By: Megan Millard
If you didn't know it already, let me let you in on one of the most essential things you need for fitness, nutrition, and overall health: Water. Staying hydrated is key for weight loss, and for your body to function at its' best. While this is common knowledge, it's also true that most people aren't getting the water they need. With our busy lives, it's easy to forget such things. Here are a few tips on making sure you're properly hydrated.
Get a water bottle
Might seem like common sense...but it's worth it to invest in a nice water bottle. Keep it filled to the top and carry it around with you everywhere. If you have it with you all the time, you're more likely to sip more often.
Make your water "fun" by adding fruit and herbs
We're all used to the lemon water we are served at restaurants...but guess what? There's more out there, folks. You can add almost any fruit you want to some water for a refreshing twist on just plain old tap. Some great combinations:
Lemon and Cucumber
Cucumber and Mint Leaves
Blackberry and Mint Leaves
Raspberry and Lime
Lemon and Lime
You can be creative with what you put in your water. Tip: If you want to include mint or other herbs, and in some cases with the fruit, it's best to mash it up a bit to bring out the flavor.
Look at your urine
Yeah, I said it. You can tell how hydrated you are by the color of your pee. Use this photo, which was originally shared on our Fit Fam blog back in November, as a guide.
Make your toast a little more interesting with this fun combination of food. Here's what you'll need:
2 slices of bread of your choice, lightly toasted (pictured above is whole grain)
Top it with:
Sliced grilled chicken
Get your protein, carbs, and important vitamins with a creative combination!
By: Megan Millard
So, you have a gym membership. That's a great first step. But are you getting the results you want? Many people struggle with their personal goals, knowing what they want to see but not necessarily knowing how to get there. Below are a few tidbits that can help get your started and get you thinking--modifications to your current routine that will help you along the way.
1. Make the gym a habit.
Any exercise will be beneficial to a person's overall health--but if you really want the results you desire, you have to make going to the gym a habit. One of the most important aspects is making a workout part of your routine. So, get in the habit of going to the gym 3-5 times a week and stick to it. Once that habit is formed, you will see a change. It's all about consistency!
2. Chew slower/Eat less
Since when does chewing have anything to do with weight loss or anything fitness related? I can't tell you how many times I've ordered too much food for lunch when I was hungry, thereby over-estimating my appetite. Then, I always end up eating too much and feeling stuffed. Lately, however, I heard this tip and decided to give it a try. I cut the amount of food I would normally order in half, sat at my desk and just chewed, eating as slowly as possible. It worked. I was left feeling satisfied and not stuffed. Controlling your portions is essential to getting those results.
They say to drink 8 glasses a day. But depending on your diet and activity level, you could benefit from even more. Make it interesting--slice up some lemons or cucumbers, add them to a pitcher and fill with water, and try and drink the whole pitcher throughout the day. Adding some calorie-free flavor in there will make the experience a little more exciting and your drink more refreshing. Also, don't forget to drink water before bed, since your body is at rest and detoxes at night. Now that I'm making sure I drink a lot of water, I've been feeling better and noticing results in my skin as well as my weight and overall mood.
4. Take a class
This goes along with tip number 1 about forming habits. To start, pick out one class that focuses on an area you want to work on. (All class times available on the website). For example, if you want to target your core, take Tami's Core-N-Cardio class Thursday nights at Edgewater. Put it on your calendar and make sure you go every week. Hold yourself accountable for sticking to your plan and others will hold you accountable in class too.
5. See going to the gym as a treat, not a chore
A lot of people dread going to the gym at the end of the day--thinking of it as just one more thing that needs to be crossed off the list in an already busy schedule. But it's all about perception. Go into the gym with the mindset that it's your time to focus on you. Whether you want to treat yourself to 30 minutes on the treadmill with your favorite tunes or you'd enjoy a yoga class to unwind, you have control over your workout. Pretty soon, you'll find that you enjoy going to the gym if you don't already.
Did you stop doing something or start doing something in your own routine that made a big difference to you? Share your experience below and let us know what worked or what didn't.
There are a thousand reasons NOT to do something. Whenever we don't want to do something, it's easy to pull out that bag of excuses and use the most convenient one. But, as someone once said, "Winners never lie to themselves, they always deal with the truth." So, it's time to get real. Here are 3 common excuses I hear for not joining a gym, and ways you can work around it.
"I'm too busy"
Between running back and forth between work, social events, and sleep, we lead busy lives. But i don't care how busy we claim to be. We all spend some part of our day doing frivolous tasks. The circumstances under which we can't squeeze 30 minutes to an hour out of our day to spend at the gym are few and far between. Once you add it to your routine, you'll see it will become part of your schedule, and it will reduce the stress that being busy can cause!
"I can't afford it"
The money struggle is real. Bills pile up, money is tight. But when you do the math, you'l realize a gym membership is about the price of a cup of coffee a day. Think about what you spend your money on typically, and weigh the benefits. For such a minuscule amount per day, you're getting access to all sorts of fitness equipment as well as a variety of classes. I'd say it's more than worth it.
"I don't like working out in front of people"
This is a common reason I've heard among friends why they don't want to go to the gym. I get it, it can be uncomfortable at times when you feel like you don't know what you're doing. The good news, however, is that by joining the gym, you'll be surrounded by people who are at all different levels of fitness. So while you sweat it out, there may be others around, but you won't be judged. Also, fitness orientations and training programs are available for those that want some guidance.
So, there you have it. Now, be honest with yourself and get at it!
EFC staff. We want to share our fitness knowledge with you!