January 4, 2014

Enhance Yourself: Alli's Alley Fit Tip of the Week


Ring in the new year by enhancing the new you. Are you ready to loose weight, tone your body, and look like a million bucks?  Every week in the new year I am going to write a fitness post filled with nutrition, receipts, exercises, and fit tips that will give you the advantage you need to start seeing results. Don't be that person who vows to make fitness a priority in the new year only to hang up your gym towel in the second month of the year. According to the international health, racquet, and sports club association, more than 12% of gym members join in January in comparison to 8.3% for the years remaining months. I know how hard it is to make the time for exercise but I promise you won't regret it.
 You don't have to run a marathon to get fit all you need is a few minutes at least five times a week. The American heart association suggests working out for 30 minutes a day for five days of the week to maintain a healthy weight and keep physically fit. Just 30 minutes and the best part is that you can break it up. You could do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes at night. It couldn't be easier, just be sure you do it at the same time every day so that it becomes a regular part of your daily routine. If you need a little help recruit a friend to be your fitness buddy and reward yourself when you reach personal goals. This will keep you motivated and yearning for more. Start small, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use your lunch break to take a long walk and then eat your lunch at your desk when your done. Make a habit of going for a walk around the block after every meal or at least after dinner. It can be family bonding time. If you have kids it is very important to get them involved as weight gain also effects children at epidemic levels. According to a national health and nutrition survey, about 17% of children are obese. You can help reduce this number by choosing to live a lifestyle that sets a good example for our youth. If you choose to live a healthy lifestyle so will your children and other members if your family which will not only help you avoid but will also help your loved ones avoid complications including heart disease, diabetes, and others.  
It's not only about exercising, eating the right foods is essential to the bodies overall health. How you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future weighs heavily upon the food choices you make each and every day. I am going to share some tips and ideas to get you started toward a healthier diet.

1: Be sure you are eating plenty of protein.

This is very important if you are starting a new exercise regime. Also, make sure it's lean protein which will help your body build lean muscle mass. Protein can come from animals in the form of meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. There is also plant protein from peas, seeds, nuts, soy, and beans. The average individual needs 5 to 7 ounces of protein a day according to the USDA. It is important to vary the protein you eat. Eat seafood twice a week, snack on nuts and seeds then eat meat for the other protein meals you have left in the week. Choose lean or low fat (90%) meat and poultry. Don't be afraid of the egg. One egg a day is not going to increase your risk for heart disease.  If you are still wary of cholesterol then skip the yolk and feel free to eat all the egg whites you want to. For a protein that's low in saturated fat and high in fiber go with beans, peas, soy, nuts, and seeds. For example, hummus, tofu, and veggie burgers are all low fat and high protein. 

2: Make 50% of the grains you eat! whole grains. 

Grains are foods made from oats,barley, cornmeal, rice, or wheat. Switch out your sourdough sandwich beard for a whole wheat version. Sub your white rice with brown rice and opt for whole what pasta the next time your cooking Italian. 

3: Get plenty of calcium. 

Drink your milk, just make it low-fat or non-fat which cuts the calories not the calcium. Swap your cheesy snack with yogurt which has less sodium and more potassium than cheese. If you can't let go of the cheese then opt for low fat versions. Substitute yogurt for recipes that call for sour cream or mayonnaise. I like 2% plain Greek yogurt because it's thick and creamy which is a great consistency for baking.   

4: Eat your veggies. 

The brighter the better and the brighter they are the more vitamins they contain. Don't be afraid of the freezer. Frozen veggies are just as nutritious as the fresh ones and much easier to prepare. 

5: Fruit is your friend. 

Ear plenty of whole fruits instead of just surviving on juice for your fruit intake. Make sure you wash them all before preparing or eating them. Chop up a banana in your cereal or add strawberries to your salads. Keep apples around at all times when you need a quick fiber filled, low calorie, nutritious and delicious snack. 

It is a new year and a new you. Remember to make small changes to your daily routine to see big results. Don't make your goal to loose wight, rather focus on being healthy. Just adding a small amount of movement in your daily routine can make a big difference. Differences like reducing the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. It can improve your stability, increase and improve your range of motion, and help you maintain flexibility, increase bone mass by reducing the risk for osteoporosis and fractures, boost your self esteem, alleviate stress, improve mood and memory, and reduce both anxiety and depression. 
Deciding to lead a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you have to change your whole life drastically. Small changes are the best way to transform your lifestyle and they will lead to big results. 

Fit Tip Of The Day: Be Aware. If you find yourself Sitting a lot then get up and start moving. If you realize you eat more sugars and starches then swap half of them out for whole grains and fruits. The most important thing you can do to make small. Hanged towards a healthier lifestyle is to be aware. 

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