diet

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.

Understanding The Relationship Between Mind and Body For Better Health

If there is one goal which we would all generally agree to being important, it is to remain as fit and healthy as possible for as long as possible. However, put this way, it doesn’t really tell us much. The truth is that there is much more to it than it at first appears, and getting to grips with that is the first essential step towards understanding it more fully. As it turns out, anyone who wants to improve their health in any big and lasting way will benefit massively from understanding a little about the psychology behind it all. Fortunately, such psychology is easy to understand and will help you with any health goals you hope to achieve. Let’s take a deeper look into the world of psychology to understand the relationship between mind and body a little better.

A Two-Way Relationship

It is often helpful to think of the relationship between health and mind as a yin and yang situation. In one sense, being healthy helps to promote a more positive psychological outlook, and improves mental well-being. But at the same time, fostering a healthy mindset is always going to improve the effectiveness of any decisions you make regarding your physical health. It might be beneficial to visualize the mind and body relationship as a swinging door: no matter which way you push it, it comes back the other way with equal force.

Alternately, you might want to go the way of certain spiritual traditions, and consider the mind and body to really just be two parts of the same machine. Seen from this perspective, it makes little difference what you do for one or the other. Improving your mind strengthens your body, and boosting your physical health likewise brings about more positive and beneficial states of mind. We all already know that getting the mind and body in harmony can have hugely positive effects. This is made all the easier by considering that they are really just one thing anyway. Understand the basic nature of this relationship as well as you can; it will help you no matter what you attempt to do to improve your health.

Building A Strong Foundation

Seen from that viewpoint, it is clearly beneficial to try and build a strong foundation from both the physical and mental sides of the equation. If you look at http://trainingtips.com/strong-foundation/ you will get a good idea of what we are going for here. The better the foundation, the starting point, the more effective any subsequent actions to improve one’s health will be, so this is worth looking into at your earliest convenience. In truth, there is practically no end to what you can do to bring about this harmonious foundation – but there are particular first steps which are worth attempting.

For a start, it is a good idea to try and clear both mind and body of any particularly toxic substances. In the physical realm, this means avoiding any genuine toxins which your body probably doesn’t appreciate having inside it. In many cases, this is extremely difficult to do, especially if those toxins are highly addictive substances which you have been dependent on for some time. If this applies to you, consider visiting somewhere like www.orlandorecovery.com to try and rid yourself of the addiction. It might take a long time, but it will be worth it.

On the mental side, getting rid of toxins means working to remove the basis of unhelpful and damaging thought patterns. This, again, is for many people the work of a lifetime. You might even say that useless mental chitter-chatter is something of an epidemic human disease. Nonetheless, you can make small changes each and every day to gradually do away with these types of thoughts. Take up a meditation routine, even just half an hour a day, and you will be well on your way with this side of the bargain.

Keeping The Balance

Your main mission now is to continue to try and keep the balance between body and mind as you work on improving your health. There are countless fitness and health goals which you might be set on achieving. Regardless of what yours are, you should try to ensure that you always work towards them with both body and mind in the center of the issue at all times. This will ensure that you do not focus too heavily on one to the detriment of the other – a common but often unseen flaw which upends many attempts to improve one’s health. Put simply, you need to work on both improving your physical and mental well-being at the same kind of pace.

The Physical Side

When it comes to looking at improving your physical health, there are a number of easy and common changes which you might want to make. If you feel that you have become sluggish, then the first port of call will be to simply get moving in whatever way you can. This might mean going for a jog every other day, or it might even be something much smaller, to begin with. Whatever it takes, make sure you go at a speed which will not cause too much stress to either side of the equation. Take it as slow as is necessary in order to enjoy it, but as fast as you need to in order to see those changes you want to see.

The Mental Side

Of course, in tandem with this, you will want to think about tending to your mental side. This means continuing with that daily meditation practice, for a start. But it’s also a case of keeping stress at bay, killing it the moment it arises within you. This practice alone will do plenty in terms of keeping you centered and healthy, and you might be surprised at what a difference it really does make overall.

Health only comes to you when you focus in a balanced way on both your body and mind. Focus on those aspects of wellbeing which tend to both, such as good nutrition and plenty of rest, and you will be well on your way to greater 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.

Give Your Weight Loss A Boost

The early days of weight loss are arguably the most difficult. Not only are you getting used to exercising again after a certain period of time, but you’re probably adjusting your diet so that unhealthy food doesn’t hinder your progress. However, it’s easy to lose your motivation if, after a few weeks of healthy habits, there has been no change on the scales. Losing weight is a long process, but it can boost your enthusiasm if you see visible changes on the scales, or in your dress size. So here are a few ways to give your weight loss a boost, no matter where you are on your journey.

