I was thinking earlier today how I come up with my titles for my blog. I have noticed a pattern and came to realize how the titles where I make it seem like little or no effort or diligence is required have the most views.
My titles such as “Splurge every day and still be healthy!” and “Whatever you do, do not worry about buying that gym membership” were just two of my blog posts that had the most views. My posts that were titled “Have a Healthy Valentine’s Day: Your Complete Guide to a Guilt-Free V-Day” and “Are you mentally healthy?” did not have nearly the same amount of views. I am curious about this pattern.
Why are we so attracted to the idea of looking good or being healthy without any effort? I think the answer may be obvious: laziness. We all have our lazy days, trust me, but what is it that can motivate us to work hard for what we want? Here are some pointers on how to stay motivated and overcome laziness:
- Make measurable goals. It is important to define exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. Be sure to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying, “Lose weight by the summer”, say “Lose 10 pounds by June 1, 2015.” That way, you will be able to confirm exactly whether or not you accomplished your goal by the time you reach your finish date.
- Stay positive. A positive mindset can really make a significant difference. Do your best to push aside any negative thoughts or temptations to bring yourself down in any way. Love your body and love yourself. After you accomplish that, the rest will come much easier.
- Go on your health journey with friends and loved ones. By joining in with friends or family, creating a healthier lifestyle is more fun and definitely easier. You can be each other’s supporters and share your experiences together. Also, I think it’s fun to challenge each other to help give that extra motivation. I challenge my sister all the time to see if she is capable of something that I had just accomplished that I am proud of and vice versa.
- Think of how you want to be when you’re much older. It may sound silly, but on my laziest days, I often think to myself that if I can’t get up and complete a good workout at my age now, how am I supposed to think it’s going to be easier when I’m much older? I want to be the most fit 50-something when I get to that point! At almost half that age currently, I cannot begin bad habits of being lazy! Needless to say, this is the point where I get up and start working out.
- Keep in mind how quickly the body reacts to eating well and working out. The human body is simply amazing. When I first began to learn more about fitness and started truly working out hard on a regular basis, it was remarkable how quickly I saw changes. It especially was made possible by complimenting my workouts with a healthy diet. From personal experiences, I have noticed that it only takes two or three days for my body to get back into gear if I take a few days off from working out. Also, about a week after working out and really pushing myself, I see and feel results. If you are looking for results, you don’t have to wait months and months as long as you work hard. Feeling new, refreshed, and healthy again is not far out of reach! Just stay positive and after a week or so of true hard work and healthy eating, you will notice little results that will then motivate you even more in order to see and feel more noticeable results in the long run. I promise that the whole process of taking on a healthy lifestyle and accomplishing your goals is nothing but rewarding. The beginning is the hardest part. Do your best to get past the rough beginning stages and you will be in the clear!
So, surround yourself with positivity and focus on your goals. You will no longer be drawn towards a lazy path to being healthy! You will learn to be very proud of your body and how you feel as a result of eating healthy and working out.
Stay healthy and be strong!
I have always been a firm believer in nothing but rest when I get sick. As much as I love a good workout, I would not push my body to work while I am sick. This weekend, I had a lot of head congestion, between my nose and sinuses. I haven’t worked out since Friday because of this, but I decided to look into this a little more to see if I was actually right and I was surprised by my research! Working out while you are sick can be okay! There are some precautions, however. It is only okay to work out if your symptoms are above the neck. If you have a stuffy nose like I do, a light workout can actually help open the airways and relieve congestion. If you are feeling achy in your muscles or fatigued, it is very important to not push your body through a workout and allow yourself to rest. If you are feeling like you are coming down with a cold and you are not sure if you should work out, it is recommended to talk to a doctor before any physical activity and if you feel lousy after ten minutes of your workout, do not continue working out and focus on rest. Some workouts during your head cold can include:
- A walk might be one of the most beneficial methods of opening the airways and relieving congestion.
