Thursday, February 22, 2018

10 Ways To Get Healthy {From A Regular Girl}

Disclosure: I'm just a regular gal in her 30's. Clearly, I'm not a doctor. I am not giving out medical advice. If you have questions regarding your health, exercise, vitamins, etc. please consult with your physician. 

Well,  it's almost March and chances are, all of that New Year's resolution motivation has lost it's magic.  Last Summer I started expanding my horizons with overnight kayak and bike trips. I had an absolute blast but found that my endurance and strength, not to mention my over all health, could really use a tune up. Getting healthy doesn't mean resigning yourself to a state of suffering. It does, however, require a daily choice and simple commitment. If you're looking to be a better version of you this year, here's 10 simple ways I found (that I actually do on a daily basis) to get healthy. 

1. Choose A Short But Effective Workout Program

I'm a wife and mom of four.  I'm also a small business owner, I'm homeschooling three of my kids and serving in our church.  Finding time for myself, much less time to workout, is a chore in itself. I knew that it was time to begin a regular workout regiment but the gym just wasn't practical and I didn't feel like setting aside a large chunk of time was feasible. I searched for a workout video that I could do at home in a time frame that worked for me and decided to give the Jillian Michael's 30-Day-Shred a try. The workout is just 20 minutes but don't let that fool you, it's definitely intense! If you don't think Jillian Michales is your flavor, there are numerous other programs to choose from. Choosing a shorter but effective workout takes away that "I don't have time" excuse and gives anyone a workout goal that is attainable. 

2. Invest In A Fitness Watch

Several months ago, my husband spoiled me with an Apple Watch and my motivation for a healthier me has never been the same. Along with the ability to track my overall calorie burn, heart rate, sleep, and more, my Apple Watch allows me to set move, fitness, and standing goals for each day. There's nothing like seeing those three magical rings close at the end of the day, knowing I've succeed. It's also a great motivator to try a little harder the next day if they don't. Between the Apple Watch, Fit Bit, and so many other fitness watches on the market these days, there is bound to be one to fit every budget and every need. My fitness watch helps me reach health goals and has the huge benefit of helping me refocus when I need it. 

3. Wake Up Earlier

This one I definitely have to give credit to my husband, Ben, for because I have NEVER (and I repeat this resoundingly) NEVER EVER been a morning person. Getting out of bed used to be one of the days biggest struggles. It's not because I didn't want to face the day, it's just because my body didn't want to move! Mornings were the only time Ben could really commit to working out because of his regular work schedule and since I wanted a workout buddy, and I wanted to encourage him to hop aboard the healthy train with me, I decided to make the sacrifice. I'm so glad that I did! Now that my body is used to getting up earlier, I'm able to fall asleep earlier and faster. We workout between 6:00am and 6:30am. By the time I hit the showers I'm feeling energized, accomplished, and ready to take on everything else the day brings. Working out in the mornings also means that I don't have a workout hanging over my head all day. If I'm feeling tired in the evening, I don't have to worry about exercising, cause it's already done! This wake-up earlier thing really leads me to my next tip (especially for women)

4. Get A Health Check-Up (Physical Time!)

If you have kids that play sports you've probably had to take them to get a physical at some point. As adults, we rarely think that we might want to do the same if we plan on being active and getting healthy. I've discovered that one of the reasons why my body was a bit more sluggish in the mornings was because my body wasn't getting enough iron naturally. Something as simple as adding an iron pill to my daily regiment has made a tremendous difference in my energy, which in turn, makes a difference in my motivation to be active. 

5. Drink More Water

Yes, yes...I know everyone says it, but it's because it's true. I can tell you from my own experience that my increase in water has had positive effects on my energy, skin, digestion and I'm sure countless other things. Water was never my go to beverage (it was usually a switch off between coffee and sweet tea) and I used to really struggle to drink it. Being more active meant I needed to increase my water intake. I found that when I make sure to add plenty of ice, plus infuse my water with lemon, lime, or other fruit, I always drink a lot more. I added a reminder to my Apple Watch, and have a specific bottle that I keep filled and take with me. I give myself a cup of coffee in the morning (because I refuse not to treat myself) and then water the rest of the day. If I need a hot cup of something in my hands then I go for a cup of hot green tea which has some great health benefits as well.

6. Stop Buying Unhealthy Snacks

If it's in my house, I'm gonna eat it. Same with my husband. Snacking is always hard for me in the evenings but I discovered this awesome tip - if I don't buy it at the grocery store and bring it home - I won't eat it! Now I keep a Tupperware bin of veggies, already cut, and dip in the fridge. Fruit and Greek yogurts are also a great healthy alternative. Ben typically chooses to air pop some popcorn, or we might choose to eat a bowl of heathy organic cereal. People always said that once you start eating healthy food, eating junk makes you feel like junk. I never believed them until I actual did it! Now my body truly craves healthy choices over all that other stuff.  

7. Take A Multi-Vitamin

Even though I was being more active and eating healthier, I found that I was still missing some of the vital nutrients and minerals that my body needed. I added a women's multi-vitamin to my daily regiment and have noticed a difference in my energy levels and even my over all mood. Maintaining a multi-vitamin in my diet gives me peace of mind that I have all of the important nutritional blocks covered.

8. Eat Breakfast

I've had never been a breakfast eater. Even in high school I always opted for an extra 15 minutes of sleep over eating breakfast. Eating breakfast has been a great way to kickstart my metabolism and fuel my body for the day. When I'm in a hurry, I throw down a protein shake on my way up the stairs to shower. On days where I have a little bit more time, I've grown to really love the Kashi cereals. Eggs are also a great way to pack on some protein in the morning! My days of skipping breakfast have come to an end now that I've experienced the difference it makes. Eating breakfast also keeps me from suddenly becoming so hungry by lunch that I'm willing to eat anything and everything. It's a great start to making healthy eating choices all day long!

9. Find A Work-Out Buddy

My husband has become my number one coach! There are definitely mornings where I don't feel like working out. On those mornings I'm glad to have the extra push that I need to keep myself on track and keep reaching for my goals. Along with getting healthier myself, I also want the same for Ben. If I don't get up to work out, chances are Ben might choose to skip as well. Working out together has been a great way to encourage each other. My best friend, Chris (also my co-adventurer) set some workout goals for herself as well. We both have the Apple Watch and we share our work out information with each other. It's a great way to push each other, cheer each other on, and have a little healthy competition. 

10. Take Up A Physical Activity 

The original motivation for my choice to get healthier began with my love for kayaking and biking.  There's not much more that I love that being out in my yak on the river playing in the rapids. It wasn't long before I realized that I wanted to take on some bigger parts of the the river, and though I had the will, I simply didn't have the muscle. The same was true for biking. I loved accomplishing those long rides, but hated the feeling of wanting to take a baseball bat to my bike by the time I was nearing the finish. There are so many activities from rock climbing, to hiking, skiing, anything active to get you moving. Find something you love to do and let that be the motivation you need to get healthy and do it even better! 

What tips would you add for us regular folks just trying to live a healthier lifestyle? 

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