Fat-burning foods

No matter what adjustments you make to your diet, the one thing you must never do is cut out food altogether; just as a car won’t get very far on an empty tank of gas, your body won’t function well without the energy it makes from food. Instead, you can boost your weight loss by eating food that gives your body the vitamins it needs, without adding to your weight woes. Avocados, almonds, and sweet potato are all fat-burning foods that curb your appetite for several hours and keep you full of energy for longer. They’re also full of good fats that help you burn calories at the gym later.

Supplements

If you’re eating a more nutritional diet, then supplements might not do much for you. However, shakes and supplements are good if you’re temporarily trying to replace meals to kick start weight loss. When the body has no calories to burn, it enters a metabolic process called ketosis; which means that your body starts burning fat to make energy. For the first week or so of your weight loss process, you can look into meal replacements or buy Isagenix to lose weight. Meal replacement shakes will give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, while still allowing your body to enter ketosis. Meal replacements are also good as a post-workout meal in the evenings; as your body doesn’t have to waste energy on digesting solid food.

HIIT

There’s so much debate whether cardio or weight training exercises are the best way to burn fat and build muscle. The truth is, the best kind of workout incorporates both. When you join a High Intensity Interval Training class you combine 30 seconds of weights and 30 seconds of cardio in three-minute increments for a 30-minute workout. It’s intense, but it can fit into even the busiest schedules, targets all your muscles, and has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts. In addition to reducing body fat and improving muscle tone, HIIT helps to boost your metabolism. So you keep burning fat after your workout is complete.

Drink more water

Drinking water helps to boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Also, drinking water helps your body stop retaining water, leading you to drop those extra pounds of water weight.

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.

Tired of Being Tired? Read This

You may have heard that a good fitness regime helps you strengthen your energy levels. But a lot of people who have started a fitness regime end up feeling a bit baffled by this logic. After all, don’t you need good energy levels in the first place in order to exercise efficiently? This is true, to an extent. But it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of being unfit if you feel your energy levels depleting way too quickly. This problem is mostly the result of mistakes in your approach. So, if you’re tired of being tired; here’s how to keep your energy level boosted!

Stop rushing!

Your energy levels are going to increase gradually. If you go from zero to a hundred with a fitness regime, then you’re going to tire yourself out like crazy. The key is to take things slowly to ensure you don’t eat up all your energy. Make reasonable short-term goals and work towards those – this will make your progression make less daunting.

Be careful with what you eat

Your diet is going to have a massive effect on your energy levels. Even if you’re not putting focus on exercise right now (mistake!), the right diet will help prevent both physical and mental fatigue. Make sure you’re getting enough energy-boosting nutrients such as protein and B vitamins. Ensure your meals have a few additives as possible; this includes any performance boosters, which is why people buy Isagenix. And be strategic with your portions! Too small a meal or snack will rob you of energy; too big a portion will divert all your energy towards digestion!

Get some more sleep

No matter how many energy-boosting methods you use, there will simply never be a better method than getting enough sleep every night. This is especially important if you’re working on a fitness regime. Don’t fall into the trap of associating sleep with laziness; this is a mindset that plagues many new go-getters in the world of fitness. Make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night; your body needs that recovery time. Try to ensure you’re going to bed at more or less the same time every night, and definitely ensure you’re waking up at a consistent time – even on your days off.

Take breaks

Whether you’re having an intense workout or simply working away at a desk job, you need to take breaks for both your body and mind. Overworking your muscles leads to fatigue and inefficiency. The problem, like what we talked about in the last section, is that people associate breaks with laziness. They see it as an indulgence, rather than for what it is – a necessity. Don’t skip breaks at home, at the gym, or at work!

Drink loads of water

Even mild dehydration is going to zap your energy levels. Unfortunately, most Americans are mildly dehydrated for most of the day. It’s estimated that we should be drinking around 1.5-2 liters of water a day. Those of us who are exercising need to drink a little more on the days of our workouts. Along with sleep, a healthy and regular intake of water is one of the most essential elements to maintaining energy levels.

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.

