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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Get Back Into Shape using This Helpful Tips

Get Back Into ShapeYou woke up today and looked in the mirror.

And you said to yourself, “Gosh (or #$^@  $#@$@%), I’m going to get in shape!”

It’s okay, we’ve all been there.   This might be the first, tenth, or twenty time you’ve tried to lose weight and get healthy.  Sure, things didn’t work last time, or the time before that, or even the time before that…”but things are going to be different THIS time,” right?

 So here are my top 10 ways to get back on track, to start losing weight and get into shape today.

# Believe you can do it

Self belief is critical to your success. Use other examples of when you have set your mind to achieving a goal & succeeded in achieving it (eg saving for a holiday, changing careers, buying a new home) – to motivate you. This way, you can regularly remind yourself that when you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.

# Decide on why it’s important to you

Just because you think you should be thinner is not motivating enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle, you need to know why you care – why it matters to you to be healthy. This means taking time to think about what it means to you to be healthy and how it will improve your life. In addition, you must be clear on the costs associated with remaining unhealthy.

# Top on mind

In order to be healthy it has to be top of mind, so that you don’t slip back into bad habits when you forget to pay attention or your mood isn’t quite right (eg during times of stress or hormonal changes). When you are focused on being healthy, you can incorporate behaviours into your life (other than eating quick-fix feel good foods) to address your moods. Keeping you focused on why you want to live a healthy life.

# Taste vs pleasure

There is a reason junk food appears to taste so much better than healthy good, when you are not used to healthy eating, or when you include too much junk food in your diet. There is a HUGE amount of money spent on research to ensure the taste is pleasing and addictive. Shifting from highly processed, high salt and high fat foods, to seemingly bland food can be very challenging. So, you must give your taste buds time to readjust. The more you cut back on these things and choose healthier alternatives, the more you start to appreciate and enjoy more natural flavours.

# Stop feeling like you’re not missing out

When starting to eat healthy it’s very important to not feel as though you are being punished by thinking ‘its horrible that I can’t eat delicious food any more’. The idea is to want to eat healthily because you enjoy how fresh, clean and energetic you feel. Thus, you don’t feel tempted to gorge on junk food in order to modify your moods or to satisfy a craving. You want to be able to enjoy treats when appropriate (eg celebrations), but be able to revert back to healthy eating again straight away.

# Get your family and friends involved

It’s so much easier to sustain a healthy life if your family and friends are involved. You can involve them by arranging to engage in physical activity together, preparing healthy meals everyone can enjoy together, or by discussing what you are doing and asking for their support.

# Ignore well meaning others who want you to join them in their eating habits

Food and socializing are very closely linked, so people around you are going to try to encourage you to eat and drink unhealthy foods from time to time. The key here is to ensure there are delicious healthy dishes served that you can all enjoy together. In addition to you feeling less stressed about having to explain your new eating habits, the consumption of healthier food will lead to lighter conversation, more energy and increased fun.

# Be organized with meal preparation

Ensure you eat regularly throughout the day and that you have healthy meals prepared in advance to avoid picking up quick and easy high fat foods on the run. Take time each week to ensure you have sufficient healthy snacks in your bags, drawers at work and home pantry. Then, either arrange for someone at home to prepare your meals for you, or cook a few healthy meals at the start of the weeks and freeze them for those nights when you really can’t be bothered cooking.

# Stop all or nothing thinking

As noted before, it’s very important to be flexible with your eating habits so that if you end up eating more junk food than anticipated, you simply move on, rather than use it as an excuse to eat like crazy. Remind yourself that you are not being restricted. No-one is telling you what to do. You’re eating healthy because you want to.

# Prepare delicious alternatives

Eating healthy should never be boring. Log on to the Happy Life website below for some free delicious meals you can easily prepare. It’s really important to have a positive association with healthy eating, so be creative and prepare foods you enjoy. Don’t just stick to the same old salad and soup diet. You want healthy eating to be a lifestyle, not a chore.

Why You Must Run?

RunWhether you gently jog a few kilometres a week or you are a race regular, pounding the pavement is a wise move. Running can be daunting at first, but you will start to feel the mental and physical benefits within a matter of weeks.

Still not sure if running is for you? Here are 10 great reasons to lace up your running shoes and hit the open road…

  • You lose weight – If you want to shed kilos, pick up the pace. In 30 minutes, a 60-kilo woman burns about 287 calories running at 10 kilometres per hour and about 96 calories walking at five kilometres an hour.
  • You strengthen your bones – Contrary to popular belief, running will not wreak havoc on bones. In fact, it can increase bone density and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
  • You live longer – Running one and a half to two hours a week can increase women’s lifespan by 5.6 years and men’s by 6.2 years, according to a major Danish study that surveyed 20,000 men and women over a period of 36 years. And you don’t need to win any races to reap the benefits either – lead researcher Peter Schnohr says you only need to run fast enough to feel a little breathless.
  • You decrease your risk of cancer – The Journal Of Nutrition published a review of 170 studies analysing the relationship between physical activity and cancer risk in 2002. The results were clear: breaking a sweat on a regular basis will slash your chances of developing several types of cancer. Colon cancer, for example, had an average risk reduction of 40 to 70 per cent, while breast, prostate and lung cancers all had an average risk reduction of 30 to 40 per cent.
  • You strengthen muscles – According to researchers at Boston’s Tufts University, you lose about one per cent of muscle mass each year after the age of 30. Unless you maintain muscle through regular exercise, fat takes over. While you should add resistance training to your weekly regimen, running strengthens your legs, back and abdominal muscles.
  • You reduce your risk of diabetes – The US Nurses’ Health Study found three hours of vigorous exercise a week reduces women’s risk of type 2 diabetes by 46 per cent.
  • You improve your sleep and boost your energy – If counting sheep isn’t cutting it, running 30 minutes five times a week could solve your sleep issues. A study published in the journal Mental Health And Physical Activity found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week improved sleep quality by 65 per cent. Participants were also 65 per cent less likely to feel sleepy during the day.
  • You lift your mood – Several studies have found running can elevate mood and even ease depression, thanks to the release of feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Many runners even report an almost euphoric feeling known as “runner’s high”, which is natural and cheaper than therapy.
  • You reduce your risk of blood pressure and heart disease – Running regularly improves your cardiovascular health by increasing the elasticity of your arteries, which in turn reduces your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • You boost your immunity- A study at the University of South Carolina in the US found regular moderate exercise reduced participants’ risk of the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) by 20 per cent. But less is more when it comes to warding off illness: long-distance runners are more susceptible to URTIs during periods of heavy training and in the week following long races.