Top Fitness & Wellbeing Tips For 2023

With the new year upon us, you may be thinking about your health and wellbeing. While blood tests and health checks are a useful intervention to understand and work on your wellbeing, fitness, diet and mental health all play a role.

We linked up with experts in the fields for their best advice to improve your health in 2023.

In this blog we catch up with Louis O’Callaghan, a Fitness and Wellbeing Coach from Derry~Londonderry. The trainer offers a holistic approach to health and wellbeing through diet and exercise. Here Louis shares hit top five tips for a fit and healthy year.

1. Regular exercise is great for your mental health. 

It is largely understood that regular exercise improves heart and lung health and helps prevent excess weight gain, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Given that exercise has shown to improve mental health, exercise is essential to overall health and to disease prevention.

However, overall health is fundamentally at the mercy of your mental wellbeing.

Create an action plan by answering these questions about what you would like to achieve mentally, in your eating habits and in your physical fitness. Answer these questions honestly and you will know exactly what you need to do.

Mental health – We could all make amendments to our day to improve our mental health with relatively simple practices. Could I have a set bed time? Could I create a peaceful environment for even 5 minutes?

Health – could I eat healthier? Maybe introduce more fruit or vegetables? Improve my routines around food, eating regularly instead of binging?

Fitness –  we would all like to get through the day with more energy and with more ease. Can I starting walking more or start some light exercise?

You will know your capabilities and where you need to start.

All three tied together will create a much better balance to your life with an almost instant impact.

Being in control is the key. That comes with good habits and those start with small changes.

2. Consistency is Key

True health improvements can only be achieved through consistency. Consistency can only be achieved when you believe in what you are doing and you can’t truly believe in the plan until you recognise that you are an individual.

Follow your own schedule, not someone else’s. Start small rather than big, but remember small means different things to different people. For some, 2 or 3 x 30 minute walks will be a good start, for others it could be 2 exercise classes per week.

Become aware of how much water you’re drinking and how much sleep you’re getting. Two absolutely key factors that will affect your ability to exercise are hydration and rest so if these are insufficient, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Put the remote down and go to bed. Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up. You’ve ended the day with a win and started the day with a win. Winning motivates you to build health into your day.

Do this for even a few days and you will have more energy which in turn will make it much easier to introduce exercise.

3. Treat yourself like someone you care about.

This is easy to recognise but not always easy to implement.

We do all we can to build a balanced life for our children. That means sweets, late nights and takeaways are all in moderation.

You ensure they are active in their hobbies and encourage good habits. You go above and beyond to implement this because you know it’s good for them.

Now just treat yourself like those you care about.

4. Track and collect data as much as you can and set yourself sensible, achievable, and measurable goals.

For example your goal might be, become more active by walking 20/30 minutes 2/3 times a week and give yourself 4 weeks to do it consistently.

  • Track: how many days did I go for my walk and how long?
  • Analyse: Did I achieve my goal?
  • What obstacles did I come up against?
  • What can I do next week to ensure I don’t hit the same pothole?
  • How can I make it more manageable?
  • If I found it very comfortable can I increase the time, intensity, or frequency?

What is measured is improved. Write it down. Mental notes don’t work. We process things through speaking and writing. You can’t process in your mind.

Medium and long-term goals will come, but don’t bite off more than you can chew.

5. Include resistance training to utilise compound movements

A solid exercise regime will have balance, but I would recommend it include resistance training to utilise compound movements, which are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. For example, squats and press ups. Combine this with cardio such as walking or cycling.

A good exercise regimen will be social and enjoyable. You must enjoy it on some level.

One of the best markers for any exercise regime is that it improves your physical and mental health, it promotes confidence and never makes you feel insecure.

It’s a relationship. If you’re in it for the long term you will be tested and you will need patience, but it will always be worth it.

Finishing note: one thing we must all remember when taking on anything new: only compare yourself to you. Your situation is unique to you, therefore self-empathy is the key to consistency and success.

For more information on Louis and his coaching click here to visit his coaching page.

Looking for a blood test in Derry ~ Londonderry? Click here to read more about our blood testing service and to book an appointment.


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