Personal Health and Fitness Guide for Healthier Living
Our cars and our bodies have many similarities; both need a continuous supply of fuel and appropriate maintenance in order to run to the best of their abilities. Our cars and our bodies are also similar in that preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid injury, damage, and wear. To look good, and run even better, our cars and bodies need consistent maintenance and care. Ironically enough, the excuses as to why we cannot take care of our vehicles or ourselves properly happen to be very similar. The typical statements remain, “I don’t have enough time”, “It’s too expensive”, “I’ll do it next week”.
Forget the excuses! Graff Bay City is here to help by providing you with your very own Personal Health and Fitness Guide with healthy tips and tricks. This guide is a great starting point to making your health a priority! Treat your body with the respect it deserves, give it the right fuel it needs, and take time to strengthen your body because it’s the only one you’ve got. Just like doing routine maintenance on your car, taking care of your body on a daily and weekly basis can prevent injury and illness, plus give you the energy to do the things you want to. With small changes in diet and daily movement, you can improve your body and mind. Learn more about why it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with some of our easy tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your everyday health and fitness routine.
Keep Your Body Running
Developing a healthy lifestyle can’t be done over night; focus on making small, positive changes each day!
Living a healthy lifestyle can be done without a dramatic overnight change; it just takes some time and practice. In fact, changing your health and fitness behaviors should not be done drastically. Break up your health goals into smaller goals and we guarantee you will see more success. All it takes is a few minor changes each day and soon you will be able to make positive, health conscious decisions without having to think twice.
There are dozens of ways we can enhance the quality of our lives. The easiest ways to improve health immediately is to make healthier eating choices, make exercise a priority, and get the sleep you truly need. Slight changes like choosing an apple over a cupcake, getting up every hour at work for a walk or stretch, and going to bed an hour earlier, can have a major impact on how we feel and perform. Let’s talk about how these things impact your body and it’s functions and what you can try!
Rest Your Body
Sleep is an extremely important factor to your health! Not only does it allow you to wake up with energy, but it also improves your memory, helps you learn something new, curbs inflammation in the body, helps you focus attention, lowers your stress, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and so much more. Sleep isn’t quite the miracle drug, but it can immediately improve your well being. Just be aware, oversleeping can have negative effects too. For most adults 7-9 hours of sleep is ideal.
For a restful slumber, avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other sleep interfering chemicals at least four hours before bedtime. Blue light from your electronics is also known to mess with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, so try to refrain from using electronics an hour before bedtime. Taking a bath or warm shower can help the body calm down and get ready for bed, while other relaxing activities like reading or meditating might help others wind down. Find what works best for you and stick with that routine! Your body works best on a schedule!
Cleanse Your Body
Ridding our bodies of toxins is vital so that we are able to properly absorb the nutrients and healing properties that we seek from our food; however doing a full “cleanse” or “detox” isn’t necessary. Our bodies are built to rid of toxins naturally, so supporting the body with good, natural foods and drinks does the job! Clogging our systems with food that contains preservatives and added chemicals prevents our organs from functioning to the best of their abilities. Remember, making small changes is where you’ll succeed! Overhauling your diet and lifestyle all at once can lead to burn-out, and your body might have a hard time making a drastic switch.
Cleansing your body doesn’t have to be complicated! Consuming natural foods and drinks and avoiding things like alcohol, processed foods, and chemical and sugar-laden items, is enough to rid our bodies of hurtful toxins. Try switching one processed food you eat per day for a healthy natural option, like having an apple and natural peanut butter instead of cereal in the morning. Making sure you’re getting enough of each food group is important, too. You can sustain a plentiful amount of protein through a plant-based diet, so do what’s best and easiest for you! One of our favorite feel-good recipes is adding nutrient-packed vegetables and fruits to our water. Check out our Slim Down Detox Water recipe below!
Move Your Body
Did you know on average Americans spend about 46 minutes driving in the car per day? All the sitting time accumulated at work, in the car, and at home lounging can take a toll on your body. Getting up and moving is imperative to good blood flow, good mood, and your overall health. By utilizing our muscles and bones daily, we can reap both physical and mental benefits that enhance the quality of our lives. Again starting with a full-out intense workout isn’t necessary. All it takes to reap the benefits are small changes.
