Depending where you live, you may no longer be striving for that perfect ‘bikini body.’ With fall approaching quickly (a little too quickly, if you ask me.) it’s easy to fall into a fitness slump, considering you can hide behind bulky sweaters and layers upon layers of clothing. But I’m here to tell you not to do that!
“But Moooorrrgannnn, it’s not like anyone is going to see my body until summer, I’ll just work out then.”
Well, that’s true. You will be hidden away all winter, unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with beautiful weather all year round. But, you should strive to make healthy decisions for your body all year round anyways because it will really impact not just your looks, but how you feel, as well. I found a list of benefits on Livestrong, and to name a few by living healthily you:
- Protect your body from pesky medical issues such as osteoporosis, strokes, and heart disease.
- You’ll maintain a healthy weight. *Note: healthy is not one size fits all. What’s healthy for one person may be under/overweight for another.
- Stabilize your mood. Bye-bye mood swings!
- Increase your focus
Now those are just a few benefits. I myself notice that I am cheerier and more confident when I’ve been mindful of my diet and exercise routine for an extended period of time. Not only that but I am quite proud of myself, because getting into that routine is hard. So as motivation to myself as I’ve seem to fallen out of my routine, and hopefully inspiration to you – I’ve come up with my best tips that anyone can use to get and stay healthy.
*I am a 19 year old college student and in no way am I a professional – these are the tips that work for me, but if you intend on making a huge lifestyle change please consult with your doctor.
First things first:
Diet doesn’t always mean healthy.
You should always try to eat a healthy diet, but that doesn’t mean go on a diet. Fad diets and diet pills are ineffective and detrimental to your health. Don’t waste your time. The easiest way to get healthy is by eating healthily. While your friends count calories and avoid carbs like they’re the plague, you’ll be enjoying a yummy, well-balanced meal.
What should I eat?
Whatever you want. No, I’m serious. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about everything in moderation. Focus mainly on eating unprocessed and raw foods, but don’t let it become an obsession. Eating a few treats here and there is not bad, and it is nothing to feel guilty about. For reference, I created what a normal daily meal plan might look like for me when I’m eating healthily:
- Greek Yogurt.
- An omelet with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and peppers.
- Lots and lots of water.
- Chili or Potato Soup.
- Salad loaded with veggies and I use cottage cheese and sriracha instead of dressing.
- Pineapple and strawberries. (My favorite!)
- Lots of water.
- Chicken or Fish
- An assortment of veggies, usually celery, cucumbers, and carrots.
- Cottage Cheese.
- A small serving of mashed potatoes or macaroni.
- Lots of water.
So as you can see, I’m not perfect. I eat foods that aren’t “healthy” like bacon, macaroni, and potato soup. But I love them and I can’t give them up. The important thing is that I only eat a small portion of my ‘unhealthy’ foods. Try and allow veggies to dominate your meals, and if you eat meat, chicken and fish are super healthy (and delicious!) options.
You may have heard it before, but what does it mean? Eating clean, as I understand it, is eating only foods with unprocessed ingredients. For example, the omelet I mentioned above would be clean because all of the foods are whole and natural without going through a factory. Say I added processed cheese into the omelet, it would no longer be considered clean.
“But…I like cheese.”
Me too, and like is any understatement. So what I typically try to do is eat one clean meal a day. And the other two meals I try to make mostly clean. Like I said, everything in moderation.
If you choose to deprive yourself, the chances of you cracking and binge eating will soar through the roof. When you are first starting out with your healthy lifestyle be sure to fulfill your cravings. If you’re used to dessert every night, then perhaps swap your ice cream for frozen yogurt, and eventually for banana ice cream. When you’re eating healthy, your sweet tooth will get weaker and weaker so you will have these cravings less frequently – but having healthy alternatives that are just as satisfying makes dessert that much sweeter.
Now, for the moment we have all been dreading, drum roll please….
Don’t run the other way when you hear the word exercise. Working out doesn’t have to mean running for miles and miles or going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. There are plenty of exercises that you can do from home, and sorry to break it to you, but your “I don’t have any time” excuse isn’t going to cut it, because search “ten-minute exercise routine” and you’ll be overwhelmed with options. Now, it all comes down to finding the right exercise routine for you.
I don’t have time to exercise:
Yes you do, in less than ten minutes a day you can get in some cardio and tone your muscles.
- Blogilates Videos (Some are less than five minutes!)
- 5 minutes of rapid jump roping
- HIIT Workouts
- Tabata Workouts
I hate exercising:
Ok, so this is a little trickier, but there is a workout for everyone, I promise! You just have to do something so fun that you trick your body!
- Belly Dance Class (I am doing this now, it’s so much fun I don’t feel sore until it’s over!)
- Dance around to your favorite song, it gets your heart rate up!
- Or as I mentioned above, workout videos. Even if you hate them, they will only take up five minutes!
- Yoga – it is relaxing and easy enough that it won’t feel like a workout until you get advanced.
I can’t find the motivation:
Don’t motivate yourself, make yourself.
- Don’t fill up your gas tank, so you have to ride your bike instead.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Pay for an exercise class membership – don’t let your money go to waste!
I like to exercise, I really really do. My favorite thing to do is the machines at my school’s gym, I have a routine and everything. After those machines I go and do free weights. But I only find time to go to the gym a few times a week. When I can’t make it to the gym I love the blogilates videos I mentioned above. If you want nice abs, those videos are the way to go. I don’t work out every single day, but I do at least a little something more often than not.
I also go to school on a huge (and beautiful!) campus, so I’m constantly walking around or riding my bike.
So what I want you to walk away with is the knowledge that no you don’t need to go on a diet, count calories, or work out until you pass out. That isn’t necessary and you will just find yourself burnt out at the end, which I am sure isn’t your intention. The above is a good place to start out if you’re new to living a healthy lifestyle, and you can certainly work your way up from there. I am not the one to give advice on 100% clean eating or fitness routines because I don’t live that lifestyle. I stay healthy, but I don’t let it take over my life. If you can handle a more extreme lifestyle then that is awesome, but as I said before, it may be best to take baby steps!
Do you have a fitness routine? Tell me about it below!!