10 Things to do The Summer Before College

The summer before college is a little bittersweet. You’ve just thrown your graduation cap with all of your grade school friends and are now preparing to not only say goodbye to them but also your family. It’s a weird transitional time of where you’re closing one chapter and preparing to begin another one.

#1. Contact your soon-to-be roommate (if you’re living in the dorms).

Once school begins you’ll be spending quite a bit of time with your roommate, so you might as well get to know them before school starts. Because, how awkward is it to meet someone for the first time and then sleep in the same room as them that same day? To avoid the awkwardness, you should at least talk to your roommate before the move-in day. The first step could be email (simply introduce yourself), and then maybe after a couple of back and forth you can add them on social media. But REMEMBER: while social media can be a good way to learn about the other person’s interests, hobbies, and lifestyle, it’s never the whole story. So skim, don’t stalk!

Speaking of social media…

#2. Clean up/organize your social media accounts.

Remove any old embarrassingng posts that you don’t want your roommate to see.

Make a LinkedIn account. You can find jobs/internships, network with professionals in any field, and much more. You might not use it all too much right away, but you’ll definitely see the use of it later on in your college life. (Speaking of which… you should begin your internship search NOW – trust me, it’s not too early!)

Join the Facebook page and/or follow the Twitter account for your class and stay updated! Talk to people, ask questions, and make friends before you officially start college.

#3. Make a list of things you need to buy for your college dorm.

But you might want to hold off on actually buying them until you’ve seen your dorm room.

#4. Register for classes.

Review (which means actually read through) the syllabus for each class to see if it’s something that you’d actually be interested in. Remember, this is college, where you actually pay for your classes – therefore only register for classes that you think are going to be worth your time, money, and effort!

*You might want to check the reputation of the professor before registering for a class, although you have to use your discretion with some of the reviews.*

#5. Apply for scholarships.

Most colleges offer financial assistance of some sort, including university grants, but you can always apply for outside scholarships! But before you go ahead and start applying to scholarships, master these scholarship hacks first so you don’t waste time!

#6. Look up textbooks for your classes.

Be warned: textbooks are expensive! However, there are good and bad times to buy textbooks, and TUN’s Textbook Search Engine will give you the cheapest options (new, used, or e-books) for your textbooks.

#7. Research clubs and organizations offered by your school.

Be prepared to get involved! One thing that a lot of college grads express regret over is not being involved on campus. Joining clubs and organizations is a great way to make friends and build professional relationships.

#8. Look into your school’s Study Abroad programs (highly recommended!).

Plan ahead: talk to your parents, do some research, and write down any questions you might have.

#9: Pick up your forgotten hobbies or learn new skills!

This may be picking up your guitar that’s been collecting dust in the corner of your room for years, vlogging, workout out, or learning Photoshop or Excel. Let’s face it – you probably have more time now than you’ll ever have (sorry…) so make good use of it!

#10. Take it easy.

In college, most students work over the summer, and after you graduate from college, you’ll miss the big block of free time called summer vacation. So take advantage of it. Take a road trip with some friends, go on a family vacation, and hang out with your high school friends before parting ways (even though you’re probably going to get together for Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, New Years, and basically any major Holiday or breaks)!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

How to Stay Fashionable on a Budget

A lot of people consider their fashion choices to be very important—they are a reflection of who you are as a person after all. So, it goes to say that a lot of people are inclined to spend quite a bit of cash on their clothes. But what happens when life gets in the way, and your budget for clothing plummets?

It might be that you’re simply not making enough to afford the styles you desire, or maybe you’re saving up for a big purchase, like an engagement ring for your fiancée. If you find yourself on a tight budget, there is no need to worry that your style will slip. In fact, it’s not that hard to stay fashionable while you are on a budget using these tips:

Invest in Staples

You’re probably thinking “How is investing going to help me save money on fashion?” Well, listen up, because this is a very important lesson. There are some staple fashion pieces that will never go out of style—they serve as the base for your wardrobe and constitute the outfits that you wear every single day. If you invest a little extra cash in these pieces, then you will save some money in the long run by not having to replace them as often. Plus, it’s a good way to supplement some of the cheaper options in your wardrobe with some nicer pieces.