Throughout the day we may find ourselves in situations where sitting is needed, like meetings, or driving in the car, but we can combat that sitting time with intermittent movement. Research suggests getting up and walking for 2 minutes every hour can offset the negative effects from prolonged sitting. You can incorporate this idea little by little into your routine. Simply moving more throughout your day is as simple as doing a set of jumping jacks during a television commercial, parking the car further away from the store or your office, or stretching while your coffee brews in the morning. Find your own way of moving more throughout the day!
Extend Your Life with a
Routine Health Check
Step back and look at your daily health routine. Are you making time to fuel your body when it needs it the most?
When and how we fuel our bodies is just as important as the fuel itself. It all starts with creating a smart eating strategy. This will help you to fight fatigue and stay focused. Break down your daily allotment of calories into multiple meals. For example, if you are eating 1,400 calories a day shoot for three 400-calorie meals with two 100-calorie snacks in between. Keep in mind this calorie allotment won’t work for everyone. You can find an online calorie calculator that will use your gender, weight, height, and sometimes fitness goals to calculate the amount of calories you should be eating per day to properly fuel your body. Also keep in mind that not all calories are equal. While they are equal in measurement, calories from healthy, nutrient-full foods are of higher quality to your body than calories from processed non-filling foods.
By providing our bodies with the ideal mix of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats every few hours, we can maintain a healthy blood sugar and energy level throughout our day. We can do this by preparing our food ahead of time, or having healthy snacks ready for when you’re truly hungry.
Drink A LOT of Water
Many suggest that we drink AT LEAST eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Drinking more water increases energy, flushes out toxins and waste, improves your skin complexion, boosts your immune system, promotes weight loss…we could go on and on! If you don’t get enough water it could lead to kidney problems, weight gain and overall fatigue.
A great way to hit your daily water intake goal is by investing in a good water bottle that has measurements on the side or one that you can write measurements on yourself. This will hold you accountable! We also suggest infusing your water with fruits, vegetables, or herbs. A little variety will prevent you from getting bored and from reaching for sugary soda or juice!
Don’t Skip Breakfast
A nutritious breakfast provides you with the energy you need to start your day, lowers the risk for high cholesterol, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Those who skip breakfast tend to be overcome by hunger later in the day, causing them to overeat and to be tempted by unhealthy decisions. Without breakfast you could develop stomach ulcers, suffer early day fatigue & create an unhealthy domino effect for the rest of your day!
We know not everyone has time to sit down to enjoy a freshly made omelet in the morning, and that’s okay! By keeping healthy “grab and go” breakfast foods on hand you will find it is much easier to squeeze this meal in every day. Stock up on nutritious, fiber-rich foods like apples, bananas, Greek yogurt, and granola bars.
Make Better Food Choices
Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day does wonders for your metabolism, prevents overeating and provides you with a steady amount of fuel for the entire day. It also prevents bigger health problems related to overeating such as diabetes, arthritis, or heart disease.
We understand just how hectic life can be, which is why it is important to maintain a healthy blood sugar and keep your energy level at a constant. Designate meal times every day by setting a reminder on your phone or computer. This will ensure that you make time for your meals even on the most busy of workdays!
Is Your Body Giving You
A food craving is our body’s way of telling us we are lacking a particular vitamin or mineral.
We all know that “I just need something salty” or “I need something sweet” feeling. The truth is that your body really isn’t craving the bag of potato chips or the candy bar. Cravings stem from our brains, telling us we are lacking a certain something in our diet. When you get that urge for something unhealthy, stop to think about what your body really needs.
We understand you may be skeptical of the idea that eating an apple will dodge your craving for a Snickers bar. However the fact of the matter is, as we begin to make these healthy choices and receive the proper nutrients, our bodies will start “craving” the apple over the candy bar!
Craving Something Chocolaty: If you find yourself constantly craving chocolate, it may be because your body is not getting enough magnesium, chromium, B-vitamins, or essential fatty acids. Chocolate also contains a mood-boosting hormone, which triggers the craving and the “I need this candy bar” feeling.
