weight

Nature Over Knowledge

None of us can deny that nature knows what it’s doing. If you want proof, you only have to look around you. Ants are a perfect example of nature doing its thing, and doing it well. Each ant knows their place in the anty ranks, and they know what job they need to do. No one tells them. They don’t have existential crises or wonder if they’re on the right path. The same cannot be said for humans. Going back thousands of years, we may have known what we were doing. But, we often feel lost in the modern age. We could get into philosophical debates about why. Did Eve eat the apple and that kind of thing? But, for the most part, we’ve lost our way because we stopped listening to nature.

You could apply this theory to many aspects of life. But, we’re going to take a look at what effect it has on our health. Our bodies function without conscious thought. We breathe, our hearts beat. And, we’re hardly aware of it. In that sense, nature still holds our reins. But, in other ways, we have turned the democracy of our bodies into a dictatorship that isn’t working.

You only have to turn on the news to see that we’re more unhealthy than ever. It makes no sense because medicine is better. No one can deny that we’re living longer. But, self-induced health problems, like obesity, are on the rise. So, why aren’t things working from a health perspective? In a lot of ways, it’s because we ignore nature. We let our heads decide how we treat our bodies. There’s no denying there’s a link between body and mind, but are we using it in the right way? The results would suggest not.

Instead of listening to our bodies need, we do what we want. Our bodies have no say. We choose diets, not because our body needs them, but because they sound like a good idea. Is it any wonder we often fail in our fitness pursuits? And, it’s not only diets that are guilty. We often push ourselves too far in the exercise stakes, too. If your body is hurting, it’s telling you it’s had enough. Don’t continue to push through!

So, what can we do to solve the problem? The simple answer is nothing. Stop doing anything, and give nature a chance to take control again. You don’t need to make the decision to go on a diet. If your body wants a weight loss cleanse, it’ll tell you as much. If you need to do more exercise, you’ll get a craving to do so. Listen to what your body is telling you!

There’s no denying that our knowledge can help us in many ways. But, it seems to be more of a hindrance when it comes to our bodies. Not only have we lost touch with nature, but we’ve also lost touch with what’s good for us. It’s time to make a change.

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.

Getting Active: Don’t Leave Your Weight To Fate

Getting your weight to a level with which you’re happy, whether you need to lose or even gain a few pounds or stone, is never an easy task. Motivation is only half of the equation, as consistency and maintenance when you do start to reach a weight at which you’re happy are the things with which people most frequently struggle. Getting involved with fad diets is often the problem, as a routine which forces you to starve yourself essentially and exercise excessively is something which nobody can keep up on a long term basis.

A healthy exercise regime and dietary pattern must be exactly that: a regime. It must become part of your lifestyle and routine, which means you need to be creating a diet and exercise pattern for yourself which can fit into your daily life (whether you need to squeeze in a run after work or a game of football after school). This is important because you need to keep up your diet and exercise pattern on a permanent basis if you want to keep your weight level consistent and constant. Otherwise, once your fad diet is over and you return to normal, the weight will pile back on instantly.

Yes, it may be frustrating to take the long route to success and gradually knock off the pounds with a new and improved dietary schedule and active lifestyle, but it’s the healthier and smarter way to do so to keep your weight off forever. If you’re wondering how to achieve this, then here are some health tips and tricks to help you become happier with the way you look and the way you feel on a health basis.

Set an End Goal

If you want to develop a new exercise and diet regime and stick to it, then your mindset needs to be focused and on-track. You need to be geared towards an end goal to motivate yourself to strive towards a better lifestyle. Maybe you want to have a more toned physique, and stronger muscles or maybe you just want to shed some pounds and return to a skinnier weight level.

Whatever the case, you must remember why you’re leading a healthier lifestyle; health should be just as important to you as appearance, as keeping your body toned and slim has its practical benefits as well as shallow ones. Write down your goals, pin them on the wall, and remember every morning why you’re doing what you’re doing. Remember why it was so important to you in the first place to get in shape and sort out your eating pattern.

Focus on Your Diet

Diet is so important when it comes to an active lifestyle, as your body needs the correct amount of sustenance for the level of activity demanded of it. For example, strength training requires a lot of your muscles, and you’ll need a protein-heavy diet. Cardio demands a lot of your heart, so fruits, vegetables, and foods high in carbohydrates are necessary. Of course, a balanced diet is always the key. Still, if your weight is holding you back from achieving your end goal because you’re struggling to exercise effectively, you could always consider options such as orlistat tablets alongside a healthy diet and exercise routine to help you lose weight a little more easily.

