This may be surprising, given all the not-so-diet recipes I post, but I love exercise and fitness. And since I bake so much, it’s a good thing I do. While healthy eating and exercise have always been a part of my life, I don’t profess to be an expert in the area, at all. Thankfully, I know people who are! I wanted to share some health and fitness tips with my readers (all of you!!), so I asked for some help. Below are some great tips to have a healthy, fit lifestyle. Some tips come from my personal experience, some from professional fitness instructors, some from experts in nutrition and some from people who are great examples to me of health and fitness. I wanted to include advice from a variety of people rather than just experts in the field since in the end, we’re all just ordinary people.
- Have a scheduled workout time. – I have to workout first thing in the morning. If I put it off, I don’t do it. If I sleep in, I don’t have the time. There are many days my alarm goes off and I think “Oh for crying out loud! I want nothing more than to turn that off and sleep for another hour!” What I’ve discovered is, I never regret dragging my tired rear out of bed and exercising, but I do regret when I stay in bed, even with the extra hour of sleep.
- “Do exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise.” – This tip comes from my good friend and Zumba instructor. You’re more likely to get a good workout (and any workout at all) if you’re doing something you enjoy.
- Focus on fresh greens and balance your proteins, whole grains and fats. – Your plate should be 1/3 protein and 2/3 fresh fruits, veggies and whole grain carbs. This tip comes from my friend who has been a fitness and yoga instructor for ten years. I heard a tip yesterday that suggested plating your meal as though the vegetables are the main course and the other parts of the meal are sides.
- The ideal sleep amount for adults is 7-8 hours of solid sleep a night. More or less than that can really make it hard to loose weight. – This tip is from another friend/ fitness instructor. As a mom, I know how hard it can be to get adequate sleep, but it is so important to get as much sleep as possible. Skip that late night TV and get some extra sleep. You won’t regret it.
- WATER, WATER, WATER!! – Everyone I talked to, particulary the professionals mentioned how important water is. Always have a bottle or cup of water with you. I also like to keep track of how much water I drink everyday. Try to drink 8-10 cups a day. If you are properly hydrated, you eat less and your body can function better. Plus, what a great tip as it is CHEAP!
- No excuses! – If we try, I’m sure we can all always think of a reason to skip a workout or eat a dozen cupcakes in one sitting. If you have an injury, find a way to work out around it. A few years ago I hurt a tendon in my ankle and couldn’t run. I slapped on my wicked-awesome 1990’s roller blades and hit the streets.
- Weight loss is 80% what we consume and 20% exercise so it’s important to eat healthy. – This tip comes from my good friend, Katy Ochoa, Team Beachbody Coach. I don’t want to sound hypocritical, and if you read this blog, you all know how much I LOVE sweet treats. I’d be sad if I never got a sweet treat again. But I also understand the value of balancing those treats with healthy food and setting limitations for myself.
- Don’t automatically assume “diet,” “sugar-free,” and “fat-free” mean healthy. – Check labels. Often these items are full of other additives that make them not so healthy. For example “fat-free” often means “loaded with sugar,” which equals calories.
- Change your staple foods. – Rather than eating all white food, we eat brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas and whole wheat pasta. We also eat ground turkey instead of ground beef. These are very simple changes to your diet, but make a big difference.
- Don’t eat late at night. – Eating late at night makes it harder to burn those calories before bed and at least for me, late night eating is generally something unhealthy. I try not to eat after 7 p.m.
- Love yourself! – This tip came from my AMAZING friend who in the last several years, lost weight and is very healthy. She tried everything, but in the end, it was learning to love herself and surrounding herself with positive, uplifting people that helped her get to the place she wanted to be. For me personally, it doesn’t matter what size I am or what the scale says, If I’ve worked out and controlled what I eat, I feel great! That feeling helps me get closer to my goals.
- Take responsibility – This tip came from someone who has always been a great example to me in the area of fitness; my mom. She pointed out, there are so many things in her life she can’t control, but this is her responsibility and is in her control. We can’t always change all the negative things in our life, but this is one area we have control.
I hope I’ve mentioned something that inspired you. I know I learned a lot from these tips. As I mentioned, I love treats and baking; and will still continue to find delicious recipes and maybe even share them here. 🙂 But the key is moderation and balance. What are your fitness tips?