Tag Archives: fitness

Benefits From A Cold Shower

Life became, even more, productive than before. I felt refreshed, composed and ready to tackle on the day.

benefits from a cold shower

In 2015, I was reading a lot about the benefits from a cold shower every single day. I thought it was crazy. Seriously. Who wants to be uncomfortable and in pain from something that should be soothing. I always love waking up in the morning and having a warm shower or after a long day of work, soak in the rain sprinkles that come from your shower head. But I kept reading about the positive effects taking a cold shower every day would have and so I decided to take the plunge. I did it for 30 days and here were my results.

More Alertness

Taking a cold shower in the morning made me more alert and kept my energy going for most of the day. Usually, I get tired mid-day but it seems like the effects of the cold shower made me more attentive and aware of my surroundings. I was more energetic and always wanted to do more and more. Life became, even more, productive than before. I felt refreshed, composed and ready to tackle on the day.

Used To The Cold Shower

The first week was brutal. I only managed to stay in the shower for a good minute or so and then jumped right out. I kept shivering and always anticipated feeling discomfort every time I stepped into the shower. After the first week, I tried a different technique. Rotating. I rotated my body constantly in the shower so that the cold will affect all parts of my body. I would allow the cold water to hit the front part of my body for a good 30 seconds and then my side, move on to my back and then to my opposite side. I kept doing this and found that I grew accustomed to how the cold felt against my skin. I highly recommend this option if the discomfort is too much. Over time, I learned to tolerate the cold. The thing that didn’t go away after 30 days was the initial shock.

Happier

I am generally a very happy individual but throughout my 30 days of taking this challenge, I was in a better mood than usual. Things that normally would stress me, didn’t. I kept thinking about how grateful I am to be alive and happy with my life. In hindsight, this happiness could also be attributed to me being more productive and getting things done. It’s interesting to note that your mood can change based on the type of shower you take. If you find yourself sad or inching towards depression, take the time to invest in a cold shower and see how it can help you out.

Cold showers are not for everyone and I didn’t continue them past the 30 days. It is challenging to keep up because the luxury of having warm showers is too hard to resist, at least in my case. But practice and slowly incorporate taking a cold shower in your life and see if it can help you out in a positive way. Begin by taking a warm shower and towards the end, turn it all the way to cold and relax and soak it all in. The benefits from a cold shower could be what you need to jumpstart your year! Best of luck and I hope to hear of your results!

Photo Credit: gratisography.com

5 Ways To Eat Healthy Without Spending A Fortune

Try to incorporate leftovers in future meals or just make enough for yourself. Believe it or not, but we toss away more food than paper, plastic or any other waste.

eat healthy without spending a fortune

Eating healthy can be difficult, especially if you are trying to cut costs. A common reason people cite for not eating healthy is it can get quite expensive. Healthy fruits and vegetables can end up costing way more than a frozen meal but that does not mean you cannot eat healthy on a budget. If you stick to a proper meal plan, perhaps, you can eat healthy without having to spend a fortune:

1. Cook It  Yourself

The number one tip for cutting costs while eating healthy is cooking food yourself. Spending money on frozen foods or on the coolest restaurants may seem tempting but it is the perfect way to break your bank. Apart from cutting costs, cooking your meals offers countless other benefits. It offers you the satisfaction you are eating a healthy meal that does not contain any unnecessary calories. While fine dining can be fun, even a single meal can cost hundreds of dollars. With the amount of money you spend on eating out, you can make multiple meals at home. If you must dine out, eat out with friends so you can split the bill.

2. Plan Your Meals In Advance

Plan your meals in advance so you do not get tempted into buying snacks on impulse. Sticking to a meal plan not only eliminates costs but also keeps you from making multiple trips to the grocery store. Shop wisely. Make sure your pantry is stocked well with basic staples and healthy fruits and vegetables and no matter what happens, do not waste food. Try to incorporate leftovers in future meals or just make enough for yourself. Believe it or not, but we toss away more food than paper, plastic or any other waste.

