Motivation Monday

Welcome back to reality! No more leftovers (hopefully), no more parties (hopefully), and no more holiday traveling (hopefully). It’s back to work, back to school, back to routines and schedules. I personally like having a routine. It keeps me saner…. I think because I’m able to plan better and stick to that plan better.

So what are your goals for this coming year? Does at least one include health and/or fitness? Food and/or exercise?

The biggest advice I can give is consistency. I met with a lot of new gym members this past week and I said the same thing to each one—get in here as much as you can, even if it’s just to watch TV while you’re walking. Why? Because it creates a habit. Your body craves exercise over time. It’s like it knows it needs to go when it’s used to it so you literally want to go. You want that endorphin rush. You want to sweat. You want to be sore. Sounds crazy, I know, and I never thought I would say all of that when I started exercising in a gym in 2005, but it’s true—over time you learn to love it. It makes you feel strong and in control. It makes you feel healthy and sexy. And it’s worth it because it does wonders for your mind and body.

Now, for the first MM of the year, I’m going kick off with a bunch of stuff I learned from the many magazines I read each month….

Things That Make You Go HMMMMMM
*Compliments of SHAPE, Fitness, Women’s Health, and Oxygen magazines

  • Green juice is better for you than fruit juice because it’s lower in sugar, it has more vitamins and antioxidants, and provides longer-lasting energy.
  • Buying tuna packed in olive oil is better because the oil is better than water at preservigin the fish’s omega-3 fats.
  • Bagged salads are indeed safe to eat! Just make sure the display case where they are shelved is cold and that you eat no later than the “best by” date.
  • WOOT! Almonds have been found to have only 129 calories per ounce—24% less than originally thought! Stock up to snack up—they have more fiber and calcium than any other nut.
  • You’ll lose MORE weight when you DON’T skip meals. (I did already know this one, but I think it’s important to repeat it a lot!)
  • Researchers at Arizona State University found that people consumed less later in the day after cutting a whole bagel into pieces. Multiple pieces makes the portion seem larger so start cutting up your food into pieces to make it last longer—in all senses of the word!
  • You can get an equally effective workout at home using resistance bands as you can at the gym with weight machines. So don’t freak if you can’t hit the gym—break a sweat at home.
  • Zumba burns an average of 9.5 calories a minute and jump rope burns an average of 13 calories per minute. Take a class or buy the cheapest piece of exercise equipment now to get your burn on.
  • Some hidden perks to common healthy habits include: regular dentist visits = a fitter heart; core exercises = a faster 5K; eating seafood = improved eyesight; quitting smoking = better brain power; taking yoga classes = less risk for broken bones; snacking on low-fat yogurt = fewer colds; a great sex life = headache relief; getting massages = a stronger immune system
  • The best sushi includes those with omega-3s and the least mercury, like yellowfin tuna, wild Alaskan salmon, and Pollock (imitation crab).
  • Eating healthy could help you cross off more on your to-do list. Because heavier meals take more energy to digest leaving you more sluggish and less productive.
  • Up your vitamin C! The daily recommended 75 milligrams a day is okay, but up it to 200 to reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
  • Red wine’s health benefits were overblown. University of Texas researchers found that moderate drinkers lived longer than those who abstained and wine drinkers weren’t any better off than those who chose beer or liquor. Alcohol itself boosts levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol, which helps sweep away plaque from blood vessels. However, you shouldn’t enjoy more than 2 drinks a day.
  • Sure organic produce helps the environment, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have any nutritional advantage over conventionally grown fruits and veggies. If you are going to buy organic, though, it’s smart to buy it for those fruits with a peel, like apples and peaches.
  • A grilled chicken sammy doesn’t always mean healthy…. Sometimes a burger is better! Chicken can actually pack more sodium, so there’s no need to be staunch and always order the chicken. Live a little!
  • Raw veggies are great for you, however, cooking some veggies can increase the nutritional value. Veggies like tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and corn are better for you when you cook them. The only ones that lose a little are the water-soluble, vitamin-C packed ones where the heat isn’t good for them.
  • High-fructose corn syrup isn’t worse for you than sugar—it is sugar. Simple. Straight. Limit your consumption of all added sugars: “dextrose,” “maltose,” “beet sugar,” and “fruit juice concentrate.”
  • Fruit is delicious and amazing and I love it, but eating it whenever isn’t always good either. It’s high in vitamins and fiber, but it still contains calories and sugars. Stick to about 4 servings a day, (2 serving = ½ c. or 1 piece).

 

Put this advice to good use—cook healthier tonight, take your lunch to work tomorrow, walk on the treadmill before and after work, and try a new class!

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