Tag: diabetes

What will YOU do in 2016?

What will YOU do in 2016?

It is normal to set new goals and milestones at the beginning of the new year. ¬†You may want to lose weight, eat more fruits and veggies, go to church, save more money, write more on your blog (ME!) ūüėČ and so on. ¬†It can include anything you want to accomplish and do throughout the year. For me, one of my biggest goals is to publish a book I have been working on for almost two years. When it comes to health and well-being, there are many areas that you can focus on – social, emotional, environmental, spiritual, physical, and mental health.

Will you focus on your social health?  This comprises your friends, family, and interactions with others.  Will you sign up to be involved in new groups or events such as community development? Will you volunteer with local charity organizations?  Will you be planning a wedding or other special event?  Will you give selflessly to others through random acts of kindness?  All of these things make you active in ensuring you have a happy, healthy, and successful social component within your life.

Will you focus on your emotional health? ¬†Do you handle stress and excitement appropriately? ¬†Do you balance the spectrum of all emotions in a healthy way? ¬†You may choose to work on emotional health by taking deep breaths when stressed, not “closeting” your feelings, listening to your heart and mind, and making decisions for yourself and how you feel rather than to please others.

Will you focus on your environmental health?  This means that you foster a positive work and personal environment.  Further, this includes preserving the water, air, and the land around you. Will you begin to recycle more this year?  That includes less waste such as paper products including paper plates, napkins, and printing unnecessary documents.  Will you reuse paper to prevent further waste in landfills?  Will you reduce water bottle usage by using reusable plastic bottles to decrease landfill wastes?  When you discuss land and air safety, this means you reduce harmful chemicals such as burning toxic wastes and disposing of chemicals in landfills.

Will you focus on your spiritual health? ¬†This requires that you “talk the talk and also walk the walk.” ¬†In other words, you have morals, values, and ethics that you follow to lead an honest life. Additionally, it means you encourage peace and harmonious relationships between yourself and others. ¬†You may mediate, read about your belief system, pray, or attend a religious organization.

Will you focus on your physical health?  Will you exercise more this year?  Will you join a gym or participate in group exercise classes?  Are you training for a 5k, half marathon, or full marathon? This is probably one of my strengths when it comes to the six components of health.  I regularly exercise, take walks, and go outside to be active.  It helps me lower my stress level and makes me feel great.  This is particularly important to reduce health diseases such as heart problems, obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns that can be created from being overweight.

Will you focus on your mental (aka intellectual) health?  Will you improve your mood or attitude in 2016?  Will you work to cope better with your stress, anxiety, depression, or self-confidence and self-image?  Part of mental health is finding solutions to cope with your daily struggles.  It may mean reaching out for help, recognizing that those around you care, or changing the demands of your life to reduce the mental stress you are facing.

It is very important to find a balance of the six components of health and well-being. ¬†Like me, you may find that you are strong in two to three of the six components. ¬† If that is the case, that’s fantastic! ¬†It means you can use 2016 as a way to focus on the ones that you are not as strong in. As for my book, it focuses on my mental/intellectual health, social health, and emotional health. Consider finding projects, activities, and events that will allow you to work on several components. For example, participating in group fitness classes will focus on your physical, social, and possibly spiritual and emotional well-being. ¬†Spiritual well-being through mediation or yoga, and emotional well-being to reduce stress. ¬†You can work to improve components that you struggle with to find a better balance to lead a healthier and happier 2016!

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

You’ll only regret the workouts you don’t do!

You’ll only regret the workouts you don’t do!

We all have days when we feel unmotivated, don’t want to workout, feel lazy, want to take a nap, or just want to do other things, but on those days it is important to still do some type of workout, whether it be a short one or long one, cardio or yoga, or a quick run. ¬†Sometimes thinking about my favorite person who inspires me such as an athlete is enough to motivate me! ¬†If you are having one of those days, think twice before you skip your workout and remember all the positives of a great workout, including the reasons below!

