This article was written by Personal Trainer, Paige Johnson - She offers excellent tips and advice!
Some people look at the beginning of a new year to focus on fitness and healthy eating while others may be motivated by the summer and swimsuit season approaching or a special upcoming event. No matter what time of year it is, there are some great strategies that can be incorporated into your lifestyle to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and these can typically be applied all year long.
Use the change of seasons as an excuse to try new activities.
Everyday Health points out that different seasons can impact people and their ability to achieve their health and fitness goals in different ways. Some people embrace winter and the opportunity to do cold-weather activities like skiing and snowshoeing, while others are invigorated by the summer warmth where they can get out to run or bike under the sun's rays.
Even if you tend to embrace exercise during one season more than others, it is possible to adjust your habits to be consistent with year-round activity. Adjusting the time of day that you work out might be helpful if you are struggling to stay on track, and if you belong to a gym, consulting with a fitness trainer for a session or two could be the jolt you need to reset your fitness focus if you’re in a slump.
When you are looking for motivation to exercise during a season where you normally struggle, trying a new activity or two might be just what you need for some inspiration. Swimming is a great year-round activity that can be fantastic exercise (especially with some helpful equipment) for all ages and skill levels, and some people utilize what may otherwise be an off-season to try out different types of sports leagues or fitness classes. Shaking things up can keep your fitness routine from becoming too drab month after month.
Make adjustments to embrace what foods are in season
There are numerous approaches you can take when it comes to healthy eating, but Mayo Clinic points out that it is key to choose plans that will fit nicely within your budget, tastes, and lifestyle. Trying to go with an eating style that you hate typically will only backfire and long-term, year-round success comes from picking something that is both healthy and that will suit your tastes.
Typically, choosing everyday items that you can find at local stores is important, and be sure to incorporate a wide variety of whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins and low-fat dairy items. As you load up your plate, it is important to be mindful of the size of your portions. Experts recommend focusing on vegetables and fruits first.
When you are looking to be fit and continue healthy eating habits all year long, incorporating a few basic strategies can go a long way. Find exercise styles that fit your tastes and can be done in multiple seasons, or try different types of exercise during different times of the year. Embrace the fresh air of the outdoors when you can, but don't forget that many great exercise options exist indoors as well.
Healthy eating habits typically incorporate a variety of foods, making adjustments at times to accommodate what fruits and vegetables are available at different times of the year. Be sure to focus on choices that are easily available and suit your tastes while packing the best nutritional bang for your buck. Many people face some slumps with their fitness and eating plans at various times of the year, but with some determination and strategizing, year-round success is definitely possible.
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So I spend a little more time on social media than I would like to admit - however, I primarily use it for my blog. But is constantly checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap Chat really all that healthy?
First of all, think of all the other productive things we could be doing - not necessarily fun things that we want to do, but much more important things than taking a quiz to see the first letter of the name of the person you are destined to marry!
Not only does it reduce our productivity, but it makes us miss things happening around us. If we constantly have our heads bent down, blankly staring at a screen, we are probably missing so much that's happening right in front of us. I travel around the city for work, and I had the opportunity to work at the Ace Hotel this week - and it was probably one of the coolest places I've gone in a while! There is a rooftop pool with an outdoor bar, so I went up to check it out. When I walked up there, almost everyone was on their phones. You are sitting at a rooftop bar overlooking New Orleans, but Facebook is more entertaining? I personally love going places in this city just to people watch - you never know what you are going to see! I guess I found it disappointing because there are so many things happening around us and we aren't aware of them because social media has us distracted.
This past weekend I went camping and the beauty in that is that I left my phone sitting in my purse the entire time and had absolutely no need for social media. It was nice to get away, enjoy the fresh air (minus the bug bites), and relax!
And my favorite part of social media - distorted body selfies! You can flex, turn, and pose all you want - but very few people actually look like that on an everyday basis. But I will say, I enjoy progress pictures - real people, making real progress. No weird poses. No sprayed on tan line.s. No comparing ourselves and making unrealistic body image goals. Those posed pictures are part of the reason some people don't see themselves as "fit" or "in shape" because they are comparing themselves to something unrealistic. So how is that healthy? Newsflash! It's not.
The point is - spending so much time on social media and posting everything we do, isn't exactly healthy. Sharing pictures of meals, workouts, and other exciting things you are doing is fun, and allows you to keep up with everyone, but it's something that we should balance, just like everything else we do!
As of late, Greek yogurt has become a very popular nutrition trend. The problem is there are SO many options - so what's YOUR best option? It seems that just about every time I walk into the grocery store, I find new brands, and of course I have to try them! Yogurts tend to have a lot of added sugar, which isn't great, but Greek yogurt can be a good source of protein, as well as calcium, so it makes for a great snack, especially when topped with fruits like blueberries, or even some almonds. It's also a great replacement in some recipes for dips, soups, and even desserts! The general rule of thumb is to buy brands that have more protein than sugar. So these are my top 4 choices/recommendations:
Siggi's - 0% Milkfat, 11g sugar, 16g protein
Trader Joe's Nonfat Greek Yogurt - 6g sugar, 22g protein
Fage Total 0% - 7g sugar, 18g protein
Yoplait Greek 100 - 7g sugar, 14g protein
Now that Mardi Gras is over, and everyone has had their fill of King Cake, fried food, and alcohol, it's time to get back on track - Although the boiled crawfish make living in New Orleans a little easier during Lent! I'm sure it won't be long before we will get on social media and start seeing everyone getting "bikini ready" for summer. This is a good time to detox from all the not-so-healthy things we have been eating the past few weeks. I like using this time of sacrifice as a time to start a lifestyle change. If you're tired of always starting over - don't stop. Once these 40 days are over, why go back to those same habits you were trying to stop or change? And maybe you aren't trying to break a habit, maybe you are trying to start a new one!
I'm using these 40 days, not only as a time of sacrifice, reflection, and prayer, but as a way I want to continue to live even when these 40 days are over. I am constantly trying to improve the way I live and the healthy choices I make, so when I start something new, I go into it with the mindset that it's not just something temporary. This is just the start to an even healthier life!
It's also National Nutrition Month!! So starting those new habits, breaking old habits, and starting to live a healthier lifestyle should be a breeze with all the nutrition posts that will be posted this month! Be sure to check them out at eatright.org!