20 May Spring into Fitness and Stay Healthy
Spring is a great time to get fit and find your healthy groove. Healthy foods are in season; the sun is beaming with vitamin D; and, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, exercising in the heat decreases our appetites.
But you say, ‘Getting fit is hard!’ Where do you start? And how can you keep from falling off the wagon?
Read on for some tips to getting and staying healthy this spring.
Drink enough water
It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the hotter months. Substitute sugary drinks and sodas for flavored waters and spritzers. Increasing your water intake will not only make you feel more full, but also it aids in transporting oxygen to your muscles for more effective workouts. You’ve probably heard that you should drink 8 glasses of water a day. That’s a great place to start; however, the recommended amount can vary depending on body weight and activity levels. Check out this article by the Mayo Clinic to determine how much water you need.
Find an activity that’s right for you
You don’t need an expensive gym membership or to run a marathon to get fit. There are plenty of options for people of all ages and fitness levels! For example, walking more is a great way to burn a few extra calories. Yes, you should get your 10,000 steps in – but why? As explained in this Women’s Health article, walking is actually considered Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio. LISS cardio is great for burning fat because the body has the proper oxygen needed to use fat as the primary energy source. This is compared to jogging and sprinting that actually uses carbohydrates as the primary energy source.
Don’t skimp on whole foods
No, we don’t mean the grocery store (although we do love Whole Foods). Natural foods are the best way to ensure you’re reaching your fiber and nutrition goals. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of important nutrients that will help you look and feel better. Additionally, lean meats and eggs are great sources of protein – the macronutrient responsible for building muscle.
Set small goals that are NOT body weight related
It’s important to benchmark your progress by accomplishing small, but important goals. Without small goals, it may feel like you’re chasing the light at the end of an endless tunnel. It’s also important to recognize yourself for accomplishments that go beyond weight loss. As noted in this Women’s Health article, your body may be holding about 8 lbs of water weight which should be managed carefully as you adjust your activity level and eating habits. Hormones, stress levels, and sleep can all affect your daily weight fluctuations. Focus on what you can control. Set goals related to consistent exercise, healthy eating, strength gains, and water intake.
Do it for the right reasons
This is the #1 influencer of keeping weight off, staying fit, and remaining healthy. According to Mark’s Daily Apple, a health and wellness community run by a former marathoner and triathlete, intrinsic motivation beats extrinsic motivation for long-term success. What does this mean? Find out why YOU want to be healthy and it will fuel your passion for the journey. There are many benefits to a healthy lifestyle that go beyond looking good. Maybe you want to improve your physicality so you can keep up with your kids. Maybe you want to recover from an illness or improve a chronic condition, or maybe you just want to feel more confident.
Are you ready to tackle your health this spring? Tag @healthwell_connect on Instagram with pictures documenting your YOUnique journey to health and wellness.