Prioritizing your health and fitness doesn’t need to be a daunting task. The best way to reach goals or make lifestyle changes is to take small steps that you know are achievable for you.
The most effective health and wellness tips should be able to be implemented into your routine gradually, like slowly lengthening the distance you run so that before you know it, you’re running a half marathon.
By doing this, you will be able to form healthy habits at your own pace. Slow and steady wins the race, since prioritizing your physical health and wellbeing now is crucial for your long-term health and happiness.
We all want to wake up feeling healthy and happy, and this often comes from the combination of feeling good on the inside and out. In other words, we need to take care of both our mental and physical health.
We’ve seen the glossy wellness trends that focus on the aesthetics of feeling good, but what does it mean to actually care for your health? In a tangible sense, how does this look?
Whether it's taking Vitamin D regularly in Winter or improving your mobility, here are our 5 health and wellbeing tips to help you thrive mentally and physically and feel alive and healthy every day.
Our Top 5 Tips To Improve Your Health And Wellness
Incorporate More Mobility Exercises
You’ve been telling yourself that you’ll see to that dodgy shoulder for the last year. You did a 3-week stint following daily ankle mobility exercises to improve your squat mobility. Then just like that, you’re halfway into the year, and mobility is nowhere near as high on your priority list as you’d hoped.
We’ve all been there. Forming a habit requires a lot of discipline and accountability, that’s why we have Gymshark66 to help you along this journey. But here’s a quick reminder of why prioritizing mobility is so important for your health and wellness.
Good mobility is incredibly important to your health because it’s what allows you to move freely and functionally throughout the day. Climbing up the stairs, reaching for something high up, or picking something heavy up off the floor are all movements that require good mobility. Having mobile joints means having a full range of motion, which will help prevent injury and pain, improve posture and improve exercises like your squat for example.
How can you incorporate more mobility exercises?
Whenever you take a break from the screen, roll out your mat and run through some mobility exercises for 5-10 minutes. You don’t need to necessarily set a specific time aside, this can be a task you keep coming back to throughout the day.
Perform mobility drills during your warm-ups by taking an extra 5-10 minutes to work on the mobility of the joints you’ll be using during your workout, and you’ll notice the difference in your ROM and flexibility. If you work out 5 times a week, then with this method, you’ll also end the week with 5 mobility sessions too, so it’s an easy way to incorporate more mobility into your routine.
If you don’t have a workout routine yet, or are new to exercise, beginning with mobility movements is a great place to start building more physical activity into your schedule.
If you’re looking for some simple and effective mobility exercises to incorporate into your routine, why not check out our roundup of the best hip mobility exercises, shoulder mobility exercises, as well as mobility to improve your front rack exercises and mobility for desk workers to improve your posture?
Prioritize Rest And Recovery
It’s a well-known fact that we need to get enough sleep to function at our best. However, even with this knowledge, sleep is often one of the healthy habits that get shifted down the priority list.
We’re here to tell you that quality rest is more important than you think. Physical rest is one of the seven types of rest our bodies need for full restoration.
Physical rest is composed of both active and passive elements. Passive physical rest is when you let your body completely switch off, such as when you are sleeping or napping. Active physical rest is when you take restoration into your own hands through stretching, activities like yoga or pilates, foam rolling, or any sort of massage therapy.
Part of your physical rest includes getting a good night's sleep. This is crucial to your gains too as quality sleep is associated with muscle growth and recovery.
When you do any form of strength training, this could be in the gym or bodyweight, your muscle mass increases, which creates damage to the muscle fibers which are then repaired through recovery. Muscle recovery is increased through protein synthesis which occurs when you sleep the recommended 7-9 hours a night. REM sleep is particularly important to muscle repair as it’s this type of sleep where your body releases the growth hormone that aids in muscle recovery.
“Muscle growth occurs whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown.”  So, in short, the more sleep the better.
What else can you do for muscle recovery? This is where active rest comes in. There are plenty of tools you can incorporate to aid with your muscle recovery that focuses on improving circulation, flexibility, and reducing muscle aches and soreness.
Here’s what you can do to prioritize recovery through active rest:
Stretching and yoga
Take hot baths
Try cold water therapy
Don’t skip rest days
Use a massage percussion device or get a sports massage
Get enough sleep
Fuel your body with enough protein and carbs
To find out more about the importance of sleep, take a read of Ross Edgley's article on the study of sleep.
Eat Well And Increase Your Vitamin Intake
Fuelling your body with healthy, nutrient-rich food is going to improve your health and wellbeing in a myriad of ways. Why? Because a healthy diet supports your bodily functions, immune system, mood, ability to recover and energy levels, as well as contributing to maintaining homeostasis.