3. Go For Local Foods

Why go for expensive products that are imported when you can purchase local goods that are in season, inexpensive and good for the environment as well. Take a trip to the Farmer’s Market in your area. You will be surprised to find an array of incredibly delectable fruits and vegetables. Local fruits and vegetables have a chance to fully ripen before they are picked so they are healthier and more nutritious.

4. Grow Your Own Food

Nothing is better than tasting fruits and vegetables from your own garden. Planting a vegetable or herb garden may seem like a difficult task but in a reality, it is a lot of fun. Not only will you cut costs but your produce will be free from harmful artificial chemicals and pesticides. Many fruits and vegetables can grow without a lot of time and attention, such as beans, sweet potatoes, and strawberries.

5. Cut Down On Meat

Proteins are an essential part of a healthy diet and cannot be eliminated from your diet. Lean high quality protein that is organic, free from hormones and antibiotics are more expensive than meat that is pumped with unhealthy hormones and antibiotics. Try eating smaller portions of meat. You can stock up on proteins with piling your plate with lentils and other non-meat proteins.

Photo Credit: stock.tookapic.com

5 Tips For Staying Healthy At A Desk Job

Fortunately, small positive changes in your daily work routine can result in a healthier lifestyle.

staying healthy at a desk job

Staying healthy can be quite difficult if you are forced to sit at your desk all day at work. Millions of people around the world jeopardize their health by sitting in front of the computer all day long, forget the screen time that will completely ruin your eyes but your back and wrists also suffer in the process. In addition, losing weight can also be quite difficult. Fortunately, small positive changes in your daily work routine can result in a healthier lifestyle. Here are some tips for staying healthy at a desk job:

1. Get a Move On

Get up from your desk and start walking around at periodic intervals. If you cannot afford to move from your desk, stretch your arms and legs. Treat elevators and escalators as your enemies and take the stairs instead. Walking around will help in refreshing you for your daily tasks. Another great tip is to stand while typing emails or attending calls. Standing upright will improve your posture and will help your muscles engage in more activity.

2. Hand and Wrist Protection

Beware of the damage you are doing to your hands and wrists by typing away at the keyboard all day long. Staying ergonomically conscious with your hands and wrists can greatly reduce the chances of serious joint and ligament injuries. Invest in ergonomic keyboards and mouse pads that cushion your wrist and allow comfortable hand and wrist placement.

3. Maintain a Proper Posture

It’s easy to slouch down in your chair when you have been working for hours but a proper posture is important if you want to maintain a healthy life, hence keep your back straight and your feet on the ground. If you are still experiencing back problems, you need to consider investing in an ergonomically fit chair. Chairs that are especially designed to help improve posture will restore your back and spine to a more natural position and prevent any problems at the same time.

4. Skip the Junk Food

It’s harder to lose weight when you are sitting at your desk all day long, but it gets even more difficult if you have a habit of snacking all day long. Take home-made lunch with you. Avoid candy bowls and vending machines that will lure you into chomping on high calorie sweets. Take a walk after you have had lunch to aid digestion. Follow a healthy meal plan and you will be able to lose weight.

5. Take Care of Your Eyes

Computer eye strain has become a common complaint amongst people who have to spend a lot of their time staring at the computer screen. First off, adjust your monitor so it is at eye level. If the light emitting from your monitor has started to irritate your eyes, it is time you change the brightness setting. Look away from your computer screen at regular intervals. Find a faraway object to focus on for at least 30 seconds. It is advisable you take a comprehensive eye exam to prevent further problems related to eyesight.