A lot of people have different ideas about what are and are not considered “staples,” and that’s okay! It all depends on your body shape, personal style, and what you feel most comfortable in. Here are some examples of what a lot of people consider to be “staple” wardrobe pieces:

  • Jeans
  • A leather jacket
  • Black slacks
  • Black flats
  • A little black dress

These don’t have to be name brands or cost a ton of money. You can get a great pair of jeans for $20, and a great leather jacket at the thrift store. The idea is not to spend a lot of money, but instead to spend your money wisely on classic pieces that will remain in your wardrobe for a long time.

Stay Ahead of the Trends

Any true fashionista understands just how truly cyclical trends are. This means that everything that was once in style will most likely come back into style, for better or for worse. This is great news for those who stay one step of the trends, however, because they can always catch the next fashion trend before it becomes expensive.

If you read blogs, pay attention to fashion week trends and stay on top of what is hot in fashion. Not only will you be able to be one of the first on the fashion bandwagon, but you might also be able to find some trendy pieces for dirt cheap in thrift stores! This is due to the cyclical nature of trends and people’s tendency to dispose of their unwanted clothing without realizing those fashions will come back in style.

Have a Clothing Swap

This is one of the most fun options on this list. If you find yourself getting tired of your current wardrobe, then it’s time to throw a clothing swap party! This is a fun and innovative way to spice up your wardrobe for free.

All you do is clean out your closet of gently-used clothing that you no longer want or wear and encourage all your most fashionable friends to do the same. Then, grab some drinks and snacks and invite your friends over. Pick and choose new pieces from each other’s unwanted clothing until you have some awesome new additions to your wardrobe!

Shop the Menswear Section

With the fashion industry today being what it is, men’s clothing is generally less expensive. This is great news for the smart fashionista who knows how to rock an androgynous look and for every sale-savvy, fashion-forward gentleman. A menswear garment can easily become one of your best statement pieces with a little fashion know-how.

From bold blazers to basic white t-shirts, the men’s sections of stores have a lot of great clothing to offer at a lower price point. Here are some other great pieces that can be found in the men’s section:

  • Button-ups
  • Sweatshirts
  • Graphic T-shirts
  • Flannels

Of course, this last bit mainly applies to the ladies. If you’re already a man who shops in the men’s section though, there are still things you can do to stay within your budget while looking good. Sometimes, it means making changes to your habits outside your clothing. Do you find yourself buying new razors every month? If so, it might be time to invest in a beard trimmer Not having to make repeat purchases monthly can save you in the long run. It can also mean thinking ahead to prevent yourself from incurring future costs. Find your eyes straining from staring at a computer all day long? It’s not a good look. Instead, save your eyes—and your wallet—from having to buy glasses later down the line with a pair of sleek anti-glare shades.

Adjust Other Factors in Your Budget

Sometimes, after all this, it still might seem like your budget is still too small to accommodate the styles you really want. If that’s the case, it might also be time to sit down, look at your budget, and see if there are other unnecessary costs that you can cut out.

If you’ve recently started a home renovation project that leaves you little money for clothes, maybe you can determine where to make more affordable purchases. Blinds at low prices, or even DIY furniture allow you to make a great home space without leaving you in rags. If you find yourself spending exorbitant amounts on a chiropractor and massage therapist for back pains every month, have you considered that it might be a new mattress is what you need or a back-friendly stand-up desk to reduce shoulder and lower back pain? Or if you travel frequently for work, and you have to pay out-of-pocket until your company reimburses you, maybe you need to look into affordable car rentals and hotel expenses. You’ll be amazed at all the ways you can free up more of your budget by eliminating or diminishing repeat expenses with smart choices and quality products.

Conclusion

Fashion is a fun expression of what you feel on the inside. It helps you create a visual representation of who you are as a person. While sometimes it can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be as unaffordable as it seems. With some smart thinking and some expert tips, you can be your most fashionable self while still adhering to your budget.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Reflection on 2017 and What’s to Come in 2018

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. First, Happy New Year! Although I’ve been MIA for a solid minute, I’m hoping to be back for a while. I wanted to start back this year with a little recap of 2017 and sharing some goals and changes to the blog for 2018.

