Those of you that link up with our #DreamTeam linky will have no doubt come across the brilliant Health & Fitness blogger Steven Lea of Fitdadz.com. I have been drawn to his posts as I love his fad-free, no nonsense tips. Most of which are subtle and easily introduced into what is quite frankly a chaotic parenting lifestyle.
You might have also noticed a subtle change that has recently happened in the habits of this little cake-munching rhymer. A couple of my posts have talked a bit less about cake, and a little bit more about getting my squidgy bum off the sofa and doing the Couch to 5k Challenge! (I’m half way through week 7 now by the way – 2 more weeks and I should be able to do The Big One! Eek!)
I’m not going to try and convince anyone that I’m a whole new shiny person now, because let’s keep it real here – that ain’t happening. I am however feeling so much better. I have more energy (and my goodness do we Momma Bears need that!), and I’m generally feeling a lot more kick-ass about all the things. Three of the simplest but most effective changes that I have made have come from posts by Steven.
I’ll hand you over now to the man himself to tell you more…
Hi, I’m Steven Lea.
I am a new dad from Manchester, UK. I am also a PT and run a health & fitness blog.
I started the blog for a few reasons. I am passionate for everything regarding health & fitness and it has truly changed my life for the better. I was also sick of seeing fad diets thrown around like confetti promising life changing results in a matter of weeks.
I am on a mission to shut down these fad diets one by one. My goal is to educate people on how simple fitness can be and how easily it can fit into your life, no matter how busy it may be. It just takes some simple steps.
At this moment in time as human beings, we are probably the busiest we have ever been. There seems to be so much going on in life.
Especially as parents.
Think about everything that’s going on currently in your life. Work, partners, kids, paying the bills to mention just a few. You can probably think of many more.
One of the things that normally ends up towards the bottom of the list is our health.
I always struggle to get my head around this.
Think about it, if we don’t take our healthy seriously then may not have a life at all. This means that all the other stuff that we just touched on won’t even matter.
That’s why in my opinion, health should be right at the top of the list for our daily priorities.
No matter what state your body and health is currently in, it’s never too late to start. I urge you to take action as soon as possible.
But how do you start?
This is one of the most common questions that I get asked. You may want to make a change but have not got a clue where to start. This can be very overwhelming.
We live in an age where we can find almost anything for free in a matter of minutes. Even though this is the case people still struggle to stay healthy.
The obesity figures speak for themselves. It’s estimated that in 2020 approximately 40% of the UK population will be classed as obese.
So if we have access to all this wonderful information what’s stopping us?
Let me tell you why.
People don’t struggle with information. People struggle with implementation. With all the information at our fingertips we become overwhelmed and never actually take action.
A lot of information is too complicated and focus heavily on the very small things that just don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things.
Instead, you need to break down this information into small bite sized chunks that you can tackle each and every day.
That’s were I come in.
I’m on a mission to make health and fitness simple. I have had enough of seeing all the complicated bullshit that I’m seeing online lately.
Here are my top tips for busy parents to get started on improving their health.
Drink more water.
I know this is super simple but it works. Our bodies are approximately 60% water and our brains are approximately 75% water.
This is why dehydration can cause us to feel tired, unfocused and can cause headaches.
Water is just as important, if not more important than food. You can last weeks without food but only a matter of days without water.
Let’s face it, water can be boring.
If you don’t like drinking plain water then there are a couple of ways you can make it more appealing.
Juice is the most common way to make water taste better. My top tip for this is to look for the variety with the least sugar. Sugar isn’t bad for you, but drinking it all day will allow the calories to mount up quite quickly.
You can even get small juices that fit in your pocket that you can carry anywhere.
Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water each day, maybe more if you have a very active job or you are performing intense exercise.
If you are just getting started with drinking more water here’s what I would do.
Buy a 2 litre empty jug and keep this in the kitchen. Each morning fill the jug full of water mixed with your favourite sugar free juice. All you need to do now is keep in the fridge and make sure your drink a full jug each day. Then you can maybe progress to a bigger jug.
Here’s another top tip for you. Have you ever seen the flavoured water? Be sure to pick the sugar free variety. The normal varieties can contain more sugar then a can of Coca Cola.
Prepare Meals In Advance.
Ever heard the saying “fail to prepare then prepare to fail”?