Obviously, you’ll need to consult with your doctor before trying any medication. Leading a naturally healthy routine should always be at the front of your mind, and you should be taking the safest route towards achieving that. Changing your routine drastically or even on a minor scale is always something you should consider discussing with a medical professional if you think you’re putting a lot of strain on your body very suddenly. It’s a personal call, at the end of the day, as only you know whether you’re demanding a lot of yourself too quickly after months or years of leading quite an inactive or unhealthy lifestyle. You don’t want to push yourself to a breaking point, run into complications and then be deterred from returning to a healthy routine ever again. Ensure you get your diet right for the style of exercise you have in mind.

Take it easy

Most people give up on a new exercise routine or diet because they turn it into a chore. If you want to stick to a healthier lifestyle, you need to ease yourself into it. Go on a walk every day to enjoy nature and shed some pounds while you do so. Take up cycling as a fun activity that doubles up as an excellent form of exercise. Carry small weights on your walk to train your muscles while you get a good cardio workout.

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.

Is Social Media Beneficial Or Harmful When Working Towards A Fitness Goal?

Social media is so interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Many have taken to these networks to share snippets of their daily routines, and to show off successes and progress. The fitness community on social media is wide-reaching, with a hefty number of diet and wellness pages/profiles to follow.

You may also notice friends posting gym pictures or photographs of their healthy meals for others to see and like. On top of that, many fitness apps even come with an option to sync or share progress on social media.

All this can make you pretty excited to start using these platforms in similar ways, or might urge you to follow some advice-filled accounts for tips and tricks. But is social media really beneficial for you when you’re working towards a fitness goal? Let’s look at the pros and the cons.

The Pros

It’s Good Motivation
Being surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of people aiming for the same thing as you can make you feel incredible motivated. You’ll find people with your body type, people who face the same struggles as you, and people who will keep you going when you feel like giving up. Sometimes, posting your goals and progress on social networking sites may even help you stick to them.

You Have Access to a Sea of Information
There is endless data available through social media. You can find products, diet plans, exercise routines, and excellent advice that can really help you achieve more during your fitness journey. Best of all, it’s completely free. You can follow a personal trainer on Instagram and watch videos of his workouts without needing to pay for his services. And in all honesty, that’s pretty neat!

You Become Part of a Community
Being part of a health-driven community means that you’ll never be short of people to turn to, discuss ideas with, and get personalized advice from. You may even gain a few workout buddies! Yes, there are bad seeds in every group, but you’ll ultimately find like-minded acquaintances who can encourage you to grow while you, in turn, encourage them. There’s no better feeling!

The Cons

Anyone and Everyone Can Share “Advice”
The number of “bloggers” and “fitness gurus” who are actually just out to make a quick buck or gain some fame can make finding good people to follow a tricky task. Many may offer terrible advice and get you off to the wrong start. Keep in mind that even the best of fitness personalities may sell out once in a while and promote a fad diet or an expensive product that makes ridiculous claims and promises. Avoid the fraudsters and check for qualifications. Legit bloggers and gurus will be more than welcome to share their qualifications and achievements with you.

It’s Not All Real
A social media picture, perfectly framed and shot so as to show someone’s best angles and finished off with a caption followed by tens upon tens of hashtags, isn’t a good representation of real life. It’s a photograph taken out of context. It presents these fitness gurus as something more than human with a perfect lifestyle and all the free time in the world to burn off that many calories per day. Only the most flattering snapshots are shared, and it can make you feel like you’re just not good enough or making progress as fast as you should.

You Could do it For The Wrong Reasons
Seeing other people progressing faster than you, or going on a more difficult regimen than you’re on, can really get you thinking. You could start feeling jealous, or suspect that the grass is greener on the other side, and try to imitate or catch up with your peers. In reality, you should be attempting a healthy lifestyle for no one else but yourself.

Conclusion

So, is social media any good at all when you’re trying to get fit? The honest answer is that it depends on how you use it. Social media is a tool, and if you harness it right, you’ll be able to use it effectively and to your advantage.

Not So Shallow: How Your Looks Relate to Your Health

Not everyone obsesses over their looks. As long as they look clean and neat, they’re happy. But there are some times when it’s important to pay attention to what you look like. There are some things that can be an indication of poor health, so ignoring them isn’t the best idea. Your looks relate to your health, and can help to tell you whether you’re healthy or not, so if you notice a change in your appearance, it might be worth considering if anything has changed or even arranging an appointment with your doctor. Look out for any of these things, which might mean you need to make some changes.