#1. If you had to describe your 2017 in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, Adventurous, challenging

#2. What, or who, are you most thankful for?

My friends for supporting me through the ups and downs that I’ve faced the past few months.

#3. What new things did you discover about yourself?

When I put my mind to something, I’ll achieve it.

#4. What single achievement are you most proud of?

I’ve achieved a lot this year, but honestly, the thing I’m most proud of is my volunteering twice a week with Reading Partners and helping my RP become a better and stronger reader.

#5. What was the best news you received?

That I got accepted into the University I’m attending, which was my first choice #ReignCane!

#6. What was your favorite place that you visited in 2017?

Panama City, Panama. Hands down an amazing country with amazing food and people.

#7. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

I’m going to say friendliness. Starting college requires you to go out of your way and be friendly to people since everyone’s trying to make friends.

#8. Which new skills did you learn?

I learned how to ask for help.

#9. What was the most important lesson you learned in 2017?

The only thing stopping you from doing something is you.

#10. What advice would you give your early 2017 self if you could?

Be excited about opportunities, and enjoy the adventure along the way.

Getting Excited About 2018

Despite the fact that any day of the year you can set a goal to achieve, January 1st seems to be the day we all choose to do so. I have three main goals this year. I’ve already been working on these goals whether I’ve actually started working on them, or I’ve just been planning the steps needed to achieve it. Here are the three goals I’m hoping to achieve or start the journey to achieve in 2018.

#1: Do well in college

I’m not going to lie. College is hard. There’s a transitional period that nobody tells you about. Which is that it takes you about half of your first semester to learn how to study in college because mid-terms and finals in high school are comparable to that of quizzes in college. So my goal is to keep my head above water this year, and the next couple of years ahead of me.

#2: Run a sub-2hr half marathon

I ran my first half-marathon this year. It was an amazing experience, and I did it with relatively little training. Don’t worry, that sentence makes me cringe too. At the time of which would’ve been time to train for it, I was on a D1 collegiate rowing team. The only reason I was able to even think about finishing my half marathon is that every day before rowing/erging we’d go for at least a 20min run. Not to mention rowing is an endurance sport. With the races I’ve signed up for this year including 2 half marathons, I’m going to truly train for them.

#3: Continue on with the blog, but with a change

It’s crazy to think I started RunningSoleGirl as a freshman in high school, and I want to continue on with it as a freshman in college. RunningSoleGirl has always focused on empowering women when it comes to health and fitness, and my mission is to continue that. However, I want to change it up a bit, but this has to do with my other two goals to begin working on in 2018. I plan on posting my training logs as well as tips to survive college. The usual health and fitness posts will continue on, but there will be some variety now. This makes it easier for me to continue posting on here, and I hope you lovelies support it.

Here’s to the journey that 2018 will bring us on!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Choose A Path To Learn More About Your Health

Are you interesting in learning more about your health? Perhaps you want to understand how to get your body in better shape, or maybe you’re fascinated by what makes your body tick. If that’s the case, there are a few different paths you can take to gaining more knowledge about your body and your health. But before we get to the right paths to knowledge let’s consider one that you should avoid.

Make sure that you don’t start by conducting research online. If you type in any symptoms or signs of health issues online within five minutes, you are likely to diagnose yourself with a dangerous, perhaps life-threatening disease. The reason for this is obvious. Some of the most basic symptoms can crop up for no reason, or they can be the first sign of a fatal illness. But unless you have expert knowledge in this area, there’s no way to tell which it is. This brings us to the first pathway you can take to learn more about your health.

Study Medicine

If you want to learn more about your health and your body the best option is always going to be to study medicine. You probably think that you need to get great grades in school and have a massive IQ to study medicine, but that’s not true. Indeed you can take an RN to BSN online course with very little experience or existing knowledge. This will provide you with key information and give you the chance to get first-hand experience working in a hospital with patients. It is easily one of the best ways to learn more about the human body and your own health.

Talk To A Nutritionist

Of course, if you are interested in the state of your health specifically, you might want to think about speaking to a nutritionist. After all, ninety percent of health issues can be resolved by fixing your diet. You really are what you eat and whether you’re eating too much dairy, have an undiagnosed allergy to gluten or need to cut back on the red meats a nutritionist will be able to help.

