1. Movement is the foundation of our existence. Our bodies were made to move.
2. Finding an exercise practice that you find joy in is key. Set your own pace, honor where your body and capabilities are currently at, and explore your limits. There are so many good feelings and released on the other side of physically challenging yourself.
3. Being creative with exercise can help you form a support system and community around you. Whether you meet people at the park, at your gym, or during a recreational sports team - it's important to cultivate a sense of encouragement and belonging. This can help keep you motivated and accountable.
4. You can always challenge yourself and grow through exercise. When your body gets used to a certain pace or movement, pick up your speed, increase the weigh you lift, or add more sets.
5. Physical exercise is a great stress reliever, and is even shown to help you release trauma that you've stored in your tissues throughout life.
6. Breaking a sweat is always a good thing. Not only does sweating support your body's detoxification pathways and keep your cardiovascular system healthy, but it also sweat out impurities and boosts your lymphatic system.
While I believe we should all make our routine truly catered to us and our unique interests, it’s hard to ignore the potent benefits of resistance training and providing stimulus for your skeletal muscle. This can require as little equipment as you want/have. Push-ups, lunges, squats, sit-ups, bridges are all fantastic for increasing your strength in different muscle groups and they require NO equipment. You can do them virtually anywhere! Take advantage of that and do not limit yourself to a gym. Gyms with weights are excellent and certainly increase the possibilities for your workouts, but remember that you can always take on a challenging workout that doesn’t require a bunch of gear.
In all of this, never forget that if you are not having fun, you probably will not stick with it, right? Find something you enjoy doing, whether it is playing volleyball, throwing a football, hiking, walking your dog, soccer, or hop-scotch, do an activity that gets your heart rate up once a day and you will be well on your way to optimum fitness. That is worth saying again…..I try to live by that mantra in regards to fitness: BREAK A SWEAT ONCE A DAY. What a great approach to take; no pressure; no high expectations, no hating your workouts, just break a sweat. Once you find what you enjoy doing that stimulates your body, you can work up for more challenging moves/exercises/activities.
Remember: Exercising shouldn’t be mundane. Do it because you are loving and honoring your body. Do it with passion.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an athlete. In my pursuit of reaching my potential and becoming the healthiest and most fit individual possible, I’ve become increasingly eager to put the the best foods possible into my body as fuel. This is a journey that, for me, started when I was in middle school.
The prevalence of junk-filled, processed foods in our food system is outrageous. Genetically modified and pesticide ridden produce unfortunately inject our bodies with unwanted chemicals and genetic makeups that our bodies are not meant to ingest. Without completely becoming submerged in the pool of politics, I believe the sad truth is that: as big box brands become more money-hungry, they use pesticides, preservatives and genetically modified seeds & plants to increase the longevity and abundance of their produce & harvests, which in turn increases their profit–despite the health issues that these methods can cause. Becoming aware of this and the fact that these foods are harmful to our bodies is the first step in implementing a way of eating that is focused on whole, organic foods.
I do not strictly subscribe to any diets or mainstream ways of eating besides simply aiming for organic and protein-focused the majority of the time. If I had to identify with one–the way I eat is closest in nature to the Paleolithic diet or the Weston A. Price-inspired approach to fueling. The foundation of both of these approached is spot on: eat real food.
I don’t want to over-emphasize dietary labels, though. I believe that perhaps, too many people get wrapped up in labeling the way they eat or getting caught up in the fear tactics that certain diet proponents instill in the masses. How are you to ever know what is ACTUALLY good for you? I can tell you that what makes sense to me is:
- Too much of anything is usually not a good thing (except for love and happiness) 🙂
- If you look through the past decades, things that used to be nutritional villains in decades prior are now deemed “healthy.” Don’t fall prey to always believing the hype.
- Use your own personal experience with food to help you decipher which foods your body likes most. For instance, when do you feel the most revitalized, energetic, and nourished?
Here are some key ideas I keep in mind when eating:
- Eat whole foods & ingredients you recognize 80-90 percent of the time and allow yourself the occasional splurge.
- Learn to make your favorite “unhealthy” meals the healthy way with organic, nutrient rife ingredients.
- Aim to eat lots of nutrient-dense foods & prepare them in new-to-you, different ways so that you enjoy eating them.
- Don’t be scared of food. Don’t overanalyze food. Just focus on putting high quality, organic foods into your body.
Skin & Hair Care
So often overlooked, the products that we apply to our skin and hair seem to take a backseat when people transition to organic products. I believe this happens, in part, because they:
- Don’t take the time to look at the ingredients lists on personal care products. Learn how to read ingredient lists here.
- Are not aware that skin actively absorbs what is applied to it. Those ingredients go straight into the bloodstream!
Discovering and investing in organic products that value and care about what your skin absorbs will ultimately do great things for your overall health. It will save a plethora of toxins and artificial junk from doing damage to your body at the cellular level. This doesn’t mean that using personal care products that are not organic will make you keel over on the spot. But, like with food, every bit of what you put into and onto your body is absorbed and either improves or hinders your health.