Enjoy an Active Holiday Season

Holiday Season Snowshoeing

Now that there is snow on the ground and you are in a holiday mood, it does not mean that it’s time for you to give up on your exercise routine or plan. You might find it hard to eat healthily and still get a chance to work out with all the family gatherings and parties. But, you can still do it. You need to prioritize your health more during this challenging time.

First, you have to change your mindset. You can use the additional family time to bond with relatives and also work out in group settings. Below are some ideas to assist you, and your family or relatives, stay active and healthy during the holiday season.

Make a plan earlier

If you plan on traveling to another state or city, be sure to do some research online. Find out if you can be an ‘add-on’ to any of your relative’s existing memberships, or if you can get a temporary gym membership.

If you happen to be traveling somewhere warm and you prefer to be outdoors, try to look up hiking trails and running routes in the area. You will get many resources online to help you make that big step.

Make family time

Usually, the holiday season is all about spending time with your loved ones. It’s the perfect time to drink, eat and be merry with everyone. Why not consider exercising together or playing fun games that will help everyone to exercise by the end of the day?

A game like hide-and-seek or tag is ideal to play with young nephews or nieces. There are many games you can find, even for adults, once you Google search. You can even inspire your loved ones to take a walk with you around the neighborhood. The walk will help all of you to burn calories and bond with the family. This is a perfect light workout for everyone and will take you away from that pumpkin pie, even for a while.

Take part in holiday-themed runs

Most towns and cities offer various runs during the holiday season. Preparing for a walk, run or obstacle course race helps you stay motivated to exercise. Ensure that you invite all your loved ones so that you can motivate each other and show up for the event.

Bring your own equipment

If you will be traveling and you are sure that you will not access a gym, consider bringing some portable fitness equipment like a TRX suspension trainer, tubing or Valslides. These simple solutions will fit in your carry-on bag or suitcase.

Go out in the snow

Most people who work out a lot consider snow to be ideal “fitness equipment.” So, if you will be surrounded by snow the entire holiday season, make sure that you take advantage of it. You can go snowboarding, ice-skating, skiing or snowshoeing. Maybe you can take part in a friendly snowball fight, too.

All these simple solutions will help you beat the weight-gain battle and stay healthy during the holiday season.

 

5 Simple Strategies for Sticking to Your Fitness Goals

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No matter what your fitness goals are, strength training is an important component to any exercise program.

Sticking to your fitness goals can be challenging, but it is also very rewarding. Learning to be healthy takes time and dedication to your fitness goals. Sticking with those goals also takes time and patience to perfect.

Don’t be discouraged if you stumble every now and then, the most important part is that you get back up and try again.

Here are some tips to help you stick with your fitness goals.

Commitment

Make fitness more than a goal, make it a lifestyle. The more committed you are to your fitness goals, the more likely you will be to stick with them.

  • Tell others about your decision to be healthy. When we make public our intent to be fit and healthy we also make that commitment more real in our minds. Every so often it is good to reaffirm your commitment to being healthy and fit.
  • Teach others what you have learned about fitness. By teaching others you will gain a unique perspective on how fitness works.
  • Write it down. Write down your commitment to yourself and the specific goals that you want to reach.

Switch It Up

Your exercise routine should not become boring. Once your workout becomes boring, it won’t be long before you stop doing it. Try new things, and keep it fresh and exciting.

  • Take A Class: Instead of doing your same old workout, try taking a class. There are so many different classes and teachers, each with their own unique approach to helping you meet your fitness goals. Classes can be really fun, especially when there is an energetic and highly motivating teacher.Also, classes are great places to meet other fitness conscious people, and when you have people with a fitness mindset in your life, you are more likely to stick with your fitness goals.Class choices are plentiful and include: aerobics, cycling, Kettlebell, CrossFit, ViPR, Bosu, ballet barre, boot camp, Pilates, Tai Chi, QiGong, Zumba, Doonya, and kickboxing, just to name a few.
  • Hire A Personal Trainer: They are experts at motivating people to workout. They will also give you fresh ideas for your workout and can guide you to take your fitness to the next level and that can be motivating in and of itself.The other critical benefit of getting a trainer is that it gives you someone to answer to, it’s much harder to skip a workout when you have an appointment with a trainer.

