Working Out a Little is Better Than Not Working Out at All

As we move into 2019, you’ve probably got your list of resolutions ready to go. It’s always at the top of our list to make health a priority in the New Year, which is a noble and incredibly vital goal to have.

But life has a funny way of happening and making other plans for you, doesn’t it?! You may start out with good intentions, but work, illnesses, and other factors can get in the way, keeping you from that workout you’d planned on. I have some encouraging news, though — science has your back. It seems that studies confirm that a little exercise is better for your health than none at all.

Let me know in the comments below what your New Year Resolution is this year, I’m eager to hear what you’re hoping to accomplish in 2019!

So when life gives you lemons, make the best of it by getting in some kind of activity each day. Here are some suggestions you can try when you’re short on time to get at least enough exercise to feel good and stick to your resolutions.

Split it up
Maybe you can’t commit to 30 solid minutes per day, but guess what? You don’t have to! If it’s easier to find 10-minute blocks of time to get that exercise in, then do that. By the end of the day, you’ll have fulfilled your exercise quota, and you’ll be on your way to feeling healthier. Once you get in the swing of it, you’ll crave that daily exercise and make sure you find time for it, too.

Walk the office
Trapped on deadline? We feel ya! But sitting behind the desk all day isn’t good for anyone. On your lunch, take a break and walk up and down the stairs or around the building even for just 15 minutes. Finding ways to fit exercise into the daily tasks we have to do is a perfect way to utilize limited time.

Try HIIT
If walking bores you, try a few HIIT exercises in your office. Again, you can split it up throughout your day to make sure you get some exercise in.

Walk to work
For those of you in big cities, let your feet lead the way to work. You can try getting off at a stop or two earlier on the subway and walk the rest of the way. Bring your work shoes in your bag and change into them when you arrive so you can make the most of your steps. No choice but to drive? Try parking further away from the door for a longer stroll from the car to the office.

Schedule it into your weekend
If you’d prefer to have a more active weekend, focus on getting a good bit of activity over the weekend to make up for any sedentary days during the week. So if you really can’t take the time during the week, block out at least an hour and 15 minutes worth of time on your weekend to faithfully hit the gym or jogging trail.

Now that you know you have more flexibility with getting your exercise, I know you can utterly crush your good-health goals this year.

Have you done this?  I know I have.

This time of year rolls around, the holidays begin, and we throw all caution to the wind when it comes to our eating habits.  We tell ourselves we’ll pick back up with healthy eating in the New Year along with the rest of the world — New Year Resolutions, right?  Millions of people every year fall into this cycle.

Let’s make this year different.  Instead of adopting that mindset this year, I want you to focus on one thing only — maintaining your weight. Instead of thinking “there’s no way I’ll lose weight this season with all the holidays coming up, so why even try?” think about what you can do to maintain instead of gain.  Let that be the goal this year and cut yourself some slack — it’s the holidays, after all!

Let’s kick off November with a little challenge.

This month, let’s focus on 2-3 healthy habits all month long.  It can be as simple as taking a 10-minute walk every day or as complex as 50 push-ups a day.

This way, once you get to the end of the month when the holidays begin, you will have been focusing on your health all month long.  You won’t feel as guilty eating that slice of pie, and you certainly won’t feel like one meal has derailed you from the health goals you’ve been working all month long on.

What are your 2-3 healthy habits going to be?  Challenge accepted?

Everything Electrolytes

Why You Need Them and Where to Get Them

Whether you exercise regularly or not, your body needs electrolytes. These are necessary minerals that help us balance fluid in our bodies, muscle movement, and brain function. These minerals are potassium, magnesium, chlorine, calcium, and salt. Making sure your body has plenty of electrolytes to stay charged is essential, even with the cooler weather this season.

Electrolytes help get your nerves active and regulate the water flow into your cells, which makes muscles contract as they should, awakens you, keeps blood pressure in check, and of course, keeps you hydrated. You probably already know that in summer, you’ve got to stay hydrated. But in fall and even winter, many people slack off, thinking because they’re not sweating from the heat that it’s not necessary.