Celebs regularly start by speaking to a nutritionist when they want to lose weight. So, if you are eager to get in shape, this could be a great place to begin.

Pick Up A Book

We definitely think that you need to stay offline if you want to learn more about the health. It’s impossible to ignore the scaremongering articles, and even positive health posts could lead you to weird sections of the web where you’ll be self-diagnosed with a fatal illness. However, you can still research and read. The books and resources that intern doctors read each night are readily available from sites like Amazon. So, if you’re really interested in how your body works, why not read a few? Who knows it might encourage you to pursue a late career in medicine.

I hope this advice helps you find your own path to more knowledge about your health.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

How Strenuous Exercise Can Affect Your Auditory Health

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy and happy lifestyle. However, sometimes strenuous exercise can have its drawbacks. One of them can be hearing loss. This may sound bizarre, but there are certain situations that are more likely to occur when you are taking part in a vigorous workout.

Knowing When to Seek Professional Help

The following list of potential causes of hearing difficulties is not entirely inclusive and is merely basic knowledge that should help you to understand different conditions that may affect anyone engaging with strenuous exercise. If you experience symptoms or abnormalities in your hearing following exercise, ensure that you contact an ear doctor. This professional will be able to examine you and prescribe the most appropriate treatments.

Accidents

When taking part in any form of exercise, your mind may well be focused on other areas than your peripheral surroundings. Your mind may be wandering during a jog, you may have your attention on a ball that you are dribbling, or perhaps you are working out where you may need to slow down and stop when ice skating or roller skating. During this time you may well receive a knock on the side of the head. Perhaps you will trip and fall awkwardly, a ball will come from an unexpected direction, or a competitor will bump into you. Sudden bumps to the ear or surrounding areas of the head can create a tear in the membrane of your inner ear. This allows a fluid called perilymph to leak into your ear cavity. This damage may be permanent. However, most of the time hearing will return to some degree.

Restricted Blood Flow

When you are working out, your blood is pumped around your body at a faster pace than usual in order to transport blood around your body. As you relax after exercise, the blood flow has to slow. Sometimes complications can mean that blood flow to areas such as your ears becomes restricted as blood is redistributed around your body. This can affect your hearing negatively.

Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS)

LVAS is a less common condition, however, it’s always good to be familiar with its symptoms in order to identify it. People who have large vestibular aqueduct syndrome experience hearing difficulties when exercising because the pressure forces their endolymphatic sac to push back into their cochlea, causing significant problems with their auditory ability.

Excessively Loud Music

Many of us pop earphones in when working out. Music makes the experience more fun and engaging. It can also help you to feel more productive. However, your ears have numerous tiny hairs inside which allow sound signals to be transmitted to your brain. When you listen to excessively loud music, these hairs can become flattened. The main problem? They do not regrow, so damage is permanent. Remember to keep the volume on your headphones or earphones lower to maintain your good hearing.

So, now that you are more aware of the causes of hearing problems that are specifically associated with exercise, you can take more precautions to avoid permanent damage while you are working out. Be careful and stay safe!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Warning! Your Rest Days Could Be Ruining Your Gains

If you set aside a couple of days per week to rest and recover from your workouts, then you’re on the right path. Generally, the concept of a rest day is a good idea and will benefit you. It’s not healthy to workout every single day, you’ll overtrain and damage your muscles, leading to no gains at all.

I won’t have a go at you for being a tad confused here already. Clearly, the title says that rest days could be ruining your gains. But, I just said they were good…so…what’s all that about then? The keyword in all of this is ‘could’. Rest days ‘could’ ruin your gains, but only when they’re not used properly.

Now, you will be surprised to know how many people wrongly use their rest days. Which is hilarious considering how easy a rest day should be for you. All you really have to do is rest and recover, how can you possibly go wrong? Well, I’ve written this article to show you some of the bad things you might do on your rest days that lead to a lack of gains in the future. Give them a read, and follow any advice that might help you stop doing the wrong thing.

Eating Too Much

The thing about a rest day is that you shouldn’t do much physical activity at all. As a consequence, you won’t burn many calories on these days, but that’s okay! This only becomes an issue when your food intake is large. I know so many people that sit at home on a rest day and just binge eat. They think it’s a chance to have a cheat day and just fuel up on food ready for their workout the following day.

