5 Secrets of a Healthy Lifestyle

If I had a dollar for every article I saw with a title like, “5 Ways to Lose Weight” or “10 Foods to Get Rid of Belly Fat,” my college education would be nearly paid off. It seems like everyone is constantly trying to tell us how to lose weight, get strong, and be fit, and although I frequently read health and fitness articles like these, it can get a bit annoying. So, here I go…adding to the madness!! (#sorrynotsorry)

Today, I am sharing things that I have learned, not from one of these articles, but from my constant effort to follow a healthy lifestyle. I am not an expert on this topic, but I do hope this post offers information that you can’t as easily find on the health and fitness articles all over your Facebook and Pinterest feeds.

1. Get sore

5 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle | The Pace

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Muscle soreness is a great reminder of not only your workout the day before, but also of your long-term health and fitness goals. As you move throughout your day, you are constantly reminded of the effort you exerted and are more likely to make decisions that go along with that hard work, not take away from it. So don’t be afraid to push hard in your workout and get sore!

2. Drink Tea

5 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle | The Pace

We all can admit to eating when we aren’t exactly hungry; we eat while watching TV, studying, working on projects, or just when we are bored. But this mindless and unnecessary eating is not part of a healthy lifestyle. When you need something to compliment your TV show, get you through a tough assignment, or just to spice up a boring afternoon, try a cup of tea! Not only is tea harmless in the calorie department, but it also provides so many health benefits! For the greatest health benefits, including antioxidants, drink teas made from leaves of the Camellia plant (Black, green, white, and oolong teas).

3. Understand why breakfast is the most important meal of the day

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Everyone “knows” breakfast is the most important meal of the day (every weight loss article, cereal commercial, and mother says so!), but I’m not sure if everyone actually understands why it’s so important. When we eat breakfast, we are literally breaking the fast of the night before. By doing this, we tell our body we are starting our day and tell our metabolism to get out of sleeping mode and get revved up!

4. Switch it up

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Imagine reading the same chapter in a textbook over and over (ok, maybe you feel like you do that sometimes!). Just like reading the same information over and over won’t make you any smarter, doing the same workout day in and day out, won’t make you any fitter. If you don’t add variety to your workouts, your body will plateau; if it’s not being challenged, it has no way to improve. Integrate HIIT intervals (high intensity interval training) into your week of long distance runs, increase the weight you use for strength training, or try something totally new (kickboxing, pilates, tabata). Not only will you start to see better results, but you will be much more excited to workout if you know you aren’t stepping onto the treadmill for the zillionth time in your life.

5. Motivation is key

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Continuing to stay motivated is possibly the number one secret to a healthy lifestyle. We can give ourselves so many excuses as to why we should skip our workout for the day, but if we are motivated toward living a healthy and fit lifestyle, we can throw those excuses right out the window. To stay motivated, I follow several fitness Instagrams like @nikewomen, @basebodybabes, and @lornajaneactive. Every day I am inspired by the women on my Instagram feed that are dedicated to a healthy and fit lifestyle, which is often the push I need to set my alarm for my workout the next day. When all else fails, I recommend watching Britney Spear’s music videos, circa “I’m a Slave 4 U.” Those abs are all I need to get my butt out of bed and get started on my workout!

I hope these tips are helpful to you in achieving your health and fitness goals! If you have any health and fitness tips, feel free to share them in the comments section!

xo,

Tatum

Benefits of Strength Training

A couple of years ago, my fitness routine consisted only of cardio. This was because my goal of working out used to be to stay thin. Oh how things have changed for the better!

Now, I workout to be fit, healthy, and strong. Cardio is an important part of achieving these goals, but it is not the only component. A very important, and often neglected, factor of a good fitness routine is strength training.

Many women are afraid to lift weights because they don’t want to “bulk up,” but the truth is that women don’t have the same hormone levels as men that allow guys to achieve the “bulked up” look. Strength training will not bulk up a woman’s muscles, it will tone them. Strength training not only tones muscles, but it burns calories! The more muscular you are, the more calories you burn throughout the day.

Not sure how to add strength training into your workout routine? Try this strength training workout below that targets the arms, shoulders, and back. The key of strength training is to make sure you are lifting enough. These exercises should not be easy and by the last couple reps of each, your muscles should feel very tired. If an exercise feels too easy, start lifting a higher amount weight!

 

Upper Body Strength Training 1

 

 

 What are your favorite strength training workouts?

