as much fresh food as possible and as little processed foods as possible. Therefore, you should be having plenty of fruit and vege with lean meats and cutting out take-aways, frozen dinners and sugary treats.

If you are happy with the weight you are at, exercising for a minimum of three times per week for at least 20mins per day will help maintain the fitness levels you are at (obviously more will be better for you!). If on the other hand you are aiming at losing weight, you should exercise for at least 40 mins per day and aim for 4 – 6 times per week.

Once you have considered where you are at, you can then look at what you need to do to improve your health situation! At the end of week 1, you can submit your heath diary for its first check up! You will then get personalised guidance as to changes that you should make to your eating and fitness regime.

In the meantime, if you need to increase your exercise, walking is a fantastic start! Already walking reasonable distances and times? Add a couple of jogs to your walks or dust that bike off and go for a cycle! Look out for more great ideas in the Workout section over the coming weeks!

Written by: Lisa Hawthorne

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