The logic behind this is fairly well thought out, so I’ll give you credit if you do this. To prepare for your next set of workouts, you consume a lot of calories and carbs to provide more energy and get you nice and refuelled. A bit like stopping your car overnight and filling up the tank, right? However, as I said, you aren’t burning many calories on a rest day, so all that food is just going to pile on, with very few calories coming off. It makes it harder to lose weight and could be why you’re not doing so. Instead, you need to follow a low calorie diet, particularly on rest days. Try and reduce the calories, even more, when you aren’t working out. This prevents any unnecessary calorie overloading and will keep you on the right path to fitness success.

Doing Your Cardio

Bizarrely, quite a few people set aside their rest days for cardio. I know, it doesn’t make any sense, it’s not a rest day if you’re exercising. People do this as they think you only need a rest from generic training. If you train using weights, then cardio counts as a rest, correct?

No, it doesn’t. You’re still working your muscles, you’re still putting your body through some tough work, it’s not a rest. You’ll run the risk of overtraining, which is exactly what you should avoid by taking a rest day. Do cardio either on the same day as your regular workouts or on another day. Rest on your rest day, don’t work out in any way!

Not Stretching

So, there are certain things you’re doing that you shouldn’t be doing, and there’s one thing you need to do that maybe you aren’t. Stretching is essential if you want to keep your muscles healthy and feel less sore. If you lengthen your muscles, you become more flexible, less prone to injuries, and will see more gains in general.

You should set aside time during your rest days to really go through a full body stretching and mobility routine. The reason you do it on your rest day is because you should have a good hour or so spare where you’d normally work out. Get a solid stretching session in to prepare your body for your workouts and keep it in good health.

After reading this, it’s maybe more apparent how your rest day can go totally wrong. If you’re eating loads, still doing workouts, and not stretching, then you’ve really messed up your rest day. I can’t stress enough how important one or two proper rest days per week will help you. Use them properly, or you will see issues with your gains. If you feel like you’ve maybe hit a wall recently, then this could be the problem.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Mental Health: Using Your Experiences To Help Others

Every year almost 1 in 5 (around 42.5 million) American adults suffer from some sort of mental health issue, including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. This is a scarily large figure, which only becomes more scary when you realize that it doesn’t take into account the huge numbers of cases of mental health issues within teenagers and younger children too. This large figure means that, although there are a lot of people suffering from mental health issues, there are also a lot of people that are suffering or have suffered, and want to use their experiences with mental health to help others. If you have suffered from a mental health issue, you will be able to better understand the person whom you are trying to help – You can also share your own experiences, so they don’t feel alone. Many people do this, and I have listed a few different ways in which you too can take your experience with mental health to help others. Of course, none of these options are a replacement of professional help, they are simply others forms of support, and forms that often help a person to realize that something may be wrong, and that they may need professional help.

Mentoring

If you are still of school or college age, then mentoring might be a good option for you. It allows you to engage one on one with people the same age as or a little bit younger than you and provide them support and guidance. Most people, when they first realize that something may be wrong with them do one of two things – They either search for their symptoms online or talk to a friend. As we all know, Googling symptoms is never a good idea, as it always says somewhere down the line that you’re dying of some rare disease that you don’t even find in your country. Talking to a friend, however, that is helpful. Friends are there to provide you emotional support, so are often the first people you tell about a mental health issue, even before family. However, some people may feel as though they don’t have a friend they can truly trust, and confide in, which is why peer-to-peer mentoring is such a good idea – It provides you with a confidant, who you can trust to listen to you and try to help you if they can.

Blogging

Blogging can assist you in helping others on a much wider scale than one to one mentoring. Depending on your experiences, you can write about a range of topics from self-help and techniques on coping with stress, to any medication you may be taking. Many people with mental health issues feel completely alone, but simply sharing your experiences can change that, and help them have a much more positive view of themselves. Blogging allows you the option to remain anonymous, and with plenty of useful tools and websites online, setting up a blog nowadays is relatively easy, so there’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t be an option for you.

