Like a great majority of Americans, I resolved to be more healthy and work out more often in 2013. So far, I’ve done a pretty good job (I even earned the “Gym Rat” badge on Foursquare for hittin’ the gym 10 times in 30 days!). Exercise is good for your body, mind and soul … and once you get into a routine of working out, it get a lot easier.
In this day and age, there are a lot of ways to get your fitness on — whether it’s a trip to an actual gym, fitness DVDs in your living room or streaming workouts on your computer. Here are some things that I’ve tried lately:
- Fitness Center — R and I try to go to the gym four to five times a week. We start off with 30 minutes on the elliptical (although I think we’ll probably transition over to the treadmill pretty soon), and then we alternate between arms/abs and legs workouts. The best part about our gym is the fact that they have complimentary tanning (with membership), as well as a “red light” therapy bed that increases collagen in your body and tones your skin! I know tanning is bad for you, but it’s nice to go a couple times a month to get a little “glow,” especially in the winter.
- CrossFit — Two different Saturdays this year, R and I joined our friends R and K for CrossFit. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that utilizes “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement. The workouts are short (approximately 20-30 minutes), but they are tough! You’ll be sore for more than a couple of days after doing a CrossFit workout. I like CrossFit because the exercises are different every week. The gym we check out also encourages eating only Paleo-friendly foods … but you know I can’t give up my carbs and wine! I’ll just have to pretend that stuff was around in that era 😉
- DailyHiit — I haven’t tried this yet, but I see it EVERYWHERE on Pinterest. It used to be known as BodyRock, but it looks like they went through a rebranding and are now known as DailyHiit. They provide free daily workouts that you can stream on your computer or via their mobile app. DailyHiit is an online community where you can get encouragement from others, compete by posting your times, and even read up on exclusive content like foods to avoid and more. I’m definitely going to check this out soon!
While working out is important for weight loss and general fitness, it’s also important to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods! Here’s how I’ve been improving my diet:
- Shopping — I make sure to shop at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to get more all-natural, organic products. I’m not a big meat fan (but R is!), so it’s a little more difficult for me to figure out protein. I make sure to eat turkey sandwiches sometimes, and I’m also compiling a list of healthy slow cooker recipes that I plan to make soon. I’m also looking forward to trying some of the recipes in an awesome new book I got for Christmas — “True Food” by Andrew Weil, MD (owner of my favorite restaurant in the world, True Food Kitchen!).
- Juicing — While I don’t have the funds to purchase a heavy-duty juicer for my apartment, I do take advantage of The Green Kitchen in the Milwaukee Public Market. They have a variety of delicious juices that are priced around $4.50. When I’m on the East Side, I like to check out Beans & Barley, which also has a few great juice options … not to mention my favorite sandwich, the TLT (tempeh, lettuce and tomato)!
- Lunches — I like to pack lunches for work, and TJ Maxx currently has a ton of awesome food storage containers. My favorite one has a spot for a sandwich or small salad and two sides. I also purchased smaller containers for snacks like berries or carrots … they come with lids that you put in the freezer to keep everything cold. I also purchased a plastic tumbler that I fill with a protein shake in the morning and flavored water in the afternoon. It all fits nicely into a cute lunch bag that I also got from TJ Maxx. Yum!
- Snacks — We try not to snack on junk food at our apartment (or at the office). Instead, I make sure to keep some healthier items on hand. In my office, I keep a jar of wasabi-flavored almonds, a bag of dried fruit strips and a small container of granola in case I get hungry. At home, we like chips and salsa, guacamole and plantain chips, carrots, fruits and nuts. We also have tried to steer clear of beer as much as possible. Instead, we drink wine or hard cider on occasion. We are considering an alcohol-free February … but that might be a no-go for me since I really enjoy a glass of wine every now and then! 😉
It may not be the most intense exercise and diet regimen ever, but I definitely feel like it’s an improvement over where I was towards the end of 2012. R and I have a goal of being as healthy and fit as possible by the end of May … if we stick to our plan, we’ll reward ourselves with a trip to Las Vegas! And who wouldn’t want to do that? 🙂
Do you have any fun workouts or healthy eating tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear what makes you live your best life — leave a comment below!