guest post: 5 tips for finding a fitness plan that works fo you
when it comes to finding a fitness plan that works for you, it’s important to remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. in fact, there are so many ways to keep fit and stay healthy that you don’t need to worry if hitting the gym just isn’t your thing. simply getting off the bus a few stops early or maybe going for a walk during your lunch hour can all add valuable physical activity to your day.
but, what you do need to remember is that any fitness plan has to work around your life, otherwise the likelihood is that you won’t stick to it. this isn’t necessarily a reflection of you, it’s just human nature … and it doesn’t have to stay that way! if you can find a way to get fit that works with your lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals.
keeping all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the best ways to find a fitness plan that will work for you!
1. don’t push yourself too hard at the start. when you first begin a new workout routine, you may feel super motivated and like you have something to prove, but pushing yourself too hard at the beginning is only going to create problems. if you haven’t worked out in a while, you could be increasing the chance of getting hurt if you push yourself too hard. not only this, biting off more than you can chew will encourage you to skip sessions when the going gets tough, and this will likely lead to you just stopping completely. a fitness plan is a lifestyle change, so when it comes to planning yours, you need to make sure that you find something that’s realistic for you.
2. do your research. whether you love going to the gym or would rather spend time at the park with family, there are plenty of ways to get fit. researching will help you to find exercises that you think you may enjoy. If you like swimming, find a pool that has an adults only swimming time so you can get a workout without the distraction of children. if you worry about how you’re going to fit your fitness routine around family/friend time, then bring them with you! working out with a buddy is more enjoyable than working out alone, and if you have kids, they can benefit from a bike ride or a run around the park, too. get creative!
3. tag team it. one of the best ways to ensure that you stick to a new fitness plan is to enlist someone else to join you. whether you choose to take your partner or a friend, it can be a great way to spend some quality time with someone. exercising together will also help you to bond and stay connected, while having someone to keep you motivated and vice versa. if you can’t get anyone on board, try making friends with people who workout at similar times as you. if you’re in touch with someone at the gym or in a workout class and they’re expecting you to be there, you’re more likely to show up.
4. follow a gradual plan. fitness is becoming more and more popular all the time, and because of this, the amount of plans aimed at people who haven’t worked out much before is growing. there are plans that can help you go “from your sofa to running a 5K” and much more. diving in head first isn’t sustainable, but working gradually towards a goal means you will be much more likely to stay on track.
5. find what works best for you. if you have a fitness plan in place and haven’t noticed any changes after about four weeks [or you just aren’t enjoying it], consider changing it up! remember, it’s always best to do a mixture of cardio and strength training, but strength training can be anything from yoga to hiking, and cardio can range from dancing to jumping on a trampoline …. think outside the box and create a fitness plan that keeps you entertained, motivated and is something you love to do!
getting fit and starting a new fitness plan can be intimidating at first, but when approached the right way, can change your life for the better. all you need is the motivation and a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
and remember, fitness is about leading a healthier lifestyle, not worrying about the number you see on the scale or the tags of your clothes. focus on how you feel, because that’s what really counts!
this post was written by amy leach on behalf of focus training.
guest post: the balanced beauty’s top tips for achieving the body of your dreams
it’s been a while since i’ve had a guest blogger appear on bananas + bellinis, but after i connected with aly of the balanced beauty i knew that you guys would love what she has to say, and what better way to share her approach than with a guest post? a few of my recipes were featured on aly’s blog during her summer slim-down series [here + here] so be sure to check that out as well, but without further adieu, meet aly!
hi there! my name is aly mang and I am a board certified holistic health coach, founder/owner of the balanced beauty and fellow green juice lover… kelsey and i connected because we share a similar passion for health, wellness and striving for balance.
i personally believe balance is the key to living a healthy, happy life! my business was created because as i began to coach many young women, i saw that the majority were using an “all or nothing” approach when it came to dieting or wanting to change the way they looked. my advice is to ditch the extremes and know that balance on your plate, in your relationships, fitness routine and overall life is the way to achieve complete harmony and peace within yourself.
here are a few of my top tips for achieving the balanced body of your dreams!
1. love your body NOW.
the first step is to be grateful for who and what you are. stop comparing yourself others… you were born to be you. also know that the grass is not always greener on the other side. each individual has their own unique set of concerns, challenges and struggles. be grateful for the body you were given and if you want to change it because you want to improve it, come from a place of love! when you shift your desire to change for all of the right reasons, it will make the process much more rewarding and your goals will be more attainable.
2. eat from the earth!
this is a simple way to check yourself. before you consuming anything, ask yourself, “is what I’m eating from the earth or is it manmade?” often times manmade foods are processed and loaded with ingredients that can be toxic to your system. hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colorings may make our food look pretty or have a longer shelf life, but they can reek havoc on our skin, body and immune system. read labels and pay attention to the chemicals or preservatives you are putting into your system. a build-up of toxic ingredients may be the reason you feel sluggish, bloated or are lacking that inner glow!