Vlogging

In the past few years watching your favorite channels on YouTube seems to be more popular than watching your favorite channels on an actual television, so if you wanted to aim your support and guidance at younger adults and teenagers, vlogging is a brilliant idea. There are many wonderful YouTube channels based solely on mental health, which have videos based on the suggested topics of blog posts from above. Many of the bigger YouTubers, such as Zoella and JackGap, also use their channels as a platform to talk about their own experiences with their mental health. This allows young people with mental health issues to feel more ‘normal’, by knowing that their favorite YouTube star also suffers from the same things as they do. There are many helpful guides online that explain to you how to set up a YouTube channel, which can make the whole process a lot easier – All you need now is a camera.

Become A Therapist

A therapist is a mental health professional, who assists their patients in reducing their symptoms of mental illness, by improving their emotional and cognitive skills, and teaching them how to cope with various challenges from everyday life. Granted, this isn’t the easiest way to share your experiences concerning mental health, and it certainly takes a lot of dedication, but if it’s what you want to do, then it is definitely possible. By taking an online psychology degree, you can study and get the qualifications you need to commence in higher education, while still having the time to hold down a full-time job.

Join A Therapy Group

If you don’t want to become a therapist yourself, joining a therapy group is another great way to share your experiences with mental health. Not only will it help you, as you can share you problems, hear others advice, and hear other people’s own experiences, but you can also help out other in the group in the same way. This is a lot like mentoring, except it’s not on a one to one basis, which in the long run might be better for some people – It provides you with a group of people who understand you, rather than just one, which could provide you with a sense of belonging.

All of these are great ways of using your own experiences with mental health to help others. Many of them could also help you improve your own mental health at the same time, as they provide you with an audience to which you can let out any feelings and emotions that you may have been keeping bottled up. However, you must always remember that, although you may want to help people, and although you may have in-depth experience of your own mental health problems, unless you do train to become a therapist, you are not a professional. You can certainly provide advice and support, but you need to know when to let a person know that you are out of your depth and that they need to speak to a professional.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Move More: How You Can Be More Active in Your Everyday Life

When we talk about being active and living a healthy lifestyle, it isn’t just about going for a run each evening but being completely sedentary the rest of the time. In order to be truly more active, then there needs to be some things that we change in our everyday lives. When we are always more active, at work, school or at home, then we are really on the way to living a healthy and active lifestyle. All of those extra things can help us to stay well. So what are some changes you could be making? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Walk More

It might elicit a moan from you or your family, but walking more is a great way to be more active. You’re using your whole body, burning calories, and getting your heart pumping faster than it would be in the car. Even something like taking the stairs over using the elevator is a good way to be more active and walk more. Plan your time better to walk to more places and you’ll really feel the benefit of it. You could also look to get a step counter to encourage you to be more active. We should be aiming for at least 10,000 steps per day, but many of us fall short of that. You can read more here if you want to http://stepcount.org.uk/. So if you’re curious to see where you are with that at the moment, then a step counter will be a good way to start being more active.

Take Regular Work Breaks

Work or school are going to be some of the places where we will find it hardest to be the most active. We can’t just get up and leave when we want. However, we can take breaks to have a quick walk around the office or to get a glass of water. You shouldn’t be sat at your desk for hours on end without moving. You should also think about standing at your desk if you need to, to get your body moving and some weight bearing on your feet. You could even look into getting a bike or elliptical installed under your desk, like this one https://www.hereon.biz/under-desk-elliptical/. What a fun way to be more active when you normally wouldn’t be very active. Employers should take note!

Use Standing Time To Move

Think about times in the day when you stand up but don’t do anything. You might be waiting for the kettle to boil or for the oven to heat up. But use that time to get in a mini-workout. How many squats can you do in the time it takes for your pasta to cook or the kettle to boil, for example? When you’re having a phone conversation, how many times can you go up and down the stairs or do something else that is active like cleaning the house? Multitask and get a few more mini-workouts in each day and it will help you to stay fit and well much more than people that don’t.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

How To Eat Your Way To A Healthier Weight

Food means different things to different people. To some, it’s seen as a means to an end, to others an enjoyment, and to a select few an obsession. Although food is there to give us energy, the impact it can have on our bodies has meant that it’s easy to become obsessed over. Whether the obsession is taken to the extreme with weight gain or weight loss, it can often mean that an unhealthy view can be taken. However, food also does a lot of good in the world. It keeps us going, it keeps us happy, and it does have the power to transform a negative obsession into something more healthy.

