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It’s Friday! We made it. 🤗
I hope your February is off to a good start! How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? 😏 I vowed to get myself back into a regular workout schedule, and obviously most of you did too since you requested a post on fitness tips! My motivation to become more regular was primarily fueled by the fact that we’re going to Florida in a month, and I haven’t been the best at healthy living since our move (Do you know how many breweries there are up here? Pub food is my downfall!). I also know how important it is for overall health to workout consistently and eat healthy so that was another motivator.
However, like I’ve said before, I have a love/hate relationship with working out. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels like this. I love it because I feel good when I’m healthy in every aspect of my life – I’m more confident, I sleep better, I’m less stressed and I find I don’t have as many digestive issues (sorry TMI!). BUT, cardio is my mortal enemy. So, I wanted to take a different approach to the standard fitness/healthy eating post and show you guys how I manage to work both in in a way that’s actually enjoyable.
For this post we’ll discuss 3 tips I have to work fitness and healthy eating into your everyday life in an easy way. I’m also sharing some of my favorite workout gear because, let’s be honest, having cute workout clothes does provide a certain amount of motivation!
Also, disclaimer I feel obligated to post, I am NOT a doctor nor am I a nutritionist or trainer. These are suggestions I’m giving based on my personal life experience, and I do not claim to be coming from a medical approach.
Let’s do this!
Working on my fitness…
Tip 1: Do what’s right for you
HIIT seems to be all the rage right now. And for good reason! I’ve been a fan of Jillian Michael’s workout videos since I was in college because of how effective her HIIT system is. And, it allows me to workout from home, which saves me time and money. If you don’t know, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. For example, in Jillian’s workouts, she’ll typically have you do 3 minutes of strength training (lifting weights while doing squats), moving on to 2 minutes of cardio (mountain climbers, burpees), followed by 1 minute of abs. This circuit will repeat usually 3-4 times in one video. The idea is that you’re burning the maximum amount of calories and fat while building muscle by doing intervals instead of one steady movement over time such as running.
I used Jillian Michael’s “Ripped in 30” before our wedding and wasn’t even very diligent about it. But I saw crazy results with just using it a few weeks. HIIT is effective, but it’s not for everyone. I personally think I like it because the cardio is kept to short bursts – LOL. Finding the time to workout every day is hard enough in our face-paced society, so do something that you actually want to do and feels good. If you’d rather run 2 miles and lift weights (like my husband), do that. Or, on days when I don’t feel like being that intense, I’ll do something like PIYO which is a good workout but slower-paced. Just get active on a consistent basis and paired with healthy eating you will see results.
Tip 2: Incorporate easy fitness into your daily life
When you’re working full time while trying to maintain a fitness routine, it’s sometimes hard to find free time. When Kevin gets home, he often isn’t done working out until 6pm, and we’re in bed by 9:30-10:00 👵👴. That doesn’t leave much time for us to just “hang”. So, we’ve gotten into the habit of taking a 2-3 mile walk after work. Walking is an incredibly underrated form of exercise! On a 2-3 mile walk, I often burn upwards of 300 calories. And it doesn’t feel like work (remember, cardio hater over here!). Plus, it’s a great time to catch up on our days.
When I worked in the corporate world, I would often take walks throughout the day with my coworkers to break the day up and get outside. You get 1000-2000 steps in, a mini-workout, and you get fresh air so you feel revived to tackle the work ahead. My best friend at my corporate job took 3-4 walks a day. And inclement weather isn’t an excuse! Walk around your office if you need to! Don’t worry about what other people think, they’re just gonna be jealous when you look fabulous by the time summer comes!
On days that I know I won’t be able to fit in a normal workout, I’ll often do a 10 minute ab or fitness exercise right away in the morning. It’s not a lot but it’s better than nothing in my opinion. Plus, if I skip more than one day working out, it’s next to impossible for me to find the motivation to get back into a routine – just being real with you all! On my Fitness Tips & Tricks pinterest board I have a ton of these mini exercises if you need ideas! You can find the board here (be sure to follow my account for updates as well!).
