Small Steps to Big Health Gains for Busy Women
In today's fast-paced world, where the balance between personal well-being and professional commitments often seems like a tightrope walk, many women find themselves struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As a nutritionist and personal trainer, I've seen firsthand the challenges busy women face in prioritising their health.
However, the journey to optimal health and abundance doesn't require monumental changes overnight. Instead, it's the small, manageable shifts in our daily routines—guided by the principles of mindset, movement, and nutrition—that pave the way for substantial, long-lasting improvements.
Mindset: The Foundation of Change
Why is adopting a positive mindset crucial for achieving health and fitness goals?
The journey to better health begins in the mind. Cultivating a positive mindset isn't just about how you think; it's about setting the stage for actionable change. By breaking down larger goals into smaller, achievable milestones, we can track progress and celebrate every victory, no matter how minor. Visualisation techniques, affirmations, and a growth-oriented approach to challenges encourage resilience and a commitment to personal well-being.
Dr. Joe Dispenza's "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" offers profound insights into how we can transform our lives by changing our thoughts and actions.
"To change is to think greater than how we feel. To act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorised self is to get beyond ourselves, is to get beyond who we think we are."
This quote encapsulates the essence of adopting a positive mindset for achieving health and fitness goals. It emphasises the importance of transcending our current state and habitual feelings to enact real change in our lives, perfectly aligning with the message of setting realistic goals and making impactful changes through mindset, movement, and nutrition.
If you want to be healthier, I want you to visualise yourself already being there, even if you have only just started, I want you to really see yourself in your supreme healthy state now and keep that thought of you being there in your mind for good! Anytime a visualisation of yourself creeps into your mind of you feeling fatigued all the time, depressed, fat thoughts, etc I want you to correct yourself with the positive visualisation of yourself already in your healthiest, fittest, happiest, strongest body.
The more you do this, trust me, the more you will develop these small habits that lead you to achieving your overall goal and you won't look back, because not only have you trained your body to be stronger but your mindset too.
Movement: Integrating Exercise into Daily Life
What are simple, effective movement goals for busy women?
Incorporating movement into your daily routine doesn't require long hours at the gym. Simple activities like skipping rope, engaging in quick at home workouts, or even integrating more walking into your day can significantly boost your cardiorespiratory fitness and overall health. These exercises are not only time-efficient but can also be adapted to fit into the busiest of schedules, ensuring that you stay active without feeling overwhelmed.
As a PT I often see people 2-3 times per week in person and we get exceptional results because we focus on lifting heavy compound movements and get the most for our time that we spend together training. My clients don't spend hours in the gym lifting for each muscle group, they simply lift efficiently with the time they have and have the best strength and lean body mass gain outcomes.
In a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, it was found that adults can reap significant benefits from strength training exercises that target all major muscle groups just two to three times per week. Each session, consisting of sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for each exercise, is adequate to enhance strength, power, muscle mass, and overall health-related fitness. This research highlights the efficiency of incorporating compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, into workouts that need not exceed 30 minutes to achieve maximum results.
Nutrition: Small Changes, Big Impact
How can small nutritional changes lead to better health?
Nutrition is not about drastic dietary overhauls but making mindful, manageable adjustments. Integrating more whole foods, staying hydrated, and planning meals can significantly impact your energy levels, mood, and physical health. Even minor changes, like swapping sugary snacks for healthier options or reducing portion sizes, can contribute to a more balanced and nutritious diet, fuelling your body for both work and wellness.
For some clients we do have to make drastic changes to the diet at the start, but this won't be 0-100 , it will start with changes such as implementing breakfast, once that habit becomes consistent, we then tweak breakfast to a high protein one, with a balance of healthy fats and carbs. We will do this in stages with each meal (depending on the client and history) to ensure we are making small wins towards the end goal!
We have to start small especially if you are going from skipping breakfast and drinking excess amounts of caffeine and having low protein high carb lunches and binge eating chocolate in the evening kind of lifestyle, to a lifestyle that includes breakfast everyday, high protein meals, more fruits and vegetables and 2.5 litres of water each day.
Small changes with your nutrition each week will make a huge impact in the long term!
Setting and Maintaining Realistic Goals
What are practical tips for setting and maintaining realistic health and fitness goals?
Setting realistic goals involves understanding your current lifestyle and limitations and then crafting a plan that fits within those parameters. It's about consistency over perfection and finding what works for you. Regularly reassessing and adjusting your goals ensures they remain aligned with your evolving lifestyle and priorities. Here is what I recommend you do :
Analyse your current environment
Do I get enough sleep
Am I exercising regular
What does my current diet look like
Do I have healthy routines in place
What is my mood like on average
Do I feel good most days
Set goals for each analysis that you’ve made:
How can I make a start to changing this
What’s a new habit I can start implementing to work towards achieving this
Do I have a support system in place to help me with making change
Schedule these small steps towards your bigger goal in your calendar:
10 minute walk
30 minute gym session
5 minutes of journalling to help my mood
Set an alarm on my phone for bedtime
These are just examples.
Remember the key is to start small, set your overall goal and park it to the side. Once you’ve done that look at all the smaller things you need to start doing each week to help you get there.
Then !!! HAVE PATIENCE 🙏🏾 1 good week tracking your calories, having breakfast and going to the gym is great but it does not mean you should see drastic change. It’s been a week , give it 3 months of consistent implementation of these habits and then expect change ✨
Achieving optimal health and abundance is a journey marked by small, intentional steps. By focusing on mindset, movement, and nutrition, busy women can create sustainable habits that not only enhance their physical well-being but also promote a sense of balance and fulfilment in every aspect of their lives. Start today, one small change at a time, and watch as those changes accumulate into a significant impact on your health and happiness.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). "ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription" 10th Edition. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.