Sunday, November 20, 2011

The healthy life.

So far this school year, I have hardly been exercising.

For those of you who know me and know of my thin frame, you may be thinking, "Oh big deal, you're skinny! You don't need to exercise!" 

Well let me just tell you, that is simply not true. 

Being "thin" does not make me in shape. I would rather be physically fit and weigh more, (muscle weighs more than fat, in case you didn't know) than just skinny. 

If being thin implied that me or other "thin" people are automatically in good physical condition, then why do I feel like I'm dying when I attempt to run one mile?

Why am I out of breath when I walk up the stairs at my school to the 4th floor?

Why can't I easily touch my toes and do certain yoga poses?

Because being thin doesn't just make you in shape. Just like everyone else, even thin people have to work to be in good physical condition. 

It's about balancing your lifestyle.

You need at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night, a well-balanced diet, and plenty for exercise.

Easier said than done right? 

So what are some of my personal excuses for not following this seemingly easy enough lifestyle?

-I always feel like I have too much studying to do and can't take time away from my school work.

-I shower in the morning and get all dolled up for school and don't want to have to shower and get ready all over again later.

- I procrastinate too long during the day, causing me to stay up late at night completing homework assignments and studying. 

Sure, you can say, yeah, well plenty of college students do that, so what?

Well, then I just feel exhausted the next day, leaving me even less motivation "tomorrow" to work out, and spend more time cooking a healthier meal. 

When I'm tired, I am far less likely to want to take the time to cook up some great healthy meal.

But can't healthy meals also be quick? Yes, it's all about finding the right recipes. 

I bought a Vegan and Vegetarian cookbook for quick meals on a College budget from Amazon. 

My b/f and I try to cook healthy as much as possible. But eating healthy is not all one needs to do be in good health.

Because this just isn't some petty desire to be pretty.

Being healthy is a lifestyle choice. It goes far beyond looks. Taking care of your body will help you live longer, and feel better. 

So if we know that exercising and eating right will help us live longer, and feel better, which I am sure we all want, why don't we all take the time to do it?

-Well, it's takes time and money for one, and discipline and dedication.

You have to have self control when you're at the grocery store. I'm not going to lie, I just bought thanksgiving sugar cookies the last time I was at the store. I'm not saying you can never indulge, but I am saying that sugar turns into fat, and rots your teeth. 

You are what you eat. If you eat healthy, you will be healthy. If you eat junk food, how well do you think your body is going to respond to processed foods filled with chemicals and preservatives? Not as great as it would respond if you were buying fresh healthy food. 

If it comes in a box, watch out. I have read in many fitness and health magazines to stick to the outside of the grocery store.

Buy fresh produce, lots of fruits and veggies. Lots of protein. I am a bit of a vegetarian myself, so I love fruits and veggies. 

I do eat seafood, but I am not a big fan of red and white meat. I will on rare occasion eat a hot dog or a cheeseburger. Yes, I know. A hot dog? Yes, I have watched videos. I know what's in there. Like I said, it's an every now and then thing. But mostly, I eat turkey bacon, turkey hotdogs, or meat alternatives in general. (As in, it's not really meat). 

On occasion I will eat meat with my b/f because he cannot live on a vegetarian diet alone. So we compromise. 

But eating right is not the only thing he and I find important to a healthy lifestyle. My b/f loves to run and work out at the gym with his buddy. 

-The gym he works out at is at his school, and since I don't go there, I can't get in. So, I bought myself some work out dvds to do at home. 

Yesterday I started Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30. I have completed two days of her work out. 

I am definitely sore today, but I pushed through the second work out.

See? I had to push through it. Being thin for me actually means I have wimpy muscles. I admire women with more defined physics. That is my goal. Physical fitness and health, not being super thin. 

I want to do it the healthy way. I love food, I could never be one to deprive myself of it to be thin. You just have to choose the right choices. Eating small meals a day actually helps you have a faster metabolism anyways. So don't ever skip meals to help lose weight. It will only backfire.

For me, the key is finding healthy food and exercises you love. Ask yourself this. Why would it be good for YOU to work out? What's in it for you? 

Here are my reasons:

-I feel better about my body when I exercise.

-I feel good in general after a work out.

-Working out gives me energy.

-I feel more confident in my clothes.

-I have more endurance when I exercise on a regular basis. 

-I don't want to be out of breath climbing stairs to my classes.

-I want to prolong my life by being in good health, and exercise is one way to do that.

-Exercising is something fun to do with a friend or significant other.

Those are just some of my reasons for staying fit. 

What are some of yours? 

Some tips I have for making exercise more fun.

-Change up your work outs. 

I buy multiple dvds to switch up my work outs so I don't get bored and stop working out. I do Yoga, Pilates, Kick boxing, Cardio, Dance, Abs, kettle bell, weights, exercise ball exercises, and more. 

-find what you love.

There are so many types of exercises you can do. If you sign up at a gym, see what classes they offer. You may be more likely to go if you pay for a class.

-work out with a friend. 

Let friends motivate you. When I worked out with a friend, I went to the gym more often. Get a running buddy if love to run. Find a friend to take a Zumba class with you. (I love Zumba!)

-Get a great pair of running or exercise shoes.

I just sent back to pairs of Nike shoes to find out I just don't like the cut of their shoe. I have a pair of K-Swiss shoes now. (The picture is above.) I love my K-Swiss shoes. For running (when I do actually run) I have a pair of Aasics. It's important to get fitted and try on many shoes to find the best one for you and the activity you like to do. 

This sounds so elementary, but I give myself stickers on the calendar when I work out. It reminds me how many days I have worked out in the month. Who really remembers what they did last week? Mark it down. 

-Start small

Just ask yourself to do 10 min one day, then slowly progress. Whenever I tell myself I'm going to only do 10 min of Pilates, I end up doing more. 

But most importantly, talk to your doctor to make sure you are in the right physical health to eat a certain diet and exercise. Everyone's body is different and you have to find out what is right for you. 

-Subscribe to fitness magazines

I love getting fitness tips and workouts from the magazines I subscribe to. My favorites are Self, and Fitness. 

I plan to blog through my progress of the Ripped in 30 and work out 5 days a week at the min. 6 at the max. I need a day for rest for my muscles to recoup. 

But always listen to your body. If something hurts, don't do it. Now, that doesn't mean exercise isn't hard work. Sometimes you have to push through a hard work out, but pains and strains should be avoided. If you injure yourself, it will only put you back. So always be careful. Make sure you are doing the work outs correctly.

If I am feeling too sore one day, I might to pilates or Yoga instead.

 I figure, what better way to keep off those holiday pounds than to exercise through the holidays? 

Do you have any motivating health advice for eating right or exercising? Do you have a website that you like to go to to get healthy recipes or work outs? Leave a comment below! 

I challenge you who are able to work out along with me. Do 5 days a week of your favorite work out and share it with me. Let's motivate each other!

Happy exercising! 

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