Skin

Your skin can be a good indicator of how healthy you are – even if it’s just how healthy your skin is. Skin can be sensitive and might be affected by a number of things. If you’re not hydrated enough or not getting enough sleep, it could cause dry skin. Lots of things can irritate your skin, from laundry detergent to soap. You can come out in hives if you’ve eaten something you’re allergic too, and a rash could even indicate something serious, like meningitis. So it’s important to keep an eye on any changes to your skin, especially if you have other symptoms.

Teeth

People can spend a lot of time worrying about their teeth and what they look like. But it might not all be vanity, as caring for your teeth is an important part of staying healthy. Getting good dental care is one way you can ensure your teeth stay in good condition. Your dentist can pick up on problems as soon as possible. Don’t wait for pain to tell you that there’s something wrong with your teeth. Both you and your dentist can spot potential problems by looking. Discoloration might indicate that you’re developing a cavity or losing the enamel on your teeth.

Weight Gain

Being fat or gaining weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unhealthy. You could still be fit and even eating a balanced diet. But sudden and unexplained weight gain is certainly something to look out for. And if you’re gaining weight due to a change in lifestyle, it could indicate that you need to rethink things if you want to stay healthy. Weight gain isn’t necessarily a serious problem, but sometimes it might mean an issue you need your doctor to identify. If you’re not sure of the reason for it, visiting your doctor could be a good idea.

Tired Eyes

Tired eyes could just be an indication that you’re not sleeping enough. But there are some other culprits if you’re sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sometimes, bags under your eyes might be caused by allergies that cause fluid to build up. Your diet can also cause them if you’re consuming too much salt. A diet high in sodium can mean that your whole body retains more water, including the skin around your eyes.

What’re Your Thoughts

Looking after your looks can help to keep you healthy too. So don’t ignore any changes you notice.

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: Is a Good Night’s Sleep Critical for a Healthy Life

The answer to that question is yes. Sleep has a very vital role in our lives and is an important requirement for our mental, physical and general well-being. It not only rejuvenates and revitalizes our body but also improves our cognitive functions and strengthens our memory. It affects your life quality plays a very crucial role in life safety.

Your day depends a lot on the quality and duration of your sleep. Your ability to work, feel and behave are all dependent on the quality and duration of your Zzzz’s. Poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide(1), depression(2) and anxiety. Continuous sleep deprivation has also been linked to chronic health problems.

Weight Gain

Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can affect your satiety centre and cause you to gain weight. You are more likely to overindulge if you are sleep deprived. Getting a proper 8-hour sleep will ensure you take in fewer calories.

Productivity Issues

It is a no brainer that less sleep equals to less productivity. Not only that, sleep deprivation also causes the inability to think, react and concentrate. It affects your mood and mental health severely and may lead to poor decision-making skills.

Higher Risk of Cardiac Diseases

Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often end up having heart problems. When a person does not get the required amount of sleep, the body releases certain chemicals which keep the body from lowering its blood pressure and heart rate. If sleep deprivation becomes a regular thing, high blood pressure during the day becomes common and can easily lead to cardiovascular issues.

Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the human body is unable to break down sugar properly. This causes a starvation of your cells for energy since it is not getting energy through glucose. When the quality of your sleep is poor or you are sleep deprived, your body requires more insulin in order to maintain normal glucose levels. Sleep deprivation affects the body’s stress-control centre and causes hormonal imbalances which lead to problems in the regulation of glucose. When sleeplessness becomes a habit, the insulin producing cells stop proper functioning and give rise to elevated blood glucose levels which can cause diabetes. So, that late night chocolate cravings are not to be tended to if you want to continue eating sweet things later on in life!

Depression

Insomnia is a common occurrence among the depressed patients. People who have issues falling asleep, staying asleep or getting quality sleep are at a higher risk of developing depression as compared to those who get quality sleep(3). Sleep apnea has also been observed to cause depression.

Weak Immune System

Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality also weakens the immune system. Hence, sleep deprived individuals are more likely to catch a flu or fever. The human body produces proteins called cytokines that are released by the immune system to promote sleep. When you have an infection or inflammation or are under a lot of stress, some of these cytokines increase. Sleep deprivation causes the production of these cytokines to decrease. It also causes the infection fighting antibodies to decrease in number, thus weakening the human immune system and making the body vulnerable to common diseases.

