If you are a beginner to exercising, you might find gyms, workout guides, and the like extremely intimidating; additionally, you might want to start slow and work your way towards physical fitness at your own pace. Worry not, if “normal” exercise just does not cut it for you, here are five more out-of-the-box ways to exercise.
Enroll in a dance class! As you glide across the dance floor, your entire body will be exercised. In fact, several gyms offer dance classes to cater to those who want to burn their calories while jamming to the latest hits. If you are not comfortable dancing in front of other people, there are thousands of dance exercise tutorials online that you can follow through; you do not need to buy instructional DVDs anymore! Most videos are free and highly effective, especially in weight loss. Just make sure to dance continuously to get the best results out of your workout.
If running and jogging are activities that are too tiring for you, try walking! Instead of driving to the grocery store, you can try walking. Even short fifteen-minute walks are steps towards your fitness goal. In addition to being a viable workout, walking is also a wallet-friendly workout! Walking is great cardio and has most benefits of running and jogging without the added strain.
Who doesn’t want to splash in a pool during hot summer days? Aside from being a nice way to cool off, swimming is also a good workout and aids in weight loss. There is a term coined for aerobics done underwater – aqua-aerobics or “swimnastics”; some public pools offer this class to help swimmers work off their calories. It’s a fun way to exercise and especially preferable for older people to maintain their cardiovascular health.
Playing sports is a surefire way to exercise anyone; however, I am not merely referring to sports. Even childhood games such as tag, hide-and-seek, and treasure hunts are enough to make you sweat! Get a few friends together to make it a group effort – the more, the merrier. If you’re one to ride solo, try various toys to make your exercise fun; for example, jump ropes and hula-hoops can be used in many different exercises!
Instead of spending your vacation cooped up in a hotel room, opt for more active locations! Perhaps you can book a room at a skiing place. Exercise by skiing down slopes or sledding through the snow. On the other hand, if you prefer sunnier places, take a brisk walk along the shore or join a game of beach volleyball!
Exercise does not have to mean a solid hour by yourself, counting reps; its challenge can also be fun and engaging. If a physical activity sounds interesting to you, don’t be afraid to try it! Rock-climbing, martial arts, etcetera – there are a lot of exciting ways to work your body, and you have all the time in the world to find your “unexercise” exercise!
The first step you need to take to improve your overall health is to wake up early. For some, this may not be an option because of work shifts or late night activities; however, to those who want to press on with their best foot forward, here are three benefits of waking up early.
You get to eat breakfast.
Some people who wake up late don’t have time to eat breakfast. The nourishment you get from your breakfast fuels you throughout the entire day. Even if it’s just a simple sandwich, a bowl of cereal, or fruit, eating breakfast is a surefire way to get you energized and ready for anything.
You won’t need to rush your morning routine.
Mornings entail very stressful activities; you might need to iron your shirt, get your make-up done, or drive through traffic-packed streets to get to work. You won’t get trapped in time crunches if you wake up early – you get more tim297e to do the activities you need and more.
You have more time for exercise.
Aside from minimized stress, early mornings give you more time to exercise. You might not find time to incorporate workouts later in the day, so take your extra fifteen minutes in the morning to jog around the block! Effective workouts need to be done consistently so be sure not to skip!
Waking up early is not a simple process, no matter how basic it sounds. If you aspire to wake up earlier than your usual routine, here are a few tips you may find helpful.
Do not rush it!
Start small; if you usually wake up at 10 AM, it is a bad idea to immediately start waking up at 6 AM. Make small increments in your sleeping schedule – ten to fifteen minutes is a good balance. Sleep ten minutes earlier and wake up ten minutes earlier; by doing this continuously, you can achieve your time-goal without feeling too much like a zombie.
Place your alarm clock far from your reach.
You probably know how annoying alarm clocks are; its high-pitched noises make us want to hit “Snooze” all the more. To keep yourself from falling into this dangerous trap, place your alarm clock on a surface far from your bedside; this forces you to get out of bed to shut the alarm off. Once you are up, don’t stay anywhere near the bed – it has unexplained allure, especially on workdays.
Reward yourself from time to time.
It may be hard to convince yourself to get out of bed; you should come up with a strong reason why you need to. Even if it’s just to make yourself a nice cup of tea before breakfast, reward yourself with tasks you find fulfilling. Walk your dog, read the newspaper, do a few minutes of yoga – find the perfect activity to keep you refreshed and optimistic.
Waking up in the morning may seem like a very minute tip towards a healthy lifestyle. Even though it sounds simple, it paves way for you to accomplish more complicated tasks that contribute to the bigger picture. It may be a struggle to start and get through but in the long run, it’s a huge boost towards better health and fitness.
