Melissa is a personal trainer with a degree in Exercise Science, certified in sports nutrition, corrective exercise, and exercise psychology
2015 is going to be your best year yet!! Here are my top 6 principles to create your best and healthiest self!
1. Get rid of the idea that you have to be perfect.
Making a goal to ‘eat perfect’ or exercising 2 hours a day, 7 days a week is unrealistic and will only set yourself to fail and be right back where you were to start. Instead of expecting perfect nutrition, develop the 85/15 rule: 85% healthy nutrient dense foods and 15% the fun extras that you love. And if you don’t make it to the gym for your traditional workout, don’t beat yourself up. Instead do a mini workout at home using body weight and go for a walk.
2. Surround yourself with encouraging, positive, like-minded people.
When you are trying to make changes in your lifestyle some friends and family may not be on board with it. You don’t have to sever ties with these people in your life, but let them know you are really doing this and you may not be around as much if you don’t feel their support. As for negativity with social media, just get rid of it. Don’t follow people who are constantly negative and complaining. Follow people who are uplifting and can help motivate you and keep you accountable to your goals.
3. Make plants a large part of your diet.
No matter if you follow a Paleo style diet, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, a flexible dieting program, or any other type of eating style, plants should make up a large part of it. There are so many different types of fruits, vegetables and legumes and each have their own health benefits. And even if you don’t like all plants, there are so many that there are some for every palate!
4. Take more steps everyday.
I recently started using the Jawbone Up fitness tracker and I love it!! I can see how many steps I get in daily and when it’s low it motivates me to walk some more. If you have a job that you sit down most of the day, getting in any extra walking is a must. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand up from your desk every hour and walk a bit and throw in some squats. Park far away from where you are going to get in extra steps. If you get the recommended 10,000 steps in a day than you will be walking approximately 5 miles a day!
5. Decrease stress in your life. This is probably one of THE TOUGHEST ones to accomplish for many people.
There are so many things pulling us in many directions with family, friends, work, deadlines, sports, kids’ activities, and the many obligations we agree to do, that stress is usually high. High stress in our lives can lead to many health issues and can throw your hormones all out of whack. It can impair a healthy metabolism and make it very difficult to lose weight or maintain good health. Try taking a couple minutes out of your day for relaxing practices: yoga, hot bath, meditation, devotional time in prayer, and massage all can help reduce stress. Also adding relaxing teas or essential oils and adding nutritional adaptogens in your diet can help. Write out everything you have on your plate to accomplish and see if there is something that can give. Sometimes as women and as moms we feel that we have to do everything that is asked of us. This is false and it does not make you any less of a superwoman to say no. For your family or for your own sake and sanity, saying no is just fine.
6. Sleep more.
This one goes along with stressing less. Our sleep is sacrificed when we are burning the candles at both ends in order to ‘get everything done’. Every once in a while this is ok, but if it is chronic pattern your body never gets a good rest and recovery and can mess up your hormones and metabolism. Caffeine cravings also go up to get through the day which can stress out your adrenals and further metabolic damage. There can be other reasons for not sleeping well; such as having too much weight on the body frame that the lungs have a difficult time working and helping with breathing while lying down, also some medications can have a side effect of difficulty sleeping, as can dealing with anxiety, and also not moving enough during the day.
The theme of all the above mentioned is a balanced lifestyle. It is not about extremes, but finding your balance to maintain a healthy, positive life. A balanced healthy lifestyle is not just for January, but for the rest of 2015 and many many years to come!
This is the first in the Recapturing Fitness series of articles on health & fitness, healthy recipes and more from Melissa Stephenson!
Melissa Stephenson is a personal trainer in Winter Garden, Florida. She started her quest for health in college where she earned a B.S in Exercise Science at Stetson University. She has a passion for helping people find balance in a healthy lifestyle. She continues to study and get certified in sports nutrition, corrective exercise, and exercise psychology and plans to continue to learn each and every day.
To Melissa, it’s not about “quick fixes”, it is about making changes in your lifestyle that you can manage. Our society is quick to go to extremes in everything, but the key is finding a balance where you are not completely quitting a food group or eating all your daily calories in one meal, or going from not exercising at all all for years, to living in the gym 4 hours a day. Everyone can make health a part of their life. Even if you have tried and felt that you have failed in the past, there is still lifestyle changes you CAN make to improve the quality of your life!
Meet Melissa here… http://www.recapturefitness.com