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.

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?

Simply Ways To Stay On Track This Fall

Summer is behind us and Fall is officially here. We tend to have slower days this season, which is welcomed after a busy summer. More leisurely days can lead to falling off track with your healthy habits, but not if you stay mindful of the goals you’ve been working on all summer long.

Here are a few of my simple & favorite tweaks to stay on track during this slower season-

Spice up your life
A few dashes of your favorite spicy toppings can do wonders for your metabolism. Eat more hot peppers or even sprinkle red pepper flakes from your spice rack onto your foods to help boost your metabolism almost effortlessly. Add it to soups, stir-fry, pasta, or even your salad too.

Skip the diets
The best thing you can do is actually eat more of the right food. Fiber-rich fruits and veggies can be gobbled down until you feel that satisfied feeling with no guilt involved. Make smart choices when you’re eating, and you’ll be fueling your body with the right stuff and balancing a healthy metabolism.

Power up with protein
Protein powers and maintains lean muscle. You don’t need to be a meat-eater though to get all the protein you need. Plant-based proteins are an ideal solution to helping your muscles maintain and burn off fat in a healthy way.

Stand more
If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, make sure you get up and move around at least once every hour. If possible, get a standing desk that adjusts so you can work standing up or sitting down, or a DeskCycle that you can use while you’re sitting.

Choose organic
If money is a factor in your grocery budget, you can choose organic when it comes to things like strawberries, apples, celery, peaches, spinach, other greens, and potatoes. These have the highest pesticide levels. Things you peel like bananas, avocados, or grapefruit, for example, are generally fine if they’re non-organic.

Little things like these are all healthy and smart ways to make your body work harder for you without you working harder, which is a great advantage to have in the fall! Enjoy the slower season and see how your body responds.

5 Reasons Your Weight’s Not Budging Even When You’re Trying

Even when you think you’re doing everything “right” — you could still be doing something that’s sabotaging your goals. With the slew of “diets” out there that leave us entirely confused, it can be hard to discern what the correct steps to take are to actually reach your health goals. I totally get it, it’s a difficult road to be on.

Start by taking an honest look at your habits, and digging a little deeper with these 5 reasons your scale might not be budging.

1. You’re not sleeping enough
We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it: you need sleep! If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more prone to feeling hungry when you’re not and more likely to choose fattier options instead of more healthy ones when it’s time to eat. Even worse, lack of sleep affects how much cortisol your body produces which can contribute to weight fluctuations.

2. You have zero chill
Your stress level directly correlates with weight gain. Just like not getting enough sleep, it produces more cortisol which will keep the scale from going down like you’re hoping for. You’ve got to learn to manage your stress by using relaxation techniques. Try meditating or take 5 at your desk and do some simple yoga poses. Developing a good habit for handling stress will take some time to make it stick, but you’ll find once you manage stress, the scale will be tipping in your favor.

3. You’re eating more than you should
Are you portioning out your food? A substantial portion of the population overeats and an alarming number don’t even realize the portions they’re eating are considered “overeating” sized portions. What’s more, even if you’re using something healthy like olive oil, it has 120 calories per tablespoon which really adds up if you just dump it into your skillet or pour heavy onto your salad. Measure things out, and you’ll be getting just the right balance.

4. You’re not challenging your body
But I’m exercising, you might protest. Indeed, getting moving and being active is a crucial part of losing weight. However, you’ve got to challenge your body. You can’t expect to keep blasting off fat if you’re doing the same workout every single day. Switch things up, and you’ll see results. Don’t be afraid of lifting weights either. Building up your muscles helps you burn off more, even when you’re at rest!

5. You overindulge on the weekend
Be mindful of your indulgences and don’t skip your workout on the weekend either, or at the very least, plan an activity that keeps you moving. There’s no reason you can’t have a good time but balance is the best way to prevent your weekend from wrecking your weight loss.

Be honest…are you guilty of these things? It’s not too late to make a change. Work on these areas now and you’ll be in much better shape even during the hectic holidays coming up in winter!

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.

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.

When’s the last time you disconnected from your phone for a bit?

It can feel like an impossibility — what if someone needs you? What if you get an important phone call? They’re all valid questions, but the answer is — life will go on, and you’ll find out soon enough. You likely don’t even know what it feels like to not have your phone within reach if you’re anything like me.  It’s become such an integrated part of our lives that we don’t even consider going without it.

Starting to break the invisible chain between you and your phone can feel awkward, uneasy and uncomfortable at first… but the rewards are amazing.

Start small today by taking a walk outside without your phone. Notice how you feel, how you notice things differently, and what your mind is thinking about.

Come back and let me know how it went, I want to know!

 

Healthy Ways to Lose Weight This Summer

The summer months are among us — when we start to break out of our hibernation and get out into the sunshine. We shed our sweaters for shorts and tank tops, swimsuits and sundresses. But if you didn’t quite reach the New Year Resolutions you set for yourself, you may be feeling a little apprehensive. Swimsuit weather can trigger self-conscious thoughts as we so easily get lost in comparison-mode.

Here are a few of the tried and true ways to get healthy this summer — no fad diets, no pills, no tricks.

1. Daily Movement
Many people seem to ignore the significant beneficial results merely walking around has. While jogging or running can be better, not everyone enjoys it as a form of exercise. That “not being able to breathe” side effect of a decent jog can make some people forgo the activity altogether. However, if you want to walk for an hour or two instead, that is an entirely acceptable alternative. It doesn’t have to be hours at the gym to be a good workout.

2. Eat Healthy
Food advice changes by the month it seems. One day coffee is good for you, and the next it’s on the do not consume list. It’s so hard to keep up with the controversial information and know what is acceptable, right?

In general, the science itself is pretty clear (and common sense in many areas) on what we should be eating to be healthy, and what we should be avoiding. Eat plenty of plant foods, ditch the junk food, and drink plenty of water. Salads may sound boring, but a delicious veggie stir-fry or a hearty white bean soup can mix it up quite a lot. Don’t overthink it, just reach for foods the Earth grows and you’ll be feeling fabulous in no time.

3. Drink Fluids
Most of us do not drink nearly enough water each day. This can cause us to eat more and feel more tired, even when in reality, all we are is a bit thirsty. Strive to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day, spreading it out throughout your day. You will no longer get hunger pangs as often and will learn over time to know the difference between hunger, and thirst.

So regardless of how much you want to lose, just doing a little bit every day works like a charm. If walking alone is not impact enough for you, then jog, run, dance, or do whatever else will get you to move and more often.

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.