Don’t forget to go to bed early as well as waking up early, to get enough hours of sleep. Sleep has been shown in many studies, as shown in this New York Times Article entitled Cheating Ourselves On Sleep, to be extremely important for your health
Fitting workouts into your busy schedule may not be easy; however, there are quite a few exercises that you can easily do in mere minutes. Here are four of these exercises which are perfect for busybodies who want to lead a more active lifestyle.
Running, jogging, or walking
If you have a few minutes to spare before leaving for work, take a quick jog around your block. You can set your own pace – run, jog, or walk! Running puts more strain on your muscles but is very effective if you want to lose weight; on the other hand, walking reduces the risk of injury but does not burn as many calories as running or jogging. Jogging is a good balance between the two. All three activities keep your heart healthy, improves your overall immunity to sickness, and leaves you feeling energized and refreshed!
Jumping jacks are classic exercises anybody can try! It is simple enough to learn; first, you need to stand with your feet together and your hands at your side. Next, you jump, raising your arms above your head and spreading your feet wide at the same time. It is a cardio exercise that requires constant repetition. Jumping jacks improve your flexibility, increase your stamina, and also reduce the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Crunches have many variations that focus on certain muscles. For toning the obliques, for example, the reverse crunch may be preferable. To do a reverse crunch, lie with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. Lift your feet off the floor and keep your knees together at a 90-degree angle. You should then lift your shoulders off the ground while pulling your knees towards you, slightly raising your hips in the process.
Repeat this procedure, and you will have well-toned lower abs in no time. If you are looking to tone different parts of your core, there are many other variations available for you to peruse on the Internet; with your developed core, you will gain improved balance, better posture, and reduced risk of muscle and back injury.
Squats involve not only one’s legs but their hips and knees as well. Your muscles will be developed through this exercise but only if done correctly. First, stand with your feet a little over shoulder-width apart while keeping your back straight. Next, slowly bend your knees until you reach a 90-degree angle. Breathe in as you bend, and out as you return to your earlier position. For beginners, 2-3 sets of 20 squats are recommended.
Indeed, these exercises are easy to do and follow. If you require additional assistance or want more variety, there are workout tutorials readily available on YouTube. You will probably find it challenging – maybe even tedious! – to repeat these exercises over and over, but healthy living and physical fitness call for that additional effort. It may only take fifteen minutes, but it is a huge step towards your fitness goal!
Living an active lifestyle entails a good diet and continuous physical activity; you need to juggle these two things simultaneously. Exercise is made easy through various tutorials on the Internet; however, meal planning may require more effort. To help you in deciding what to eat and when here are five things to consider while planning your meal.
Are there enough carbs?
Grains, pasta, bread, and cereals are the body’s main source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide the body with the power you need to accomplish day-to-day tasks. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to determining your carbohydrate intake; if you’re going to do more intense workouts for muscle buildup, make sure to consume more carbohydrates earlier on to keep yourself full and energized. On the other hand, stick to a lower carb diet if you want to lose weight.
Are there enough proteins?
If you’re constantly working out, you should make sure you’re eating enough food with protein. Protein, usually found in meats, aids in muscle buildup and recovery. To ensure you’re eating healthy even while consuming meat, choose low-fat cuts of beef and pork. Remove the skin from your chicken and turkey; additionally, you can get protein from seafood too! If you do not want to eat meat, consider plant-based alternatives such as quinoa and lentils that also offer high amounts of protein.
Is there enough variety?
Don’t stick to one type of fruit or one type of vegetable; don’t be afraid to mix it up! Make your plate into a canvas by experimenting with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Swap out your usual blueberries for blackberries or replace your red pepper with yellow pepper. A more natural and colorful plate is guaranteed to be healthier.
What are you drinking?
Aside from the solids, you also have to consider what you’re going to wash your meal down with. Water, of course, is the most viable option; however, small amounts of caffeine and tea won’t hurt. Green tea, especially, is said to aid in weight loss. What you need to avoid are sugary drinks such as soft drinks and cola; on the other hand, fruit juices may be consumed in moderation – as a supplement, but not to quench thirst.
Are you eating enough?
As mentioned earlier, there is no perfect diet for all. You have to eat and drink depending on your age, gender, height, weight, and current physical activity. Several charts depict the right amount of food you should consume. Peruse through this information carefully to make sure you are not overeating or under eating; both pose a serious threat to your health.
