With bathing suit season nearly upon us I think that now’s a good time to turn our thoughts to health and fitness. Rather than crash diet or give ourselves 10, 15, or 20 days to reach specific goals in the upcoming months, why not change our habits and lifestyles so that we can stay healthy, happy, and in-shape all year around?
So with that goal in mind here are some health and fitness-related to links to get you motivated and in the mood for positive, healthy life changes. It’s a well-rounded list of reading materials, from interesting new workouts to healthy daily changes you can make to recipes you should try out. This is a great first step in a healthier direction!
Whether you’re a fan of free weights, classes at the gym, running, or yoga, we all know the importance of staying active in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting your heart rate up a handful of times a week is vital and adding walking to your daily regime will make all the difference in the world. I promise. You can even try low-intensity fasted cardio and get some walking in first thing before breakfast. Or ride to and from work each morning on your bike! Below are some ideas for different types of workouts to try, ways to mix up your trips to the gym, DVDs you may be interested in trying, and running tips.
- Fit Bottomed Girls shares their 10 Favorite Workout DVDs From a Guy Who Knows His Workouts. This list includes virtually everything you can think of – martial arts-inspired workouts, circuit training, yoga, and dance DVDs. Quite the comprehensive list!
- If you’re dedicated to the gym be sure to keep your workouts interesting and challenging by mixing things up each week so that no muscle groups are overlooked and you wont plateau on your goals. For inspiration on creative ways to mix up your workouts read FitSugar’s From Total Body to High Intensity: Elliptical Workouts For All, Mark’s Daily Apple’s The Importance of Pull-Up Bar Training, Prevention’s 7 Reasons You Need To Try Kettlebells Now, Self’s The Insanity Workout: 20 Minutes to Totally Toned, jump roping, and 3 CrossFit Total-Body Workouts. Add some new moves to your circuit workouts or try a new tempo on the elliptical, whatever it takes to keep your body, and mind, engaged and enjoying the results!
- Were you brave and ambitious enough to sign up for a race this Spring? It doesn’t matter whether it’s a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or triathlon, just getting out there is what really counts. Here are some tips and tricks and no-no’s: Most Common Running Mistakes, 25 Marathon Training Tricks, The No Meat Athlete’s How to Run Long (and Strong!), How To Start Running: Couch to 5k, and From Training Schedules to Meal Plans: Everything You Need For Your First Race.
- Want to try a new-to-you workout on for size? Whether you’re in the market for a new daily exercise regime or just something fun to do with a friend, here are some interesting choices: Ballet Boot Camp: Barre Fitness, Pilates, P90X, Cycling, Spinning, The Hunger Games Workout, yoga, or CrossFit.
How we fuel our bodies is the single most important thing that we do for our health on a daily basis. We make countless decisions every single day about food and beverages, and its easy to make the wrong choices if you’re not paying attention, haven’t educated yourself, or even if you procrastinate and wait until you’re starving before reaching for something. Fad diets will come and go, but eating a healthy, balanced diet is always going to be the best approach. Always.
- A big part of starting a healthier way of eating is making better choices, whether you’re swapping calorie-dense processed foods for fresh fruit and vegetable-based snacks on a daily basis, reducing your portion sizes each meal, or giving up refined flours and sugars. Cooking in your home is always going to be the best way to ensure that you’re eating the healthiest that you can eat – Here are some tips and ideas to get you started: What can you make with avocado, 7 Nutrient-Rich Juice Recipes, 6 Healthy, Crowd-Pleasing Spring Soups, know your good fats from your bad fats, summer salads, 10 healthy raw recipes, oven-roasted vegetables, 10 healthy egg recipes, vegetable quinoa pilaf, 5 healthy hardboiled egg recipes, and Recipe Roundup: Bars, Kale Chips, and Other Ideas for Quick, Easy, High Raw and Vegan Snacking!
- Interested in trying out a plant-based this Spring but worried that you’ll miss out on your favorite foods? Check out Vegetarian Comfort Food Recipes from Women’s Health, Fitness Magazine’s Endurance Athlete Brendan Brazier on How to Fuel an Active Lifestyle the Vegan Way, FitSugar’s Filling Veggie Meals That’ll Boost Your Metabolism, or even hit the grill with vegan-friendly burgers or Bourbon Tempeh Sliders!
- Try a healthy, nutrient-dense, filing breakfast to start your day out right: Vegan Overnight Oat Parfaits- 12 Recipes To Kick Off The Season, Smoothie Love, Mouthwatering ways to improve your oatmeal, Green Juice & Smoothie Recipes, or Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Goat Cheese.
Finding the internal motivation to lace up your sneakers or grab your gym bag can be a challenge sometimes – when you have a bad day, when your schedule is hectic and you swear you don’t have time, when you’re tired, or it’s that time of the month…
- Sometimes it’s the little things that motivate get us to the gym – Wanting to show off our new gear, being excited to listen to a new playlist, meeting a buddy for a workout… Don’t be embarrassed, use anything you can think of to get yourself to the gym! Read Rachel Wilkerson’s Lesson #115: How to Bribe Yourself to Work Out, FitSugar’s Foolproof Ways to Motivate a Weekend Workout on Friday Night, Prevention’s 7 Home Workout Excuses to Bury, Shape’s 12 Sayings to Get You Moving, Lifting, and Laughing, and Real Simple’s Friday Find: Style Firm.
- Different ways to motivate yourself: 5 Crazy Fit Female Athletes, 3 Motivational Musts That Get Me To The Gym, Motivational Quotes to Get You Moving, 9 Ways To Use Your Smartphone To Stay Motivated, Move It or Lose It! How to Motivate a Lazy Friend to Exercise, Why Eating Right and Gym Motivation is Mental, and How to Jump-Start Your 2012 Workout Action Plan.
- I love looking at inspirational sayings and pictures to amp me up before a workout (or to encourage me to hit the gym when the couch sounds amazing…) – Check out Pinterest for all the motivation you can handle!
And if you’re just starting out in the fitness arena and feeling a bit unsure of where to begin read through my Gym Goddess posts for workouts, inspiration, and things to keep in mind for beginning gym-goers:
What are my personal health and fitness goals for this Spring and Summer? Finally get through my spinal injury, start running, hitting the gym for circuit training, going to Pilates classes, and get up the courage to check out boxing and martial arts classes!
And just to make you guys laugh, here’s Shit Girls Say At The Gym!