Post-Summer Fitness Motivation

Summer has come to an end, which means it’s time to start putting away swimsuits, crop tops, and sundresses until next year (wah 😦 ). For many, summer is a huge motivator for working out, but dedication to fitness and the well-being of our bodies should not disappear along with swimsuit season. Being fit is so much more than just looking good on the beach; it is a lifestyle.

With that being said, it often is hard to find the motivation to work out when you don’t have an immediate goal (e.g. rocking a crop top) to focus on. One thing that really motivates me is getting involved in a fitness program, routine, or community. When I wake up and know exactly what my workout plan is for the day, instead of just going to the gym and winging it, my motivation soars!

Here are four of my favorite fitness programs. Find the one that works best for you!

1. For the girl who finds it hard to stay on track…Tone it Up.

toneitup

Photo Credit: laurenconrad.com

Karena and Katrina are your fearless fitness leaders! They post weekly and monthly fitness calendars complete with workout videos that are easy and fun to follow. You can even join the Tone it Up (TIU) community on Instagram by posting your healthy meals, workouts, and fitness progress. The TIU community is a great support system and is sure to keep you motivated even on those tough days.

2. For the girl who dreams of having a personal trainer…Nike Training Club.

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Photo Credit: freshjuice.ca

NTC is a free app for the iPhone and Android with over 100 full-body workouts created by fitness experts. You can start a program to “Get Lean,” “Get Toned,” or “Get Strong,” or choose between dozens of 15-60 minute workouts that target different areas of fitness. I love using this app at the gym, because it’s like having a virtual personal trainer! A fitness expert talks you through every exercise and when you’re unsure of how to perform a certain move, a video is right there to show you how it’s done.

3. For the busy gals and guys…Fitness Blender.

Photo Credit: quoteko.com

Fitness Blender is a website with hundreds of totally free workout videos. Video lengths range from 5 minutes to over an hour and a half and target all areas of fitness (HIIT, toning, strength training, yoga, and more). The workouts require zero to minimal equipment and are great to do at home.

4. For those who want to take their fitness to the next level…Insanity.

Insanity-workout

Photo Credit: ballardadventure.com

I completed the Insanity program in July of 2013 and let me tell you…it was absolutely insane, and I loved it. Insanity is an intense, high-impact workout program that will have you sweating buckets during the warm up (yes…during the warm-up). I bled, I sweat more than I ever have in my life, and I even cried during a few of the workouts, but I’ve never experienced a better post-workout feeling . I highly recommend this program to those who are really serious about improving their physical fitness and are willing to put time, money, and a LOT of energy into it.

 

What fitness motivation tips do you have? Share them in the comment section below!

It’s a “HIIT:” Interval Training

Ask me how I am, and there’s a good chance my answer will include busy. With family, friends, school, work, and exciting projects and adventures, there is so much going on to keep us busy; sometimes it’s hard to even find a second to breathe, let alone, work out! But exercise is such an important part of our lives and we need to make time for it! I think a lot of people are under the impression that a workout has to be long in order to be beneficial. However, this is not always true, especially in the case of high-intensity interval training.

High-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) is perfect for those of us who can only find 20-30 minutes a day to workout. These workouts are short, efficient, and yield amazing results. To learn more about the many benefits of HIIT, check out my article on According to Candace Ray!

I’ve been doing HIIT for most of my cardio workouts lately, and have come up with a couple of routines (listed below) that really make me break a sweat! I use the  Interval Timer app to program the routines into my phone before I “HIIT” the ground running 😉

Routine #1:

Warm-Up: Jog for 3 minutes

Interval Cycle: (3 sets)

  • Jog for 1 minute & 30 seconds
  • Sprint for 30 seconds

Recover: Jog for 2 minutes

Interval Cycle: (2 sets)

Cool-Down: Jog for 3 minutes

Routine #2:

Warm-Up: Jog for 4 minutes

Quick Interval:

  • Jog for 30 seconds
  • Sprint for 30 seconds

Recover: Jog for 2 minutes

Pyramid Cycle:

  • Jog for 30 seconds, Sprint for 30 seconds
  • Jog for 1 minute, Sprint for 1 minute
  • Jog for 2 minutes, Run as fast as you can! for 2 minutes
  • Jog for 1 minute, Sprint for 1 minute
  • Jog for 30 seconds, Sprint for 30 seconds

Recover: Jog for 4 minutes

Quick Interval:

  • Jog for 30 seconds
  • Sprint for 30 seconds

Cool-Down: Jog for 2 minutes

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Photo Cred: weheartit.com

I’d love to try out your favorite HIIT routines! Share them in the comment section below!