As a general rule, eat when you feel hungry, and drink when you are thirsty. Listen to your body but bare these guidelines in mind before you chow; it’s not required of you to eat healthy every single day of your life. Even professional athletes have cheat days to satisfy their cravings; however, you have to keep your food cheats in that single day. The next day, you have to bound right back and continue living as the improved, healthier you.
You need to eat before and after a workout – it is a known fact. To truly live a healthy and active life, you should ensure that the food you eat is nutritious too; however, nutritious does not have to mean bad tasting. To prove our point, here are five pre-workout and post-workout meals that you can try.
Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Who would not want to be energized by a smoothie this good? You can make this scrumptious smoothie by blending ice, bananas, a teaspoon of peanut butter, and almond milk. Customize the flavor of your drink by adding cinnamon or vanilla extract – it is entirely up to personal preference.
Bananas, in general, are a good source of energy; this amazing fruit boosts your glycogen and sugar levels. It is best to consume this 30 minutes-1 hour before the workout; additionally, it is also a nice pick-me-up after a particularly intense workout!
Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit
To perform your best at a workout, you need to consume a certain amount of sugar. Greek yogurt with dried fruit is enough to provide you with that boost; moreover, it has enough protein and sugar to keep you feeling full without the unnecessary calories! Preparation of this meal is easy; you just mix your preferred fruits into the Greek yogurt. Some people also include a dash of honey or nuts to spruce up their snack.
If you are in a bit of a hurry, protein shakes can solve your time crunch. Proteins help prevent the muscles in your body from breaking down while at the same time, aiding in muscle recovery. You just need to blend your base liquid – either milk or juice – with your whey protein mix; you can also add fruits to enhance your shake’s flavor further! It is an easy way to get you up and running.
If you’re looking to whip up a nutritious meal quickly, make some omelets. Egg omelets are rich in protein, which are a huge help to your body’s muscles; however, consumption of protein should be done 2-3 hours before the actual workout for best performance. To make your omelets even healthier, you can include veggies in your mix, or pair your omelet with whole grain toast.
Sweet potatoes are a staple food for most bodybuilders. It has lower calories than regular white potatoes, but taste just as good! Sweet potatoes also contain lots of fiber, which helps you maintain your appetite and build up your muscles; in addition to this, sweet potato also contains carbohydrates that provide you with energy to carry out your exercise – and help you recover afterward! A common way to serve sweet potato is to cut them up into wedges and serve them; a healthier alternative to french fries!
Indeed, you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds just to eat nutritious food. A healthy lifestyle also means having to use your creativity to find the perfect balance between healthy and yummy!
Diets and exercise are not the only aspects of an active lifestyle; in addition to these two, there are also certain habits that you need to learn to integrate into day-to-day living. Below are five healthy habits you may not be practicing – but should!
Take cold showers.
Although hot showers are considered to be more relaxing, cold showers have more health benefits. Taking a cold shower in the morning greatly increases your energy; you will be more ready to face your day! In addition to this, cold showers help activate the good kind of fat in our bodies; in turn, this aids in weight loss. Cooling yourself in cold water after a workout also speeds up your muscle recovery and eases stress; just ignore the first icy splash of water, and you will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
Eat until you are satisfied, not full.
Although your Grandmother might think otherwise, it’s alright to stop eating once you feel satisfied. Eating until you feel completely full is a no-no especially if you’re trying to lose weight. To help monitor your portions and prevent overeating make sure to eat from a plate; your body will easily recognize that you have indeed eaten.
Also, do not eat for no reason – sometimes you’ll find yourself bored and reaching for that cookie jar. Learn how to control and discipline yourself around food.
Consult with medical professionals.
You should strive to visit a doctor for a check-up at least annually. Get tests done to determine whether or not you have certain deficiencies; consult a dietician to adjust your food plans accordingly. In leading an active lifestyle, you should also consult a physical therapist if the exercise and workout of your choice are what’s best for you. Medical professionals have studied extensively about health-related information while you can only search on Google; ask for their educated opinions to have a more solid approach to your personal healthy living.
Learn to relax.
All work and no play makes Jack have a weakened immune system. Don’t work yourself to the bone without leaving time for you to relax! Engage in a physical activity that you find recreational to find the perfect balance between healthy and fun. Common choices for working individuals include dancing or yoga. If you’re more of an outdoors person, you can opt to spend your free hours outside – walk, run, cycle, or hike; it does not matter what activity you do, as long as you burn calories and relax in the process.
Have rest days.
Aside from resting from your job, you also have to rest your body with your everyday workouts. Experts suggest exercising for two consecutive days then resting on the third to give your body time to cope.
These are not the only tips you should learn for you to become fit and healthy; however, this much information is enough to get you up and running. Indeed, the road to health is a long journey where you will learn as you go.
