Katie Bulmer-Cooke: No need for an extreme fitness regime

Katie Bulmer-Cooke promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Katie Bulmer-Cooke promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Half way through January and it feels like everyone is either doing dry January, on a super dedicated fitness kick or becoming a vegan!

If you’re a regular reader of my column you’ll know I’m always championing anything that improves health, fitness and gets us moving our bodies more, but does making positive lifestyle choices always have to be so extreme?

January and into February will undoubtedly see some people that haven’t exercised for years hitting the gym seven days a week, throwing themselves in at the deep end, attending hardcore classes and trying to replicate the exercise plan of an Instagram fitness model.

While their enthusiasm is highly commendable, it is unlikely to last as severe muscle ache and everyday life commitments set in.

Long term success with weight loss or improved cardiovascular fitness, or any fitness related goal for that matter, comes from consistency.

So with that in mind, it’s important to start out, not as you mean to go on, but as you can manage to go on, while juggling work and family for example.

Of course you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone to see results, but piling on the pressure to be perfect, and hit everything so hard all of the time will only end in a lack of adherence and slipping back into old, unhealthy habits very quickly.

Everything just feels so extreme at this time of year, like people flipping from being regular meat eaters to 100 per cent vegan overnight as part of the latest ‘Veganuary’ craze.

Now I’m not against being vegan at all, but with a diet that cuts out many foods, it’s vital that the body is still given the nourishment it needs.

Achieving this takes lots of research, education and planning to ensure your body gets the required vitamins and minerals in order to function optimally.

It can be done, but it’s not something that can be achieved overnight, and trying to do so will lead to either nutritional deficiency or an inability to stick to the principles long term.

Without wanting to sound like Piers Morgan, who slated the latest offering from Greggs last week, there is much more to becoming vegan, and making this significant lifestyle change, than just swapping a regular sausage roll for the vegan alternative … again it’s all about consistency and moderation.

Whatever you’ve decided to commit to, and whatever changes you’ve decided to make for 2019, keep in mind that lots of baby steps create big changes and taking your time and achieving lots of small wins is often the best way to ensure that you not only achieve your goals but maintain that achievement too. Here’s to lots of success for all of us in Sunderland in 2019.