Start Small And Set Specific Goals

When choosing your fitness goals, you should pick a goal that is easy to stick with. Start with small goals and work your way up to the bigger and longer goals. Don’t set a goal that will be too hard to manage. Anything we make hard we will stop doing, make your goals fun and easy.

Goals should be categorized as short and long term, and specific action steps should be included as to how you will reach each of the goals.

Take each goal one step at a time. Break each goal up into steps that are easy to implement. Even a hard goal can be made easier if you break it up.

Starting with smaller goals will help you to build momentum. Each goal that you complete will empower you to start working on the more challenging ones.

Motivation

Motivation is the key element to sticking with your fitness goals, and it is the driving force that pushes you to succeed and to keep with it. Here are some tips to help you stay  motivated.

  • Remember why you made a fitness goal in the first place! Keep connected with the reasons you started in the first place. When you stumble, use those reasons to motivate yourself.
  • Reward yourself!! When you do good and push through a hard workout remember to reward yourself in a healthy way. If you workout all the time without noticing and acknowledging the payoffs and rewards, it will be much harder to stick with your goals. A reward will help you to remember how gratifying all the hard work can be.

Momentum

Motivation is the driving force, but momentum is what makes the whole process easier. When we have momentum on our side, nothing can stop us. It’s only when we lose that momentum that it becomes hard to stick to our goals.

  • Don’t take long breaks or to many breaks between your workouts, this will cause you to lose focus and momentum. When you feel that momentum, keep it going.
  • Don’t think about it, just do it. Many people tend to over think and wonder if they should workout or complete a step on their goals action list and this causes them to talk themselves out of doing those things.

Motivation and momentum are critical to sticking with your fitness goals. Use your commitment to strengthen your resolve and take each goal one step at a time. Make your workouts fun, exciting and different. Most of all, don’t forget to reward yourself!

 

 

Staying Healthy On the Go is Easier than You Might Think

Photo credit: Velislav Panchev CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0

In this day and age, hectic personal and professional schedules often make staying healthy seem like a distant possibility. Going to the gym or indulging in a long exercise routine at home can be difficult to fit into a day, along with preparing the food you need to eat well.

Staying healthy on the go is much easier than you might think! Healthy living can easily be incorporated into your busy schedule, thus enabling you to be healthy and productive at the same time. Take a look at the following health tips for busy people and customize a plan that works for you.

The Importance of Routine

Staying healthy on the go involves advanced planning and a fixed routine in context with eating, sleeping, and exercise. A strict no-excuses plan of action will enable you to turn fitness and health into a habit rather than something which you indulge in occasionally.

Understanding your own health and fitness goals will be the first step to being healthy; this will be followed with a weekly meal plan. Pre-planning and preparing your meals will enable you to eat healthier while on the go, and will prevent you from giving in to unhealthy food cravings. Carrying a bottle of water is also a good idea, as you will need to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Exercise is Vital

There are little things you can do throughout your day that will enable you to get the exercise you need without having to resort to an expensive gym membership. From choosing to walk or bike to work to climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, there are a number of small changes you can make that will keep you fit and healthy even on the busiest days.

For those who travel frequently, you could consider packing a portable gym with you, such as a yoga mat, resistance bands, running shoes, or your favorite bodyweight workout DVD, all of which will facilitate an effective cardio and strength training routine on the go. Also, fitness trackers and pedometers like Fitbit are ideal for tracking your physical activity and providing a motivational tool for increasing the steps you take each day on the road or at home.

Staying healthy on the go involves just a few small lifestyle changes, which will enable you to eat healthy and stay physically active. These changes are important for your health and will also serve as a stress buster for the busiest people. Exercise gives you endorphins, which contribute towards making you feel happy and relaxed. You can also invest in a few portable exercise items such as a skipping rope or resistance bands, which are easy to carry around with you and will enable you to follow a no-excuses policy when it comes to staying healthy at all times.

 

Waiting for the Sandman: Tips on How to Fall Asleep Faster

Photo credit: Emoji One [CC BY-SA 4.0]

To ensure optimum cerebral and physiological performance, the average human should get at least eight hours of sleep a day. A neglect of sleeping pattern or insufficient hours of productive sleep can be detrimental to the body in more than one way. A loss of sleep or insomnia can lead to weight gain, problems of high blood pressure, and a lowered immune system. Sometimes the solution to insufficient sleep can he attained by simply understanding how to fall asleep faster.

