CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week AND muscle-strengthening workouts that hit all major muscle groups 2 or more days each week. I'm sure that seems very overwhelming for someone who doesn't exercise regularly, but the Harvard School for Public Health has some great tips for incorporating exercise easily into your daily life (the CDC article I linked has some great tips, too!). Some things I like to keep in mind when incorporating exercise:
- Make it fit for your schedule. If that means breaking your aerobic exercise up in to 10-minute chunks, then do it!
- Do something YOU love for exercise. I like to run, but that's not for everyone. Some people like spin class, but I don't really like it that much. If you don't enjoy what you do to exercise, then you won't do it! Find what you enjoy and do that instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing.
- PLAN to exercise. When I have a workout written down in my planner, I am so much more likely to do it. Also, I often have a gym bag in the car with gym clothes even on days I don't plan on heading straight to the gym. That helps if I have some extra time between appointments and can get in a quick workout.
- Ask for help if you don't know how to do something, particularly for strength training! Correct form is so, so important for your muscle growth and, more importantly, for your safety! I started strength training with a personal trainer and BodyPump classes, and then when I felt comfortable, I started doing it on my own.
- The fresher, the better. If you buy fresh foods and meats, you know exactly where the food came from and what's in it. Processed/packaged foods can have so many ingredients that you can't even pronounce, and therefore who knows what they do to you!
- Cut down on the red meat. You often hear that red meat isn't very good for you. Red meats are higher in fat. Instead, try to incorporate more fish as protein. Also, ground turkey is a great substitute for ground beef (and doesn't have too different of a taste, either!)
- Watch the portions. Portion control really is a problem in America, especially serving sizes of different parts of your meal. This is the Healthy Eating Plate created by Harvard Health:
- Calories come from liquids, too. There are so many calories in the beverages we drink, so be aware of that when reaching for something other than water.
National Sleep Foundation says there's no magic number for sleep, but adults should get in the range of 7-9 hours each night. Other factors can affect that number, including the quality of the previous night's sleep and previous sleep deprivation. Here are some tips for making sure you get enough sleep each night from the National Sleep Foundation:
|Image Source--and a great whole-body stretching routine!|
If stretching bores you, try going to a yoga class once a week. Also, if you got to a group exercise class, make sure to stick around for the cool-down/stretching at the end. Both of these are great ways to ensure you are getting your stretching in for the week!
about 25% of our daily water intake is from food) and beverages other than water. I've also heard from other sources (like Advocare) that your daily water intake should be equal to half of your body weight (in ounces). For example, a 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces of water a day.
How do I make sure to get in all my water each day? I leave a water bottle on my desk at work and fill it up at least twice (minimum) during the day. I also keep a cup for water near me. I enjoy drinking water, but if you don't, here are some things that you can do to get yourself to drink more water:
- Add a calorie-free flavor liquid.
- Before bed, put fruit in a pitcher of water to infuse it with the flavor for the next day.
- Drink a glass of water with each meal.
Question for you: Which of these keys are you great at already? Which of these keys do you need to improve upon?