By Team Best Life
The people-pleasers and overachievers among us are always told that we need to get better at saying no—but sometimes deciding what you say no to is more challenging than actually saying the word. Check out these suggestions for taking back your time in a smart and efficient way.
Say No (Thank You) To…
…Excess meal prep and cleanup. Try lining your pans with foil for easy cleaning, or buy pre-cut veggies and fruits for various meals to limit preparation time. Love gadgets? From immersion blenders to hand choppers to slow cookers, there are myriad ways to save time and sanity in almost every step of the meal-prep process.
…Daily TV time. Save up your must-see shows and watch a few together, bypassing commercials. Why? It condenses your TV-watching time while opening up other time slots. It also helps build anticipation—you’ll feel rewarded for the time you’ve earned. (more…)
The last few months of the year are challenging for many reasons. From Thanksgiving Day to January 1st, many will fall victim to the greater pull of holiday pleasures and ditch their exercise routines and healthy diets.
It isn’t a crime to be a little lenient during the holidays. After all, what other time of year gives us this opportunity to eat and drink with such enthusiasm? The problem arises when seemingly temporary indulgences turn into permanent bad habits.
We all know that the best way to break a habit is to not start one in the first place. That’s why maintaining a consistent yoga practice can help. The following are a few suggestions to keep you motivated to hit the mat before your holiday hedonisms become your New Year lifestyle.
Seek instant gratification the healthy way
Needing something to knock the edge off your holiday stress? Instead of reaching for the eggnog, try taking a 5-minute break to sit, stretch, and breathe on your yoga mat. I guarantee it will bring you more gratification, give you more energy, and not to mention, reduce your daily intake of calories. (more…)
UPDATE 7/16/12: The bestselling author’s family confirmed today that Stephen Covey died at age 79. He was surrounded at the hospital by his wife, children and their spouses when he passed. In a statement issued by his family, they say his death was the result of effects of a bicycle accident he had this spring.
In 1989, Dr. Stephen Covey published the book he is best known for, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Since then, he has kept up a demanding schedule, to understate greatly, of writing, lecturing, teaching, leading his company FranklinCovey, and staying in touch with his 9 children and 47 grandchildren. Among other awards, Covey was named one of TIME Magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, given an International Man of Peace Award, and received a National Fatherhood Award.
Covey teaches people to live by principles of honesty and integrity to achieve personal and professional success. He uses jargon like “Think win-win,” “Begin with the End in Mind,” “Synergize,” and “Be Proactive,” four of his seven habits, to get his points across. He emphasizes things such as writing personal mission statements and focusing on what one can control in their life instead of what they can’t. He believes that each person can shape their own destiny, to live fully by living a life in balance and continual self-renewal in all areas of life. Covey added an 8th habit in 2004 with the publishing of a book of the same name, and that one deals with leadership and finding your personal voice in today’s globalized world. (more…)
Gyms are where a majority of people go to work on their health and fitness. They’re supposed to be a place where you go to release stress and the only person you really have to worry about is yourself. Though, sometimes when you are at the gym you can’t help but watch other people, and they can’t help but put themselves right in your line of sight.
For this week’s FitCrypt, I asked “What are annoying habits you see at your local gym?” I received an flood of emails from people telling me their stories about annoying gym habits.
The number one annoying gym habit is men making loud obnoxious grunting noises. If you’re in the weight room with even a couple of other guys, then chances are you’ve heard the loud grunting noises right before a guy is about to lift 150 pounds over his bench limit. Its like he is making a mating call to get everyone’s attention directed toward him.
You guys also called out the following as some of the most annoying gym habits: (more…)
If you’ve ever heard Michael Jackson’s song ‘Man in the Mirror’ you might think it’s all about activism and politicking. With lyrics like, “If you want to make the world a better place then look at yourself and make a change,” anyone would raise an eyebrow to the defying characteristic of righteous action this song exudes.
Three years ago, after the news of Jackson’s passing, I played this song on my iPod as a way to honor the late, great, king of pop. Even though I was only a minimal fan at best, I still needed to have my own sense of closure, however trivial it was. The song I chose to memorialize Jackson with (in my own mind) was one of my favorites, yet I realized that I hadn’t actually paid that close attention to the lyrics. Sure, I heard the mantra, “Make that change,” ring over and over again, but it hadn’t hit home until that day.
Reclining in my luxurious overstuffed loveseat with a full bowl of popcorn in my lap I heard, “I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love. It’s time that I realize that there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan. Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?” How did I ever miss that? Was it because I was jaded by the 80’s-era of Madonna and Michael Jackson pop-infused dance floor accessory successes, or was it because so often we choose to tune out that which we think has little or nothing to do with us? (more…)
By Rachel Berman, RD, Csr, Cdn for Calorie Count
As summer rolls in everyone wants to take full advantage of the longer days and warmer weather. This year, make the most of your summer by focusing on simple, healthy activities that you can do every day of the week!
Get moving together with your friends or family every evening for a walk, jog, or bike ride. This is a great way to enjoy the weather, have some bonding time with your loved ones, and get your exercise in. Working out with others will motivate you and keep you accountable, too. On the weekends, head to the local pool for a great full body workout.
