Recently, a few people have asked me what I do to try and stay in shape.
Like anyone, I struggle with food and fitness – and sometimes reminding myself constantly that “it’s a journey” just isn’t helpful.
There are a few key things I try to practice regularly, and they do make a difference. These things aren’t huge, but when added together they can help you feel healthier, stronger and happier. Well, it works for me at least…
Make everything a workout
The people who ride the bus at the same time as me every morning have gotten used to the fact that I’ll be running up and down flights of nearby stairs, pacing or doing the occasional tricep dips (outfit permitting) until the moment the bus arrives.
This alone doesn’t equal a ton of extra exercise in a day, but when you add in taking the stairs at the office or walking to a bathroom that’s further away, those little bits of movement can add up quick!
Invest in quality gear
This probably should’ve been the first point on the list, and I can’t stress enough the importance of good equipment.
Don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean heading to your local lululemon and dropping an obscene amount of money on things you don’t need. I’m referring to taking the time to research the things you need, and then purchasing a couple key pieces that’ll make life easier.
There’s nothing worse than dealing with blisters due to poor quality running shoes, or having to constantly hike up ill-fitting yoga pants when you’re just starting to get your zen on.
I spend a lot of time reading up on exercise and healthy living. I look into tips and tricks, and glean whatever lessons I can from the experiences of others. Everyone’s different, but I like to be as educated about my overall health as possible.
This tip also extends to food. Specifically, food in restaurants. I’m not too proud to say I look up the nutritional information of various dishes before heading out to dinner. Choosing a healthier alternative means I don’t undo my entire day by going out for dinner. It also means I can have some wine, and possibly a bite of dessert!
Know the substitutions
This tip is applicable at restaurants and when cooking or baking at home.
I like to make my own snacks, instead of buying them from the store. Then, I look at the ingredients and switch things around. Instead of butter, I try Greek yogurt. Instead of sugar, I use applesauce. These small tweaks make it possible for me to control what goes into the foods I’m eating, and also make things a little bit healthier along the way.
Find an exercise friend
I love, love, LOVE the ladies I work out with. Not only are they strong and confident women, but they push me to get up and get outside. Doing an activity with a friend is also a great time to catch up on each other’s lives – depending on the intensity level, of course.
I’ve also found that working out with friends has brought us closer together, because we’re constantly finding things we have in common and sharing new experiences. It’s awesome.
Drink green tea – Seriously, do it! Green tea has so many health benefits, and it’s been linked to weight loss for years.
Stand more – This is another great tip, and it’s similar to turning everything into a workout. When talking on the phone or editing a document at work, I stand up. Try it!