Please keep in mind these are MY thoughts and opinions. I choose to write about these topics and share my advice and opinions with you all because they mean something to me and I hope they can help someone out in the World. This is a written collection of my thoughts and experiences with the subject. Please comment below if you have any questions.
Living a balanced and healthy life can take Time to truly achieve. It can seem so daunting, and difficult to manage. Yet, in the end it is all about making those small changes every day and making them a part of your normal routine. Make these changes into habits and a part of your lifestyle, because it is our routine and habits we create that will ultimately help us succeed. I am still learning about how to find a balance with some things, but for the most part I feel very happy and satisfied with my current routine. For me, making the change was not only about creating healthy and sustainable habits, but about cutting out the bad ones that were having a negative impact on my health and mental well-being. Not only did I change my routine by eating healthier, more nourishing foods and exercising regularly, I also stopped doing the things that were bringing me down. Partying at least 3 days a week and over drinking was a big part of my life for years, and cutting it out was one of the Best Decisions of my life. I still go out occasionally and have a drink or two, But it is Nothing compared to the old me. I am still learning so much about health, fitness and taking care of my body everyday. But I have established a routine that works for me, a balance that works for my body and each day I work hard to keep improving.
I found a Quote on one of my followers pages and it fit in very appropriately with my theme “You’ll Never Change Your Life Until You Change Something You Do Daily. The Secret of Your Success Is Found In Your Daily Routine” –John C. Maxwell This is so very true, You must make a change to see and feel a change. You must make taking care of your body a part of your daily routine.
You can make simple changes at first, small adjustments to what you’re used to. It could be a dietary change, like switching any heavily processed foods for fresh and natural products. For example:
- Switching processed white sugar for raw brown sugar, stevia or another alternative natural sweetener.
- Replacing white pasta and breads for whole grain alternatives, such as brown rice, sprouted wheat, whole wheat or spelt.
- Swapping sugary soft drinks and soda for regular or fruit infused water or tea.
BUT with all of these things, You MUST read the Ingredients and labels. There are many ‘Healthy” Alternatives out on the shelves these days, a gluten-free option, sugar-free, low-carb or low-fat, and while some of these are great, there are also many that contain extra preservatives or additives just to give them flavor or keep them on the shelves longer. Do a little research and Be aware of what you are buying. My goal when grocery shopping is to buy as many fresh and plain products as possible, fruits, vegetables, plain yogurt, brown rice, whole grain pasta, cage-free eggs (organic when possible) plain tomato sauce, etc. Then I add the flavoring at home, so I know exactly what I am putting on my food and into my body.
Another important change is to start incorporating some kind of physical exercise into your daily routine. It can be as simple as:
- Walking to the grocery store or university, instead of driving or taking the bus.
- Riding your bike to work or going on a bike ride for fun.
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walking around and exploring your city or surrounding towns.
Each of these small things will add up and they Will make a difference. When you are feeling ready to do something a little more challenging there are soo many options!
- Join a gym or local fitness center.
- Sign up for a fitness class or join a local sports team.
- Join a support group on Instagram or Facebook that will help you keep accountable with exercising and eating.
- Watch Youtube videos of exercises tutorials and workout routines.
- Hire a Personal Trainer to get you started.
- Purchase a structured Workout guide such as the Bikini Body Guide or Tone It Up plan.
There are soo many options. You must make a little effort and take the time do some research or ask some friends or family for advice and get started! There will always be people to Help you, but Ultimately it is Your Life and You Must put in some Effort!
For me, I cut out unhealthy foods and started at the gym almost immediately, after returning home from Spain. I knew that personally I needed a bit more of a challenge physically and was very motivated at the time, so I started going at least 4-5 days a week. At the beginning I was doing mostly cardio for about an hour at a time, followed by a few classic abdominal exercises or using a few of the weight machines for legs. Now, more than a year later, I do a mixture of resistance training using my body weight and light weights, High Intensity Interval training, heavier Weight Lifting, stretching (beginners Yoga) and some typical cardiovascular such as jogging or walking. I follow Aussie Trainer Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide, as well as my own extra routines. I have a very diverse and balanced routine in my opinion, and this is what has been working the best for me, but I absolutely respect those who choose to focus on just one or two of those methods.
On an average week, I work out 5-6 days a week, for anywhere from 1-1.5 hours including warm-up, my routine and stretching, be that a bit of cardio, weights, or circuit training and always take at least one rest day. Currently, I eat home cooked meals 90% of the time and rarely drink. I try to have a semi-set schedule of when I wake up, eat, work, exercise and go to sleep, but my work schedule can vary greatly from one week to the next and so I have had to learn to be flexible and go with the flow. My normal habits do not not change, but the order in which I do them and the amount of time I dedicate to each one sometimes has to be adjusted. But that is okay, because I know I have created a lifestyle and habits that are sustainable for me and I will absolutely keep it up. (will do a separate blog about my workout routine and schedule soon!)
Remember we are all capable of changing our habits and routines. Find what works for You and give it your best every single day! ❤ Alena