Women’s Health Magazine recently featured Zanna as ‘one to watch for 2016,’ and we’re not surprised. At just 23 years old, she’s earnt a first class degree, qualified as a personal trainer, established herself as a globally respected health, fitness, lifestyle and travel vlogger, and become the female face of Tommy Hilfiger’s sports capsule collection.
So who better to guide you through those first steps towards a healthier, more balanced lifestyle? In this, the first of many articles that she’ll be contributing to the Balance Festival Journal, Zanna gives her Ten Top Tips for Healthy Living.
It’s essential prior to making any lifestyle changes to spend time reflecting on where you’re at right now.
- How well do you eat?
- Do you move often?
- How much water do you drink?
- Are you happy with your lifestyle?
- What are the key things you’d like to change?
Write down your thoughts and be honest with yourself.
- Set goals
Once you’ve identified how you’d like to change your lifestyle for the better, you’ll find it really motivating to set yourself goals. Maybe you want to run your first 5km race or drop an inch from your waist in time for your next holiday. Whatever they may be, make sure your goals are specific and have a realistic deadline. Write them down, stick them on your wall and tell your friends so they can encourage you.
- Do your research
There’s so much misguided information out there about healthy living, making it hard to know what to believe or which direction to go in. I recommend reading as much as possible and ensuring that any recommendations you take are from qualified professionals or those who’re respected in their field.
Always question the claims you hear — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Avoid fads
Let’s be real here. Juice and tea detoxes are a load of nonsense — your liver can detox itself. Cutting your calorie intake dramatically is going to lead to low energy levels, a down regulated metabolism and ultimately weight gain further down the line. Avoiding carbs is going to result in an unhealthy relationship with a key food group and may create a binge eating mentality. These fad diet approaches are not advised. Instead seek balance, and focus on adding in good foods rather than completely cutting out the others.
- Think long term
You’ve heard it all before, but being healthy isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Think about it. If you adopt an unsustainable lifestyle, the results will only be short term. If you make changes that you can maintain permanently, you’ll get results that last a lifetime. Sustainability and consistency are key.
- Focus on whole foods
The easiest way to think about healthy eating is to focus on single ingredient foods. In other words, foods that don’t need a label, like fresh veggies, chicken, eggs, fruit and oats. Processed foods filled with 60 unpronounceable ingredients aren’t very nourishing, and your body has a hard time digesting them. Best to avoid.
- Drink more water
Yep, you’ve heard this all before too, but for good reason! Our bodies are made up of over 60% water so when we don’t drink enough, we don’t function optimally. Drink up to feel great.
Everyone tries to tell you the best way to get moving, but ultimately the one which matters most is the one you really enjoy and will stick to. There’s something for everyone, from Beyoncé dance classes to anti-gravity yoga and everything in-between. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches until you find the one you love.
The important bit that everyone forgets about.
Exercise is tough on your body, so you need to support its recovery and take care of it. Make sure you warm up and cool down before training, stretch your muscles, use a foam roller and even check-in with a physio to ensure everything is ticking over nicely. In a society where the majority of us spend our days sat at desks, many have issues with our backs and hips. Play safely.
- Do what’s right for you
There’s no single right way to get fit and healthy. It’s a completely personal journey and one which is unique to you. Don’t be afraid to follow your own path; exercise in ways you like, fuel your body with nourishing foods, and most of all, enjoy yourself!
Feeling inspired? Why not join us at the Festival in May, when Zanna will be running a series of motivational, uplifting and confidence-boosting talks and fitness classes? Sign up to the Balance Festival newsletter and you’ll be the first to know when tickets go on sale.