- Try jogging lightly as long as it is part of your regular workout routine and you only have a mild head cold.
- Yoga–this is one stress-relieving workout that will help the body fight off your cold. The stretching involved with yoga can also relieve aches related to colds and sinus infections.
- Dancing is another stress-reducing workout that will aid in strengthening the immune system. Low-impact dance won’t put too much stress on your joints and may be the perfect workout while feeling sick.
There are several workouts that are specifically not suggested when feeling sick, however:
- Endurance running. If you are training for any kind of race or marathon, it is best to skip this week’s run. Keep in mind that workouts while sick should be kept very low impact and lighter than your usual routine.
- Weight machines at the gym. Lifting weights may put more strain to your muscles and force your body to work harder when it is already using a lot of energy to make you feel better. Lifting weights may also increase your risk for injury since your body is weaker than usual while sick.
- Swimming and biking. For some, swimming and biking works as long as it is low intensity, but others find it harder to breathe well during these activities.
- Outdoor activity in the cold. Cold and dry air can constrict and irritate your air passages and cause a runny nose and coughing. Again, be aware of the messages your body is sending you.
Even though some workouts are acceptable during a head cold, be sure to keep in mind that it is suggested to lessen the intensity of your regular workout and reduce the amount of time of your regular workout routine. During these workouts, be aware of your body and if you feel like you are pushing too much, don’t be discouraged; simply listen to your body and give it rest if you aren’t feeling well enough to work out. A couple days rest from working out won’t affect your usual performance, just gradually work up to your regular regimen as you feel better.
Tonight, I might look up some yoga videos on YouTube and see how I feel! YouTube is my favorite go-to for workouts—the videos are free and there are so many people who post workouts for exactly what you need.
Stay healthy and be strong!
Let’s talk about pushps. They all began in gym class in elementary school or middle school when the gym teachers had to test your physical health and made you complete as many crunches and pushups as you could (and in my case, I had to do them while half of my class watched me). They always held a negative connotation and you have always dreaded them, right? Well, pushups just got a bit more exciting.
There are so many variations of pushups, it is truly unbelievable. Also, each variation is an excellent full-body workout. In any given pushup position, you will be working arms, shoulders, chest, core, back, and legs. Everything is working to bring your body up and down. They are always a good challenge, and can always be made harder. Push yourself!
These are just a few types of heart-pumping, sweat-inducing pushup varieties:
- Wide-grip pushup. This pushup is just like your standard pushup but it involves a wider stance to work your chest harder. Place your hands further than shoulder width apart and feel the burn!
- Narrow-grip pushup. These specifically target your triceps. Place your hands just a few inches apart from each other beneath you in pushup position. Bend your elbows and feel those triceps working hard!
- T-pushups. These are my personal favorite. Begin in standard pushup position. Now, lean to one side so you are at a side plank with your feet stacked and raise your arm. Return to standard pushup position and repeat on the other side. This is a full body workout and particularly works on strengthening the obliques as well as arms, shoulders, and core.
- Feet-elevated pushups. These require, you guessed it, for your feet to be elevated. Find a bench outside or a chair or even your bed and place your feet on it in pushup position. Now do a set of regular pushups but you will feel more work for your shoulders, chest, and scapular stabilizers, or the muscles that connect your neck, mid back, and shoulders together.
- Elbow pushups. These are just pure torture but extremely effective. In plank position, go on to your elbows so your forearms are on the ground. Now, one arm at a time, return back into a full plank position with your hands on the ground beneath you at shoulder width apart. Repeat this up-and-down movement and you will be shredding your arms in no time.
These are excellent moves to incorporate into your workouts. For beginners, these moves can also be performed on the knees. Challenge your friends and see who can do more reps or last the longest! Create your own pushup variation, or see if you can do one of the pushups listed above continuously throughout your favorite song. These are difficult moves but you will see the results with determination.
Stay healthy and be strong!