The Link Between Your Workout And Your Food

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. In truth, it should be something along the lines: What you eat makes you. Indeed, your food is the fuel for your body, from pumping the energy it requires to workout, via maintaining all basic functions – that’s why your body continues to burn calories even when you don’t exercise –, and to rebuilding your energy after a workout, or even after a sport injury. The nutrients you give your body will have an impact on your performance, and on your overall health in relation to sports. While, naturally, training is still the key influence in achieving your goals, what you put on your plate needs to be thoroughly chosen. What you eat supports what you do when you work out.

#1. For The Gym Workout

If you are a gym addict, it’s likely that you are making the most use of all the gym equipment. As a result, training at the gym is the kind of workout that can easily last a couple of hours. From the treadmill to the weights, via the rowing machine, following a full-body workout program – it’s part of healthy recommendations for your fitness training, as it’s risky to build up strength in only one part of your body – demands a lot of energy. As a result, more and more gym members like to rely on supplements such as the pre workout from 1st Phorm, which is designed to provide an energy boost, as well as sufficient endurance to sustain your gym program. Do make sure, though, not to abuse these workout supplements. If you’re not going to train hard, there is no point for them. But if you want to help your body change faster through tough exercises, you need support in both strength and endurance, therefore you need a pre workout shake!

#2. For The Running Program

Runners are well aware of the various needs of their body. Indeed, you need to maintain your activity for the duration of the run – in other words, you need the endurance to keep running – and the energy to perform well. Additionally, running is a high-impact activity, consequently, you need to be looking after your joints and bones too. Working with vitamins and mineral supplements is the best way to ensure that you’ve got the right nutrients for your run. Vitamin B12, which is essential to the formation of red blood cell to carry oxygen through the body is key to fight off fatigue as you exercise. It also helps your body to break down the fat and protein into running energy. Calcium is indispensable to maintain your bones and to prevent cramps and bloating, which can be nasty side-effects from running.

#3. For The Yoga And Dance Stretching

If you need to get flexible as part of your workout, you may want to help your body stretch muscles and joints with the right diet. Oranges help you to fight off free radicals, which are produced when you exercise. As a result, your muscles recover faster and can be more flexible. Grape and grape juice are useful in improving your overall joint health, among other health benefits. Oily fish, which is rich in omega-3, can reduce inflammation, especially around the joint area. Finally, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is used to improve circulation. As a result, it helps to repair muscles and to keep you flexible all year round.

#4. Food To Refuel After A Workout

Naturally, you don’t only need food as a preventive approach to your workout. You also need food to refuel after a tough workout, as this will help your body to prevent soreness. As a rule of the thumb, you should have a recovery snack 45 minutes after your workout. Your snack needs to contain a mix of carb, protein, and fluid to help your muscle replenish its energy, repair the muscle tissues, and hydrate your body. But a recovery snack is not a full meal: you should be aiming at 40g-50g of carb with 15-20g of protein only. In other words, that’s the equivalent of an apple with some peanut butter or two slices of whole grain bread with honey and nut butter.

#5. Food To Recover After An Injury

A sport injury is never fun, especially as it stops you from exercising until your body has recovered. However, you can improve your recovery time with the right type of food. Indeed, protein-rich food will facilitate the muscle repair and also help your body to maintain its muscle mass and strength as much as possible. Fibers will help to reduce the unwanted body fat that can develop when you’re immobilized. Finally, vitamin C from fruits and veg is key to rebuild tissue after an injury.

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.

The Dark Side Of Fitness That Nobody Talks About

Fitness is a great thing to aspire to. A fit body is like a good machine that will keep running for a long time. There’s no denying that if you want to enjoy life to the fullest and for the longest, you need to make fitness part of your lifestyle. But just because fitness is necessary – and can be a lot of fun too – it doesn’t mean that it can’t be hard, or embarrassing at times. So here is a list of what happens on the dark side of fitness. Not that it should discourage you, though. But keep it in mind, so you can be prepared in case any of these things happens to you.

Embarrassing Outdoors Issues

Exercising outdoors is said to be relaxing and to help you develop a bond with nature. But it doesn’t help when your body has a malfunction moment. Runners, especially, are used to embarrassing moments – you can read this article to find out more: http://runningsolegirl.com/embarrassing-issues-may-face-runner/ – that you need to be aware of. Unfortunately, while it doesn’t sound glamorous, having a leaky bladder can be a common issue for women who have given birth recently. This is due to a weakening of the pelvic muscles and thankfully can be regulated with Kegel ball exercises.

