Health Challenge

Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge! Part 1

Hello, world!

Woo hoo, it is time to start the Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge! I’m super excited for this, and I hope you guys are too! I apologize for the delayed start on this- I’ve had some technical problems unfortunately, but we are finally up and running!

As I mentioned in my previous post, (read it here!) this challenge is meant for those who don’t exercise and want to start, or haven’t done so in awhile and need to ease back into it! It’s meant to make the transition from a sedentary lifestyle to fitness as smooth as possible. Making life long changes is a marathon, not a sprint! That’s why we will be starting small, and working our way up through the next 3 months!

So for Part 1, I have created a calendar with a small daily workout (approximately 10 minutes), and a weekly food challenge since nutrition and fitness go hand in hand! I recommend either waking up just 15 minutes earlier in the morning to kick start your day, or do it in the evening before dinner time! Either way, you want to make sure you eat afterwards to replenish your fuel.

As you progress through the month, I would love to hear from you all on your progress! Use #happybodyblog so I can see how you’re feeling and doing, or comment below!

Click the image below to see the calendar, or download the pdf to print out!

Calendar: Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge Part 1

Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge Part 1

*One note: for the bicep curls, use a full water bottle, large candle, bag or purse, or anything with just a little bit of weight! Or light dumbbells (around 5 lbs), if you happen to have some πŸ˜‰

Remember to breathe, try your best, and HAVE FUN! If you have any questions at all, comment below!

Peace and love!

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!) πŸ˜‰ 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? πŸ™‚

Peace and love!

Motivation

Finding Your Support Structure

Hello, world!

Man, March has brought on so many wonderful changes! It’s like a whirlwind, but I love it! With an upcoming dance competition nearing (it’s next week!), I have gotten back on my full time health plan! That means exercising every day and making good food choices to make sure I am in tip top shape for the competition! It’s amazing what a couple of weeks can do to change your body! With each day I keep this up, the easier it is for these good choices to become a preferred habit!

On top of that, my mom has made some HUGE changes in her life! She has always tried this health plan and that, but now she has found one and is sticking to it! I actually got to go to the gym with her today, which I have never been able to do in the past! It’s so inspirational to see her make these giant changes and how they have already significantly improved her health! I’m so proud!

Now what is the secret ingredient behind making permanent lifestyle changes? Of course you must make the change for YOU and no one else, but once you have decided on this change, you must establish your support structure in order to succeed. A support structure looks like a house:

house-clip-art-12

  • Floors: The floor, plumbing, and wood beam skeleton of the house make up the basic and fundamental piece of the structure. This person is behind you every step of the way, no matter what, and is always supporting you. In my life, this piece of the support structure is my boyfriend. Whenever I start a new health plan or make a change in my life, he is right there telling me that I can do it. Just like the flooring is always below your feet, this part of the support structure is always there for you, and is absolutely essential (I mean, how could you live in a house without plumbing? That would stink… [sorry for the bad pun]).
  • Walls: The walls surrounding the house represent the person who is making the same or similar changes in their life. This person is right there with you, pushing you to try a new workout, make spaghetti squash for the first time, go to a yoga studio, and ultimately helping to remind you of the new commitment you have made. These people are your confidants, and the ones you won’t get mad at when they suggest you skip the trip to Burger King. They share in the difficulties, successes, and long term happiness. The walls in my support structure come from my best friend, who pushes me to work harder to achieve more. Just like walls are required to keep a house up, the same goes for keeping the support structure stable and helpful to you.
  • Roof: The roof of a house protects you from the wind, rain, and other elements. This person offers support like the flooring and walls, but also isn’t afraid to protect you from bad decisions. They let you know when they are worried, you have fallen off the path, or need to try something new. Sometimes it is hard to hear the facts, but it is essential. Mistakes lead to bigger and better changes, and this person helps illuminate that because they care and want to see you succeed. My roof would have to be my mom, and I think many can relate to that. She has more years and different insights into things, and everything she says comes from a place of love. Your roof will keep you going and guide you in the right direction.

When put together, the 3 parts to the support structure create the ultimate energy source for your changes. No matter what happens or how you are feeling, there is someone to aid you and cheer you on. When you need positive affirmation, there’s your floor. When you want to share experiences gain motivation, there are your walls. When you need guidance, there’s your roof. When people know your goals, you are even more likely to follow through and make the goals become real. No major lifestyle change is possible without a support structure!

Who are the important people that make up your support structure? I would love to hear about them in the comments! Let’s go out there and change our lifestyles together!

Peace and love!