Photo Credit: startupstockphotos.com

The Worst Advice About Health

It seems that our generation relies on WebMD to self-diagnose themselves whenever they are feeling unwell.

worst advice about health

There’s a lot of content out there in the universe that discusses how we can stay healthy, keep fit and live a long life. This is great. Having resources to rely on and use as a source of information is vital to increasing our knowledge. At the same time, however, there is also some pretty bad advice out there, sometimes making me question humanity! Why oh why would you tell people such and such. It’s bad advice! Well, I’ve done my fair share of research and there’s one advice that I heard that makes no sense to me and I’m here to tell you why it’s irresponsible and you should ignore any article that says it.

“Have You Checked WebMD?”

For those who may not know, WebMD is a pretty popular website containing medical jargon that looks and seem professional to the average user. It seems that our generation relies on WebMD to self-diagnose themselves whenever they are feeling unwell. But self-diagnosing yourself is not the way to keep yourself sick-free! In fact, using WebMD could actually hurt you more in the long run.

Anxiety, Stress, Paranoia
Choose to go onto WebMD at your own risk. You will read a lot of similar things saying a lot of the symptoms you have may be signs of cancer, heart disease, or another significant health problem. This is how I feel every time I go on and do research there. It doesn’t point to a good ending and I end up psyching myself up and overthink. This causes me to be anxious and paranoid about the “what ifs?” This adds stress to my life and ultimately, it worsens my symptoms. You don’t need all of this burden so do yourself a favor and stay off that site and seek the advice of a medical professional.

Facts vs. Assumptions
I find WebMD as a great place to understand medical jargon and get a glance as to how your symptoms COULD be related to some issues. However by reading about your symptoms all you end up doing is assuming you have whatever it is that the site tells you have. You may end up being persuaded that everything the site says is fact. But this is a problem, it’s never a fact until you actually see a doctor and they can physically check you out for themselves.

The next time you hear someone tell a friend or stranger to check WebMD, be sure to interject and say that they should see a doctor first and foremost if they are seriously concerned. There is no reason to add a layer of stress to your life and not be sure of what it is that you have. In addition, doctors can provide medications that can alleviate your symptoms which WebMD can not. You’ll feel more rest assured and at ease. So avoid WebMD at all costs unless you want to freak yourself out!

Photo Credit: kaboompics

Why We Love Fitness (And You Should To!)

That said, fitness comes in all forms and being fit simply means to be active in your community.

why we love fitness

The Self Starter Guide thinks fitness is awesome. Being able to exercise is one of the best things that blog contributor, Anh Phan, is so grateful for. The benefits and exhilaration that comes with exercise and staying fit is very rewarding. At the Self Starter Guide, we encourage everyone to take their personal fitness into their own hands and get yourself to love fitness. Here are some reasons as to why we love fitness.

Variety

There is so much variety when it comes to exercises. You have the athletes who love sports and working together on teams. You have yoga enthusiasts who want a more soothing setting to stretch and achieve greater flexibility. And you have the working mom and dad who go to the gym to stay fit whenever they are given a chance to. That said, fitness comes in all forms and being fit simply means to be active in your community. Walk around and do stuff. Don’t just sit and ponder your life away. That’s not what fitness is.

You’ll Look And Feel Good

A lot of people decide to immerse themselves in fitness in order to change their appearance. This should not be your goal! You’re beautiful how you are! BUT exercising and keeping track of your health does provide these added benefits as bonuses. Furthermore, being fit will allow you to feel good about yourself. I know that after a 3-4 mile run, as exhausted as I may be, I become happy with my workout. I feel positive and energetic for the rest of the day. I end up getting things done. I feel better about myself as a result.

Making New Pals

Yes! The fact that you focus on your fitness and well-being means that the people you surround yourself in these setting will also feel the same way. You’ll find like-minded people who want to stay active. You join a community of healthy people the more you put into your fitness. I found that over the years, the friends I have formed have been truly inspirational people able to achieve fitness goals because they are motivated by the people around them. So if you are looking for others to motivate you and make you smile, then continuing to invest in your fitness is key.

