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
[@tatumerinmurray December 2014]
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
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
[@tatumerinmurray January 2015]
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
[@tatumerinmurray March 2014]
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
[@nikewomen September 2014]
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!