Sitting too much can literally kill you.
Ok…so maybe that’s a bit dramatic…but sitting too much should scare you!
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examinations Surveys, which examines about 5,000 people in United States each year (Nelson & Zeratsky, 2012), 50-70% of people sit for 6 or more hours per day. That might seem like a lot, but if you think about the “average” daily schedule of a 9-5er, that isn’t far off the mark.
So how does this impact our health? Too sedentary of a lifestyle can cause:
- Low energy
- Slower metabolism
- Back and spine injuries
- Risk of heart disease
How can you combat this? It’s easy – get moving!
- Stand every hour – take a quick trip to the bathroom or go get some coffee.
- Park farther away – sure that front row spot is nice, but those in the back are better for you!
- Track your steps with an activity tracker – Using an activity tracker that monitors your idle time and steps is a great way to see what your daily activity looks like.
- Take the stairs – if it’s possible, always (always!) take the stairs.
- Outdoor walk – walking is good for the soul and the body!
So, are you sitting too much? What can you do to become more active?
This is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while…and I’m finally getting around to doing it! (Achieving goals like a boss!)
I’m a dreamer with big plans and hopes for the future. I want to be fit, I want to go back to school and maybe, one day, I want to have a family. I’ve always thought that there’s a time and place for these things to happen; each separated into their own little timeframe of when they should be accomplished. And somehow, magically, I expected that each of these would just happen. Poof! You’re fit! You’re educated! You’re a mom!
But, wouldn’t ya know it? That’s not exactly how it works. You can’t just sit around on your butt and expect Life to just happen! You have to make it happen! Who knew??!!
When I began to actually look at what I wanted to accomplish and how impossible it all seemed, I thought –I need a mantra. I need something that defines what I want my life to look like. And so, “Expedite Life” was born!
This is what Expedite Life means to me: It means living life in the NOW; not the someday. It means getting up every day and saying to myself – Today I will make shit happen! I will own my destiny. I will NOT give up. No excuses.
I have no idea what my life will actually look like in 3 months, 5 years or 20 years and that’s ok. What’s important is putting in the work and making it happen. There’s only so much hoping, wishing and waiting you can do – why wait for something when you can have little pieces of it every day?
P.S. – If you’re looking for a GREAT self-help book to light a fire in your pants and get you started on your own journey, I highly recommend You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero.
This is something I’m asked often – “What is clean eating?” “How do you do it?”
Eating clean is about hitting refresh on your eating habits – eating more of the healthiest options in each food group and less of the not-so-healthy. Eating clean means you’ll finally understand why your Mom always told you to eat your greens: because they’re good for you!
It’s about paying attention to what’s going into your body and how your food affects you!
Here’s the simple answer to these questions – clean eating is eliminating (or trying to) the processed foods from your diet. It’s about making healthy and informed choices.
I say “try to” eliminate processed food because, let’s face it, we’re all busy. We’re all running from point A to point B at a million miles per hour; we all need food that’s convenient and fast. But that doesn’t mean the food needs to come from a vending machine or drive-thru window. With a little bit of know-how and preparation, we can all eat cleaner and live healthier lives.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Limit processed foods: Most processed foods are full of unnecessary ingredients like sodium, sugar and fat. There’s a reason why that bag of candy is two servings and a reason for why you eat it all at once!
Simple tip: If the list of ingredients is long and unpronounceable, chances are that “food” contains A TON of processed junk!
- Eat more vegetables: Vegetables are high in vitamins, fiber, low in calories and just all around good for you! The recommended daily amount for most adults is 2 ½ to 3 cups.
Simple tip: Squeeze your veggies into a morning omelet, have them as a midday snack or incorporate some into a healthy smoothie!
- Last call for alcohol: Eating clean also includes cleaning up what you drink. Staying within the recommended amounts per day is a safer way to some spirits without breaking the scale the next day.
- Lose the sugar: Reducing your added sugar intake is one of the easiest ways to jumpstart a path toward a healthier diet. Sure, it’s hard and yes, you will have withdrawal symptoms – headache, grogginess, mood swings; but it’s also worth it. Eliminating sodas, candy and baked goods is a good place to start.
- More fruit, please: Fruit – or “nature’s candy” – is naturally sweet and delicious. If you’re over indulging in processed sweets, you just might not be able to notice it! Rich in vitamins, fruit is a great way to round out a healthy eating plan.
Buyer beware! If you’re not buying fresh fruit, frozen, canned and dried fruit is minimally processed and are all great options. Make sure you read the ingredients list – look for no added sugar and fruit canned in its own juice.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question: How do you do it? How do you get up every morning and workout? And stay on your meal plans? And not lose focus?
Let me start off with this – I’m not 110% committed. There, I admit it! I occasionally wake up late and need another hour of sleep; I don’t workout every day; I have cheat days!
I’M NOT PERFECT. No one is. But I STAY FOCUSED on my goals!
- You have to commit yourself! I work for EVERY pound lost, EVERY drop of sweat. If you’re not putting in the work, why would you expect to see results?
It’s important to establish goals in the beginning, that way you have something to look forward to! Don’t dwell on the bumps along the road – life happens. The journey of adapting a healthier lifestyle is what you should be focused on.
- Plan ahead. I cannot stress this one enough. Plan your meals a week in advance – I typically meal plan and grocery shop on Sundays – and plan your workouts! It might seem silly at first, but after one week of executing your plan, you’ll ask yourself how you ever managed to go without it!
Even if you’re a busy mom or a working professional (or both), spend an hour or two, one day a week and plan it out.
- Set your goals. You have to define what your goals are – what your personal hopes and dreams are…not your neighbors. This is no time to keep up with the Joneses.