Emotional Instability

Feeling irritated and emotionally unstable after a sleep deprived night is not uncommon. Recent studies have shown that a sleep deprived mind loses its ability to think rationally. A sleep deprived brain starts exhibiting primitive behaviour and regresses in its ability to think rationally and logically. Hence, the emotions start running amok.

Many psychiatric disorders that involve emotions are related to sleep deprivation. Abnormal patterns of sleep can cause mental instability. A good night’s sleep is very important to maintain a healthy mind and keep your emotions in check. Instead of going for anti-depressants or other drugs, go for a good night’s sleep and this may just be the simplest cure for your emotional and mental behaviour to get back to normal.

Safety!

Sleep deprivation can quite critically affect your life directly too. Sleep deprived individuals are at a higher risk for accidents on the road or at work. There have been many cases of fatal road accidents when sleep deprived individuals dozed off while driving.

The normal adults require a minimum of 8 hours sleep to lead a healthy life. Getting less than 8 hours can contribute to a great deal of physical as well as mental issues. A lot of people are not aware of the dangers of getting less sleep. They may think that they can function properly after getting only a few hours of sleep but if sleep deprivation becomes a habit, it can take its toll on the person’s health and safety in a horrible way. Your body and your immune system depend greatly on sleep. So, change into your Pj’s, turn off the lights and hit the bed for some Zzzz’s so that you can make sure you live a healthy and fuller life.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25133759
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16259539
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=16335332&ordinalpos=9&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Read Eugene’s latest post on sleep and bedroom designs.

Best Ways To Beat The Up And Down Roller Coaster Of Weight Loss

Losing weight is more than a goal or a dream for many women. It is a fight against society, against themselves, against their worst demons. And let’s be honest about it: It isn’t an easy battle! For many, the reasons behind weight gain are varied; whether they are medical, emotional, or even stress-related, those reasons need to be considered with honesty and compassion. Remember that you didn’t specifically want to gain weight. It just happened. Now that you know and accept it, it’s important that you stop blaming yourself. Weight loss is not a program of punishment that you inflict upon yourself for not having the dream body; weight loss is a journey of self-improvement. It is a long journey, so you’d better pack some useful tips in your bag! Here’s the best ways to beat weight loss.

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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.

Diet Changes That Can Finally Help You Lose The Weight You Want

On paper, losing weight should be easy. We need to eat less and move more, and really, that’s all there should be to it. But in reality, we all know that sticking to a healthy diet sounds easier than it is. Sure, you might start off the week with the best intentions, with plenty of meal prep and ideas for healthy snacks. But two days in you get invited for lunch with colleagues, and of course – it’s a burger joint. You might enjoy getting stuck into a big burger – and whilst there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in awhile, it can often feel like you’ve undone all your hard work.

If something like this has happened to you, don’t panic. You can try introducing temporary dietary habits to help yourself get back on track. These are not meant as long-term efforts, but if you need to boost your metabolism again (this could even be due to a weight-loss plateau) they can be the perfect option. Here are some of the simplest diet changes that help you lose weight.

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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: Don’t Fit the Dress, Make the Dress Fit You

The holidays have stealthy found their way into our homes, so let the parties commence!

“What am I going to wear?” is the frantic question asked when thinking about walking into that party. Whether it is the trend or the qualms we have about our body; there is always something to stress about when searching for that “perfect” outfit to bring us into a new chapter in our lives.

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Exercising But Not Losing Weight? Here Are Some Underlying Causes

Are you feeling a little deflated and bemused because you are working hard on exercising but not losing weight? Fear not, there are many people out there that feel the same! It could be that you’re not doing enough exercise. It may be a dietary issue. Or there could be underlying illnesses that are preventing you from losing weight. Today we’re going to get to the bottom of some of the common reasons why you might be struggling to ditch the inches.

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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.

Worth The Weight: How To Burn Calories The Right Way

Impatience. Most people’s greatest downfall when it comes to losing weight. A lot of the time, someone will make the decision to shed a few pounds and will expect to be their ideal weight in less than a month. This isn’t going to happen. Think about it. How many years of unhealthy eating and a lazy lifestyle have built up to a state where you are overweight and uncomfortable in your body? You can’t expect to undo all of these years of damage in a split second. Remember, it’s a lot easier to put weight on than to lose it too. Patience is a virtue when it comes to achieving a healthy BMI and feeling happy and comfortable in your body. Here’s a guide how to burn calories the right way.

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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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