“New Year’s resolutions, usually there’s a whole bunch of them. You make them too complicated and dramatic and therefore you’re setting yourself up for failure so we need to bring it back down to being simple. A more consistent approach is always key,” Lisa Raleigh, A South African wellness expert told CNBC Africa in an interview.
Raleigh believes that people today are always looking for a quick fix to getting fit and healthy.
“I think we are the era for quick fixes. We want things now, we want results instantly and so taking a pill or a potion is going to be more attractive rather than putting in the hard slog. There’re only two things that you can really do, that’s exercise and eat less,” she explained.
Firstly, people need to set specific goals.
“Get specific with where you are right now and where you want to be and then you can literally make goals, long term and short term goals, as well as rewards for achieving those small incremental goals,” she explained.
Secondly, check your medical aid scheme benefits as many medical aid schemes cover the costs of screening tests such as cholesterol and glucose tests as well as blood pressure checks.
“Check your scheme benefits. Do all your screening tests at the beginning of the year rather than the end when your funds have dried up,” added Raleigh.
Since exercise is an important element of staying fit, Raleigh believes that setting an exercise schedule should be prioritised with your other non-negotiable tasks. Also, taking up a new adventure sport will provide a good physical and mental workout.
Eating healthy goes hand in hand with getting fit, she added, and cooking your own meals is ideal for saving money and making healthier food choices.
“Plan your meals for the week on a Sunday afternoon. You can make soups and stews in bulk and package them,” said Raleigh.
She also believes that electronics such as cell phones, laptops and televisions amplify existing stress and that regular breaks from all devices should be taken.
Lastly, Raleigh believes that a balance needs be found amongst eating, exercising, sleeping and relaxing.
“Your health is non-negotiable and it is your wealth at the end of the day. If you don’t prioritise it now and make time for the wellness now, you will make time for it later,” she concluded.