Archive for the tag - health

7 Tips For A Healthier Weekend!

Be king of your weekend!

Be king of your weekend!

It’s Friday and you’re probably super excited for the weekend. Yay!

While the weekdays are often packed with school, work, appointments and other commitments, the weekends are all about you. Which is all the more reason to ensure that your weekends support your health and fitness goals.

To that end, I put together a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your weekend.

  1. Sleep! Use me as your personal excuse to be lazy. We know that sleep is extremely important to health and wellness. In fact, more than two dozen studies have linked less sleep to extra body weight. While there’s a lot we don’t understand about sleep, it’s benefits are undeniable. Use the weekend to recharge your batteries.
  2. Water > Alcohol. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5% of the average American’s calories come from alcohol. That might not sound like a lot, but consider how many calories that is over the course of a year. Based on a 2,500 calorie diet, that’s some 45,000 calories per year. Even worse, those calories are empty – and thus not providing any essential vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. Just replacing a few alcoholic beverages with water will help improve your diet.
  3. Hit the gym… harder. While our weekday schedules are often packed, the weekend is a great time to spend an extra few minutes at the gym. I like to call it a workout plus. It’s everything you normally do with an extra boost. Maybe you can add on a short workout class. Or do a couple extra intervals. The weekend is the perfect time to step it up!
  4. Visit a farmer’s market. The USDA has a massive database of farmers markets – and there’s probably a great one in your area. A weekend trip to the farmers market is a great opportunity to stock up on locally grown, nourishing foods. These fresh fruits and vegetables are a great way to nourish your body as a special treat. It’s also a lot of fun and something that you can do with family and friends.
  5. Go outside! We are spending less and less time outdoors and more and more time sitting in front of screens. And, of course, our waistlines keep getting bigger and bigger. While I’m grateful that you’re reading my blog, I’d rather you be enjoying the outdoors and moving your body. As such, plan your weekend activities around the outside world. Instead of watching a movie with a friend, take a hike. Or a simple walk. Go camping. Swim. Run. Kayak. Climb rocks. Play! Whatever you do, get off your butt and go outside! Beyond benefiting your physical health, you may also discover that communing with nature is good for your mental health – as it can help promote relaxation and calmness.
  6. Remember that weekend calories count, too. It’s the weekend, so you can eat whatever you want, right? You deserve it, don’t you? NO! You deserve to be nourished with healthy foods that support your goals. The weekend is not a time to sabotage your diet with high-calorie foods loaded in saturated or trans fats, added sugars and sodium. Eat smarter every day of the week.
  7. Plan for the week ahead. Since most of us are busy during the week, the weekend is a great time to plan ahead. Write out breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and stock up on the foods and ingredients you need. Rather than having a crammed schedule during the week and resorting to fast food, you can even use your weekend to prepare some healthy meals in advance. Stick them in the fridge or freezer for use during the week. Set yourself up for success!

Use these tips to put your weekend to work for you! And, in the comments below, feel free to share some of your healthy weekend tips or plans.

P.S. If you’re looking for a fun workout to try this weekend, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout for three, 15-minute at-home workouts that will help improve the way you look and feel!

Myth: Bodybuilders Are Healthy.

Put health before muscles.

We’ve all seen pictures of tanned, oiled up bodybuilders competing for titles. With their bulging muscles and impossible physiques, one might think that a bodybuilder is the epitome of health. But it couldn’t be further from the truth.

On the day of a competition, most true athletes are at a peak level of health and fitness. For a bodybuilder, it’s the exact opposite. Many are so weak and dehydrated that they’d have trouble running a mile. The reality is that professional bodybuilding can be very unhealthy – and many bodybuilders put their bodies through hell to look the way they do. There’s actually a bodybuilding saying, “Live fast. Die young. Be a beautiful corpse.”

In bodybuilding, the motivation is to look a certain way by building superficial muscles and winning an aesthetic competition. By it’s very nature, bodybuilding isn’t about being healthy. It’s entirely about doing whatever it takes to look a certain way.

According to bodybuilding.com, many bodybuilders suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure due to their taxing diets. Moreover, it takes a lot of effort for the human heart to supply blood such a large body mass – and so it increases the risk of heart issues and complications. And that’s without even taking into account the effects of steroid use.

With a goal of true health, proper diet and appropriate exercise are necessary requirements – but bodybuilding takes things to the extreme. Bodybuilding is about vanity and not health. I recommend putting health before muscles.

7 Ways I’m Making 2011 the Healthiest Year of My Life!

We’re only a few hours days into the new year, but I’m already convinced that 2011 is going to be the healthiest year of my life. This year really will be different, because I’m making not just talking the talk – I’m walking the walk.

Walking the walk requires making changes. And I’m doing just that:

  1. I’m cooking more. And buying fewer prepared foods. Prepared foods are packed with things that aren’t nourishing for our bodies – including huge amounts of sodium. You might not know what goes into a can of Spaghettios. But you do know what goes into a dish of pasta that you cooked yourself. Cooking your own meals is an easy way to cut down on a whole slew of undesirables.
  2. I’m flossing. This time, I mean it. In addition to resulting in cleaner teeth and fresher breath, flossing has also been linked to a reduction in heart disease.
  3. I’m adding more variety to my workout. Our muscles become accustomed to our routines, and thus they can become less challenging over time. By changing up our workout variables (like base of stability, rest time durations, sequencing, intervals in cardio training, exercise type, etc.), we can keep our workouts challenging.
  4. I’m using sea salt instead of table salt. It’s a small step, but equal measurements of sea salt actually have less sodium than table salt because the larger crystals take up more room. There is more air space with sea salt, so it’s an easy way to cut sodium without sacrificing flavor. Having said that, sea and table salt contain equal percentages of sodium by weight – and neither is healthy. Most of us get way too much salt to begin with.
  5. I’m buying more frozen vegetables. And hopefully eating them, too. Flash frozen vegetables are a great addition to anyone’s diet. They are healthy, easy to prepare and super convenient.
  6. I’m washing my hands more. In the past few months, I’ve gotten better at washing my hands more frequently. It’s a simple way to reduce the risk for illness, and it’s especially important after hitting the gym and handling all those dirty weights!
  7. I’m saying “no” to things that will result in overcommitment. And saying yes to enjoying life. It’s not always easy to say no to friends, family or coworkers – but I’m getting pretty good at it. Instead of giving 50% of myself to a whole bunch of things, 2011 will be all about giving 100% of myself to fewer things. In fact, I just realized that this is my belated New Year’s resolution: To give more of myself to fewer things. I love it!

Okay, so those are the 7 things to which I’m now committed. It’s in writing, so it’s official. But what are some other great ways to be healthier that you’d recommend? Let us all know in the comments below!