My 15 Health And Wellness Goals For 2018

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Not surprisingly, January is the most common month for people to make health resolutions. The first of the year is a great time to reevaluate where you’re at in your life and where you want to be. Keep in mind that you can set goals for yourself any time of year. So, if you find that you’ve fallen off the wagon with your New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to reevaluate your goals to make sure they are realistic and attainable.

Something I’ve learned over the past few years is to give myself grace. This isn’t something that comes naturally to me. In fact, my natural tendency is to be my own worst critic. Maybe you can relate?

Thankfully, I’m learning to remind myself that nobody is perfect. As a matter of fact, if you expect to stick with your goals 100% perfectly every single day it can set you up for major disappointment.

Many of us (myself included) start out following our plan conscientiously. But then the inevitable adversity comes along and everything seems wrecked. If we’re not careful, we can allow that off day to derail our goals and hold us back. So, instead of throwing in the towel and giving yourself a hard time at the first sign of trouble, let’s try a different, more effective approach.

Tell yourself the truth.You simply had an off day. So, (in the words of Frank Sinatra)

“pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.”

We can learn and grow tremendously from our mistakes. So, instead of giving up at the first sign of failure, be persistent and keep moving forward.

Below are the health and wellness goals I’m focusing on for the new year. I hope they inspire you to consider what goals you would like to meet for yourself.

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My Health And Wellness Goals For 2018

1. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is amazing…I can’t say enough great things about it, guys!

I’m focusing on the 16/8, 18/6 and 24-hour fasting methods. If intermittent fasting is a new concept for you, you can learn all about it here:

2. Read!

My goal for the year is to read at least 24 books. Last year I read over 40 but now I’m busier with the blog (#thankful!) and other opportunities so 24 is a good number for me to aim for.

3. Make sleep a priority.

Getting a good night’s sleep can improve your energy, mood and memory, whereas inadequate sleep can make you more susceptible to obesity, depression and diabetes.

Getting enough sleep has always been a challenge for this night owl. Even though my body feels exhausted, many nights I have to make myself go to bed because my brain is on overdrive. I’d rather stay up and read all night long but I know that I would regret it in the morning. Been there. Done that.

So, learn from my mistakes, set a sleep schedule and stick to it. 

16 Quick Tips To Help You Sleep Better Tonight can help.

4. Eat more vegetables.

They are colorful and delicious! The benefits of eating vegetables are impressive and include

  • better skin
  • improved mood
  • weight control
  • boosts energy
  • a healthier gut
  • rich in fiber
  • improved endurance for athletic activities
  • stronger immune system

5. Reduce sugar intake.

Research shows that sugar is our nutritional nemesis. Shown to be “as addictive as cocaine” sugar makes you hungrier and drastically increases your risk for serious diseases and mood disorders. Cutting out the sweet stuff is a great choice for your health and longevity.

20 Proven Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health will help you learn more about the evils of sugar.

6. Avoid overcommitment.

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Saying yes when you want (or need) to say no can cause fatigue, burnout and stress. Learning to set boundaries in life is healthy. Plus, doing so allows you to focus on the people and projects that are most important to you.

7. Do a kettlebell workout 2 to 3 times per week.

Kettlebells give the perfect full-body workout, incorporating both strength training and cardio-respiratory work. You can exercise all your major muscle groups in a few short minutes. We’re talking about a short 10 to 20-minute commitment, twice a week.

In my experience kettlebell workouts are quite possibly the fastest, easiest way to increase your strength. If you’ve never done a kettlebell workout I encourage you try it for yourself and let me know how much you love it!

health and wellness
Journalling is an excellent way to reflect on what you are grateful for.

8. Practice gratitude every day.

Practicing gratitude has this amazing way of transforming your thoughts and reframing your life in a positive way. Aim to speak words of gratitude to at least one person a day.

Write in a gratitude journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy; a simple notebook will do. I bought my latest journal at Wal-Mart for under $2…and it’s cute. Be thankful for the special people in your life as well as all the little things.

I highly recommend reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts for inspiration.