There are several advantages of getting a good night’s sleep. A proper sleep cycle ensures maximum productivity of the brain and keeps our emotional health in good order. The brain is one of the most overworked organs of the body. Although it is not at complete rest while we sleep, it gets enough time to reboot itself and get ready for the next day. Sleep deficiency does not only hinder learning, it also has adverse effects on our decision making faculty. Lack of sleep can result in making a person emotionally imbalanced and can lead to concomitant behavioral changes. More often than not, people with anger issues and irritability suffer from sleep deprivation.

Advantages of Sleep

There are several benefits of sleep. For instance, sleep controls the body’s regular flow of ghrelin and leptin – hormones to make us feel hungry and full respectively. A study has shown that the flow of ghrelin rises exponentially to the total reduction of the flow of leptin in case of sleep deprivation. That is why people with sleeping problems tend to feel hungrier than people who get well-rounded sleep.

If you need to know how to fall asleep faster, there are several ways of ensuring a restful night sleep that you follow. Taking a bath before going to bed is a good idea, because it helps to relax our body and calms our mind. Some people find drinking milk before going to sleep very beneficial. Then there are others who always sleep with mild incense burning on their bedside table.

How to Fall Asleep Faster

In case you feel you lack proper sleep, you could try to improve the ambience of your bedroom to maximize comfort. Design your bedroom to give it a calming effect. Keep the temperature of your room between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and do remember to turn out the lights. If you are one of those people who cannot sleep in total darkness, keep a light on in the other room or maybe keep a window open to let a crack of light enter from the streets. You could wear a night mask to block out light and listen to soothing music before going off to sleep.  The benefits of sleep are endless. Still wondering how to fall asleep faster? Simply lay on your bed with your eyes closed, relax, and count those sheep!

 

Strengthen the Bond between You and Your Partner by Working out Together

Image: Robin Reichert

When love is in the air and you have the most beautiful person in the world as your partner, you definitely want to spend as much time together as possible. Eating together, sleeping together, and watching movies together are all activities that many couples enjoy, but one of the best activities of all to enjoy as a couple is working out.

Couple exercises are not just intimate, but also a whole lot more entertaining and inspiring than working out by yourself. A workout with your partner will motivate you and keep you going. Your partner will make it worth your while to exercise. And at the end of it all, you both emerge as a gorgeous couple who are the envy of everyone.

Benefits of Exercising as a Couple

A workout with your partner is very beneficial in a variety of ways. First and foremost, you will both act as great motivators for each other. Push each other when one of you feels like giving up.

You can also learn a host of other things from one another. Maybe one of you is good with high intensity workouts, while the other one prefers low intensity workouts. Synchronize with each other to form your own unique fitness routines. This will also help you bond and become more intimate over time.

Workout Ideas for Couples

There are so many things that a couple can do to keep fit. Here are some ideas for fun couple exercises that will make you want to workout with your partner right away:

  • Hiking: Weekend hiking tours will not only push you to burn calories, but it will also be a wonderful time spent with your beloved in the lap of nature.
  • Indulge in sports: Playing sports like basketball, tennis, and badminton will not only improve your hand-eye coordination but also help you shed extra fat. The competitive edge is even more exciting when your partner is involved.
  • Learn martial arts: While you both learn something new and useful, you also help each other to improve your skills through constant practice.
  • Dance: There are so many forms of dance to choose from that will not only help you to sizzle your personal chemistry but also help in a complete body toning. Salsa, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Quick Feet, and Beachbody’s CIZE dance workout; the couple in love will have a plethora of dance choices available.
  • Traditional workout routines: Run, jog, walk, do push ups, sit ups or pull ups. Compete with each other to see who has more strength and endurance. Competing as a couple will definitely help in achieving your ultimate fitness goals.

The good health of your partner is partly your responsibility. Motivating your loved one to workout and remain fit is your way of accomplishing that responsibility so you can live a longer and happier life together.

