Spring is here, the weather will be warming up and it is the perfect time to start a new fitness routine. Follow the 6 steps below to help succeed at reaching your health and fitness goals.
1. Set Goals
The first step before starting your spring fitness routine is to clearly state what you want to accomplish. Set small goals that lead up to your main goal. For example, if you want to exercise for 30 minutes, set small goals as exercising for 10 minutes and adding one minute each day until you reach 30 minutes.
Prepare for success. If you are going to start exercising, designate a period of time each day. Stock your fridge with healthy foods, throw out the junk food, start drinking plenty of H20, buy running shoes, do whatever is necessary to guarantee success.
Plan your fitness routine. What are you doing exactly everyday. Write your plan down and follow it meticulously. Be specific: what are you doing, how long, how hard.
Take the first step. Get to the gym or outside for a walk. You will never regret doing a workout. The hardest part is getting started.
Dedicate a special notebook to record your exercise and diet each day. This will help hold you accountable and stay motivated. Record what you did exactly that day and note how you felt physically, mentally and emotionally. Studies have shown the people who write down what they eat each day lose more weight than people who do not.
6. Review Goals
Each time you attain your goal, set a new goal. Being fit and healthy is a lifelong process.
Do you find yourself rushing around each morning trying to get yourself and family ready for the day? Ever notice when you start your day off late the rest of the day feels rushed? The way you spend your morning can add a certain flavor to the rest of your day. Here are some healthy lifestyle habits to incorporate into your morning routine that can leave you better able to handle the stress you may experience. Try one or several and experiment until you find what suits you.
1. Put on some music
Music therapy has been shown to reduce stress and have a positive effect on health. But you don't need a therapist to enjoy some of the benefits music has to offer. Listening to music as you get ready and start your day will create positive energy and a soothing sense of peace (or a sense of fun, if you play party music). Music can compliment other healthy lifestyle habits, adding a sense of peace to a yoga workout, putting a spring in your step on a morning walk, or stimulating your mind as you write in your journal.
2. Stretch in the Shower The hot water will loosen up your muscles, so it’s easier to get a good stretch. The act of stretching will help to release stored tension and enable you to start the day feeling more relaxed, at peace, and ready to handle what comes your way.
3. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
For those of you who start the day on a bagel and coffee, read this! Breakfastis known as ‘the most important meal of the day’ for a very good reason: a healthy meal in the morning can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the sustenance you need to handle physical and mental stress. Without it, you will be less resilient, both physically and mentally. Be sure to have plenty of protein and fruit, not just caffeine and empty calories!
4. Drink Green Tea
Sipping a warm cup of tea is a soothing activity that will help you prepare for the day ahead and feel nurtured. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, so it’s a delicious and healthy lifestyle choice.
5. Write in Your Journal
Journaling has many health and stress management benefits, and can also lead to increased self-awareness. Writing once a day can help you feel focused, process negative emotions, and solve problems.
6. Take a Morning Walk
Walking has so many health benefits, the stress management benefits are practically just gravy! A morning walk can get you ready for your day, help you sleep better at night, lower your stress level, and reduce your risk of numerous health conditions. And if you bring a dog with you, you’ll be lavished with attention as well!
7. Practice Yoga
For a healthy body and peaceful mind, few activities give as much ‘bang for your buck’ as yoga Combining all the goodness of several stress management techniques, such as diaphragm breathing, meditation, stretching and more, yoga provides some of the best stress management and health benefits you can find in a single technique.
There is no way to avoid encountering stress in your life but there are positive ways that you can handle the stress. Check out the tips below and make it a habit to practice at least one of the tips below the next time you are feeling stressed.
Think about something else: Distract yourself with a positive thought (tropical island, your spouse, an activity you love to do). This positive thought will help break whatever chain of thought is producing stress.
Think positively: Think about a success or past achievement that you are proud of.
Take a mental vacation: Allow yourself 5 minutes to think of your favorite vacation spot.
Use Affirmations: "I can handle this", "Everyone makes mistakes", "Staying calms helps me solve problems".
Count to 10
Look away: Focus on something at least 20 feet away
Get up and leave: Go out to lunch, take a walk, give yourself time away from the stressful environment.
Massage your target muscles: Recognize which muscles build tension when you are stressed. Self-massage those areas or treat yourself to a professional massage.
Press on your temples: Moving your fingertips in a circular motion relaxes muscles elsewhere in your neck.
Stretch your chest for better breathing.
Listen to relaxation tapes or music.
Give someone a compliment.
Share a joke, SMILE!
Get a drink of water.
Say thank you.
Yell or cry: If the environment is private and safe, emotional release can be healing.
Stretch: Stretching muscles reduces the sensation of stress even when we can't do anything about the source of stress.
Take several deep breaths: Close your eyes and let yourself focus on taking 10 deep, full breaths. You will be amazed at how much better you feel afterwards.