Howdy, friends! It’s time for the next featured post in September’s Healthy Living Tuesdays series,“Health Lessons Learned Lately.”
One of the things I love most about our HLT series is the open-invitation to participate. Here’s how you can play along: Write a post on your own blog under this theme this month, and when the last Tuesday of September rolls around , we’ll host a link up. Participating is a great challenge: How will you make your post stand out in a community of bloggers writing under the same theme? Plus, the link up at the end of the month is an awesome way to promote your greatest content!
Between now & then, we’ll be showing off some of our members own posts on the subject manner – so, be sure to come back and visit each week to get a taste of how others are tackling the topic themselves. It’s a great way to find new bloggers to read and get to know your fellow HLB Members. [If you’re interested in writing for future Healthy Living Tuesday featured posts, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Hi. I’m Abby and I normally blog over at BackatSquareZero. My blog covers my journey to turn my life around and become healthy. I once was the girl who couldn’t even run to her own mailbox and am happy to report I will soon be completing my second marathon, the Marine Corp in October. On top of that I am also learning that a jar of cream cheese icing is not an appropriate dessert and turning my eating habits around. It has been quite the journey so far. I still make mistakes, I occasionally skip workouts, and sometimes I have more than my fair share of food. However, it had been an amazing learning experience and I feel as though I am growing healthier every day. I wanted to share with you the most important things I have learned about living healthy so far.
Top 10 Health Lessons Learned
10. Take Time to Relax – All of this can be overwhelming. Don’t get so caught up in go, go, going that your forget to take rest time. Your mental health is important too as it is directly tied to your physical healthy. Take time to chill out. Go for a nice slow stop and smell the roses type walk, read a book, or watch a movie. Make time for you.
9. Snack Smart – Somewhere along the line many of us were programmed to think of chips, dips, cookies, etc. as snack food. Your body needs snacks between your three main meals to keep it going, but we must change what we consider snack food. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips go for fresh fruits or even my favorite veggies, fresh green beans in particular, dipped in hummus.
8. Switch it Up – If you only work out one way your body is not being challenged and after a while you stop seeing the results. Plus you also risk the chance of getting bored of the same old same old where your workout will stop seeming new, fresh, and fun. Don’t run the same running route every day, or only attend spin classes, switch things up. Run intervals or sprints instead, see what other classes are available, and ditch the spin for a pump, Zumba, or pilates class one night a week. Your body will get new exercise challenges and you’ll find the thought of trying something new keeps staying fit fresh and exciting.
7. Spend Time Enjoying Life – Remember you can be the fittest healthiest person ever, but if you aren’t happy is it worth it? What do you love? Going out to try new restaurants, baking goodies for your family, Starbucks coffee drinks (one of my weaknesses)… Don’t completely cut out things you enjoy just because they aren’t healthy. Instead find ways to enjoy them without setting yourself back too much. Try a lighter version (a Starbucks Mocha Light Frappaccino has only 130 calories), make healthier substitutions, have the treats fewer and further between, but don’t totally cut out things you love. You must enjoy the life you’re living even as you strive to be healthier.
6. Get Enough Sleep – We all know our body needs sleep to function. Sleep gives us time to rest and repair. Studies have shown that sleeping enough helps your appetite, your weight, your productivity, and on and on. We all know sleep is important, but sometimes it is hard to make yourself hit the hay when you should. Schedule it. Give yourself a set bedtime and follow it in order to make sure you get enough sleep every night and can wake up read to go.
5. Build a Support System – The people you surround yourself with are crucial. Healthy living has to become a lifestyle and you need people who can be positive supports. Seek out those who are willing to exercise with you, who will switch happy hours for walks, ditch the pizza place for dinner at a salad bar instead, and support the fact that you are trying to make yourself healthier and happier in the long run. You’ll be glad you found people like this, keep them in your corner.
4. Plan in Advance – Both healthier eating and exercising are easier to stick to when you make plans. When you go to the grocery stock up on healthy foods, plan the meals you will eat, and don’t buy the junk. If you have planned ahead and have mostly healthy foods in your house you’ll find you eat healthier because that’s what you have available. The same is true of exercise – you must prepare in advance. Create an exercise calendar, plan out dates and times, register for classes, and set up meetings with friends to get fit. It you have made exercise a priority by scheduling it in you are much more likely to stick to it.
3. Eat Fresh – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, and lean meats. Try to stay away from the packaged stuff as much as possible. I know this can be hard. It is one of the areas where I personally struggle. When I get home late on weeknights I don’t always feel like cooking for just me and sometimes I grab that box of crackers or frozen dinner just like almost everybody else. However, becoming healthy is about progress, not perfection. Remind yourself to take steps in the right direction and try to work more fresh eating into your normal meals.
2. Get Active – Move! There will be excuses you can use everyday – you’re too tired, it is too late, the weather stinks, and on and on and on. If we all waited for the absolute perfect circumstances we would probably never exercise. Make it a priority and follow through. No matter how much you did not want to work out in the first place I promise you will feel so much better after you finish your workout.
1. Be Happy with Yourself – Don’t try to compare yourself to others. Learn from them, find new recipes, new exercise tricks to try, new mantras for motivation, but do not – I repeat – do not compare what you look like or are capable of to others. You must learn to be proud of yourself and of your accomplishments. When I first started on this journey this was very hard for me I was quite negative on myself, yes I ran a marathon, but it wasn’t a sub four hour marathon like so and so, or yes I had lost weight, but I was still a double digit size and didn’t look like the girl running the race in her sports bra with washboard abs. This type of self sabotage does nothing, but make you feel bad. Wishing you had what others have or did what they did only belittles your own achievements. Instead focus on what you have done, the steps you have already made to be healthy, and celebrate you. With time you will begin to realize how amazing you are, because nothing is more beautiful and inspiring than a happy confident person.
What has been the top health lesson you have learned?
Which ones are you still working on?
Comment and share.
I’d love to hear your story, help you out in away way I can, or just gain more fabulous healthy living friends and supporters. – Abby
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