While it’s undoubtedly true that the more active you are, like during your workout or while running a marathon, you need more electrolytes. However, even at rest, we need electrolytes to keep our cells functioning. During exercise, electrolytes are deposited into your sweat glands. Thanks to osmosis, water comes along with those electrolytes. When your glands fill up, they release this salty mixture onto the outer layer of your skin. That salty water mixture evaporates, keeping you cooler. This is precisely why that overly-perky aerobics instructor is always telling you not to forget to drink your water. If you lose too many electrolytes, it can be harmful to your body in many ways.

But wait! Before you reach for that electrolyte-infused beverage of your choice, you might be surprised to learn that you’re actually getting plenty of electrolytes through your regular diet. Assuming you’re eating healthy, that is.

Water is the best thing you can use for hydrating your body and flushing away toxins.

Try eating more plant-based foods. Bananas, dates, coconuts, avocados, raisins, spinach, lentils, potatoes, and beans are all foods that are great for keeping your electrolyte supply full. And this is going to sound crazy, but add pink Himalayan sea salt to your meals after you’ve been intensely sweating.

It benefits your hydration, believe it or not. Just make sure you’re drinking adequate amounts of water, and keep the dose minimal.

As always, healthy eating and plenty of water are the essential elements you need to keep your body healthy and thriving. Now that you know more about electrolytes, you can focus on eating foods that will naturally supply them,sprinkle on a little sea salt, and keep chugging that water for your optimum health and replenishment.

I just want you to know that your exercise doesn’t have to be perfect.  You don’t have to look like an ultra-fit volleyball player in your workout clothes, you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone else but your own body when it comes to working out.  Exercise is to honor and respect YOU, and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to it.

I know so many of you are waiting until you lose a little weight before you join the gym, or keep putting that new exercise routine you pinned on Pinterest off until xyz… I want to give you permission, right here and right now, to start where you are, with what you have.  Today.  You’re worth it.

How to Get Control of Your Busy Mind

Do you ever have those times when your mind is racing, and you can’t seem to catch up? Maybe your schedule is jam-packed, and you haven’t had a quiet minute to yourself in what seems like forever, or you tend to worry about every little detail on a daily basis — either way, your brain is on the go constantly. Sound about right?

Nevertheless, don’t worry. It’s not an issue exclusive to you, an active mind is
something we all deal with. A busy brain isn’t a bad thing, but when it overtakes us
and controls us instead of the other way around, that’s when trouble can creep in.
Being mindful of this and practicing some tricks daily to maintain control of your
busy mind is as easy as this…

1. Meditation
Meditation is a great way to calm yourself down after a stressful episode or a busy day. All you have to do is sit still and clear your mind, take some deep breaths, and keep practicing until it works. It might take awhile to implement fully, but once you are able to utilize it, you will be able to finally enjoy some peace.

2. Exercise
Working out is a great way to reduce stress and even get in some beneficial exercise in the process. Whether it is dance, yoga, or simply taking a walk, mindful movement has been known to reduce stress and even help to increase productivity and strengthen your attention span. And who doesn’t need that?!

3. Avoid overstimulation
Whether it is watching TV, reading articles on your phone, or even just chatting with people, we live in an era where we are stimulated all the time. This can make us stressed out more often. Be mindful of cutting down on technology or screen time that causes this stimulation, especially when you are feeling stressed. What are some activities you can do that don’t involve technology or screen time?

4. Make art
No matter how good you are at painting, drawing, or even crafting, having a creative hobby is a great way for you to do more mindless work. Knitting is a good hobby for many, and you can make scarves and hats to keep yourself warm or to provide for family and friends during the holiday season.

Regardless of where you are in life, finding a great way to relax is vital for pretty much all of us. Being pressured and stressed can feel like an everyday occurrence, but with a little relaxation, we can start to retake control of our lives.

Deep Sleeping Tips

How to Sleep Well Naturally

Statistics show that only about a third of all people are getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. The quality of sleep, and ultimately the quality of life, of many people, are compromised due to not being well rested. I fully understand busy weeks or months, but if this becomes a trend in your life, it’s something worth taking a look at. So, what should you do to boost the amount of rest you get, naturally and effectively?