     100 Reasons to Exercise Now (Courtesy of Pinterest)

  1. Because it makes you feel confident
  2. Because it helps you get stronger
  3. Because exercise helps combat depression
  4. Because you’ll feel proud of yourself
  5. Because you have goals you want to reach
  6. Because you’ll feel bad if you don’t
  7. Because you want to move forward, not backward
  8. Because it burns more calories than not working out
  9. Because it improves your heart health
  10. Because you want a great butt
  11. Because it prevents diabetes
  12. Because you want to be a good example to your kids
  13. Because you want to feel good in your clothes
  14. Because it reduces your risk of cancer
  15. Because your body was made to move
  16. Because you want to be an athlete
  17. Because you want to look better
  18. Because it lifts your mood
  19. Because you want to stand taller
  20. Because it reduces back pain
  21. Because it feels good
  22. Because it makes you feel accomplished
  23. Because you spend most of your day on your butt
  24. Because swimsuit season is always coming
  25. Because strong is the new skinny
  26. Because dieting only works so much
  27. Because it strengthens your bones, too
  28. Because it helps you lose weight
  29. Because it allows you to eat more food
  30. Because it’s the best way to spend “me” time
  31. Because it helps you de-stress
  32. Because it’s cheaper than therapy
  33. Because you want a strong core
  34. Because you want to take care for yourself
  35. Because you take pride in your body
  36. Because it strengthens your legs
  37. Because it helps your clothes fit better
  38. Because you want to push yourself
  39. Because you are capable of more than you ever imagined
  40. Because moving your body feels good
  41. Because it keeps your mind sharp
  42. Because it helps you beat belly bloat
  43. Because it helps you sleep better at night
  44. Because it gives you energy
  45. Because you want to stay healthy as you age
  46. Because you want to look younger
  47. Because you want toned arms
  48. Because it improves your balance
  49. Because it burns off last night’s dessert
  50. Because it boosts your immune system
  51. Because sweat is sexy
  52. Because you want to live longer
  53. Because you want to get better at your game
  54. Because you want to catch someone’s eye
  55. Because exercisers earn more money
  56. Because you’re more likely to eat better when you exercise
  57. Because you want to shave time off your running pace
  58. Because you want to breathe easier
  59. Because you want to see the scale drop
  60. Because exercise improves your sex life
  61. Because you are worth it
  62. Because being fit makes everything in life better
  63. Because you promised yourself that you would
  64. Because you deserve a better life
  65. Because it’ll help you drink more water
  66. Because you want to do real push-ups
  67. Because it reduces your health care costs
  68. Because you’ll miss fewer days of work
  69. Because you want to create a new future for yourself
  70. Because it’ll help you like what you see in the mirror
  71. Because it makes clothing shopping more fun
  72. Because you want to look and feel incredible
  73. Because exercising can be fun
  74. Because it’ll give your skin a glow
  75. Because it’s a good way to spend time with your friends
  76. Because it’ll help you prevent the middle-age spread
  77. Because it reduces your blood pressure
  78. Because you don’t want to let yourself go
  79. Because you don’t want to squeeze into an airplane or rollercoaster seat
  80. Because it strengthens your spirit
  81. Because it’s a cheap way to entertain yourself
  82. Because you’ll be able to reward yourself
  83. Because you need a reason to wear those new workout clothes
  84. Because you’re tired of being tired
  85. Because not working out is not going to get you very far
  86. Because it’s a great way to spend time outside
  87. Because you made a commitment to yourself
  88. Because you’re tired of starting over
  89. Because there will always be another wedding, vacation or reunion
  90. Because you’re not a quitter
  91. Because it improves your cholesterol
  92. Because it boosts your metabolism
  93. Because it prevents age-related muscle loss
  94. Because if you can do this, you can do anything
  95. Because a fit body is a healthy body
  96. Because it beats sitting on the couch
  97. Because  everyone has at least 10 minutes to spare
  98. Because you want to be stronger than your excuses
  99. Because not working out isn’t working out for you
  100. Because the only workout you ever regret is the one you skip

Now, GO WORKOUT!  You will feel much better once you do!

~jj

How would you describe your workout?!

How would you describe your workout?!

It’s sometimes hard to convey how important working out and exercising regularly really are for your mind and body. ¬†Everyone is busy and has hectic schedules as well as lots of commitments, which impact how much “extra” time the day allows to do other things. ¬†One thing that should be found in that “extra” time is exercise. ¬†It is not only very important to exercise, but equally as important to stay committed to it. ¬†It should be something that is automatically built into your lifestyle and schedule rather than a spare hobby if time allows for it. ¬†Exercise is needed to¬†de-stress, reduce your risk of heart disease, decrease your chances for Type II diabetes, and to promote overall health and well-being. ¬†If you have kids, exercise and play with them. ¬†After all, they need to be playing and moving around, too!

Think of exercise a as¬†a part of your personality to encourage yourself to get off your butt and get moving. ¬†Why part of your personality? ¬†The thought is that if you think of exercise as part of your personality you are more likely to think about it. ¬†If someone were to ask you, how would you describe your personality? ¬†You might say fun, exciting, adventurous, etc. ¬†Now, think about what you might say if someone were to ask you, how would you describe your exercise routine? ¬†You don’t want to respond with weak, boring, non-existent, etc. ¬†You might want to say fun, exciting, challenging, exhausting, etc. ¬†The point isn’t that your personality should equal your exercise traits, but that you should have cool, exciting words to describe your workout kind of like you have cool characteristics and traits to describe your personality and life.

