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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

3 Tips to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle is a goal for a lot of people, but not always one we put first. With work, family, and other things taking up our time we often forget to take care of ourselves.

But it doesn't take as much time or work as we think it does (so quit the excuses!). Here's some great advice from Chelsea Van Blankers, a certified personal trainer & fitness instructor on how to get healthy (and stay healthy!). 

Get Moving: Exercise

There is no need to spend hours in the gym! Even 10-15 minute bursts of activity are beneficial.  When short on time concentrate on large muscle groups and combination moves. This will burn more calories and cut your workout time in half. 
For example add bicep curls when doing a lunge. (Holding a set of dumbbells step one foot back and lower into a lunge position, do a bicep curl before pressing back up. Then step your feet together and repeat on the opposite side.) 

Another trick is to add in a plyometric move. This will get your heart rate up, training your aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time. In other words you are doing your cardio and strength training in the same workout! Example do a set of 8-12 lunge and bicep curls then a set of 10-20 jumping jacks or mountain climbers. There is also no need to do 100’s of crunches to get a flat tummy. Always mindfully engage your core throughout your entire workout.  Remember spot reduction is a myth, abs are really made in the kitchen!

150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week and a minimum of 2 days of strength training will help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.  The more activity you do the more health benefits are gained.

Food for Thought:

Eat Right
Body composition plays a huge part in your nutritional needs because muscle takes more calories to maintain (even when you are not exercising) than fat. So grab a set of weights!

Everyone’s needs are different.  Ditch the fad diets: low carb, no carb, low fat, no fat, replacement meal shakes, cleanses etc. You will never experience long term results on a short term quick fix. All macro nutrients are important (carbohydrates, fats and proteins).  

Stop counting calories and eat nutrient dense foods. The less processed the food the better it is for you. Get real about what a portion size looks like and fill your plate with colour. 
The biggest challenge with our diet is to listen to our body. Are you really hungry? Or are you bored, emotional or thirsty?  Most of us are dehydrated and thirst disguises itself as hunger. By drinking 2 litres of fresh water a day you will cut cravings and improve your skin and digestion. My water bottle never leaves my side.

Be mindful when you are eating. Really taste your food. I know it sounds ridiculous but we are always in a rush and our eating habits have suffered from it. When you stop and enjoy your food and chew it properly (which will aid in digestion and nutrient absorption) you will take in fewer calories and feel more satisfied.  It takes 15 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full.  A lot of extra calories and be eaten in those 15 minutes. We all have felt the ‘I’m about to explode’ I ate too much feeling after a big dinner. Being mindful will help avoid those unpleasant feelings.

Get Your A@s in Gear:       Get Help
With so much conflicting information out there about health and fitness it is hard to know where to start.  A Personal Trainer can help you reach your goals faster by creating a program tailored to your specific needs and goals, to fit into your schedule.  On top of teaching you proper technique and form a personal trainer will coach you through all the bumps in the road that come with making a lifestyle.  And most importantly make it fun and enjoyable! 

A huge thank you to Chelsea for her advice for this post!

About Chelsea: Chelsea Van Blankers is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor and 200RYT Yoga Teacher who is passionate about fitness. Living in Delta, BC, she recently returned from a backpacking trip to Peru where she visited a once in a lifetime treck to Machu Pichu. To find out more about Chelsea & her fitness services, visit her website: Chelseavanbfitness.com

Image Source: Being Fit Is Fun

June posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique