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TIPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR HEALTH & FITNESS
You may be doing some of these things already! If this is new to you (or new again) and you are just starting to add in healthy habits, this list may seem overwhelming. We understand that and don't want you to be discouraged! Pick one or two of the points listed below that you feel are doable to start with, then build from there. Eventually, some of these habits will feel like second nature and that's when you know they're becoming sustainable.
You’re busy, I’m busy, we’re all busy in some way. When you want something bad enough, you make time for it. You need to make your health and fitness a priority if you have goals you would like to achieve. Maybe that means your house is a little messy sometimes, or it takes you 3 days to get all the laundry done, or you don’t watch that new movie yet, or you drink less alcohol and more water...you know what you’ve got to do, you just need to do it. We’ve all seen the quote: if you’ve got an hour for facebook, you’ve got an hour for exercise. Priorities.
Half an ounce to an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Example: if you weigh 150lbs, you should drink between 75 and 150 ounces of water per day. If it’s hot out, or you’ve sweat a lot, aim for the higher end of this amount. If not, you can stick with the lower end.
7-9 hours per night. Try maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time whenever possible.
Stress can prevent you from attaining your fitness goals. Know your stressors and find a way to eliminate them, or develop strategies to reduce their effect on you.
Have a big goal, and several small goals that will help you achieve that bigger goal. You are more likely to stick to something if there is something specific that you are working or training towards.
Be nice to yourself. Don’t get down on yourself if things aren’t going the way you want them to. Keeping your self-talk positive will help to improve your confidence, self-esteem, mood, stress levels, mental and emotional wellness which will all contribute to your overall health.
Remember why you’re doing this:
Know your why and don’t lose sight of it. Personally, I want to live a long, healthy and happy life, being strong and mobile for as long as possible. All of the smaller goals I create for myself whether it’s building strength, running a marathon, stretching X times per week, etc, contribute to that. You likely have more than one why. I also enjoy being able to keep up with my kids, race up a mountain on a hike, maintain weight to save money by not having to buy new clothes as often, etc. I love having energy and being able to fall asleep minutes after my head hits the pillow. If you don’t know why you’re doing this, why you’re eating more healthy foods than fun foods, exercising when you could be catching up on chores, etc, it’s easy to just stop.
Share your goals with others (you never know who you’ll motivate to get started on their own health & fitness journey) & let others know the details of what you’re working on. Knowing someone is going to ask you how you’ve been progressing may encourage you to give it your best. You can also get yourself a training partner or health buddy! This person should be someone with goals similar to yours so that you can encourage each other and motivate each other while understanding what the other is experiencing. Sometimes knowing your friend is meeting you at a trail head at 7am is the only thing that will get you there on some days!
Aim for 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day. If you don’t have a step counter, this averages to 1400 steps/km (or about 2250 steps/mile), so completing 7 to 10kms (4.35 to 6.2 miles) should get you there. The average walking pace being 5kms/hour, completing 2-3 hours of walking throughout the day is what you should aim for.
Diets, dietary restrictions, food preferences and availability differ greatly from person to person. Consume mainly anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense foods to encourage joint and muscle recovery before and after exercise. Know what you are taking in by keeping a food journal so that you can track which foods disagree with you so that you may avoid them in the future, or close to times when you intend to exercise. Also keep track of which foods make you feel the best and give you the most energy and incorporate them more often. Keep your portions light and avoid too close to the time you intend to exercise. If weight loss is a goal for you, remember: calories in vs calories out. To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you are eating/drinking.
Consistency is key in maintaining health and fitness. Find something you enjoy doing and that you can easily fit into your lifestyle. This makes it more sustainable and something that you are likely to continue with or go back to should you fall off track. If you do fall off track, you don’t need to wait for a Monday, or a new month to restart your journey. Every good choice, no matter what time of day counts if it will help you achieve your goals.
Results don’t happen overnight. And they happen faster for some people than others. Being impatient can cause frustration and make your workouts and healthy habits seem like a chore. Look forward to the smaller goals you set for yourself and remind yourself often why you are doing this.
It can be hard to see progress in ourselves. Sometimes we don’t notice any until someone says something about our appearance, our skin, our posture, our newly positive attitude, etc. Choose how you would like to measure your progress. If your goal is weight loss, you can take your measurements, your weight or take progress photos. If you have a fitness goal of building strength, keep track of how much weight you are lifting for specific exercises along with the date so that you know how much stronger you’re getting. Maybe you want to run a 5k, PR your 5K or complete a triathlon! Make sure you remember where you started and appreciate your progress no matter how big or small.
So You Wanna Be a Yogi
This illustrated and informative guide to all things yoga is sure to amuse you. Developing a personal yoga practice can be overwhelming. Let the Cartoon Yogi show you the way in her casual and playful manner. So You Wanna Be a Yogi contains valuable information that yogis of all levels can benefit from and impress their yogi friends with. Let’s bust some common yoga myths & misconceptions! Learn about all the different types of yoga, where to start, why start, how to talk, how to walk, how to breathe, how to eat...and what’s the deal with chakras anyway? Written and illustrated by a certified yoga teacher who draws yoga better than she does yoga.