Whether you want to be able to boost your weight loss or gain to get yourself to a healthier weight, you can do it with food. But, there are a few processes that you will need to put in place. First of all, you’re going to want to adjust your mindset. And secondly, you need to be able to see and use food in new ways. By gaining knowledge and happily adjusting your thought habits, you should be able to eat your way to your own healthy weight range using four simple techniques.

Clean Up Your Diet

Purge The Processed Stuff

The first thing that you need to be able to do is to clean up your diet. Because if you’re trying to reach a goal weight, the foods you eat will matter. You will find that filling up on processed foods will not help you here. So you may want to pinpoint the processed foods you can easily remove from your diet, such as salad dressings. As well as some of the most obvious choices like frozen foods or ready meals.

Cook From Scratch

Following on from this, you should also aim to cook from scratch as often as you can. When you’re eating processed or convenience food, you don’t really know what is in the food you’re eating. So you could be eating more calories than you need to be. Likewise, when you eat out a lot or order in, you could be consuming unhealthy calories that you can easily cut out.

Go Green

Then, you should work on filling up on greens a lot more. It’s important to have more fruits and vegetables in your diet and with your meals. This way, you’re getting enough nutrients in and helping to keep yourself full. So work on adding more leafy greens to your diet if you’re looking to make healthier changes to what you’re eating.

Read The Labels

You will also find that reading the labels on everything you buy will help you to clean up your diet too. Sometimes, there’s a lot more in the food that you eat that you realize. But when you make a habit of reading the labels, you’ll be able to figure out what products you should drop from your diet, as well as getting to know what is in the food that you eat.

Focus On The Macros

Get The Balance Right

The macronutrient makeup of your meals is important. If you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight, or get there, you’re going to need to monitor your macros and ensure that you have the balance between carbohydrates, fats, and proteins just right. If it’s fat loss that you’re after, you need to ensure that your macros work towards fat burning to help you get on the right track.

Play With Your Portions

However, you may realize that not every piece of advice you get on macros and the right balance will work for you. So, you have to be able to play around with your portions in order to find out what works best for you. Because everyone’s body will respond differently to different macro make ups. You need to be able to work with the right percentage of each in order to get your body to respond well.

Switch Up The Ingredients

But you’re also going to want to think about the actual food choices you’re making for each macro. You need to be able to choose good combinations between carbs, fats, and proteins that will work well together, without sticking to the same meals all of the time. So make sure you alternate between ingredients if you’re hoping to get the best results.

Food For Fuel

See Food Differently

However, the way that you’re going to be able to ensure that you can make the right changes to the way you eat is also in your mind, and not just with your food choices themselves. If you’re wondering how long does it take to lose weight? you’re going to need to work on your mental state as well as your choices. To do this, you should try to see food as fuel, rather than an indulgence, to help yourself get on the right track.

Time Your Meals Well

To do this, you should ensure that you’re working with timing when you eat. If you want to be able to get the most amount of energy out of your food, it’s important to eat the right things at certain times of the day – especially when you’re exercising. And you’re going to want to tailor your macros to this too. You may find that low carb evening meals will help you here, depending on your overall goals.

Listen To Your Body

A huge part of making this work for you is to listen to your body. It’s easy to see food as a pleasure source as well as fuel, and cravings can often control this. But you need to be able to identify emotional hunger vs. real hunger. Real hunger can be satisfied by any food and will come on gradually, so try to weed out emotional cravings and focus on fuel.

And Don’t Forget The Snacks

Then, you’re also going to want to work with some energy boosting snacks. When it’s an energy boost you’re after, things like bananas and nuts are great. You will often find that snacking smart can also ensure that you eat well and make healthier meal choices.

Be Smart With Your Habits

Portion Size

Sometimes, it’s not the food that you’re eating that’s the problem, but the portion size. When you’re looking to lose weight, you should bring these in, and if you need to put on weight, you should focus on larger portions. But it’s all relative. You just need to learn to be smarter with the size of your portions.