9. Cut down on EMFs.

We are exposed to harmful EMFs every day from:

  • power lines
  • cell phones
  • microwave ovens
  • old metal plumbing
  • electrical appliances
  • smart watches
  • wireless routers

This year I’m focusing more on earthing or grounding and taking regular digital detoxes.

You can learn more about the hidden dangers of EMF exposure and what you can do to protect yourself.

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10. Drink more water.

Increasing your intake of water, especially water with lemon has some amazing health benefits. Add fresh lemon juice or a drop of therapeutic-grade lemon essential oil to your water for an energy-boosting, refreshing beverage.

11. Be more consistent with meal prep.

Prepping ingredients all at once for the week ahead enables quick and easy meals throughout the week. Plus, you spend less time in the kitchen overall. The Beginner’s Guide To Healthy Meal Prep has everything you need to know to get started.

12. Focus on improved health, not deprivation.

Concentrate on nourishing your body with healthy, whole foods for improved health instead of counting calories. It has taken me many years to figure this out. I’m still working to make this a more consistent mindset because it’s important to me.

13. Take a daily multivitamin.

A high-quality multivitamin can fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet and give you stronger nails and healthy hair. They also provide essential vitamins and minerals to improve your overall health, protect against disease and boost your immune function.

If you saw how many supplements I take every day some of you would freak out…But if you don’t want to go all out, simply taking a multivitamin is perfect.

14. Move more!

Walk. Run. Jump. Swim. Lift. Peddle. Row. Dance.

It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re moving. So do something fun!

15.  Get regular checkups and health screenings.

Making your health a priority is vital and visiting the doctor for regular checkups is part of the equation. Check out the infographic below for valuable information about preventive screenings you need at different stages of life.

health and wellness
Infographic courtesy hims.com

What health and wellness goals have you set for this year? 

Please share below. I’d love to see what you guys are doing to stay healthy! 


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What Is HIIT And Why You Should Be Doing It

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 HIIT has been a buzzword in the health and fitness world for about three years, now. That’s too long for a fad: HIIT is here to stay. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a great training plan to consider. 

HIIT is an abbreviation for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a new approach to training that allows you to get better results in less time than traditional workouts require. It’s a great way to get healthy, increase strength and feel better. 

HIIT Training For Fitness

Why Is High-Intensity Interval Training Popular?

Training with HIIT as a strategy helps you get great results, and do so quickly. HIIT intervals can be as short as 20 seconds of heavy exertion followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Or they can be as long as 3 minutes of exertion and 3 minutes of recovery. In either case, a set of these intervals goes much more quickly than a five-mile jog or an hour-long yoga class. HIIT is also endlessly adaptable.

And the strategies can be used with almost any form of exercise. Whether it’s biking, running or group fitness classes, HIIT can be incorporated. This flexibility is one thing that helps make HIIT great. You can apply HIIT to a variety of activities, instead of forcing yourself to repeat an activity over and over until you’re bored with it.

What HIIT Does

HIIT speeds up your metabolism. With High-Intensity Interval Training, your metabolism gets a boost that lasts for days. For 48 to 72 hours after the workout, your body will still be burning calories at a faster rate than normal. Because of this increased burn, HIIT has rightly revolutionized the way most trainers and fitness pros design workouts. 

How To Do It

HIIT is a form of interval training. Traditional interval training is done by alternating rest periods with exertion. HIIT takes it up a notch. You work at 80-95% of your maximum heart rate for a short interval. Then you do activity at a lower heart rate for recovery. Generally, the recovery period is shorter than the exertion period. But in some cases, each period will last the same length of time. 

Exertion at 80%-plus of your maximum heart rate is unsustainable for very long. That’s one reason HIIT workouts tend to be shorter than traditional ones. But getting that heart rate way up gets big results. The rest periods require moderate exertion, too. Heart rate should be at 40-50% of the max.

The Results And Benefits Of HIIT

HIIT has all kinds of great effects on your body. Although you’ll look and feel better, that’s not the only benefit you’ll see. This type of workout will actually help you increase your endurance more than something like slow jogs will. It improves your cardio fitness, helps you build fast-twitch muscle fibers, and reduces insulin resistance.

HIIT can be adapted to any fitness level. Even if you have a condition like Type II diabetes or struggle with your weight, there’s a level of HIIT that will work for you.

Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. He regularly writes for health and fitness blogs.

HIIT


Have you tried High-Intensity Interval Training yet? What did you think?

Share your thoughts below in the comment section!


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Working Out For Single Parents: How To Find The Time And Energy

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Being a single parent is hard work, to say the least. When all the responsibility falls on your shoulders, it can be tough to keep up or find the energy to do anything other than the required daily tasks. It’s often easy for depression and anxiety to set in, especially after stress rears its ugly head, and breaking that cycle can be difficult.

One of the best ways to battle those feelings–and to help yourself feel better physically and mentally–is by working out. Having a daily workout not only keeps your body healthy, it helps clear the fog by providing much-needed oxygen to your brain’s cells. Getting your heart rate up also provides a rush of hormones that can boost your mood, as does being outside in the sunshine. All in all, exercise is a wonderful respite for single parents because it covers many different areas.

It can be hard to find the time to fit in a workout, but there are some simple ways you can turn things around and create a routine that works for you. Here are a few tips on getting started.

Tips For Working Out For Single Parents

1. Get the kids involved.

One easy way to make exercise a part of your daily routine is by getting the kids involved. Not only will this allow you to spend quality time with them, but you’ll be teaching them good habits that can stay with them for a lifetime.

When the weather is nice, head to the park for a game of kickball. Or simply get out in the backyard for some tag.

2. Look for the fun.

Let’s face it: exercise isn’t always a fun pastime, especially when you’re tired after a long day. It’s far too easy to put off a workout until you feel up to it, but if you make it fun, it will be something to look forward to and not something to dread.

Think of some things you enjoy doing–swimming, playing a sport–and integrate them into your workout routine. Knowing it’s something you can have fun with may help you dig deep for that little bit of extra energy required.

3. Get the dog involved.

Pets seem to have boundless energy, especially dogs, so allowing your pup to be a part of your exercise routine will help you stay motivated. Take him for a long walk after dinner, or head to a local park and hike the trails.

Sometimes, knowing that you’re getting a second task done–in this case, giving your dog the chance to get out and exercise–at the same time as the first task will help give you the momentum you need. Rover.com has an excellent article on how to get fit with your pup.

4. Eat right.

Eating well-balanced meals goes hand-in-hand with daily exercise, in part because it will give you the fuel you need to keep up your energy.

Start the day off with fruit, whole grains, and protein for breakfast. Try a grilled chicken salad for lunch. And have a dinner that’s loaded with veggies with a side of fish or chicken. Be sure to keep healthy snacks handy during the day, such as granola bars or dried fruit, so you won’t fall victim to the 3 o’clock slump.

Related: Top 20 Best Healthy Snacks

5. Use your time wisely.

If you work in an office, you may be able to use your lunch break to go for a brisk walk around the block a few times, or run up and down the stairs. When you clean your home, you can use vacuuming to your advantage by doing it in long, even strokes in every room to work your arm, calf, and abdominal muscles.

Using your time wisely during everyday tasks will help you knock out your daily workout and save you time at the end of the day when you’re most likely to be tired.

For a list of easy exercises you can do almost anywhere, read on here.

Daily exercise is important for more than just your physical and mental health; it can also help you feel better in general and help you cope with stress in a more healthy way. Get the family involved for even more benefits.


What ideas can you think of to add to this list?

Leave your comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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3 Ways To Get Motivated And Stay Motivated To Work Out

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Anyone who doesn’t have that infamous ‘natural fitness bug’ will know that half the battle of getting fit is finding the motivation to get there. With busy lives and illnesses getting in the way, squeezing in exercise can often feel like the last thing that we want to do.

If you are struggling to find that motivation to keep at your fitness plan then read on for tips on how to make sure exercise becomes a regular fixture in your weekly regimen, and more importantly, that it is something you can really start to enjoy.

3 Easy Tips To Get Motivated & Stay Motivated To Work Out

1. Ease Yourself Into It Slowly

The first common mistake that many people make when starting a new exercise regimen is to go in too hard at the beginning. Starting off slowly and building yourself up steadily over time is most certainly the best way to integrate a new fitness routine that suits your lifestyle, fitness level and actually inspires you to stick with it.