3. food is FUEL.
the #1 misconception I find when first coaching clients is that they think they need to eat less if they want to lose weight. false! i encourage my clients to eat throughout the day to keep their metabolism burning like a well-oiled machine. go longer than four hours without eating and you’re setting yourself up for ravenous eating and poor choices later on. making healthy choices and fueling your body throughout the day is the best way to keep your metabolism strong and in time will make you a fat-burning machine!
4. quality supplementation is key.
i understand healthy eating can be difficult all day everyday. we sometimes slip-up or have limited time in our schedules to prepare and organize our meals and snacks properly. this can leave holes in our diet, causing us to lack very important nutrients we need to function at an optimal level. this is why, in addition to eating from the earth and making mindful food choices, I recommend proper supplementation. this helps to ensure that your body has what it needs to feel mentally alert, energized and properly supported.
**below are a few of my favorite supplements that i recommend to support overall health, immunity and fitness goals. all of these products are all-natural, non-gmo and made with high quality ingredients. **
morning greens [my #1 recommendation!]
this is a green powder that you can mix with water and drink each morning on an empty stomach to fortify your entire system with 100% of your daily vitamins, minerals, greens, antioxidants and probiotics need! it’s also great for gut health, which is necessary for a healthy metabolism. this formula is 100% all-natural and raw… the perfect foundation for any balanced beauty body!
**the link above contains a limited-time offer of 50% OFF exclusive to balanced beauty and bananas + bellinis clients and followers… so act fast!
omegas fight inflammation, improve workout recovery and brain function, and are optimal for beautiful hair, skin, nails and a healthy heart! this formula has no fishy aftertaste or added ingredients.
grass-fed whey protein
protein powders can be a great option pre- or post-workout when you’re on-the-go and can help you build lean muscle in a delicious way! while there are many similar products on the market, athletic greens are the only products i recommend to my clients because of the high quality ingredients. i credit these particular products for my own personal health and overall wellness, which is the only reason i feel 100% confident in sharing them with you!
thank you, kelsey, for the opportunity to introduce myself to your fabulous community. for more healthy tips, recipes and inspiration, be sure to check me out on instagram, twitter and facebook or at the balanced beauty blog!
health + happiness,
healthy lifestyle staples: apple cider vinegar
the healthy lifestyle staples series is my chance to let all of you in on all of the healthy products that i cannot live without and always keep on hand. from reusable water bottles to tongue scrapers to hot lemon water, there are quite a few things that i rely on to make my life easier and healthier on a regular basis…. and as the list continues to grow, i want to make sure I’m keeping all of you in the loop! today, i’m bringing you the low down on apple cider vinegar and why it’s one of the staples in my arsenal of healthy products.
apple cider vinegar is one of those products, much like coconut oil, that has more uses than i can even begin to list here. among those ways, it can do many things from balancing your body’s pH to disinfecting surfaces in your home and it works wonders on your hair and skin. here are 5 simple ways that i use apple cider vinegar on a day-to-day basis that you can start doing right away:
- as an all-natural toner: apple cider vinegar is great for balancing your skin’s pH and evening out your skin tone naturally. because it’s rather strong, you should always dilute it with water before applying it directly to your face. i make my own apple cider vinegar toner [recipe here] and use this as a part of my morning and evening skincare routine every. single. day.
- as a hair rinse: dilute some apple cider vinegar with water [i usually do about 1 part apple cider vinegar to 10 parts water] and pour it over your hair immediately after shampooing and conditioning. it will strip any leftover residue from your locks and leave them silkier and shinier than you can even imagine… just be careful to not get any in your eyes!
- to detoxify your body: every single morning, without fail, i always drink a cup of hot lemon water with cayenne pepper, turmeric and a cap-full of apple cider vinegar [recipe here]. while balancing your body’s internal pH, apple cider vinegar has also been shown to help stimulate the lymphatic system, clear out sinus congestion and detoxify the liver. getting all of these benefits is as easy as adding a tablespoon to the first glass of water you drink each day.
- to clean your home: apple cider vinegar can replace quite a few household cleaners, which not only reduces the amount of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis, but will help you save a little money [and space!], too. mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water to make an all-natural cleaner [you can mix the two together in a spray bottle to make it easier to use] that can be used on sinks, stoves, ovens, countertops and even your bathtub/shower.
- as a mouthwash: apple cider vinegar can brighten those pearly whites and fight bad breath. gargle a mixture of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water before brushing your teeth once a day [i do this in the evening since i usually oil pull in the morning].
bonus tip! another way to sneak some apple cider vinegar into your diet is by using a teaspoon or so as a salad dressing along with a little olive oil… yum.
you can purchase apple cider vinegar at just about any grocery store these days, but i highly recommend buying a raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized version, such as bragg’s.
do you have any other ways of using apple cider vinegar in your every day life? share in the comments below!
image courtesy of wikihow
5 things more important to your health than what you eat
Image courtesy of The Wellness Warrior
when it comes to our health and wellness goals [losing those last pesky 10 pounds, getting mad gains, being beach ready in time for summer, etc.] diet obviously has a huge impact on whether we reach them or not. i’ve read that the key to weight loss is 80/20… 80% what you eat and 20% how you’re working out. while i’m sure that there is some validity to this, diet and exercise are not the only things important to your overall health and wellness.
