By Bernadette Kathryn, LMT, IHLC
Keep Fit with Friends
Do you need exercise and dieting motivation? Do you want to win this game and all the fun of a better body to live in? Find an accountability buddy to work out with—family members, friends, or even the dog can help keep you on target. Weight loss and exercise can be hard, however when you transform weight loss from a solitary chore into a friendly fun-filled activity – the results are amazing!
Sustainable lifestyle changes are about:
- Believing in yourself
- Investing in your health
- Sticking with your commitments
- Creating a Living Fit Lifestyle is worth the effort!
Move to the Beat
The rhythm of your workout music stimulates the motor area of the brain as to when to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises such as running or weight-lifting. Clueing into these time signals helps us use our energy more efficiently, since keeping a steady pace is easier on our bodies than fluctuating throughout a sweat session. You really can’t stop the beat! Researchers found that when music possesses “high-groove” qualities, the brain gets excited and induces movement in the listener. Basically, your playlist has the ability to make you move — no matter how much you’re dreading that workout. According to an article in the Huffington Post – Healthy Living A 2010 study found that cyclists actually worked harder when listening to faster music as compared to music at a slower tempo. But too fast is no good, either. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers.
A great resource for grooving to the music and pumping up your workout is Power Music! Everything you could possibly want and even segregated by BPM, a range of genres to choose from and you can even customize your own tunes!
Try Meatless Mondays
Go vegetarian one day a week. For an easy substitution in a stir fry, use 1/2 cup cubed tofu (marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil) instead of chicken. Cook as usual with your veggies for a satisfying dinner. The Pad Thai and many other dishes here can easily be adapted for a Meatless Monday and Living Fit Lifestyle!
Other Vegetarian choices:
- Vegetarian Chili
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- Broccoli Frittatas with a salad (leave out the sausage)
- Broccoli Soup – add some cheddar and a side salad for a light lunch
- Stuffed Mushrooms & Grilled Vegetables
- Quinoa Tabouli with an egg white omlete
- Spanish Rice and Bean Salad
- Tomato and Squash Gratin
Give up the Grains!
Try spaghetti squash. The name says it all with this veggie varietal. Once baked, spaghetti squash can be flaked with a fork to reveal spaghetti-like strands. It will not taste like pasta, however it does have a sweet flavor with a good texture that mixes well with many other vegetables and sauces. You can also make Vegetable Linguini easily with zucchini, carrots and yellow squash for a gorgeous, delicious and nutritious alternative.
Planning & Prepping!
“Mise en place” is a French phrase meaning “putting in place.” Preparation is one of the biggest time savers when cooking a healthy meal. Lay out all ingredients, equipment, and utensils that you will need before you begin cooking. This organization will makes your cooking experience much more successful and enjoyable. Planning your meals and prepping your ingredients are the true secrets to success in your culinary adventures. Get your family and friends involved and make cooking a fun learning experience for everyone.
Slow Mindful Approach
A recent study showed that if you eat with your nondominant hand you can reduce what you eat by 30% because it breaks up that automatic hand-to-mouth flow. If you have trouble slowing down, put your utensil in your other hand. It’s inconvenient, it’s awkward, and you cannot go fast. This is a sure-fire way to make you slow down and you always have the option. “When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and makes us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present,” study researcher David Neal, a psychology professor at University of Southern California, said in a statement.
Another study from Japan found that faster eaters gained an average of 4.2 pounds over 8 years, while slower eaters gained only 1.5 pounds. Eat twice as often, eat half as much, and chew twice as long.
Pet a puppy or kitty!
Studies show that petting a dog or cat can immediately elevate your mood. According to Web MD, “for nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits. Pets help lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. They boost our immunity. They can even help you get dates….Dogs are great for making love connections. Forget Internet matchmaking — a dog is a natural conversation starter. This helps ease people out of social isolation, Nadine Kaslow, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University in Atlanta, tells WebMD. People ask about breed, they watch the dog’s tricks, sometimes the conversation stays at the ‘dog level,’ sometimes it becomes a real social interchange.”
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