Team EM2WL would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest guest blogger, Jared Harris, a recent college graduate with a passion for writing and fitness! Today, Jared shares a series of tips on how to get motivated when winter is over!
We all know how important it is to exercise and eat right. We also all know how easy it is to slip into a winter season of laziness and comfort food-holiday weight gain and the convenience of a big black pea coat. But as summer makes its way ever so slowly to our hemisphere, we have to start facing the music. And it's not easy. I know I am far more hesitant about throwing on a pair of running shorts and hitting the gym when I'm feeling those extra few pounds. I know after a long day at work, sometimes all I want to do is grab a bag of popcorn and sit in front of the television.
So, we additionally know what we're up against and what we should do about it. Exercising and eating right are great, but it's really in how we do those things that counts. Eating right does not by any means translate to skipping meals, starving yourself, or only eating foods that you don't like. And exercising does not necessarily translate to running miles upon dull miles on the treadmill. It's all about balance and achieving the right body composition for you. According to a study done by IDEA Health & Fitness Association, as reported by Examiner, “weight training is indeed fat burning exercise.”
Finding the time to exercise, as well as keeping up with nutrition is a lot. But for many people, negative body image and failure to accept themselves are really what's keeping them from the healthy lifestyle they want and know they need. As one physician wrote on Sharecare, “The key to having a healthy lifestyle and sticking with it is you. If you are down on yourself, the less likely you are to succeed and the more likely you are to give up… Staying positive and focusing on all that you have accomplished will help you win the weight loss, exercise for life change game with joy.”
So here are some ways to integrate your workouts; to make sure you are taking care of your BMI, your heart, your muscles and joints, your mind, your moods, and your self-esteem.
Consider Weight Lifting
It's not just for men who want to bulk up. In fact, muscle strengthening workouts are crucial for healthy body composition and weight loss, which many people don't realize. Experience Life featured an article about one woman's quest to lose weight after having children; the key to her success turned out to be “shorter, more intense workouts with weights that were never the same from one day to the next,” rather than what she'd been trying before, which was essentially just running off the extra weight. Often, we can get bogged down in hours of aerobic exercise when really, the combination of strength training and aerobic exercise together is the key. Health magazine recommends doing “all-over strength workouts 2-3 times per week leaving at least a day's rest in between.” If that is not working out your whole self, I don't know what is.
With ever-improving technologies to help track health and fitness, it's becoming easier to have one go-to gadget to consult with about what's next on your exercise or diet plan. For example, Verizon Wireless writes that an upcoming phone, the Samsung Galaxy S5, will arrive with the S Health program to “track your steps, challenge friends, earn badges and get on–demand healthy eating advice.” Interesting, though even more so is the built–in heart monitor that's apparently a first in the mobile phone world. In other words, it looks like an all-in-one way to keep track of your plan—and stick with it.
Many people think staying healthy is all about painful, joyless exercise and restriction in food intake. That's all wrong. We stick with exercise plans when we enjoy them and we are our healthiest when we're eating a variety of lots of different foods. Not getting enough calories limits nutrition and makes the body slow its metabolism. Instead, as Cameron Diaz points out in her new book, reviewed by the New York Daily News, there is a rationale behind embracing the “the instinct of hunger” by satisfying it “with whole, nutrient-dense foods.”
No matter what your goals are, health is always about a balance of mind and body. Be sure you keep your goals in mind (or in hand), take in enough nutritional foods to keep your immune system healthy and your metabolism going strong, and always accept and love yourself wherever you are each day.