3 Ways To Improve Your Health & Fitness Today – Guest Post

Author: Maggy Boyd, MS RD

 

Did your New Years Resolution get left behind in January? Did your winter body stay around for summertime? If you have health and fitness goals that need to be resurrected, if you’re ready to get inspired for swim suit season, or just looking to improve you overall well-being, the answer may be right in front of you.

 

Literally, what is in front of you right now? Are going on the 3rd hour sitting at your desk? Are drinking a coffee? Are you overly stuffed or starving? What is right in front of you may be the most difficult for you to see, yet the most obvious answer to change your current health and fitness habits. Open your eyes and be honest to the areas in your life you feel are most healthy in. Now, consider this… how could you improve these areas more?

 

Your strengths showcase what you are best at, what you are most passionate about, and what you are most interested in- hopefully! Is your best area is making it to the gym, drinking lots of water everyday, or preparing homemade meals? I guarantee that you have a strongest area and also, I guarantee there is at least one small improvement you can make! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced in your health and fitness stage, there is always room for improvements!

 

Here are 3 ways to improve your health and fitness today:

 

  1. Exercise

Being physically active is important to improve your overall health from decreasing risk for diseases (like heart disease and stroke) and decreasing stress levels. It’s important to move EVERYDAY! The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. The goal is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week! Whether you are planning to start walking once a day or sign up for a marathon this season, here are some progression steps:

  • Beginner: Add in a 30-minute walk per day (before, during, or after work) or take two or three 10-15 minute walks throughout the day.
  • Intermediate: Take your walk to a jog or add in 2-3 days of resistance training.
  • Advanced: Switch to your cardio to cardio, Tabatha style, or add in HIIT to your workout.

 

  1. Hydration

Are you drinking enough water during the day? Hydration is key to preventing headache, fatigue, muscle soreness, and warding of sensations of hunger. The best indicator of hydration status is monitoring the color of your urine; if your urine is pale yellow to clear you are properly hydrated. Here are some tricks to drink more water and stay hydrated:

  • Beginner: Start carrying a water bottle with you.
  • Intermediate: For each cup of caffeine you drink (coffee, etc.), drink one additional cup of water because caffeine is a diuretic (makes you pee) and can lead to dehydration.
  • Advanced: Calculate your sweat rate to determine if you’re drinking enough water during exercise. Do this by, weighing yourself before and after your workout. If you lost weight, you lost sweat and at risk for dehydration. Drink 16-oz of water for each pound of weight you lost.

 

  1. Food

Food plays a huge role in improving your overall health and fitness. Based on your goals, the quantity and quality of food can lead to you right to your goal. No matter what your biggest weakness or strength is with food, here are a few tips to take you to the next level:

  • Beginner: Make ½ your grains whole! Replace your white bread, rice, or pasta with 100% whole-wheat bread, sweet potato, or brown rice!
  • Intermediate: Cook a healthy dinner every week night or weekend night. Find a recipe on LuvRecipes, FoodNetwork, or AllRecipes to prepare your next healthy meal!
  • Advanced: Meal prep one of the above recipes for all of your weekday lunches.

 

Exercise, hydration, and food are three major areas in each person’s life. And, if no matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced in you journey, you can always strive to improve something. Even if it’s what you are best at!  As they say, small progress is still progress!!!

 

Share your thoughts on ways to improve your health and fitness below in the comment section!

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Theresa