This saying is 100% true. If you are too busy to take your lunch to work then you will likely reach for anything when hunger strikes.
This can be disastrous. Snacking is one of the main areas that people struggle with regarding weight loss.
If you start to skip meals during the day this may lead to snacking on sugary and fatty foods. This will mount up those calories real quick.
I like to prepare all of my lunches at the weekend. This way I know I have got food at hand when I get hungry during the day. This will serve you great at work.
Why not take it a step further and make some large healthy meals that the whole family can enjoy.
Once prepared, simply freeze and then cook when needed. This activity could also be good to get the kids involved in cooking more healthy meals so they understand why we eat certain foods and why we need them in our bodies.
Preparing meals is also good for days out and can save you a lot of money.
Save Money, Buy Food In Bulk.
When it comes to meats, I never purchase them from a supermarket. The prices can be way too high and I don’t really value the quality anymore.
To get most value for money I recommend buying in bulk.
One of the best places to buy from can be a trusted local butcher. My personal favourite however is buying from online retailers.
You may be skeptical if you have not purchased from these types of websites before. However, you may be pleasantly surprised.
The food quality is very high, they always have money saving deals available and it gets delivered to your door.
Musclefood.com is one of my favourite places to buy from. The pizzas taste great and some contain less than 400 calories!
You can start losing weight without even setting foot in a gym. You can do this by simply moving more. The more active you are means the more calories you will be burning on a daily basis.
One of the easiest ways to do this is put one foot in front of the other and go for a walk. Walking is good for body and mind and is very low impact.
Aim for 10,000 steps per day. This will burn approximately 400 calories.
If you drive to work then try this ….
The next time you got to work, park in the furthest parking spot away from the door. This will slightly increase your daily activity levels and make you fitter in the process.
If you work in an office, then maybe your company works above the ground floor? If this is the case, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Get the bus or train to work? Get off one stop earlier than normal.
Take a short work after eating your lunch. Not only will this aid digestion it will contribute towards your overall daily activity.
These are simply, easy tips to get you started. Don’t overcomplicate things. When people start to overcomplicate things they become overwhelmed and usually give up.
Portion control is another area that people really struggle with when it comes to losing weight. The truth is, we are eating too much food.
There is a lot of confusion out there over how much food to eat and when.
That’s why I have developed a method of controlling your food portions without counting calories, point or sins.
All you will need is your hand.
You can download your free copy here.
If you download a copy I would love to hear what you think. Be sure to tweet me @thefitdadz
An enjoyable, healthy lifestyle will come from small habits that are performed consistently day after day after day.
Habits like drinking more water, eating more protein, getting enough sleep, reducing stress. The list goes on.
It’s these small actions that will be bring you the biggest results.
The reason that you don’t hear more about habits is because they aren’t sexy. They can’t easily be sold to people, and are not desirable.
Health companies don’t want to talk about habits. They want to sell you some magical pill that will give you a 6 pack in 5 days – which is total bollocks!
Stay clear of these products and save your money.
Small steps to start with
Whatever changes you want to make, I urge you to start small.
If your activity level is currently low then 10,000 steps will seem a long way away. Instead aim for just 1000, then 2000, then maybe 5000. Take your time and let things build.
You are not going to wake up one day and suddenly drink 4 litres of water. It will take time for the habit to build. If you want to start drinking more water then try this – swap just one cup of tea or coffee for a glass of fresh water. Do this for 7 days and see how you feel.
I guarantee you will feel better.
So in summary, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym and eat rabbit food to start improving your health.
It’s all about developing small, manageable habits that fit into your lifestyle.
Also, there are no good or bad foods. Enjoy everything in moderation, that’s what life is about.
However you get started, make sure that you choose something that can be sustained. No matter what you are doing ask yourself this “are you happy doing what you do and can you see yourself still doing it 12 months from now”?
Hopefully you picked up some simple tips within this blog post. If you like the content that I have provided be sure to follow my blog and social media for more daily health & fitness tips.
You can find and follow Steven’s site and social media accounts here:
Thanks so much for sharing this post Steven. Personally I’ve already taken three of your rules to heart. (Drink more water, move more and eat more protein.) I have had an immediate boost in the way I feel and these are all genuine life changes rather than quick fix fads. I’ll look forward keeping up with your posts from here!