Five Tips to A Great Morning Routine

 

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A good morning routine is vital to our mental and physical health.  Quite often our mornings are filled with stress as we rush to get out the door and start our day.  Although it’s nice to hit the snooze button a couple times, it can create a cascade of events that can impact your day in a negative way.

That extra sleep robs you of valuable time that could be better spent fueling your body with a healthy breakfast,  grooming, meditation and family time.  Then of course you have to deal with traffic that can cause anxiety, anger, and elevated blood pressure before you even get out the door.

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What if those extra minutes of sleep could be much better spent on a healthy routine that could make a dramatic impact on your day?

Try the following tips to improve your daily routine and set you up for a fabulous day.

  1. Get up 20 to 30 minutes early to allow enough time to avoid the stress and anxiety of being late. Splash some cold water on your face and brush your teeth. Extra time is always a good thing when unexpected things happen like when you spill coffee on your outfit or suddenly remember you need to stop for gas. You will welcome the extra time and avoid the anxiety or running late.
  2. Try a short stretch and meditation sequence when you first get out of bed.  This is a great start to your morning that will clear your thoughts and get you energized to start your day.

3.  Drink 20 oz of lemon water.  Hydration is key for beautiful skin.  Lemon water will boost your metabolism and get you energized for you day.

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The benefits are endless including vitamin C to boost your immune system and also aids in digestion.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast and spend some time with your family.  Family time is priceless and just a few minutes in the morning to chat with family to tell them you love them is time well spent.  Stock up on food items that are easy to eat for breakfast such as protein bars, smoothies, fresh fruit and yogurt.

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5.  Get out the door 15 minutes early for your commute to offset any unforeseen incidents.  Instead of listening to the news or blasting music, try tuning into positive affirmations on your ride. This 20 minute meditation is an amazing way to start your day with a positive mindset and gratitude.

 

 

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Have You Tried Intermittent Fasting?

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Have you ever thought of going on a fast after a period of unhealthy eating or as a more drastic measure to lose weight? Once you realized you actually had to give up food, you may have quickly decided this was not the method for you. However, maybe you should consider Mark Twain’s advice. Dr. Joseph Mercola,  a leading expert in traditional and natural medicine, is a strong promoter of intermittent fasting. He recommends this method as a simple and effective approach to fat burning, reduced hunger, and weight loss.

Most people associate fasting with deprivation and going without food. Typical fasting times can range from 24 hours to several days. However, intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular method that experts such as Mercola, promote as a safe and easy alternative to traditional fasting. This plan allows you to eat during a specific time period and furthermore, a block of the fasting time includes hours you sleep.

Fasting can jump-start your metabolism and help stabilize your blood sugar levels. By consuming your meals and snacks during a six to eight-hour window of time, you decrease your daily calories by eliminating either your morning or evening meal. This type of fasting can increase your fat burning potential, promote weight loss, and help decrease inflammation in the body.

There are many versions of intermittent fasting, such as restricting food every other day or a couple of days a week. However, Dr. Mercola states his preference is to restrict eating to an eight-hour time period. He also suggests that this method of eating becomes easier to maintain, once the body shifts to burning fat as its main fuel source. Fasting times can vary from 14 to 16 hours followed by eating during a six to eight hour time period.

The goal is to eat the proper number of calories for your activity level and make healthy food choices to get the best results. Therefore, if you eat your meals during the hours of 11:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m., you would only consume liquids such as coffee and water after 5:00 p.m. This eating pattern typically lowers your daily caloric intake due to the elimination of evening snacks and your morning meal.

If you are new to intermittent fasting, it is best done on a gradual basis starting with an eight-hour eating phase and 16-hour fasting period. It’s important to adjust the fasting time according to how your body tolerates the program and slowly increase the window of time you are fasting.You may want to progress to a six-hour eating phase once your body adjusts to the process.

Intermittent fasting is not an excuse to eat whatever you want. Choose a healthy protein source for each meal such as lean beef or chicken and add fresh vegetables and fruit. Also, include a healthy fat such as coconut oil, avocado, or nuts. Manipulate the time window of eating and fasting until you find the schedule that works best for your lifestyle. This is a great short term option to try a couple of weeks if you are looking for a new way to jump-start your metabolism and decrease body fat. Therefore, you might want to consider Mark Twain’s advice and give it a try.

A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors.”