Craving Something SWEET
If you’re craving something sweet, it really means that your body is looking for magnesium, chromium, carbon, phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan. It can even mean that you’re tired.
Reach for lean protein, fresh fruits, cheese, and dark leafy greens to fuel your body rather than unhealthy sweet treats. If you don’t have time to take a nap, try taking a walk to reduce feelings of fatigue and try to get more sleep.
Craving Something FRIED
Do you find yourself in search of fried foods? Your body might be having an essential fatty acid deficiency, which means your body is truly craving healthy fats.
Healthy fats are the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. You can find these fat in avocados, cashews, almonds, olives, natural peanut butter, salmon, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, flaxseeds, and more.
Craving Somthing SALTY
Are you finding yourself reaching for salty food or fatty snacks? What your body is really trying to tell you, is that it needs calcium and chloride, which is essential for healthy digestion and keeping electrolyte levels in check.
Instead of binging on chips, pizza, or French fries, feed your cravings with dark greens, cheese, fish, or goat’s milk yogurt. While it may be hard to deny those cravings at first, you’ll feel way more healthy and energized when you do!
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your
The most beneficial exercise routine blends fitness, fun, effort, and results!
The benefits of regular exercise are endless! Not only does exercise help to improve our overall quality of life, but it also reduces stress, lifts our mood, helps us sleep better, and keeps us looking and feeling younger. Consistency is crucial in order to see results and to prevent injury; however, it is important to switch up the type of workout or switch up the moves you do to keep your body from using the same muscles over and over. This will help your body and strength develop and keep you from getting bored. Utilizing different muscle groups through various physical activities is the best way to protect your body, avoid a fitness-plateau, and to stay motivated!
Just remember, intense exercises should not be done on a daily basis. Not to mention you should also start small! Work yourself up to doing more intense exercises, as your body may not be ready for such a level. You might be sore from working out, but it’s a sign your body is working to repair and build on your muscles and strength. Strengthening your body will not only help you exercise, but also operate in everyday situations!
Tip #1 - Set a Goal
One of the most important aspects to achieving success with your exercise routine is to set goals. A goal can be the amount of time you workout per week, or it could be the amount of crunches you do. Whatever your goal may be, backing it by a realistic and achievable plan will help you stay on the track to success.
Make your goal measurable! Whether you are looking to lose weight or improve your physical endurance, documentation is the best way to achieve success. Stay accountable by writing a food diary, charting your fitness feats, or by recording your body measurements every week. Fitness trackers can help track your goals immensely. It’s easy to forget to write something down, but when a wearable tracker is on your body, the guessing work is gone.
Tip #2 - Set a Time
It’s easy to let daily demands get in the way of a regular exercise routine, so make sure you plan for success. Sit down each week and schedule out your workouts as needed to make time for your health. Keeping a workout buddy can be motivational, as you will be committed to not letting them down. Even setting aside 20 minutes to exercise is possible if you just get to it! You can also make it a family activity if you need to. For example, get everyone to take a nice walk or bike ride after dinner together.
It is easy to find an excuse not to workout after a long day at the office. This is why we suggest you get up, get moving, and get your workout done first thing in the morning! The secret is to put your phone or alarm clock in a place where you MUST get out of bed to turn it off! Think of a morning workout as a mood-boosting wake-up activity. You then have the rest of the day to work, and get the rest of your errands done.
Tip #3 - Switch It Up!
Mix up your workouts by incorporating different activities that you enjoy and that offer different strength and cardio benefits to get the most from your routine. This will help you stay away from a fitness plateau and help you find activities you really like to do. Think hiking, biking, walking, zumba, yoga, or playing sports! If your gym offers free classes, take advantage and try something new. If the weather is nice, get outside. There’s an added bonus of fresh air and vitamin D from the sunshine when you choose to get active outdoors.
Make the effort to switch up your workouts by researching local fitness classes in your area or join a friend for a one-time class. Not up to joining a gym? There are plenty of online resources to reference like YouTube, fitness websites, Pinterest, and Facebook. All it takes is a Google search! To get you started, try PopSugar Fitness for a variety of 10-30 minute workouts. Keeping a workout buddy is a great way to stay consistent and have support when you’re both trying something new.