Have a workout! Go to the gym! Have fun and talk to others! There is a community out there for people dedication to being healthy. Make that commitment to really focus on how you look and feel. You’ll find that the more open you are to exercising and keep yourself in shape, the more you will attract people with similar interests. Have fun, exercise safely and keep promising yourself that fitness is a priority.

Photo Credit: picography.co

The Major Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

Believe it or not, people who live a healthy lifestyle and go out for their morning jogs do not have to worry about backaches and feeling tired all the time.

The Major Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle may be a challenge at first, especially if you are not a fan of vegetables and despise getting up in the morning for an early jog, but a healthy lifestyle offers countess benefits that make you feel great at the end of the day. It is time you ditch those alcoholic beverages and pay attention to your workout routines. Here are a few top benefits of a healthy lifestyle:

Live Healthier and Longer

While death is inevitable, eating healthy foods and getting sufficient exercise helps your body to become more adept in disease prevention. Getting rid of junk food from your diet will reduce the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure, which automatically prevents heart diseases and strokes. When you eat healthy, your body has ample energy for you to do all your daily tasks. However, eating too much junk food causes one to become lazy and sluggish. This further leads to obesity, which has become a dangerous health risk.

Get Rid of Physical Pains

Believe it or not, people who live a healthy lifestyle and go out for their morning jogs do not have to worry about backaches and feeling tired all the time. One of the perks of exercising regularly is once your body gets used to regular physical activity, it is less likely to feel physical pain. This is why when you first start to exercise, your muscles hurt a lot but as you continue to exercise for a couple of days, your body starts adjusting to the new changes and you no longer experience pain.

Increased Energy

Contrary to what people believe, a healthy lifestyle does not mean you start counting calories. It just means you start eating smart. You may reduce your portion sizes but the whole point about living a healthy lifestyle is to eat what’s good for your body. By including fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals in your diet, your body is able to generate more energy. Eating healthy boosts your energy levels and reduces fatigue. So, if you are tired of feeling drowsy at work all day no matter how much sleep you get, it is time you make a change in your lifestyle and start eating better.

Reduces Stress and Improves Mental Health

Believe it or not, eating healthy foods and getting enough exercise helps your body fight depression, and also sharpens your memory and reduces stress levels. Eating healthy foods also help to stabilize your mood, making you feel calm and chirpy instead of irritated and exhausted. Just by making a few changes in your diet and by getting a little exercise, you will experience a huge change in your life. So, opt for healthy fruits and vegetables the next time you are craving a snack. Avoid alcoholic beverages and try to stop smoking and you will see a visible change in your mood and your outlook on life.

These are some of the benefits you can enjoy by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Photo Credit: Bonduelle

Motivating Your Friends to Eat Better

Eating healthy requires one to have a lot of self-control and it is only reasonable your friend may at times go astray and find comfort in a tub of sugar loaded ice-cream.

Motivating Your Friends To Eat Better

Going on a diet and changing to a healthier lifestyle is not easy. However, eating healthier becomes a whole lot easier if you have a friend who is in the same boat as you. Eating healthy requires one to have a lot of self-control and it is only reasonable your friend may at times go astray and find comfort in a tub of sugar loaded ice-cream. Here’s how you can motivate your friends to eat better:

Acknowledging Their Efforts

A compliment can go a long way. Compliment and acknowledge your friend’s efforts and let them know how happy you are to see them progressing in their fitness regime. If they have lost weight or have managed to keep off those salty potato chips for a week, let them know how proud you are of them sticking to their goals. A small compliment can make a whole world of a difference as it will keep your friend motivated and will provide encouragement to do even better.

Create an Incentive Program

If you and your friends are on a diet, plan a cheat day to keep yourselves motivated. All work and no play can make Jack a dull boy. You need to reward yourselves after eating bland chicken and boiled vegetables for an entire week. Pick any day according to your convenience and plan a dinner out. Plan your goals together and find a fun way to achieve them. Your fitness regime does not have to be all about eating bland food and spending tedious hours at the gym.

