Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Keeping Your Health on Track {guest post}


Welcome to another guest post here at Unapologetically You! Today I bring you Laura from Chronicles of Passion. Laura write the blog Chronicles of Passion, a healthy living blog focusing on vegan food and recipes, healthy living tips and all things fitness and running. As a holistic nutrition student, she is passionate about teaching others about a healthy, plant based lifestyle and uses this to fuel all her sweaty pursuits. Laura is a long distance runner, but loves all types of fitness and ways to stay active and is happiest outdoors running the trails. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram for lots of great recipes and running info.

Thank you so much, Laura, for being part of Unapologetically You.


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Sometimes finding the motivation and energy to exercise is hard, and it's harder still to stay on top of it in addition to preparing healthy meals, meetings kid's constant snack demands and having it all done at the time it's supposed to be. And when you add in family schedules and a work schedule, your own life and your on-the-side mom taxi job, it makes it that much harder. So much so, that sometimes it seems easier to push healthy off to the side - "just this once" you tell yourself. And then suddenly it gets pushed right off the radar. I get it. And we've all been there. Whether we have skipped a few too many workouts, eaten a few too many take out boxes, or had a couple of bad snacks, sometimes life just gets in the way and staying healthy is hard The trick is to set yourself up for success, and not create an opportunity for life to interrupt. Here's a quick guide to get you started on staying on track with your health and fitness when life gets in the way.


Exercise

. Choose a type of exercise that you enjoy - if you hate running, don't join a running club and start training for a marathon. If you hate going to spinning classes, don't sign up at the spin studio for a 10 week pass. Don't start exercising because you should, exercise because you want to. This means different things for different people in terms of what exercise you choose, how often and how long you exercise and it's important to figure out what this means for you. Many people start a running program because they should run, or their friend runs, and then fall away without success because it is so unenjoyable for them. Instead, choose the exercise that you like and willdo consistently and that will allow you to push yourself to achieve your goals.

. Find an exercise buddy - Need the motivation of someone else to get you out the door? Find an exercise buddy and keep each other accountable. Call/email/text with encouragement and reminders of exercise time,and give a little tough love when one of you is falling by the wayside. You may let yourself down and not exercise, but you won't let someone else down!

. Set yourself a challenge - Always wanted to run a half marathon? Let's get started. Always dreamed of doing a 30 day yoga challenge? Today is the day to start. Set yourself a challenge or a goal that is big and scary and something that will take work and dedication to get there, and then dig in a get started. It will be worth the reward in the end and will be a great motivator to keep you going when you are falling off track.

. Schedule it in - Make exercise a part of your schedule like you would a meeting or your dentist appointment. Make it a priority. Put it in your agenda in pen, and if someone asks, no you aren't available at that time (unless they want to come for a run with you!). Then set yourself up for success, and if need be, take your workout clothes with you to work, or put them in the car to go to your "appointment" on the way home. Your best bet? Exercise in the morning! Doing it in the morning not only gets it done, but it also energizes you for the day and sets you up with a productive, healthy mindset. Plus, it's too early for excuses!

. Commit to a group/club - Just like having an exercise buddy keeps you accountable, being part of an exercise group will also keep your accountable. Whether it is a running group, a yoga club, or a Sunday morning hiking group, sign yourself up and then show up. Every. Single. Time. Having other people count on you in a great motivator because you will feel guilty to let them down and not play your role in the group. And eventually you will feel guilty for letting yourself down and not doing what you said you were going to do.

. Get a class pass - Find a studio or gym in your area that offers classes and pay for a class pass, either for a certain number of classes or for a certain period of time. Once you pay for it, you'll feel like you're wasting money if you don't go, and it will act as a great motivator to get you out the door. Better yet, sign up with a friend and you can motivate each other, hang out at class together and get your fitness in all at the same time. Classes also offer the bonus of having a trained professional help you out with your exercise or class specific techniques, and they are there to answer your fitness related questions. I love it when people come up and talk to me after class to ask questions or get help with specific things,so make the most of your class and teacher and put yourself out there. Most teachers will love your enthusiasm and be more than happy to help!

. Try something new - Do you always run 5km? Try a 5km temp. Try a 5km trail run. Better yet, try a cycling class or a yoga class. Sometimes, failing to get out daily exercise in is because the thought of doing the same thing you've done for the last 193 days is just so unappealing. Change it up and do something new that you look forward to and are excited to try. Not only will it motivate you to get out the door, but it is also good for your body to mix up your exercise routine. It helps prevent injury and it allows you to work new and different muscle groups and simultaneously increase your fitness level.

. Buy something new - There's nothing to motivate you like a new workout outfit you are dying to get into and show off. The next time you achieve one of your exercise goals, or exercise consistently for a specific number of days, reward yourself with some new workout clothes or some new equipment. Not only do you deserve it for achieving your goals, but it will make you want to work out again the next time so that you have a reason to use it.

Food & Diet

. Make snacks and bring them with you -  Once a week (or more), make a big batch of snack foods for the week. Things like muffins, energy bites, granola and banana bread all make great snacks that you can prepare ahead. Then, take them with you! Always have a snack on hand so you aren't tempted to eat something unhealthy or so that you don't let your blood sugar drop so much that you are tempted to overeat later. 

. Meal prep - When you are trying to coordinate schedules, this may be the one thing that keeps your meals on track. Find a time every week to meal prep (even if it's just for an hour), and cut up some veggies, pre-cook some quinoa and lentils, do whatever you need to so that you can have dinner on the table (with leftovers for lunches), in minimal amount of time. For me, it works to do it the day of, where, if I know I am coming home late, I will prep everything for dinner, cook the things that I can and then just have a few things left to steam or heat up when I come home. If you want even more than that, do it on the weekend, for the whole week ahead. You will thank yourself in the Wednesday evening chaos!

. Fill your house with healthy food - If there is healthy food in your house and you are hungry, you will eat it. But if there is healthy food in your house and you are hungry, that's what you will eat. Mostly because when we are at our hungriest, we want something fast and we crave sugar and carbs. Usually unhealthy foods meet all these criterion and it's easy to reach for them first. Instead, don't buy it at all and you'll set yourself up for success. 

. Get everyone involved - Being healthy is way more fun when you get to make healthy foods and try new healthy recipes. Ask for help as you work to make the whole family healthy, and get the kids involved. Not only will it give them something to do, but teaching them about it will help them understand what it means to be healthy and more likely to adopt it as a habit and want to do it, rather than always putting up a fuss when your suggest it! Need a place to start? Here's 18 {Healthy} Recipes kids will love, as well as 10 Breakfast Ideas!
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"Getting off track with your #health & #fitness? I've got your covered! #fitfluential #sweatpink"

So many awesome tips on keeping your health on track! I don't know about you, but I could definitely apply a few of these to help staying on track easier. 

Thanks again, Laura, for joining us today.

Make sure to head over to Laura's website and social media channels to say hi!

Chronicles of PassionFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Your turn! How do you stay on track when life seems to get in the way?

♥AK