Quick Health Tips

As we continue forward into the New Year, there is an extreme emphasis on health and fitness with many, many people resolving to pursue better health and fitness for themselves in 2016. Now, if you have read my latest post MODERATION-BALANCE-LIFESTYLE, you will know that I believe in finding a kind way to get one’s self into a greater state of wellness with a more healthful lifestyle that one can sustain over a long period of time. If you hadn’t read that post, please do.

I am, however, fully aware that many of you would like quick health tips to adopt into your life to obtain a better shape and hopefully build a healthier lifestyle overall. And so, I am happy to share some of those with you here. Many of these will be tips that you have heard before, but I repeat them here because in my experience, they work. I will keep them short and sweet so that they are easy to remember and refer to.

Food:

balanced_eating_plate

  • Redesign the proportions of your plate: ¼-1/3 protein, ¼-1/3 complex carbs and starches, ½ or more vegetables and fruits. Everyone’s needs are different, but on average, this is a good example of a balanced plate.
  • Minimize white carbs, sugar, and dairy: there is nothing wrong with these foods – in moderation. However, many people eat way more of each than they should. Keep the amount you eat of these in check and you will notice a different in not only appearance but feeling as well.

sugar-in-drinks

  • Stop drinking your calories: some cream and sugar in your morning coffee is fine, a latte here and there is fine, anything in moderation is fine. However, many people choose multiple beverages on a daily basis that are filled with added sugar. Our food system in America is very corrupt and there is sugar in almost everything, be careful of how much you are mindlessly drinking.
  • Eat regularly: we are designed to eat and to do so regularly. Food is fuel and one of our most basic enjoyments. Make sure to get adequate food throughout the day. For me, this means a small snack before exercise in the morning, followed by a balanced breakfast, lunch, a small snack in the afternoon, and finally dinner in the evening. 3 main meals, 2-3 snacks depending. Eating regularly will keep your metabolism active and keep you fueled to accomplish what you need to do throughout the day.

healthy snacks

  • Healthy snacking: almond or peanut butter with apple slices or celery sticks, a handful of nuts and dried fruit, raw vegetables with hummus, half an avocado, one or two hard boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, etc. There are a lot of healthy snacking alternatives to chips, cookies, and processed “health snack foods”. Opt for more whole foods with protein to fill you up in between meals and propel you forward.
  • Healthy fats: you’ve heard this before. Make sure to include fats in your diet, they are essential, just try to make sure they are nutritionally proven kind; olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts. These are all great sources of fats that come loaded with other health benefits as well.

lemon-zest-is-key-to-healthy-lemon-water

  • Flavorful and healthful ingredients: a lot of people complain that healthy foods are not enjoyable because they have no flavor. You can, however, give your food tons of great flavor with good ingredients that add little to no additional fat, sugar, carbs, or calories. Garlic, fresh and dried herbs, robust spices, balsamic vinegar, zest of lemons, limes, and oranges. All of these add tons of great flavors without many extra calories, if any, and most of them come with additional health benefits too. Start experimenting with what you like and then go from there!

Exercise:

walk

  • Move daily: in a society where many of us sit at desks and in our cars for hours upon hours, it is important to incorporate movement into each day. You don’t have to have a full-on workout every day of the week, but strive for some form of movement each day, even if it’s just a quick 20 minute walk.
  • Workout smarter, not longer: 2 hours at the gym might sound impressive, but it’s really not if 1 hour of those 2 hours was spent sitting and doing nothing for 5 minutes in between exercises. Also, you don’t want to overdo it to the point where you injure yourself. It is better to be smart about your workouts. Put in more effort in a shorter amount of time, 30 minutes to an hour. In this way, you are bound to spark your heart rate more, challenge your muscles and endurance more, and receive a residual burn and  more benefits after the workout. Instead of doing a set of an exercise, then sitting on Facebook for a few minutes; finish a set, take three super deep breaths, and do it again, finish all your sets in a shorter amount of time and challenge yourself more while doing it.

love-burpees-

  • If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you + quality over quantity: rather than doing 10 reps of an exercise that you find easy, try doing 5 reps of an exercise that puts you to your edge. Sure, in your head, doing 10 reps sounds like more, but it’s really not if it is not challenging your muscles. For example, if you can do 10 bicep curls with 20 pound dumbbells without any struggle, you should try doing 5 reps in your best form possible that you can just barely do with 30 pound dumbbells; this will challenge your muscles more, test your endurance more, and get your heart rate up more. Also, rather than half-heartedly jogging on the treadmill for an hour, try a mindful and committed 20-30 minute cardio circuit that challenges you; maybe run for 5 minutes, then power walk at an incline for 5, then return to running again and so forth. Give your body more peaks and valleys in a shorter amount of time that really get it working.
  • Mix it up: a lot of people start doing one work out and repeat it over and over and over again. Sure, if you haven’t been working out for a long time and then you start with this one work out, you are bound to see some results. However, after a time, your body will grow used to the exercise and you will plateau. It’s happened to me plenty of times before and it’s annoying as all hell. Instead, regularly mix up your routine and try different exercises. Mixing it up will shock your muscles and your body and that is how results happen.

JohnnyNewnes-27

  • Yoga: I am a little biased here because I am a yoga instructor; but yoga has helped me to get into my best shape ever and it has for many others as well. Vinyasa (flow) yoga, shocks the body with different postures, combinations, and transitions so that your muscles are constantly challenged. It brings an extreme emphasis to core cultivation which improves almost all other forms of movement you do on a daily basis, it revs up your metabolism, it helps you to detoxify, etc. I swear by it. Try it out and see if it is for you.

Give yourself permission to:

  • Rest and rejuvenate
  • Indulge from time to time so that you are not feeling deprived
  • Find peace in where you are now regardless of the end goal

Again, I am not a health professional, but I am someone who has found success in my own health and has helped others to as well. I am merely sharing what has worked for me and those that I have helped. See which ones speak to you that you think you can do, try them on, and see what happens.

What are you doing in the New Year to achieve better health and wellness?

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: 8 Things Fit People Do | Johnny La Pasta

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