Indoors Workout Complaints

If you choose to avoid the outdoors to stay and exercise indoors, you may still face a variety of embarrassing moments. If you are a gym member, beware of any clothes malfunction that would expose more than what you were aiming for. A common one is for women who train wearing only a sport bra and may find that their breasts are fully exposed. Additionally, if you choose to build your own gym studio at home, be careful of your training hours. A loud cycling bike at night, such as http://exercisebikesexpert.com/sunny-health-fitness-pro-indoor-cycling-bike-review/, can sound like something completely different for your neighbors. Especially if you are an adept of grunting as you train.

You Can’t Move Anymore

While it may not be as embarrassing as the rest, it is equally hard to manage: Post-workout soreness. Waking up after a good workout can make you feel like you are 100-year-old. Suddenly the easiest gesture becomes almost impossible. Raising your arms to wash your hair puts you in agony. Walking down the stairs is a silent cry of pain from your thighs. Fitness, while it’s making your body stronger and better, can feel like hell on days like this. Painkillers are no help, unfortunately. So you’re left with the comforting thought that the pain comes from tears in your muscles; which is what happens when your muscles grow.

The Fake Healthy Food

As much as you are trying to follow a healthy diet – goodbye crisps, goodbye cheeseburgers – you will naturally have a list of forbidden food that you are avoiding thanks to healthy brands. It’s important to know that you can’t trust everything that is written on the pack. In truth, some healthy meals contain just as much fat and sugar as processed food. For example, KIND, a brand of healthy food bars, has snacks that are higher in calories than over brands. In short, healthy food may not be that healthy after all.

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.

What is Clean Bulking?

Getting in shape doesn’t always means slimming. For those that are already slim, it can often mean bulking up. Clean bulking is a way of combining diet and exercise to build muscles mass. It’s most popular amongst men wanting to tone up, but recently many women wanting to develop a fuller figure have developed an interest in it too.

Much like slimming, clean bulking require discipline and a lot of motivation. If you’re eager to start here are some of the steps you’ll need to take.

Fixing up Your Diet

You can’t bulk up unless you’re upping your calorie intake. This can scare many people off that fear they’ll get fat as a result. However, if you’re complimenting extra eating with lots of exercises, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Like any slimming diet, the key is still to eat healthily, so that all energy is converted into muscle. Instead of processed carbs like sugary snacks and fried foods, consider eating lots of potatoes, rice, and pasta. Protein is also essential to muscle growth and many people will take supplements such as protein shakes. Organic meats, eggs, nuts and milk can be another great unprocessed source of this protein.

On top of eating the right amount of food, you’ll need to consume a healthy amount of water. Other minerals can also help with a progress. You can find many dietary tips and meal plans for clean bulking online.

It’s all Connected to the Core

A healthy core will affect every other part of your body. It’s what helps you to balance and keep you upright. Most people assume that the core simply means the abs, but it actually incorporates all your torso muscles.

Individual exercises can help with many core muscles. Dips can help build your pecs – you’ll find help online on how to do dips at home for the chest. Sit ups, crunches, Russian twists, and leg raises meanwhile can be great for the abs. Endurance exercises such as the plank meanwhile are great for strengthening your whole core and good additions to add at the end of a workout.

Working Your Arms

There are many ways to bulk up the arms. Push ups and pull ups are great for testing most of your arm muscles. Specific exercises meanwhile can be catered to more specific arm muscles groups such as bicep curls and tricep dips. Gyms will often have all the specialist equipment, but you can often achieve the same result simply by buying a pair of dumbbells and working out from home, as well as getting imaginative with furniture (a couch is brilliant for tricep dips and elevated push ups).

Leg Day

Many people, specifically men, will pay little attention to their legs when bulking up. Forgetting leg day however will make you look disproportioned and have a knock on effect later as your legs aren’t able to support the rest of your body.

Many activities are great for building leg muscle. Cycling works out all your muscles groups from your quads to your calves to your glutes. Other exercises are more focused such as deadlifts and squats that specifically target your quads. If you have a gym membership, you’ll find many machines that can further build up your legs.

Creating a Routine

Bulking up requires a good routine. If you’re working out every day, a sensible option is to cycle between core, legs and arms. This will allow you to focus on each group whilst also allowing enough recovery time. Another approach is to exercise your whole body in one session but to give yourself a day’s break between each session.

A personal trainer may be able to help you create a routine that fits around your weekly schedule. As soon as your routine becomes comfortable, you can then start to up the stakes by increasing the number of reps, the time or the weight.

Whilst most of your exercise regime will be strength-based, it’s good to also include some endurance in there. Cardio exercises strengthen the heart and a healthy heart is much needed when bulking up to provide the extra muscle mass gained with the blood and oxygen it needs.

