Last updated on March 25th, 2013 at 02:45 pm
Why would you worry about your health when you have so much more to worry about while you work on your dream?
Believe me, I understand that there is more in life to worry about than our health. Which is probably why we may want to take a second out of our day and consider it. All that stress we take in daily from has to go somewhere. For most of us it shows up in our shoulders creeping up, or that extra handful of chips at lunch.
Take a second right now and check in with your body.
How are you doing in there? Is your head hurting, neck aching, back tight, elbow twinging, stomach growling – or all of the above?
Make a commitment to your health
It isn’t easy. Any life change, whether you would like to lose weight or just get more fit, takes dedication. This past week I ran into an old martial arts teacher my son had years ago. We were in the same spin class – a task I added to my training this week and I’ll be sharing more on that torture in a future post – and he asked the classic question, “How did you take the weight off?”. He is a personal trainer so he gets it when all I answer is “Slow and steady!”.
Dreaming takes a lot of energy. Anyone who has accomplished a dream will tell you it takes a long time, and a lot of energy. That’s where your commitment to your health comes in.
1. Work out: Exercising along with a balanced diet will help your dream health
Question for you – Are you currently working out or doing any physical activity?
No? Then it’s great time to get started.
An excellent way to get going is to try walking for 45 minutes every day. Yes, there are benefits to walking even if it’s only 30 minutes a day in preventing weight gain, even if you are relatively sedentary. To kick it up a notch and go beyond that 30 minutes to impact weight loss and fat loss.
2. Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged times: Experts recommend a 50:50 sit-stand ratio
I know that I don’t come close to this ratio. I sit at my job all day, in the car, at home working on dream projects.
You aren’t going to get the butt you want by sitting on the one you have all day.
You know that groan that escapes when you stand up after being at your desk for several hours without a break. Getting up and moving more often can help avoid the moaning and groaning. Did you know sitting, or even standing for prolonged parts of your day can lead to pains in the legs, knees and lower back, making it even more difficult to get healthy? Do your best to alternate between sitting and standing by getting creative with your work tasks.
3. Remove junk from your diet
Soda, candy, crackers (yes, that’s junk), and anything that is bite sized and packed in plastic. It’s a good bet you’ve got a couple within reach as you read this. If not, give yourself a big gold star. Then go trash everything that resembles junk from your pantry.
If you cut one can of soda from your diet each day for a year, you could lose 10 pounds.
10 pounds = 1 dress size
4. Eat 5 or 6 small meals or snacks a day
Boost your metabolism by eating smaller meals more often. Breaking up your calories into 5-6 smaller meals and snacks can help. Pick good snacks of course, fresh fruit, yogurt, leafy greens, regional vegetables, nuts or seeds.
5. Start a food diary
Don’t over-think this. You can use apps, online or on your phone, but it’s easier than you think. Simply carry a note pad with you and write down the foods you eat. Studies have found that people who maintain food diaries wind up eating about 15% less food than those who don’t.
6. Serve yourself less and you’ll eat less
We eat far more today than our bodies need. If you serve people more food, they’ll eat more, regardless of their hunger level. The opposite is also true: Serve less, eat less.
Guess which option will give you a better long term healthy option? You got it. Start with a small plate and you are better off.
7. Find ways other than eating to tame stress: Start a hobby
Are you running to a comfort food when the stress hits? Try filling that time for another task. For example, make your family a photo album of special events instead of making them a rich dessert. Your workout doesn’t have to be in a gym. Pick a favorite sport or activity, softball or dancing, instead of indulging.
8. Partner up and get results: Receive motivation, in and out of the gym, from a partner.
Holding yourself accountable is a tough task. People who receive motivation from a partner are more likely to increase their level of physical activity than people who don’t. It took me a while to join up and be willing to accept motivation.
Sure you can do it alone. But just like my 8 Women Dream team, it’s more fun to share the burden.
Healthy dreams are up to you
Just one step to get you started. Which tip are you going to try this week?
Go get your fit on – Heather
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and serial entrepreneur who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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