It’s no secret that water is a vital part of living; all living things need water to survive; however, you may be confused about certain aspects of water consumption. This article aims to answer most – if not all – the questions you have about water.
Why is water important?
Sixty percent of your body is composed of water; its main purpose in your body is to regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions. It acts as a cushion and lubricant for your joints, thus protecting your tissues and spinal cord; additionally, it also aids in digestion and waste removal.
How much water do I need to drink?
The general rule is to drink 6-8 glasses – or one liter – of water per day. If you live in hotter climates, you may need more. There is no concrete answer to this question; moreover, if you really want to make sure if you’re well hydrated, monitor your urine. If your urine is clear, then you have nothing to worry about; on the other hand, if it’s dark-colored, you should opt to drink more water. Symptoms of dehydration may include tiredness, headache, dry skin, and dizziness.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
Drinking enough water keeps your digestive system at peak condition; fast metabolism leads to weight loss especially if coupled with continuous exercise. Water is the main fuel of an active lifestyle and helps in improving your overall fitness.
When should you drink water?
There are suggestions as to when you should drink your eight glasses of water; you should drink water first thing in the morning to activate your internal organs. Next, you should drink another glass 30 minutes before a meal to prevent indigestion. Before taking a shower, drink a glass of water to lower your blood pressure. You should also drink an hour before you sleep to replenish the water lost during your slumber; however, as a general rule, you should drink when you feel thirsty. You don’t need to schedule exact times of when to drink your glass of water. Rather, bear these tips as added information.
Is there a difference between hot and cold water?
Hot and cold water both have its benefits. If you want to drink water directly after waking up, choose hot water. Hot water is said to prevent indigestion and constipation; additionally, it also removes harmful toxins from your body. If you’re experiencing pain – like cramps, for example, hot water also acts as a viable pain reliever.
On the other hand, cold water is preferred after heavy workouts. It’s a huge help in hot summer days and also speeds up your metabolism. The recipe for weight loss includes cold water after solid workouts!
An active lifestyle does not mean you need to drink water alone! Only drinking water keeps you safe from diabetes and like diseases, but if you can’t stay far from your cup of tea, don’t force yourself to. Living healthily just entails proper discipline and self-control.
You need to be well energized to be able to perform your best during workouts. Lack of sleep is a serious issue that cannot only lead to unhealthy habits, but to chronic heart disease and diabetes! To help ensure you are getting enough rest at night, here are eight tips to make you fall asleep easier.
Lessen naps during the day.
To fall asleep easier, you need to feel tired. Daytime naps sometimes disrupt your sleeping pattern, causing you to stay awake in the middle of the night and wake up with a feeling similar to jet lag. To avoid this, limit your naps to 15-20 minutes. You will be able to rest during the day while being tired enough to crash onto your bed at night.
Avoid caffeine in food at night.
Caffeine may be good to consume before a morning exercise, but at night, it only serves to keep you awake. Watch out for the amount of caffeine in everything you eat or drink – even caffeine in chocolate is enough to hinder your zzz’s!
Don’t eat heavy food before bed.
It is not a good idea to overload your digestive system right before you go to sleep. Make sure to eat an hour before going to bed and to keep your meal light and satisfying.
Don’t drink too much before bed.
A glass of water should be enough before going to bed. Drinking too much liquid guarantees you more trips down to the bathroom, which will wake you up rather than easing you into sleep. Additionally, mind what you drink! Alcohol may make you tipsy, but once its effect wears off, you may be stuck thinking in bed for hours.
Wind down before bedtime.
Aside from physical exercise during the day, some people practice yoga right before going to sleep. This practice clears your body and mind before you drift off. There are even certain stretches that you can do on your bed!
Put your mobile phone and gadgets away. Keep lights to a minimum. If you have a clock, refrain from looking at the time every so often. Hide your clock from plain sight. Counting the hours of sleep you will get before even falling asleep is just going to make you more anxious.
Read fiction instead of self-help books.
If your bedtime routine consists of you reading a few pages of a book before dozing off, read fiction books instead of self-help books. It eases your stress and takes your mind away from your current problems; you will have some pretty interesting dreams, too!
Don’t overuse sleeping pills.
Sleeping pills have various side effects such as diarrhea, daytime drowsiness, and changes in appetite. Use these pills to a minimum – opt for more conventional ways to aid in falling asleep, such as breathing exercises.
These tips may help you in your quest to find a good night’s slumber; however, these are not concrete solutions. It is up to you to find the perfect way for you to get some rest. Even if you are stuck counting sheep, you just have to keep trying.