Staying motivated

Keeping motivated is the biggest challenge. Often the best way to stay motivated is to have a tangible target. This could be a target body shape, a target strength that you wish to be able to reach or a clothing size. From week to week, you should also be setting yourself micro-goals. These could be anything from beating your time at the plank to managing an extra weight.

Tracking your progress is important. Some gyms will have machines that do this for you so that you can keep on target with each week. If you’re training at home, you may be able to use apps to measure your progress. Having body stats available can greatly help to spur you on.

You can also take photographs in the mirror. These will show you how far you’ve come and may provide you the motivation to keep going.

Blogging and social media reporting also helps for some people. From week to week you can report your progress so that others can read and get inspired or simply spur you on.

Some people also find that training with someone else helps. This could involve training with a friend or could involve hiring a personal trainer to help put you through your paces. Make sure that if you are training with a friend or family member that you’re still sticking to your routine. Exercise classes may work for some, but probably not for the majority – whilst the likes of CrossFit incorporate many weight exercises, they do not stick to a routine from week to week and focus more on general fitness. Bulking requires specific training catered to the individual in most cases and you’re unlikely to be able to follow this working with a group of people with different goals and needs. That said, such as exercise groups can be still good to do on the side and have been known to introduce many people to weightlifting and new exercise ideas.

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.

4 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Habits

When it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle, it is all about the habits that you get into. Many people often go through healthy phases, where they engage in a sudden burst of physical activity or fad diet before they quickly slip back into their old patterns. If you can build some healthier habits into your day-to-day life, you are much more likely to be on the fast-track to success. So, let’s take a closer look at just a few of these that are all very achievable for the average person.

Eat Low-Glycemic Carbs Before the Gym

There is often a lot of debate flying around about what you should eat before and after going to the gym. Research has been conducted to show that you can burn more fat with food that metabolizes slowly such as high-fibre cereals, bread, and many vegetables. Whole grains and produce are certainly on the tick-list, while refined foods and sugary drinks should be avoided as they raise your blood sugar and inhibit fat-burning. After you have finished exercising, you should go for foods which are high in protein such as fish, fat-free milk and egg whites, which all help to rebuild muscles.

Don’t Brush Teeth Directly After Meals

You should wait until at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth as the acids can soften tooth enamel, resulting in teeth becoming more susceptible to damage. As well as this, waiting a little longer will give your saliva a chance to wash away acids and allow the enamel to harden. Visiting a dentist such as www.sdgdental.com.au on a regular basis should be part of your good oral health routine. This way, you can spot any problems that may be occurring and deal with them effectively.

Drink Plenty of Water

Another very simple, yet effective health habit to get into is making sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water hydrates both your muscles and your brain cells, so it plays a major factor in both your physical and mental wellbeing. Switching to water instead of other sugary drinks can make a significant difference in how your body feels on a day-to-day basis. Try to always carry a water bottle around with you when you leave the house to remind yourself to stay hydrated.

Make Time for Sleep

In today’s incredibly hectic world, it is tempting for many people to sacrifice sleep in favor of all the other commitments that they have. But getting between 7.5 and 9 hours sleep a night is essential in maintaining your physical and mental health. Not only this, if you feel tired, you are much more likely to let all the other healthy habits that you have built up start to slip. Try to remove any disruptive electrical items from your bedroom that may be interfering with your sleep and get into a good nighttime routine so your body gets accustomed to a sleep-wake cycle.

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.

Guest Post: All-Natural Spring/Summer Skincare

Do you know that perfect looking, glowy summer skin you see being advertised everywhere?! It’s something that can make every woman jealous. Unfortunately, most of us are stuck with that not-so-perfect skin which often requires expensive treatments and all kinds of high-end cosmetic products we can’t afford. But don’t lose hope just yet! There is no need to spend your entire month’s salary on skincare products. Just follow these simple few steps which will make you achieve that flawless look you’ve always wanted:

Eat Healthy

You’ve heard it a million times before, fried and processed foods are your skin’s worst enemies. So, avoid eating greasy junk food.
Also, avoid sugar, unless you are using is as an exfoliator.

What you should do is stick to a healthy diet of these so-called “skin foods” which is the key to maintaining a healthy complexion.