Tip 3: Take the hard way
Trust me, we all would rather take the elevator than the stairs, park in the closest spot to the store or lay around v. clean the house. But incorporating more activities into your day means more calories burned over time and more inches lost. It takes getting used to because you’re breaking old habits, but try to do things that are outside the norm for you. Park at the back of the lot so you have to walk further to get to the store. Always take the stairs over the elevator. And clean your house regularly and thoroughly. If you don’t believe me that cleaning can be a mini-workout in it’s own, try wearing a Fitbit the next time you clean. You’ll literally get 1000’s of steps in!
Let’s talk healthy eats…
Tip 1: Don’t drink your calories
One of the easiest ways to cut unnecessary calories out of your day is to not drink your calories. This means staying away from soda, those fancy Starbucks drinks, juices or alcohol. We all know I love my Starbucks, so I opt to view it like a treat v. an everyday experience. In truth, my coffee is the only drink I routinely have that has calories in it (Because of my almond milk!). Otherwise I pretty much stick to water. If you’re struggling to give up soda because of the carbonation, try sparkling water. This brand from Target is affordable and their flavor Ginger & Peach is my favorite!
Avoiding drinking your calories also ensures that you’re staying properly hydrated throughout the day. Did you know you’re supposed to drink half of your weight in ounces a day? That’s a LOT of water! If you drink this much consistently overtime, I promise you will feel better. I routinely drink this amount to help avoid headaches (dehydration is a huge cause of headaches), but I also notice how much more energy I have and how much less bloated I am. If you’re feeling really lethargic mid-afternoon, chug 16 ounces of water v. that extra shot of espresso. You’ll likely feel more energized afterwards.
Tip 2: Substitute your breakfast for a morning shake
I’ve said it before, but I have a crazy sweet tooth. We usually can’t keep any sweets in the house because I will literally binge eat them. No control. I blame my dad for this (are you reading this dad?!) lol! Anyway, having a “chocolate” shake in the morning seems to trick my mind into thinking that I’m having sweets and curbs my cravings throughout the day. I’ve been drinking this Vega One All-in-One shake every morning for two years. It’s vegan and gluten free so perfect for those with sensitivities. It’s packed with good nutrients including 20 grams of plant-based protein, veggies & greens, 12 vitamins and minerals, probiotics, Omega-3’s, Fiber, and more. I typically will blend this with 12 ounces of water, ice, a spoonful of peanut powder, a cup of spinach and cup of frozen fruit. It’s a power-packed way to start the day and get my veggies/fruits in without even noticing it.
Tip 3: Make smart choices while eating out
When you’re working on eating healthy and incorporating fitness into your routine, sometimes it feels like you can’t eat out. Like it’s “cheating”. This doesn’t have to be the case. No matter what city you’re in, there are healthy options when eating out. Even if it’s just your local sub shop.
One of my favorite places to eat healthy in the Twin Cities is Crisp & Green. They have two locations in the North Loop and Wayzata. The atmosphere is very minimalist and just feels clean and healthy. It’s set up for those of us on the go. You order from one end of the counter while they make your dish right in front of you, confirming the ingredients you want along the way. You can go with what the menu suggests or change it up depending on how you feel! In addition to their phenomenal salads and bowls, they also have nutrition packed smoothies that are essentially a meal in and of themselves! Plus, it’s affordable. You can have one meal here for the same price as going to your favorite fast food spot, but you’ll feel much more satisfied when you’re done. I actually prefer their Fiesta Bowl to a burrito bowl, which used to be my go-to!
I hope you found these tips helpful! My main goal is to help you live a healthy life in a way that doesn’t feel like work. Because, let’s be honest, we’re creatures of habit, and we have to take baby steps to create big changes! If you’re looking for tips on how to tackle your fitness and healthy eating goals, I encourage you to read my post on goal setting. I follow this process for all of my goals and find it extremely useful!
Alright guys, the Super Bowl weekend is finally here. And, no, I’m not super stoked for the big game (lol). But, I am excited that it’s taking place in my city! My parents are here so it’s sure to be a fun-filled weekend! How do you celebrate the Super Bowl? Are you more of a game or half-time person? I think you know which one I am 😜!
Have a great weekend everyone! See you Monday!
**This post was done in partnership with Crisp & Green**
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