Going in too heavy at the beginning can often lead to people burning themselves out in the first few weeks. This can not only ruin any long-term plans at a regular fitness program, but it can also result in damage to your muscles and body. Not easing yourself in nice and slow is one of the main reasons that so many people stop exercising before they can really find their groove.

So first things first, be mindful of building yourself up slowly but surely.

2. Look The Part And The Rest Will Simply Fall Into Place

Another major problem with fitness motivation is getting to your allocated exercise slot of the day and really grappling with yourself over whether you can be bothered to do it or not. We have all been there. When you feel like this, just do one very simple thing. Get your gear on and you will instantly feel different.

If you have old, ragged workout gear, treat yourself to some lovely new ones, such as these workout clothes for women that will have you feeling the part in no time at all. Just looking sporty has a very strong influence on your mood, and once you have your favorite gym gear on, the workout will simply follow suit as you instantly feel ready and raring to go.

Related: The 7 Pieces of Equipment You Really Need in Your Home Gym

3. Just Do It – No Excuses

This really is the biggest obstacle of all when it comes to sticking to a new exercise regimen – Finding excuses not to do it. There is always an excuse (very rarely an actual reason) about why something else should take priority over our workouts. But giving into those excuses is one of the most sure-fire ways of guaranteeing your exercise plan will never really take off.

Giving into excuses makes way for discouragement and feelings of self-disappointment, whereas pushing ourselves to block out the tempting excuses will bring natural highs and feelings of motivation. And, before you know it, your new fitness regimen will be one that you truly love as it makes you feel stronger, happier and generally more positive in your day-to-day life.


How do you stay motivated to work out?

Share your thoughts below – I love hearing from you!


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Avoiding The Burnout After Your Workout

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Once you get into the flow of going to the gym on a regular basis, you get a lust for it. You want to workout harder and faster for next time. You can see from day-to-day that you’re initially getting the result you want. This is a good sign for newcomers because watching the fat melt off your body is very satisfying.

However, this is the body’s first reaction to stringent exercise, but slowly it adapts to the changes. You need a great amount of energy to be replaced after you workout. And this will help you heal up and be ready for the next session. Yet, this is where many people head into dangerous territory because they neglect the fact that large meals are the opposite of what you need.

The body wants simple molecules at the end of a workout, not complex foods that will take time to break down. But this isn’t common knowledge so it can be frustrating trying to refresh your body and not know what will help you and what might harm your progress.

Simple Nutrition Tips For Avoiding The Burnout After Your Workout

Avoid Complex Carbs

Immediately after your workout, eating complex carbohydrates isn’t always the best thing to do. These molecules are multilayered and therefore need time to break down in your stomach. Because this takes time, it also stops other food molecules from entering into your digestive system. This inhibits the body’s ability to quickly absorb the nutrients it specifically used during exercise, which is important to revitalize.

After an intense workout, have a snack that combines a protein source (such as whey protein powder) and unrefined sugarssuch as fruit. Not all carbs are bad for you after the workout, but some are too complex to break down quickly enough, such as in half an hour, to make sure you’re not breaking down muscle cells to absorb energy. The protein assists with recovery and building new muscle. 

avoiding the burnout after your workout

Small, Then Large Meals

After your workout, it’s best to have a meal ready to eat, either at the gym or in your car so you can eat it on the way home. This meal need to be small and purely used as a pit stop between your next large meal. http://www.myelementfitness.com has advice that is knowledgeable in this area and recommended if you need guidance.

Here you can see that a mix of carbs and protein is the best kind of balance you need to refill the levels your body needs after a workout. Protein builds muscle, and when you’re working out, your muscle is actually breaking down at a microscopic level. You can couple the protein with good carbs like fruits, such as bananas, apples, and peaches. A good healthy mix of the two should get you to a larger meal without feeling too hungry and zapped of energy.

Avoiding complex carbs after a workout can be a good decision because you don’t block your digestive system up with molecules that need time to break down in order to receive the benefit. However simple sugars, such as fruits, as well as protein will help your muscles replenish the levels they lost during exercise.


What do you eat after a hard workout?

Share your thoughts below!


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