Some of them are:

  • Cooked tomatoes – filled with Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes red, tomatoes help boost collagen strength which gives you that youthful structure.
  • Carrots – contain plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A which prevent overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer.
  • Salmon – contains dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), an amino acid compound that strengthens cell membranes and guards them against deterioration which causes premature aging.
  • Eggs – Always eat the entire egg. The yolk contains the “beauty vitamin” called biotin which helps protect skin from acne, rashes, and even dryness.
  • Blueberries – also known as nature’s number one superfoods. Packed with antioxidants, blueberries help your body fight cell-damaging and skin-aging free radicals. They also help boost the strength of collagen fibers.

Drink lots of fluids

With the upcoming warmer seasons, everything starts getting dry. Whether it’s water, tea or a fresh fruit juice, drink it as much as you can, whenever you can.

“Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores more prominent”, explains Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Here are some of the essential facts when it comes to the importance of drinking water:

  • Water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture.
  • Water is a crucial factor when it comes to anti-ageing treatments – it keeps the skin well hydrated and glistening.
  • Drinking plenty of water battles skin disorders like psoriasis, wrinkles, and eczema.
  • Cold water makes pores tight thus preventing them from getting clogged.
  • A cold water bath soothes redness and prepares the skin for better makeup application.

Watch out for the Sun!

Avoid direct exposure to the sun during UV radiation hours – between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m, if you can’t then at least cover yourself.

If you want to work on your tan, do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Soaking up the sun accelerates the effects of aging and increases your chances of developing skin cancer.

Always use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

Also, wear sunglasses with total UV protection or contact lenses which offer UV protection.

Use Natural skin care products

You should always prefer All-natural skin care products opposed to chemical ones. The simple reason is that the chances of side effects are immensely lower when it comes to going natural.

This is one of the most important things you can do for your skin!

Choose wisely! Use only high-quality cosmetic brands like Dermalogica which has almost 30 years of experience behind it and highly satisfied consumers all around the world.

Don’t buy products without doing research, read the labels to find the active ingredients and make sure they are suitable for your skin.

Create a daily skin care routine: The key to having a healthy skin is establishing what you need and sticking to it.

Try to remember that perfect, glowy skin actually comes from within. Take care of your body and in return, it will give you the flawless look you won’t ever get tired of flaunting.

How Insufficient Sleep Affects Your Health And Fitness

When most people think of health and fitness, they think of hitting the gym five times a week. They think of eating ‘clean’ foods. Not many people consider sleep, and how that can affect health and fitness. It plays a huge role! Let’s take a look at how insufficient sleep affects your health and fitness:

You Want To Eat More

A lack of sleep usually makes a person want to eat more. Lack of sleep lowers leptin, which signals when we’re full. It creates more cortisol, which is related to stress and belly fat. Lack of sleep also raises levels of ghrelin, which makes the body think it’s hungry. This is why lack of sleep has been closely linked to weight gain! If you’re on a health and fitness journey, it’s so important you get your 8 hours a night.

You Feel Irritable

Getting enough sleep is crucial for your mental well being. Depending on how low on sleep you are, you’ll likely feel irritable at best. At worst, it can be potentially life threatening. If you are too sleep deprived, you can cause accidents on the road or at work. You may experience hallucinations. You could even die. At the very least, that lack of concentration could be dangerous if you attempt to work out!

Potentially Develop More Serious Problems

A lack of sleep has the potential to develop more serious problems. Adrenal fatigue is one big issue that can come with a messed up sleeping pattern. It can be hard to diagnose, but you’ll usually get a foggy brain, experience lack of energy, low blood sugar, and dry skin. Other symptoms can be pinpointed too, such as weight gain due to the increase in cortisol, as well as bloating. You can find more information on this at AdrenalFatigue.solutions.

You may experience more bouts of cold and influenza because of the effects lack of sleep has on the respiratory system. There may even be an increased risk of problems with your cardiovascular system, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. With all of this in mind, it’s never been more important to ensure you have a healthy sleeping pattern!

Have Trouble Conceiving

Finally, insufficient sleep can mean couples have trouble conceiving. You will likely have a lower sex drive, which in itself can stop you from conceiving. Not only that, lack of sleep has been linked to lower fertility for both men and women. Whether you want to try for a baby now or in the future, it’s so important you are getting sufficient rest each night!

What’re Your Thoughts

One night of sleeplessness may not affect you as severely as this guide says. However, continuous lack of sleep will eventually catch up with you. You should focus on not only getting the recommended 7-8 hours each night but ensure that your sleep is quality too. You can do this by keeping electricals out of your bedroom, making it pitch black, and by drinking sleep tea to help you drop off.

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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