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16 Awesome Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Lifestyle

Changing to a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy, but starting without an action plan in place makes it almost impossible!

Planning Your New Healthy Lifestyle Foundation

Changing to a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy, but starting without an action plan in place makes it almost impossible! Making life altering decisions can be easier than it sounds with the right set of instructions to build your new foundation. Check out these tips and tricks to stay on task with making the switch over to a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Get Up Early and Plan Your Day Right

Hitting the snooze button five times seemed like a good idea at the time and then all hell broke loose. The most compelling reason to wake up early is to reduce stress levels. When you get up early, it eliminates the need to rush around, and you have time to relax and plan your day before it begins. You have time to have a quiet breakfast, get lunch together and drive or transit to work at leisure. You start your day on a positive note, and that will stay with you throughout the day.

  1. Start Your Day with a Shake of Champions

It seems like breakfast is the most controversial meal of the day. You will always find people who want to argue if breakfast is necessary or not. The truth is starting your day with a light meal can boost your energy levels and improve mood. Having a nutrient-dense shake with the appropriate amount of protein, fat and fibre first thing in the morning also helps to stop the mid-morning munchies.

  1. Drink Water

The human body is made up of at least 60% water! Drinking water helps you the body to metabolize fat adequately to lose weight quite simply put you need plenty of water. Drink a glass of water before a meal helps to control how much you eat which will aid in keeping your weight in a healthy range. It will also help to protect the stomach wall from the harmful effects of digestive acids. Want to jazz it up? Instead of adding possibly harmful sweetened flavourings to make it more palatable, infuse your water with slices of lemon, lime, orange, cucumber or strawberries and raspberries.

  1. Have a Meal Plan in Place

Establish how many meals you need to prepare ahead of time and whether they will need to be quick fix meals or those you can spend more time on. Creating a meal schedule that lines up with your work and gym schedule will help you to stay on track and decrease frustration. You will need pre-made dinners or crockpot dinners when you are going to the gym after work.

The goal of creating a menu is to ensure you are consistently making good choices. Creating nutritionally balanced meals can be tricky; ensure you have someone with knowledge about macronutrients that will help with your menu. The appropriate balance of macronutrients will depend on your goals, current activities, body type and health conditions. Read the full article on meal prep here …. Read More

  1. Pack It Up and Take It With You

We have all been there at one point or another during the week. We forgot to pack our lunch, and we are in a particularly HANGRY mood (in other words you are now hungry and angry for leaving your lunch at home). Fast food starts to call your name and then you are even madder at yourself for eating something that you can’t possibly burn off in an hour of HIIT training.

Set yourself up for success, pack it up the night before and have it ready to go so if you have to jet out the door then it will be a quick grab and go. Make your meals ahead of time and have them all set out in containers then you don’t have to think about it. Plan the meals, make the meals and store the meals in proper airtight containers.

  1. Eat Slowly

Today’s fast-paced world means we are all working extra hard, multitasking and doing everything in double time. Double time speed should not spill over into your dietary habits. Take your time and eat your meals at a leisurely pace. Eating slow means that you will achieve better digestion, you will more easily feel when you are getting full instead of eating to the point of feeling sick, and you will substantially enjoy your meals more. When you are more satisfied and eating less,  weight loss becomes easier and better digestion makes your world a brighter place to be!

  1. Make a Date with Yourself for Daily Exercise

Make a date to move on a daily basis no matter what that entails. It doesn’t mean you have to get all geared up and go to the gym. Take a walk at lunch for 20 to 30 minutes. Stop every hour and do some exercise at your desk. Do some wall sits or desk push-ups when you are on your conference call (they won’t know!).  Plan for more prolonged bouts of exercise when it works best for you. Go to the gym before work, after work or on weekends. Make a date with a friend when you go, so you feel like you have to be accountable to someone if you don’t feel like going. Try to do structured exercise at least 2 – 3 days a week for 60 minutes!

  1. Strength Train to Increase Metabolism and Health

Who doesn’t like to feel strong and capable, so they are more independent? Strength training increases your muscle mass, ladies you will look toned not like a bodybuilder.  When you have more muscle mass, your body burns more calories even when you are at rest. Which means if you are trying to slim down or stay lean, your body is working towards that goal all the time just to keep the muscle by burning more calories. How does that work? 1 pound of muscle burns an extra 50 calories a day while you are resting — so if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, your resting metabolic rate increases by an additional 500 calories each day.