in my health coaching practice, i work with clients to find balance in all areas of their lives, simply because a person can be eating all of the “right” things, working out regularly and still not be seeing the results they are after if they are constantly stressed out or feeling drained [physically or mentally] by other things going on in their lives. when pursuing your health goals, you need to look at the overall picture and make adjustments accordingly.
here are 5 things more important to your health than what you eat:
1. where your food is coming from: while this is obviously related to diet, it’s less about what you are eating and more about where what you’re eating is coming from. food that comes in cardboard boxes that has a sh*tload of ingredients you can’t pronounce should be avoided as much as possible, along with fruits and vegetables that have been doused in pesticides, refined sugars, highly processed carbs, and meat/fish/dairy from factory farms. whole, organic, natural foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains and meat and dairy products from grass-fed/free-range animals [if you’re into that sorta thing] should make up at least 80% of your diet. when you’re eating real foods, you don’t need to worry about counting calories and you’ll find that your weight will begin to naturally balance itself out.
image courtesy of buzzfeed
2. career: believe it or not, if you aren’t happy with your job, the chances are that you’ll be pretty unhappy overall. because we spend so much of our time at work [a lot of people go wayyyyy beyond the traditional 40-hour work week, which in my opinion, is already long enough], it has a huge impact on how we feel. work-related stress easily permeates our home and social lives and while we do our very best to keep “work” and “life” separate, that can be pretty hard to do sometimes. as you know, stress can have a major impact on your mental and physical health, including making weight loss more difficult. finding a career that you look forward to showing up for everyday is a key component to living a healthy, balanced life.
image courtesy of a gentle woman
3. relationships: much like your career, if you’re in a miserable relationship [not just romantic, but with a toxic friend or an unbearable family member], your overall health suffers. we need fulfillment from our relationships, the same way we need nutritious fulfillment, and when we’re in relationships that aren’t giving us what we need or are draining us because we give too much every thing falls apart. if you’re not happy with your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife, do something about it. start communicating and voicing your feelings. see if the changes that need to be made can be made or if it’s time to move on. cut a toxic friend or family member out of your life. these things are not easy to do, but dealing with the consequences of maintaining the relationships that no longer serve you is even harder.
image courtesy of etsy
4. sleep: sleep is so important to our health for many different reasons. first and foremost, we simply need to rest… duh. not getting enough sleep runs us down, leaves us feeling lethargic and impacts our performance at work and the gym/in yoga class/etc. and can make us unbearable to be around in social situations. i mean no one likes dealing with a grumpy, sleep-deprived 28 year old, amiright? second, sleep is essential for regulating hormones in our bodies, including hormones that are responsible for helping us maintain our weight. when our hormone cycles are disrupted it throws our entire body out of whack, making losing weight [and keeping it off] even more difficult than it already is for some of us. 7-8 hours of sleep a night is ideal, but you should never be getting less than 6 [although having a late night out here and there is totally fine, just not something you should be doing three times a week].
image courtesy of kissing karma
5. your attitude: you’ve probably heard this all of your life, but it’s true. attitude. is. everything. what you think you become. if you’re always putting yourself down and telling yourself that you’re never going to reach your goals, guess what? you probably won’t. we can create our own reality through our thoughts. the power of intention is real and sometimes the difference between making it and breaking it is believing you can do it. wake up every day and make the choice to believe in yourself… to be happy… to accept yourself no matter what. instead of being your biggest critic, try being your biggest cheerleader and see what happens. if you only take one thing away from this post, let it be this:
image courtesy of @successwithjake
let’s be clear here for just a minute: i‘m not saying that you should stop worrying about what you’re eating or how often you’re working out. both of those things are still very important, but without these other things, they really don’t mean much of anything. take it one step at a time if you have to. start going to bed 10 minutes earlier than usual one week, then up it to 20 minutes the next. have a conversation with the friend who is mentally draining you tomorrow and then start figuring out your next career move. It doesn’t have to all be done at once. baby steps… remember?!
healthy lifestyle staples: detoxifying lemon water
one of my favorite, cannot live without healthy lifestyle staples is kinda weird [but that should be no surprise at this point]. i was introduced to this little concoction in college and would occasionally throw it into my routine here and there over the years, but only in the past year or so has it become a staple in my regimen.
hot lemon water. with apple cider vinegar. and turmeric. and cayenne pepper. every morning. before breakfast.
i knowwww what you’re thinking: no. but let me explain.
first, hot water with a little bit of lemon is a great way to wake up your digestive system and detoxify your body from the day before…essentially, you’re starting the day with a clean slate.
second, the apple cider vinegar will balance your pH levels aiding digestion, improving immunity and helping to clear up your skin.
finally, the turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the body, and the cayenne pepper gives your digestive system one last little boost.
now we’re talkin’, right? for this detoxifying lemon water elixir all you’ll need is:
- 8 oz. of water, brought to a boil
- the juice from half of a lemon
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- cayenne pepper to taste
all you need to do is boil the water, pour it into a mug and stir in the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and cayenne pepper. drink this in the mornings before you eat or drink anything else and try to make this a daily habit if at all possible… that’s how you’ll reap the most benefits!
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