Moral of the story? ¬†Don’t let your exercise be described as non-existent, boring, or weak. ¬†While people may not be asking you to describe your workout, your mind can still be asking yourself that on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis and do you really want to let yourself down? ¬†After all, if you accept that your exercise routine or workout is non existent, boring, or easy than the only person you are hurting is yourself. ¬†Make your workout fun, vibrant, challenging, and exciting so that your workout becomes as important to you as your friends, family, and other things in your life are when you are talking about them to others.

~jj

Are you a statistic? Don’t be…instead, be the BEST you!

Are you a statistic? Don’t be…instead, be the BEST you!

When I was exercising this week, I was thinking about what lit a fire in me to make working out and nutrition such a big part of my life.¬† I have, for the most part, been mindful of my mind and body, but sometimes life gets busy and we don’t care for ourselves as much or as good as we should. In high school, I played tennis during the fall and considered what I put in my mouth occasionally, but the less than healthy lunch options were something I ate too frequently without much thought.¬† Once I got home from school, I usually ate a snack which often consisted of unhealthy microwave foods such as pizza rolls, bagel bites, or hot pockets.¬† While I may not have been fat, my eating choices weren’t nutritious and I was heading down the wrong road. Believe it or not, I actually weighed about 20 pounds more when I was in high school than I do now.¬† I was not considered overweight or obese, but I wasn’t exactly in shape either.

So what sparked the change?¬† It’s quite simple and can be said in one sentence: I didn’t want to become a statistic.¬† I was getting ready to enter college and didn’t want to gain the “Freshman 15.”¬† For those who are not familiar, this is the extra 15 pounds college freshman tend to put on when they go off to college because of dorm food, cooking for themselves, and eating out with their friends in between classes, on weekends, and frequently when drinking.¬† Further, the change in schedule and the new college lifestyle typically contributes to poor food choices and irregular workouts.¬† That wasn’t the only thing that spurred the change within me.¬† While I was not overweight or obese, I was not in shape and that bothered me.¬† At 18 years old, I was not fat, but more than anything I was not in shape.¬† I could run several miles and I could play tennis, but I wasn’t in shape and I wanted to change that.¬† I wanted to get in shape and not become a statistic.¬† Statistics that are heard and read all the time such as increased risk for heart disease and stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or even Type II diabetes.

I was bound and determined not to become a statistic.¬† In fact, I still am.¬† I¬† refuse to allow myself to become a statistic that defines, determines, or tells me my choices are killing me. ¬†You should consider the same thing and what impact it has on your body (i.e. eating junk food, smoking, texting and driving, etc.). ¬†Choices that I can control are choices I will continue to try to sway in my favor to make me be in shape and stay in shape!¬† Like me, use statistics and negative health facts (i.e. Freshman 15) to spur your own health goals.¬† How did I go about making the changes I needed to get in shape and stay in shape to keep from gaining the “Freshman 15”?¬† I made nutrition, exercise, and wellness my way of life.¬† This was not a temporary fad or diet, but a permanent lifestyle change.

Now, I don’t eat overly processed foods as much as possible, my diet consists heavily of fruits and vegetables, and I eat scheduled meals that include diverse foods (spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, hummus, grilled chicken, etc).¬† It doesn’t mean I do not splurge and eat cookies or ice cream or some of my favorite foods such as Pad Thai or pizza, but I eat these foods in moderation and my pizza is homemade and loaded with veggies! ūüôā

I wrote this long blog that either bored you to death or hopefully inspired you from beginning to end to make fitness, working out, nutrition, and wellness a way of life!  A life changing decision that you choose to embark on to make yourself a better you!

~jj

Do it for your heart health!

Do it for your heart health!

Happy HEART HEALTH month!¬† Let’s talk about some important statistics and discuss what you can do to make sure your heart is strong and healthy.¬† This is a particularly important topic that I hold close to my heart (no pun intended)! ūüėȬ† I worked collaboratively with the American Heart Association (AHA) for 2 years and it opened my eyes to the wonderful initiatives and projects of the AHA as well as the severe concerns regarding heart health that face the United States today.

According to the AHA, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined (heart.org).  While this stat is geared toward women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but heart disease is preventable and controllable (cdc.org).  These stats alone should be enough to make you strive to exercise at least 30 minutes each day so that you can spend many moons making fun memories with friends and family!  Remember, heart disease impacts all shapes and sizes, big or small, as well as every age, young or old.

What can YOU do to help prevent heart disease?

-Eat and maintain a healthy diet.

-Exercise regularly.

-Keep a steady, healthy weight.

-Don’t smoke.

-Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol.

For additional or more specific information, visit heart.org (AHA), millionhearts.hhs.gov (CDC), and cdc.gov/features/heartmonth (CDC).

I hope you recognize that the tips, advice, and stories I post each week are to help encourage people to “exercise2behealthy” for this very reason.¬† Not because I am concerned with the outside of each person, but because I care about the inside and the health concerns such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. that can be side effects of poor health choices.¬† Hence, there is no time like the present to get moving and start making healthy dietary choices for you and your family!

~jj

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