  1. Hire a Personal Trainer

A knowledgeable personal trainer will improve your exercise execution and skill so that you reduce your risk for injury and get the most out of each activity. As we age, it gets harder to stay motivated towards exercise, so having a trainer guide and motivate you can keep you going. Certified personal trainers can provide structure and do the thinking for you so you can focus on the “doing” rather than the planning. Initially, you may need to see your trainer more often to get on the right track of your healthy lifestyle; however, once you have learned what to do and how to do it, you can spread your sessions out to every 3-4 weeks. Consider these sessions your “review, revise and revitalize” check-ups.

  1. Track Your Progress

When you are deciding on your goal, it is important that you consider how you are going to measure your progress. Some of the methods to measure your progress of your healthy lifestyle may not be available to you; therefore it is important that you choose wisely. Quantitative measurement is far easier and more precise than qualitative. For the vast majority of goals that you set, you will be able to find a way to quantify progress. Keeping a record of your progress, as you go along, accompanied by some personal notes, will give you something to refer to, should a problem arise.

  1. Go Outside and Play

Outdoor training is a fantastic way to get in touch with the natural elements around us. Training outdoors gets us out into the fresh air. Natural light from outdoors also provides much needed Vitamin D which we are deprived of through the long winter months here in North America. Vitamin D is good for your bones, your heart, and your mood. Training outdoors is also terrific to help with balance and reaction time due to the undulating terrain.

  1. Balance your life – it is Key to Staying Fit

It goes without saying that staying fit keep core strength which in turn helps with balance and therefore reduces the risk of injuries. When you are young taking a spill is not such a big deal but as you age your bones can become more brittle, and that leads to bone breaks. No matter how old you are, it is never too early to start trying to increase your bone density. The best thing you can do for yourself above increase bone density is keeping your balance by always challenging yourself.

  1. Decrease Screen Time

We are all guilty of it at some points during the day or while we are at work. Today’s society has conditioned us to continually be checking emails or social media because of the dreaded FOMO  (fear of missing out). Take some time to yourself and power down. Log off and tune out, go and see what you are missing! Contrary to popular belief life doesn’t exist inside a computer especially a healthy lifestyle! Take a walk, cook a healthy meal or spend some time with your family and catch up on life!

  1. Stop smoking

Stop smoking! We all know the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes, yet an estimated 36.5 million adults in the United States were still smoking cigarettes in a 2015 study. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Your body is crying to start a healthy lifestyle! Your body is resilient and will bounce back! After just one day of quitting smoking, the risk of heart attack begins to decrease. After two days a person may notice a heightened sense of smell and more vivid tastes as these nerves heal. In as little as one month, a person’s lung function begins to improve. One year after quitting smoking, a person’s risk for coronary heart disease decreases by half.

  1. Set Up Successful Sleep Habits

Did you know that not spending quality time with your bed, you have a higher risk of obesity and certain cancers? Many factors can affect our mood and overall health, some of which include the weather, stress, and of course lack of sleep. Sleep is essential to our health, and the benefits are numerous, including repairing damage to tissue from workouts by the natural release of HGH, rejuvenation, release of hormones that help with weight loss (Leptin Ghrelin), and energizes you for the next day. Sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person; most healthy adults need approximately 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.

  1. Be Mindful

Meditation can mean many things to many people. There are too many different types of meditation to discuss in one small paragraph, but you can read more about it here … Read more

Mindfulness helps us with the ability to increase our self-acceptance.  Self-acceptance includes self-understanding which is a practical and personal understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Self-acceptance sounds the same as self-esteem; however, they are in fact different. Self-esteem refers to how valuable you perceive yourself to be whereas self-acceptance signifies a much more profound and all-inclusive confirmation of self. The most significant reason I see clients not meeting goals is by their lack of ability to just believe they can accomplish their objective. To create a truly healthy lifestyle, you also need to include the internal health as well as the external. A healthy mind is what helps to keep you motivated, slashes stress, relieves pain, and improves your mood.

Living a happy life and creating a healthy lifestyle take a little work and sometimes includes the help of the appropriate health professionals. However there is nothing more worth working towards than establishing a truly happy and harmonious life!

Happy Training!

Cathie Glennon – BCRPA-SFL