Take a trip to the farmers market and check out what’s in season. You’ll be surprised at the vast variety of fruits and vegetables available, and each week you’ll find something new. Because this produce is recently harvested it will be more fresh and nutritious than produce from the supermarket. Buying from the farmers market also supports the community and local farmers! (more…)
One thing I noticed on my journey to eating a wheat free/gluten-free diet is that consequences matter. For me, the decision to restrict my diet in this way is mostly about health. I do not have celiac disease, and I don’t believe I have a gluten allergy. For some of my mom friends though if their child got ahold of a single Cheerio or Teddy Graham they could have serious health issues as a result. “Cheating” on the gluten-free diet does not even occur to those moms, even if they are away from their children, but the consequences are less severe for me. We see the same thing on the Biggest Loser over and over when someone is motivated to lose weight after a medical professional tells them their weight is killing them. What are the consequences for you for not sticking to your goal?
If you are good at self-talk and rational (REBT) thinking, you can use the consequences to your advantage. Maybe it won’t hurt me to try the famous sugar cream pie, but how will I ever really track the effects of gluten on my body if I don’t eliminate it entirely for at least two to three weeks? If you are tempted to skip a workout, you probably won’t see a reverse in your progress, but you can remind yourself that you could feel guilty or lethargic or even lose the habit entirely since every time we “cheat” we are practicing the opposite of the habit we want to reinforce. (more…)
Everyone has a trouble zone, or a certain area of their body that want to change, fix, shrink or enhance. While “spot reducing” is impossible, focusing more energy on that particular area over time will of course head great results. You can’t drop the rest of your workout routine in favor of focusing all your energy on your saddlebags, abs, etc., a little extra effort is going to be needed. You can devote extra minutes in the gym to working out your trouble zone, but this may take time away from the rest of your body, or have you resenting that spot.
You gotta learn to love you trouble zone and give it a little more attention because you are excited to see it change, not because you want to beat it into submission. If you make a habit of working that spot in ways that take very little effort, but on a consistent basis, you will soon have to find a new trouble spot to focus on.
Now when I say habit, I really mean it. Think about it: External cues prompt you to do things every day that you barely think about. A red light turns green, you hit the gas. Turn on the computer, you check your Facebook. Those are habits. You didn’t always have them, but you developed them over time and now they are second nature. Most experts say that a habit takes about 3 weeks of solid effort to develop, and after that, you barely have to think about it.
by Dani Stone
Americans spend a lot of money and time trying to get fit and lose weight. We pour over diet books, hire personal trainers, and pay for diet programs that help us count calories and track miles on the treadmill. Dr. Martha Grogan, a cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic and medical editor for the new book Heart Healthy For Life says there’s a simpler equation we can use to achieve a healthy lifestyle and improve heart health. The answer, she says, lies in the simple equation Eat 5, Move 10, Sleep 8.
Eat 5 refers to eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. “The great thing about eating fruits and vegetables, they have all kinds of beneficial effects to your heart and for your health in general,” says Grogan. Working this number in to your daily routine can be quite easy if you make a conscious effort to do so and maybe even plan ahead when you’re at the grocery store. A typical day could look like this: Have a banana with breakfast, a juicy peach as a midday snack alongside a cheese stick, a salad of leafy greens with cucumbers and green pepper for lunch and for dinner, serve a side of asparagus along with lean meat, fish or chicken. Look at that, we actually got 6 servings in there.
January 21, 2021 is World Swap Day. Originally started as a way to reinvent shopping, it’s a movement that’s gaining national attention and seeing activity across the country. World Swap Day encourages all to share goods, food, clothes, toys, or many other items verses buying them new. Swapping will turn any unused items into things you actually need. Therefore, you don’t spend money and you don’t compile unused stuff around your house.
In celebration of World Swap Day, why not do some personal swapping for your health. Big results have come from small changes. For example, swapping fries for a medium baked potato saves you over 250 calories in your lunch and you avoid all unhealthy oils. Swapping is easy, and good for everybody.
Check out 10 easy swaps you can do to celebrate World Swap Day, and your health. (more…)
We’ve all heard there is no quick fix for weight loss. From diet pills to diet books, making drastic dietary changes typically only results in short-term weight loss success. Much can be said about the habits you pick up in the midst of following a new eating plan, diet or not, and although changing the way you eat often results in weight loss, only focusing on this outcome can often also result in disappointment, discouragement, and even failure. Instead, focusing on developing healthy habits as opposed to losing weight can help you feel great about your accomplishments and result in long-lasting health benefits.
For example, following a weight loss plan for four to six months as part of your New Years resolution often results in improved cholesterol levels, decreased inflammatory tone, and decreased heart disease risk even if you don’t keep off the weight. Although initial weight loss may play a role, the healthy habits you learn while making those dietary changes may be just as important, if not more so, in achieving long-term health success.
Focus on these positive changes instead of the numbers on the scale to ensure successfully fulfilling your New Years resolution.