• Rachel Mason

Getting healthy for the summer?

With summer (IBIZA!) right around the corner lots of us are looking at little things we can do to be healthier and get our summer bodies ready once again. We welcome Paige Johnson from Learn Fit from who takes a look at a few tips for getting healthy!

Guest blog by Paige Johnson from Learnt.org

Getting Healthy? A Little Change Goes a Long Way

Over several generations, health and fitness clubs have expanded to an $81 billion dollar industry globally. The fitness equipment industry is projected to hit almost $12 billion by 2020. Despite this, according to the CDC, when it comes to our weight and waistlines, the scale continues to move in the wrong direction. Even if a run-of-the-mill “overweight” diagnosis (a BMI between 25 and 30) hasn’t seen exponential growth; cases of obesity (BMI between 30 and 39) and extreme obesity (a BMI of 40 or more) are rising swiftly.

With many people being classed as 'overweight', it’s no wonder staying healthy starts to feel like an impossible task. Somewhere along the way, there has been a disconnect. Maybe the answer is in carving little victories for ourselves, every day of the year. Rather than allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by the big “F”, the keys to health can start with simple changes. For those who are patient, three simple changes can reap big rewards.

Drink Water - Drinking water is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your health. In fact, the journal Obesity found that drinking water before a meal could actually help you lose weight. In the 12 week study, a test group and control group met with researchers for a weight loss consultation. Both groups also received a follow up phone call two weeks into the study. But when the study commenced, the intervention group was instructed to drink a 16 oz glass of water 30 minutes before a meal. The control group did not drink water before a meal. The former group lost almost 3lbs over the course of the 12 week study by doing one simple thing. Do the same, and in a year, that could add up to around 12 lbs!

Commit to 30 - We tend to get overwhelmed with a vague goal; like “I’m going to lose weight this year,” or “I’m going to get fit by the holidays.” A big goal leaves too much to chance, and we get overwhelmed because we have to make too many decisions. Make your commitment finite and simple. Commit to 30 minutes a day of wellness. Decide the time it will happen (every day from 8-8:30 am or at lunch). Brainstorm a few activities to give yourself a jump start. That’s it. You can change the purpose of your 30 minutes as your goals changes. The only thing that must be hard and fast is that you’ll commit 30 minutes to your health every day.

Maybe this is the year you want to lose some baby weight. Thirty minutes of vigorous exercise will get you fighting fit in no time. Find ways to hardwire your fitness time into your schedule. So, you might join a mom and baby class or set a daily evening walk time with your spouse or a neighbor. If you like animals, take on a few dog walking clients to make some extra dough while you workout. These are all great ways to make your 30 minutes of daily fitness a set part of your schedule.

Or, maybe you need to carve out a little calm - 30 minutes a day in meditation can improve your emotional stability, improve compassion, decrease anxiety, and even change your brain’s makeup. Whether you use your 30 minutes for emotional, physical, spiritual, or nutritional improvement doesn’t matter. What matters is that you commit to it every day.

Breathe - How often do you take a moment to breathe fully? Take a taboo for excess emotion and compound that with our worship of washboard abs and you get a nation of people who don’t breath fully or deeply. According to The Harvard Mental Health Letter, these are the ways our culture encourages shallow breathing - and it translates into damaging consequences for our health. When we don’t breath well, we can’t function as well. Breathing deeply, from the diaphragm (deep in the belly), can reduce stress and anxiety and improve our focus.

None of these techniques are revolutionary. None will generate change over night. They are all easy to implement and will change your life for the better - over time. Stick with it - the results will be worth it.

Author: Paige Johnson