Now you’ve got your tick box of why to eat healthily, you can put it into play!… If only it was that easy. There are many factors that can make it difficult to enjoy a nutrient-dense, whole-food-rich diet such as time, health problems, money, accessibility, education, and convenience.
But we’ve got some health tips to make it easier for you to eat healthily, when and where you can.
Prep Your Food - this saves time during the week, is cost-effective, and is great for tracking as you can portion your food which prevents overeating.
Shop Seasonal - purchasing whatever fruit and veg are in season helps to keep costs down and expands the variety in your diet.
Buy Frozen Fruit And Veg - not only is this a cheaper option but frozen fruit and veg are also frozen at the time of maximal nutrient density meaning this is often a more reliable option than fresh produce!
Reuse Recipes - having a set list of healthy recipes you enjoy that you can always come back to saves time and helps keep you on track.
If your focus in the gym is lifting, you want to ensure you are eating correctly for muscle growth. Poor nutrition can contribute to muscle loss, and it’s important to prioritize eating enough protein and carbs, especially after a weight training session, to help replenish depleted glycogen stores firstly, and aid in repairing muscle tissue, secondly.
Now certain factors like dietary requirements, or location might mean that supplements are a necessity to increase your vitamin intake. For instance, our fellow northern hemisphere readers may be popping those Vitamin D3 pills daily during winter as we experience a lack of vital sunshine.
If this is the case, we recommend doing your own research or seeing a health professional to advise you on what vitamins and nutrients you may be deficient in. This way you can build up a supplement routine that is personally beneficial to you, to help you hit your targets and experience optimum health.
Looking for some healthy and nutritious recipes to try out? Head over to our Health category on Central to discover tasty sweet and savoury recipes to try today.
Get More Active
Getting more active is usually the number one priority for people each year, and there’s good reason for it. Physical activity is known to benefit your heart and lung health, your mood, energy levels, and sleep, as well as reduce the risk of injury, disease, and stress.
Exercise is something that many of us have utilised as a tool to improve our mental space. As well as the benefits improving your fitness has on your physical health, getting more active is also a great way to improve your mood and mental health.
Caring for your mental health means more movement! As humans, we are meant to move, and the increasingly sedentary lifestyles we live are contributing to poor health and wellbeing. How much better do you feel after you get up and go for a walk after hours of sitting at your desk?
Exercising releases endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemicals of the brain, which is why you feel a runner's high, or pumped up after a weightlifting session.
If your goal is weight loss, then increasing your activity will also help you to achieve your goals.
And whilst we could go on forever listing the benefits of exercising regularly, despite this knowledge it can often be a difficult habit for people to maintain. This is why it’s effective to add exercise to your routine gradually so that it becomes part of your lifestyle, rather than just a phase.
You could do this by increasing your daily steps, committing to 2-3 workouts a week, whether in the gym or at home, or opting to walk to work instead of driving.
Whatever your fitness goals look like, you want to make them manageable for you, so find any way you can improve your daily activity, and this may contribute to improved health and happiness.
Head over to our Gymshark Training App to explore our selection of boydweight, cardio, free weight, mobility, functional and resistance workouts for beginners, advanced and everyone in between.
Practice Real Self Care
This doesn’t necessarily look like hot bubble baths, face masks, and binge-watching Netflix (although we’re all for a pamper session).
According to psychiatrist Dr. Poojah Lakshmin “Real self-care requires setting boundaries, treating yourself with compassion, making choices aligned with your values, and asserting your power.”
Setting healthy habits that prioritize caring for yourself and your needs go beyond the superficial things that might make you feel satisfied at the moment, but center around what is good for you long term, which includes the four previous sections.
What are some examples? Real self-care might look like making sure you get sunlight in the morning every day. Doing so allows your circadian rhythm to work correctly, resulting in your dopamine levels being balanced throughout the day, and you winding down during the evening so that you sleep better.
It could also mean prioritizing your mental health and wellbeing. This could be challenging yourself to frame things more positively no matter how difficult they may be, setting boundaries with yourself and others, and choosing downtime to help rest.
Find joy where you can and in the little things, and do things that make you feel nourished and fulfilled. Showing gratitude is a real self-care practice that can boost your overall mood and contribute to higher feelings of worthiness and happiness.
Don’t try and do it all alone! It can be easy to isolate yourself when you’re busy like so many of us are, so make sure you reach out to the people around you, share your problems and feelings, and treat yourself with compassion.
Optimum health and wellbeing can’t be achieved overnight. It’s a constant work in progress of making the best decisions for our bodies and minds, for the benefit of our present and future selves.
To be happy and healthy is a desire we can all make a reality, especially if we remain present each day and follow these tips to incorporate healthy habits into our daily lives.
If your healthy habits begin in the morning, and you want to utilize this time as best you can, you might enjoy our tips in this article on how to create an effective morning routine.