Have Fun

Eating healthy is not a punishment. Have fun! You can convince your friends to join a healthy cooking class with you. Not only will you be able to spend some quality time with your friends but also meet new people who you can now share your ideas and experiences. If you guys are not up for a cooking class, you can go through a bunch of recipes together online in the comfort of your home.

Be a Role Model

Your friends are most likely to eat better if they see you doing the same. Be the role model they need. They are likely to look up to you as you are their friend. Change their perspective about eating healthy and introduce them to new and better fitness techniques. Once they see how well you are doing, they will be compelled to follow in your footsteps and do the same.

Offer Them Comfort and Support

As mentioned earlier, eating healthy is not as easy as it looks and requires one to let go of their cravings and constantly monitor their calorie intake. If your friend is having a rough day, be there for them and offer moral support. Let them know the road to wellness may seem difficult but it definitely is worthwhile. So, share your struggles with them and be there for each other.

Photo Credit: Food Enthusiast

Improve Your Self-Image Through Nutrition

We are all so used to weight loss schemes and quick fixes that we can sometimes hurt ourselves by either over-training or making ourselves feel miserable

Improve Your Self-Image Through Nutrition

How many times have you scoured a health and fitness magazine and you see pictures of all these beautiful men and women with their fit bodies? Besides these pictures are health and fitness tips but in your mind, you feel like this kind of aesthetic is hard to achieve. Welcome to my world. We are all in this boat together, but we need to come to the conclusion that achieving such physique is doable. But the biggest advice I’ve gathered when reading these fitness articles is that you have to improve your self­-image through nutrition.

Sure exercising is a fundamental and necessary evil in our lives (if you consider it horrific like I do sometimes.) But the bulk of what you need to focus on is your attitude along with your nutrition. These two elements are key to getting the look you desire. First and foremost, your attitude will shape you into becoming a positive individual with the mindset that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Having a positive outlook will make the exercises and nutritional training easier because you know that you will see results. Second, nutrition will not only improve your overall health but give you the burst of energy that you need in order to exercise and have a positive life.

Here are some tips when considering nutrition in your life.

Be Easy on Yourself

Take it slow and easy on yourself. We are all so used to weight loss schemes and quick fixes that we can sometimes hurt ourselves by either over-training or making ourselves feel miserable because of the diets we found. Go easy on yourself and understand that improving how you look will take time. There’s no need to rush things. Enjoy the journey and not anticipate the result.

Limit Certain Foods

By now, I am sure you have read so many articles about what you can and cannot eat. I’m here advocating the same but am not telling you to cut everything out entirely. It’s okay to have a bad snack every so often, but you must learn to hold yourself accountable by counter­balancing it in some way. If you have a bad meal, then make the commitment to work out harder the next morning. Certain foods like those high in sugar and high carb food are tempting but encourage yourself to limit it to one or two servings a week.

Vegetables Are King

I read this post  by Leo Baubata recently and he had a very simple thought process to nutrition. If you eat something bad or do something bad, it’s okay, as long as you add vegetables to the mix. Did you eat McDonalds? That is okay. Just add a lot of vegetables to the meal. It was really funny reading his article, but it makes complete sense. As long as you supplement your diet or balance your meal with as many vegetables as you can, then you can’t go wrong in your diet.

We all can achieve the supermodel, muscular build if we put our heart and soul into our nutrition and exercise. But ultimately we have to be happy with how we are right now and not give in to the thoughts that we do not look good enough. We can achieve anything we want and the first step of making this happen is being proud of what you look like and who you are as a person. Sure, nutrition and exercise will help you expedite your goals, but begin with how you recognize your self­-image and learn to be happy with it.

Photo Credit: Taste Mptations

Get A Massage Now

Getting a massage help eases the tension in any part of your body. With the soothing touch from the hands of a masseuse, you’ll feel like you are on top of the world.

