Wellness

3 Essential Parts to a Healthy Lifestyle

Hello, world!

So my life is going through some big changes! I started a new job, gearing up for a move (the boyfriend and I will be living together!), and preparing for my last year of undergrad! Crazy, right?

Of course, nature has the most impeccable timing, so I have actually been sick for 6 weeks! I haven’t been able to work out AT ALL, so in the mean time, I have really focused on cleaning up my eating habits. I’ve made a lot of changes, which I will definitely go more into detail, including pictures and recipes, in my next blog post! (That means you should follow my blog to make sure you don’t miss it!) 😉 But now that I am FINALLY getting out of the sick streak, I am trying to figure out a NEW fitness routine! I’ve always been a huge fan of pilates, but I feel I have finally reached my plateau, and therefore need to add other elements in order to see my fitness increase! I’ve even been asked by others to make some workout routines for them! Once I design my new routine and test it out, I will post it on here for you all to try! I can’t wait for that to happen!

Speaking of, I finally have a YouTube channel! Get excited! One evening while avoiding studying for finals, I randomly made a beginner’s plank routine in my room and uploaded it! The angle stinks, but there’s a funny story behind that. I recorded the routine once, then realized I should have played music in the background. So I did it again, but realized I didn’t set my phone right so the angle wasn’t the best. Therefore, I did it again, and it was perfect! However, my phone didn’t register that I hit the record button, therefore it never recorded… By that point it was midnight, and I was like “screw it, it’s fine!” So if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here! I promise my future videos will have much better angles, hehe.

I am of course reading up on different routines and types of fitness. One that sparks my mind (and I promise I’m getting to the point of this post) is Insanity, a crazier version of P90X. My roommate just started doing it a couple months ago, and I admit, I was surprised. It’s not recommended for someone to go from a sedentary lifestyle straight into such an intense workout regimen without getting burned out quickly. Every morning I could hear her doing the workout in her room, and I was indeed impressed. Eventually, she started doing her workouts in the living room, and that’s when I made a realization- she was just doing the “hiphop abs” routine every day, and not the rest of the program. And she stopped doing it all together after a couple weeks. My response to this is as follows:

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Although it’s fantastic that she was up and active, doing the same exact workout every day along with no diet or lifestyle change = no overall change! (Not to mention completely giving up!) It truly saddens me! After a month, there was no difference in her health. If you want to see a difference in your body, you must pay proper attention to all 3 parts of a healthy lifestyle: fitness, nutrition, and mind.

  1. Fitness involves getting your body moving and active. No matter what your style is, true fitness for change requires 2 things: cardio and strength. I don’t care who you are, you need a nice combination of both. Cardio can be any range of things from running, dancing, swimming, biking, etc. Strength entails either lifting weights (increasingly heavier to bulk up, or lighter weights to remain trim) or performing strength exercises, like lunges, squats, pushups, crunches, planks, and things of that nature. Together, you are building a powerhouse in your body- the cardio of course burns calories, but also strengthens your heart and endurance, while the strength training increases power and muscle, which thus increases your metabolism. (A faster metabolism means you burn more calories while at rest- woo hoo!)
  2. Nutrition entails all of the nutrients you intake. What we put in our bodies has such a huge impact on weight loss, health concerns, endurance, mood, skin, everything! If you continue to eat junk everyday, for example ramen, fried foods, and cookie dough, your body will have a very hard time finding the nutrients it needs to recover and strengthen from a workout! It’s like trying to find your lipstick at the bottom of your giant purse- your body has to wade through all of these miscellaneous things just to get to what’s important. These over processed, sugary, and fatty foods decrease your energy levels, make your skin not as clear as it can be, and can even exascerbate health issues! Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you can never ever enjoy fresh baked Ghiradelli brownies ever again, it just means your overall eating habits should be healthy. So in order to see the best results from your workouts (or even to get the motivation to work out!), you must eat clean! Feed your body with the nutrients it needs from fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
  3. Mind involves all things that promote well being and a balanced state of mind. High stress levels and lack of sleep are major inhibitors of healthy body change! It’s true! When you don’t get enough sleep every night, hormones aren’t released to regulate body weight and your likelihood to make good food choices deminishes. You can even read my previous blog about how sleep affects weight loss to find out the science behind it! It comes down to this: if you are eating clean and working out but not getting enough sleep or have chronic stress, you will not see the changes in your body that you should be seeing. Ensuring that your body has enough rest to recover and a balanced state of mind are crucial to the whole process. Taking time to relax and decompress is just as important to making a permanent lifestyle change!

If you combine these 3 areas, you will see changes not only in the shape of your body, but your happiness and well being. Your body image will improve. I can say, ever since I simply began eating clean and making sleep a priority, I can see a huge improvement in my self esteem and body image. I’m even more proud of the changes I’m making! When you put the puzzle pieces together, you can see the bigger picture!

So next time you’re thinking of making a change, don’t just commit to a diet or workout routine- commit to a lifestyle change!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the 3 parts to a healthy lifestyle! What do you think? 🙂

Peace and love!

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