Eating Environment

Next, you should think about your eating environment. This is one of the most important areas of how your mind and body connect. Because where you eat can affect how much you eat, and your digestion. So always try to eat at a table and focus on your food, rather than mindlessly eating while doing another task, as that can cause you to overeat.

Eating Mindfully

To work with that last point, and not against it, and to really ensure that you can eat your way to a healthy weight, you should work on eating mindfully. By eating more mindfully, you’re more aware of how you eat, your habits, and how to ensure you have a healthy relationship with food. To do this, you will find that eating in silence helps, so does chewing a certain amount of time, or using your other hand to hold the utensils. The aim is to be more aware of yourself eating so that you can stop when you’re full, enjoy the meal, and take a healthier approach to eating in general.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

5 Things To Avoid To Keep Your Lungs As Healthy As Possible

We all know that eating right and exercising is the best way to stay healthy, but there are so many things in life that can damage your lungs. Your lungs are one of the main parts of your body that keep you alive, so looking after them is imperative. In this article are going to be some examples of things you should avoid to keep your lungs as healthy as possible.

Smoking

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Smoking cigarettes is probably the most dangerous thing that you could put into your body. Not only can it harm your lungs and cause you to contract lung cancer, but it can cause many other cancers too. Did you know, that every cigarette that you smoke can take 10 minutes off your life? If you suffer from an illness like asthma or COPD too the effects of smoking can take it’s toll faster than someone who doesn’t suffer from any lung diseases.

It’s not just tobacco that can be harmful if you smoke it either, smoking any form of drugs can harm your lungs just as much as regular tobacco. Not only that, it can cause dozens of other health problems, including things like psychosis.

If you’re trying to quit smoking, visit your local pharmacist for help on quitting. It will save your wallet and your life.

Bonfire Smoke

There’s nothing quite like huddling around a bonfire and watching the flames engulf the firewood until it burns to glowing embers. However, breathing in bonfire smoke can do serious damage to your health. Even though it may smell nice, the smoke contains dangerous particles that can penetrate the walls of your lungs and cause breathing problems, headaches, runny noses and wheezing. If you are attending a bonfire, try not to stand too close so that you’re at less risk of reaping the damage that can be caused by bonfire smoke.

Asbestos

Asbestos is something that’s been around for centuries and is typically used in buildings for insulation. After the discovery of asbestosis, it was discontinued in the build of new houses. However, many homes all over the world still contain asbestos and can pose a threat to anyone who has a lot of exposure to it. If the asbestos is untouched, it shouldn’t harm you but if it is broken or removed the small fibre particles can enter your lungs and cause damage over time. If you’re in the industry of home improvements, make sure that you wear a face mask when working with asbestos to make sure that the particles aren’t accidentally breathed in. If your company haven’t been providing face masks, you could call a mesothelioma attorney for compensation because being exposed to asbestos could have potentially put you at the risk of cancer. Make sure you get yourself checked out if you’re experiencing tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and deformities of your hands.

Cleaning Chemicals

Even though we want to keep our homes clean and hygienic, using bleach without proper protection can lead to lung diseases like COPD, asthma, and can even cause people with current lung conditions to have even worse symptoms. Anything that contains bleach, chlorine, and ammonia is potentially dangerous. The warnings on the side of the product normally advise you to cover your mouth when using it to prevent the fumes from these chemicals harming your lungs. Like with working with asbestos, make sure that you wear a face mask when using these chemicals to prevent any damage to your lungs, even if you are only bleaching the toilet.

Carbon Monoxide

We’ve probably all heard that carbon monoxide is dangerous for the body, but why is that? Carbon monoxide is found in cigarettes (one of the many reasons you shouldn’t smoke) and it’s a gas that prevents your lungs from taking in enough air, therefore suffocating the lungs and making it difficult to breathe. Unfortunately, we are even at risk of carbon monoxide in our own homes, so it is definitely worth investing in a carbon monoxide meter which will tell you if any is detected in your home. Having appliances that use fuel in your home serviced regularly should decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Avoiding these 5 things should keep your lungs healthy so that you can concentrate on keeping healthy through a good diet and exercise. If there is anything else that seems like it would be hard on your lungs like dust or particles in the air, make sure to cover your mouth to prevent damage to your lungs.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

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