 

The Benefits of Choosing Organic Foods

Photo credit: Elina Mark (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]

“Going organic” is a recent trend that has been gaining popularity at a rapid pace, and with good reason. At a time when the convenience of pre-packaged, nutrition-deficient food has taken precedence over healthy, wholesome eating, we have seen an increase in health risks, obesity, and sudden death. Organic products come as a breath of fresh air, and many people are beginning to focus more on the benefits of eating healthy. Read on to learn about the many advantages that come with going organic!

What Are Organic Products?

Organic products are unprocessed, and free of chemicals, growth hormones, and other unnatural additives, which are usually present in the food that is manufactured by big agri-food corporations and other large food manufacturers who produce fast food and packaged snacks. Organic products also have a limited shelf life since they are free from preservatives, and it is guaranteed that they will taste better as a result of this.

Respect Your Body’s Nutritional Needs

Consumers who buy organic food have stated that their bodies have changed noticeably thanks to the increase in the nutritional value of the food they eat. A cup of organically grown vegetables will provide you with optimum nutrition as compared with a cup of pre-cut, preservative-laden vegetables. Frozen, non-organic food will also provide you with less nutrition. Therefore, it’s a good idea to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables and to visit the local Farmer’s Market to see what other natural products are available.

Organic Food Tastes Great

A number of people prefer eating organic food since it is not only healthy, but also tasty. This is because it has been untouched by manmade chemicals, color, and preservatives, which tend to compromise the natural taste of food products. Chemicals never taste good, and will cause both short and long-term damage to the body; buy organic products in order to enjoy both taste and nutrition from your meals.

Organic Food is Affordable and Healthy

Contrary to claims that organic food is too expensive, it is actually becoming more affordable thanks to increasing demand for organic food options. Organic food prices are falling thanks to an increase in people who are growing and selling them.

Try eating organic for about a month to see if you notice a difference in your health or how the food tastes. If a month is too long, then try it for a week, a day, or even just for dinner. You may find that it tastes better and makes you feel healthier, more energetic, and you may even lose a few pounds. Consider excluding chemically enhanced condiments from your meal, and be sure to limit consumption of sugar and salt. Clean eating and regular exercise go hand in hand for those who are looking to lose weight, and organic products can boost results dramatically.

 

 

Laughing for Health? Laugh Harder and Live Longer!

Photo credit: Eric Ward from Provo, UT, USA (Laughing) [CC BY-SA 2.0]

There is a reason why laughter is considered to be the best medicine. When you are laughing, you are not just amused by a joke or a funny situation; you are actually laughing for health benefits. There are several important benefits of laughter. Laughter reduces stress and relaxes the whole body. A hearty laughter can keep the body calm for as long as 45 minutes, as it is extremely conducive to the overall development of the immune system. It also helps the body to generate infection-fighting antibodies by reducing the level of stress hormones and improving resistance to diseases. Laughing for health is the best way to keep medicines and chemical drugs at bay. You wouldn’t need any other drug to make you feel good, as laughter has its own high. Laughing reduces stress and triggers endorphins that make us feel good about ourselves and render us generally perky. By laughing hard, you are actually improving your blood flow and fending off cardiovascular diseases.

Healthy Body, Sound Mind

Health is not just what the physical body reflects. An overall healthy body entails a healthy mind and favorable interaction in society. Laughter is believed to be a panacea for every biological, mental and social condition. If you are laughing for health, you are also securing your social bonds. Laughing with other people is a great way of bonding and sharing happy thoughts. Isn’t that everything we need to lead a healthy life? Besides, it improves your mood and develops the body’s and the mind’s resilience towards adverse conditions.

Generating Laughter

Unfortunately, in today’s world, laughter has to be generated in laughing clubs and other therapeutic centers. People visit these places and forcefully laugh to enhance their biological processes. This practice can be extremely therapeutic, but it is essentially very sad. Laughing for health has become a prescribed medication as more and more people are falling prey to sedentary and depressing urban lifestyles. The best way to laugh is with your friends and family. If you don’t know how to get your kicks, start watching your favorite sitcom or read a comic book. The serious dearth of laughter in urban places has triggered a number of stand-up comedy cafes and laughter shows. You should not have to look for a reason to laugh, just do it. Laughter is highly contagious and can make a huge difference in your daily life. Laugh to live.