Get A Massage Now

Do you get stressed at work? That stress can lead to aches and pains all over the body. That is…until somebody starts rubbing your neck and caressing your back. A sense of comfort and relief overcomes you. This is the power of a massage.

Stress kills. From the worries we have about our careers to problems in the family, stress adds an unnecessary burden on our lives. We should strive to avoid it. But unfortunately, it is everywhere and no matter how much we try to escape it, we can’t.

There are remedies that can alleviate the stresses in your life. A great way to combat stress is to get a massage. Yes, the act of someone putting pressure on your aching body can sound somewhat frightening but the truth is, it is one of the most enjoyable things you can do for your life.

Getting a massage help eases the tension in any part of your body. With the soothing touch from the hands of a masseuse, you’ll feel like you are on top of the world. Any pain that you may be feeling will most likely go away after having an intense massage session.

Some people can’t handle the intensity of a massage. That is totally fine. I was not used to it at the beginning and it hurt when the masseuse seemed to be pressing too hard. Just let them know! If you think they are applying too much pressure, especially on a sensitive area of your body, you have the right to tell them to tone it down. The masseuse is there to help and not to cause you pain. You know your own body than they do.

Most people can’t justify getting a massage because of costs. I consider it a healthy investment in your life to get one from time to time. I am not suggesting you do it on a weekly basis, but maybe once a month can provide much-needed relief in your life. By going to these massage sessions, you’ll find yourself less stressed over time and healthier, avoiding potential health risks in the future.

Massages create an amazing experience for its recipient. You’ll feel great after getting one. The benefits of getting rid of stress are important enough to justify you spending money on it. If you haven’t gotten one, be sure to do so in the future because your world will change for the better. Get a massage now.

Photo Credit: The Salon

Remember To Ice – Fitness Tips

Remember to IceI am an advocate of exercise and taking care of your body after a workout. People should be always be moving their body. By exercising, you improve your fitness and health. We take our well-being for granted by choosing not to keep fit. This will only hurt us in the long run. One aspect we tend to also forget is taking care of ourselves post-workout. How often have you felt sore after a workout and did nothing about it? This could be dangerous. Here are some fitness tips and what you should be doing after any workout.

Ice. Yes, lay that block of ice on the area where you are most sore. After working out, your muscles need to heal. Ice helps. When working out via  weight lifting or other forms of strenuous exercises, we are essentially tearing up muscle tissue. By icing, you are slowing the flow of blood and shrinking the blood vessels, therefore preventing swelling. We ignore this process too often because of the inconvenience of getting ice and the uncomfortable feeling of coldness on your skin. But by icing, you’ll feel less sore in the days to come.

After a workout, make sure you take the time to stretch. Although stretching post workout does not reduce muscle soreness or pain, it can help you with increasing your flexibility. By becoming more flexible, you grow stronger and gain a wider range of motion. When you work out, lactic acid is forming in the area where you worked your muscles. By stretching you allow the lactic acid to flow more and allows muscle repair to speed up. Thus remembering to stretch can be just as important as the workout itself.

Be mindful of how you feel following the workout. If you sense intense pain in your body make sure to seek professional help if it’s something you can not handle. Do not work out the same muscles during back to back sessions as it will not provide enough time for muscles to heal. Learn to be mindful of how your body works and sense the aches and pain that affect you.

Rest. One of the most important thing to do following a workout is to  relax and rest. Stop worrying about your next workout and the things you have to do for the rest of the day. Acknowledge the great workout you just had and take the time to slow down and heal. We rush into our life quickly following a workout and this fast-paced attitude can be affecting you negatively.

I am a huge advocate of working out. People need to do it more often. But at the same time we need to take care of our body and not be too reckless. We can end up hurting ourselves more than the workout itself if we choose not to be mindful of our body and how we feel. If you injure yourself, this can mean you will have a tougher road ahead of you and make it more difficult for you to exercise in the future. Take the time you need to slow down and you’ll start to see your workouts improve immensely.

Photo Credit: Frozen Ice Cubes

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