Who/what are you fighting for? Why do I want/need this change? These are KEY GOALS to keep in mind as you struggle, as you fight to change.
- Face your fears! Your about to turn your life upside down, at a 45 degree angle. Yes, it’s scary. It’s hard. And, at times, it seems impossible. That’s the beauty of change. If it doesn’t scare you, then you’re not trying hard enough.
I have faced every single fear there is about transitioning over to healthier habits. I struggle with emotional and binge eating. I struggle to PUSH PLAY.
I want you to remember what I remind myself of everyday:
~ You are capable of doing this. YOU ARE BRAVE ENOUGH, STRONG ENOUGH.
~ YOU ARE everything you need to be to BECOME WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
Now, get out there and shred it!
Ok, so I know I’ve posted about my vision board, but I wanted to share a few other tech items and non-tech items that I’m using to help me achieve my fitness goals.
All of these things together help me make sense of the jumbled mess in my head – “what am I eating today?”; “what do I want to accomplish in 21 days; in 2 months?”; “what are my resting stats and how am I performing during exercise?”; “how’s my sleep?”; “how do I ‘feel’ about these lifestyle changes?”; “what can I do better to feel better?”
- Vision board – This one is pretty self explanatory, you create a board where you post inspirational quotes, images and your goals. The board helps you visualize your goals, how you can accomplish them and serves as a great reminder of why you started in the first place! Here’s mine, where’s yours?
- FitBit Charge HR – This was a “splurge purchase” that I decided to do. It has literally changed my life! I love it! It helps me not only track my daily steps and heart rate, but I wear it at night to track my sleep habits! <<This has been one of the most useful benefits because I can “see” why I feel so tired! 😉
- FitBook Lite – This book was a gift from my coach; a welcome to the team gift! Yay! I just browsed through it today – it’s a 6-week planner/journal that helps keep you organized and focused on your goals too! You also get access to a free e-book which goes into more detail about how to use the journal, as well as some pretty tasty recipes! After the 6 weeks are over, I know I’m going to want another!
- Meal planning – Ok, so this is probably the most helpful and critical tool I use! Without this I know I would fall back into old habits and wouldn’t have a clear picture on my nutrition…I’m still bad at eating enough fruits and veggies, but I know planning ahead helps!
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me, so here’s a quick update:
- I’m wrapping up week two of my gluten free adventure! Yay, me! I can’t say it’s been easy and there have DEFINITELY been withdrawal symptoms (mostly from sugar detox) but it’s worth it. And everyday I feel stronger. 🙂
- Work is STRESSING ME OUT! I think these past few weeks have made me really appreciate down time, deep breathing and walking away from my work email, just to catch my breath!
- Continuing from the last comment…I found this really cool de-stressing tool online – it’s called Pixel Thoughts – check it out here.
Basically, you type in something you’re concerned about into the bubble; the website then walks you through a de-stress exercise as you watch your concern get smaller and smaller, until it finally disappears! How cool is that?
That’s it for now! TTYL
I have some exciting news for you all (at least it’s exciting to me!)
Today is my 1-week anniversary of going Gluten free! YAAAAA!!!
I am BEYOND excited…for me this is a REAL accomplishment!
Now to get through the remaining 50-ish weeks of the year!
Here’s a look at the fresh fruit/veggie market I go to:
It seriously has some of the best tasting food for REALLY good prices! Spent $20 on groceries that would have easily cost $50 at a regular store! #EatClean #BuyLocal
How has new-age technology impacted us? We can see, feel and experience it’s impact in our daily lives – increased violence and desensitization to violence, decreased empathy, little-to-no family interaction – when was the last time your family sat down at the dining room table for a meal? Or enjoyed a family game night? – among many, many other things.
Technology has also helped society in very positive and life-changing ways – better medical care, interactive and innovative teaching tools, keeping people connected, etc.
All of this has got me thinking…what would happen in a world-wide apocalyptic situation? Would we be able to keep in touch with our neighbors? What about world-wide communication? Are CB radios still a thing…how do you even use a CB radio?
This is definitely food for thought and something we should all be thinking about as the world continues to become a massive desensitized place of violence.
I’ve decided to take the plunge and apply to grad school. And, for me, that means taking the GRE. …commence freak out.
I haven’t studied for a test like this since 2006-7 – when I took the SAT 3 times and the ACT 1 time trying to get my goal score. Do you know how expensive those tests are?? And, I took 4!
I can’t afford to retake the GRE a million times – I don’t have the money or time to “spend” on it, even if it means a better chance of getting into school.
So, I started researching 3-month study plans for the GRE. And you know what I found? There are a few million resources out there (Google reports 174,000! Still way too many for me to use.) and they all basically say the same thing – follow our boring study outline and you’ll do great.
The problem with this? It’s boring. Boring beyond boring. Netflix binge-watching is definitely WAY more interesting. So I brainstormed…how can I make studying not so boring? Here are a few things I came up with:
Izzie’s Fun Study GRE Tips:
- Develop a study plan that works for you. I planned 3 months of study, with each month devoted to a topic – Math, Verbal and Analytical. Assign tasks for each day, keeping it simple and light!
- Complete the Sudoku in your daily paper. This keeps your mind sharp and helps with analyzing patterns and combinations.
- Complete (or attempt to) the Crossword in said daily paper. This will help your vocabulary, word association and analysis skills.
- Read the Comics (political cartoons are optional) in the paper. I find that reading the comics is a good way to allow your brain to decompress in a way. It’s practically one of the best times during my work day (except for morning coffee and afternoon tea).
And there you have it – 4 fun tips to studying for the GRE!