Aging And Weight Gain

Aging and Weight Gain

I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old” Ben Franklin

Many people assoclifestyle changeiate aging with weight gain. That’s not surprising when you look around and notice that many of your friends, co-workers, and loved ones seem to pack on pounds with each passing year. Subsequently, many people assume weight gain is a normal part of the aging process. However, you can prevent weight gain as you get older with a consistent exercise program and a healthy diet.

In our youth-oriented culture, many people look at aging as losing their looks, their health, and their value in society. Aging is inevitable; everyone gets older, but how you age is greatly influenced by lifestyle factors. The foods you eat, the daily decisions you make, and how you take care of your body,  can have a huge impact on how you age.

Many times age-related weight gain is due to decreased activity and poor food choices. Quite often people become less active as they get older and begin to eat out more often. Eating away from home can be challenging due to high calorie, and high-fat menu items. This can lead to increased weight due to larger portions and extra calories. When you factor in a less active lifestyle, it can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

A weight training program can help you maintain a healthy metabolism and prevent weight gain as you age. The solution is adding a well-balanced, consistent workout program that will help you manage your weight, and keep you strong and flexible. Therefore, it’s important to add flexibility and balance training to your routine to stay limber and strengthen your core.

Follow these five tips to avoid weight gain associated with aging and to help you live a more active lifestyle.

  1. Monitor your weight  Although it’s important not to obsess over the scales, you do need to check your weight periodically. Gaining just a few pounds each year can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Make a point to weigh yourself once a week and log your results. If you notice a slight gain of a couple of pounds, then simply increase your activity and cut back on portion sizes. Tracking your weight weekly will help you avoid unwanted pounds that can gradually add up over the years.
  2. Clean up your diet As you get older you may find yourself more relaxed about your appearance and the pressure of maintaining a certain image related to your weight and appearance. Retirement often brings a more relaxed lifestyle without the pressures of a career and children. This is a wonderful time to explore life, travel, and experiment with delightful new restaurants and foods you’ve always wanted to try. The key is to eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and to limit your food splurges to one meal a week.
  3. Remain active– Staying active is a key factor in maintaining an optimum weight as you age. Many people become more sedentary after retirement when they no longer have the pressures and activities of a daily job. It’s important to remain active so you can enjoy a good quality of life as you age. Brisk walking is a great cardiovascular exercise or join a gym and become involved in group fitness classes. Many gyms offer programs specifically for seniors and offer discounts for memberships. You may want to consider trying aqua aerobics or a senior yoga class. It’s important to find an activity you enjoy and can adhere to on a consistent basis.
  4. Avoid processed foods  Processed foods are typically high in calories and contain chemicals and toxins that can lead to weight gain. If you frequently eat out, try to select grilled lean meat without sauces. Select a salad, baked potato, or steamed vegetables as a side dish. Try to cook and eat most of your meals at home. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables when possible. Experiment with healthy new recipes from the numerous online sources or from a new recipe book.
  5. Do resistance training  Weight training is vital as you get older. Studies show that muscle mass declines with age. Muscle mass peaks around in our twenties, declines in our thirties, and picks up speed as we age. Weight training helps you maintain a healthy metabolism and helps combat the loss of muscle tone as you get older. Lifting weights 2-3 times a week can play a major role in maintaining your strength and muscle tone. Therefore, if you are already strength training, you are on the right track! If not, it’s never too late to pick up a set of weights and get started.

The key to a healthy weight and metabolism as you age,  is to stay active and to consistently make healthy food choices. Enjoy occasional splurges in moderation. Weight gain and inactivity can increase your risk factors for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Weight gain does not have to automatically occur just because you get older. Take charge of your health by following a well-balanced fitness and nutrition program and periodic monitoring of your weight.

“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is two weeks.” Totie Fields

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“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is two weeks.” Totie Fields

Fad diets or the latest weight loss pill may help you lose weight initially, but you will most likely gain the weight back and more when you revert back to old eating patterns. Once you realize diets and weight loss gimmicks will never work; you have taken the first step towards a new and healthy approach to effective weight loss.

Weight Loss and Fast Food

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Do you find yourself resorting to fast food more and more due to your busy schedule? Do you feel guilty when you meet friends for high calorie cocktails and appetizers? Click on link below to read my latest article on BellaOnline- Fast Food and Weight Loss

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art174351.asp