Here are a few of my favorite ways to do just that:

1. Turn off the phone
Light tells our brains that it is time to get up and move, and halts melatonin production. Therefore, when you are trying to get some sleep, doing things like regularly checking your phone, watching TV, etc., can prevent you from getting any restful sleep once you do close your eyes. About an hour before bed, turn off your phone, and keep it away from your bed, so you are not tempted to check it at night. Believe me, after the initial uncomfortable feeling of not having your phone nearby, you’ll absolutely love the feeling of being disconnected for a short while.

2. Exercise during the day
Sometimes, the reason why we can’t get any sleep is that we have built up energy. One way to release that is by going for a walk, a long jog around your favorite park, or some cardio activity for 30 minutes to an hour every day. Doing so will cause you to expend that energy, and get to sleep much faster.

3. Use your bed only for sleeping
A lot of people like to use their bed as a kind of workstation. They will do work on their bed, talk to people on the phone while on it, and even eat while on their beds sometimes. This habit can cause your mind to stop associating the bed with sleep, and start associating it with activity. When this happens, it can prevent you from getting restful sleep and can affect your quality of sleep in the long run. So keep your bed as a sacred spot for relaxation and rest, and you’ll be well on your way to a good nights sleep.

4. Develop a routine
When it comes to getting to bed, a lot of people don’t or can’t develop a regular sleep schedule. Not having a schedule you follow can become an issue if you have a flexible work schedule, for instance. When no boundaries are in place, it’s much easier to fall off track. Set some bedtime boundaries and follow them as closely as possible, and you’ll quickly notice what a difference it makes.

Having a good routine and healthy sleeping habits will increase both your quality of sleep and your quality of life in the long run. It is imperative to prevent doing things that can negatively affect your sleep schedule, and work to get your circadian rhythm into balance naturally.

A lot of small footsteps makes up a long walk.

Think about if you were to sprint instead.

You’d zoom right past everything, missing the details.

You’d end up there out of breath, covered in sweat and ready to collapse.

That’s precisely what happens when we try to marathon our new healthy habits.  We excitedly jump in head first and end up overwhelmed and frozen.  The next time you make promises to yourself for change, I want you to take the stroll route.  Choose one small step you can change and master before you add another small step to your plate.  Before long, you will have integrated each small step into your life in such a natural and effective way, and you’ll reach the finish line happy, healthy and ready for more.

 

The Effects of Undereating

When you think of losing weight, likely the first thing that comes to mind is cutting calories. We’ve been taught that if we eat fewer calories, we’ll lose weight. Especially if we burn more calories than we are ingesting, right?

Eating healthier and exercising are absolutely ways to lose weight and get to a healthier place, but many people take this to an extreme and don’t eat nearly enough food to sustain themselves. Doing so can cause many ill effects, and can even cause you to GAIN weight. It’s critical to eat the right amount of food that your body needs — under-eating is a real concern, and here are some symptoms you may experience with under-eating.

1. Mood Changes
Hunger and hormones affect mood. This is why many people who do not eat enough food often find themselves irritable. Know that it is possible to eat a right amount of calories, while still being able to lose weight effectively. Food and mood go hand-in-hand.

2. Impaired Concentration
Since you are no longer eating enough calories, it can cause you to feel lightheaded and fatigued. This can prevent you from being able to concentrate, and as a result, damage your productivity. Lack of productivity and concentration can cause frustrating consequences in your work, school and home life, so we certainly want to avoid this at all costs.

3. Skin and Hair Issues
With a lack of fats and protein in the system, nails can become brittle, hair can start to fall out, and skin can begin to grow littered with rashes. These are more than cosmetic issues, and can even influence you for years to come.

4. Vitamin Deficiency
Not eating enough vitamins and minerals can be quite detrimental to your body in the long run. For instance, Vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to permanent nerve damage, and Vitamin D deficiency can lead to brittle bones.

It is possible to lose or maintain weight by eating a healthy, plant-filled diet, and exercising moderately. There is no reason why anyone should have to suffer side effects just because they feel as if it’s the only way to reach their weight-loss goals.