The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tip #21: Stand Up to Fat!

I always look forward to getting my magazines at the beginning of every month, especially Health! They always keep me up to date on the latest studies and this month was no different. This month I found a study about sitting. Sure, doesn't sound very interesting, but read on because I can pretty much guarantee you'll learn something you didn't know before.

Sitting can actually make you fat! In your body, there is an enzyme (lipoprotein lipase) that burns fat naturally when you stand. When you sit, that enzyme stops and you store body fat! I know you may think exercising daily will be enough to counteract these effects, but it won't. The reactions causing you to store fat while you sit is unrelated to the reactions that cause you to burn fat while you exercise. I know, the human body is a confusing, annoying complex, but we gotta live with it.

Not only that but sitting also causes back pain. When you sit, you mess up the natural S-curve of the spine, creating a C-curve.The C-curve isn't strong enough to support your body weight. Even more of a reason sitting equals problems, sitting shortens your life span! A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2010 reported that death ratets from cardiovascular disease increased 2.7 times for a woman who sat six or more hours every day, whether she was overweight or healthy or exercised.

Pretty shocking statistics, right? There are a few simple ways to remedy this sitting epidemic! Try to stay on your feet at work! Push the chair aside, put your keyboard on a book, and stand over your desk to do your work. At home, get off the couch. After dinner, take the dog for a walk rather than settling down for a repeat of The Office. If you have the Wii-Fit, turn on the freestyle step game and do step areobics while you watch your shows. Little by little, just try to lessen the amount you're sitting and add to the time you are standing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Workout #13: Create Your Own Circuit

Lately I've become addicted to Exercise OnDemand, which is great because if I don't have any idea what to do, someone else can tell me a new idea to try. However, I've recently discovered a little problem with that: they never change their videos! Well, maybe not never, but almost throughout the entire month, the videos stay the same and after about two weeks of the same workouts, I'm ready to try something new!

Today, I decided I was in the mode for a little circuit training so I looked on OnDemand for one, but I've done all of their circuit training videos at least five times now. Instead, I grabbed my I-pod and went on my exercise machine, Pro-Form AbGlider! I bought it like five months ago but hardly ever used it, but today I was just really in the mood to try it. I was on it for about five months until I was bored. Then a song that was really upbeat and got up from the machine and started dancing! Then the next song I got back on the machine and I ended up doing this about 10 more times. With this workout that I created on the spur of the moment, I torched over 500 calories!

So here's your challenge: The next time your bored with your workout, switch it up, crank your music up, and create a new circuit workout! It's a lot easier than you might think!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tip #20: Relieve Your Stress and Live Happier

Growing up, my favorite show was Boy Meets World and my favorite quote from that show was "Life sucks, get a helmet." Today, I'll give you a helmet and I hope you choose to use it.

Every now and again, life does prove to suck. Getting healthy isn't just about being in a healthy weight range; it's also about your mental health, which can be tested sometimes by the things you see, the people you meet, and the day's events. I've been so stressed lately and today was just the icing on the very, very bitter cake. My friend got into a publication that I'd been working for a long time to get into, but never did. The worst part was that she hardly had to work to get it. It's hard sometimes to see your hard work get passed over. It makes me feel like I'm just not good enough and I know I'm not the only one to feel this way.

A few years ago, when something like this would happen, I'd nearly breakdown. I'd cut myself off from human contact, get massive headaches, and spend a few hours in the bathroom crying and feeling sorry for myself. Needless to say, this is not a healthy way to deal with things. More recently, I've found a few tips and tricks to get me through the day and keep me sane.

First, analyze who you surround yourself with a bit. My friend who was published is one of my best friends who I spend a lot of time with, but she's not my only friend. I went out with friends for lunch this afternoon and, after listening and trying to help them with a few of their own problems, I told them about the publication. They reminded me that I'm young yet and I have plenty of time to get published and, although they were very simpathetic, they helped me to laugh it off. When I first got the news, I felt like it was the end of the world, but by the end of lunch, I'd nearly forgotten it.

Second, take some time to let go of stress at the end of the day. In order to get rid of my headaches, a doctor suggested that I try meditation. At the end of every day, I sit on my bed and close my eyes in silent darkness. I picture the most relaxing place that I can think of, with the greatest and happiest people I know. I like to think of sitting in an inner tube, floating down a creek. It works for me because I took the suggestion of something that I read a long time ago: picture all the things you worry about and watch them float away. It's like casting away your problems from your mind, leaving only the things that make you happy.

Third, remember that everyone isn't perfect. Think of the things that you like about yourself, the things that are unique and make you, you. I know it's a bit of a cliche, but try to remember to write down these things. You can do this whenever you want, but just try to remember to do it. Seeing these things in writing will help you remember them and your mind will remind you of them next time you feel low.

Health isn't always physical; it's mental too. Stress can ruin your day and mess with your head, so it's important to try to relieve stress every day. A little stress is a good thing; it keeps you trying to work to your maximum potential. However, if you have too much stress, you'll overwork yourself. Keep yourself balanced and you can live a happier, healthier life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

TIp #19: Take Your Mind Off Food

The newest thing I've learned that has helped me lose weight (down to 146!) is staying busy with something that gets me out of the house. I've joined a writing group that gets me out of the house every Thursday, study at the libery rather than at home, volunteer on weekends, and go out with friends every Friday night. I've noticed that the less time I spend at home, the less calories I'm consuming.

When you are out and you get a little hungry or are overcome with a craving and don't have any food with you, you have to go and buy it, right? Well, that costs money! By the time you realize you have to walk or drive to the shop to get it and fish out money from your wallet (and let's face it, most of us don't have the extra spending money) you've probably overcome that craving or you remembered that you have dinner in an hour and you don't want to ruin your appetite.

So volunteer in your community on your down time, go to that museum exhibit you've been wanting to see, go the movies with your boyfriend (forgo the food of course), do a little extra studying and get that A, go to your school's football game, or even just go out and party with your friends! Go ahead! I give you full permission (if you are over twenty-one) to hit the dance clubs and flaunt it! Just go easy on the booze and you could even call clubbing healthy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tip #18: Don't Cross Anything Off

There is an epidode of the television show "How I Met Your Mother" when the main character, Ted, finds a shirt he once hated and realizes he kind of loves it now. This sends him on a tailspin, wondering if he should go back to a girl he once dated to see if he ends up loving her now that he is older and his tastes have changed.

Now, it didn't end so well for him and the girl (he dumps her and she beats the hell out of him) but there is a lesson to learn here (and it not just to never dump a girl on her birthday)! The lesson is that your tastes do change over time and you have to adjust to that! You have to experiment and try something you may not have thought of before. This goes especially for exercise, because your body changes, just like your tastes. A few years ago, I tried yoga. I was bored and dizzy in the first few minutes, quitting almost immediately and crossing it off the list of exercises I wanted to do. Fast forward to a few months ago and I'm reading an article about how great it is to do yoga and stretch out before bed, so I did it. Now, I can't go to sleep without doing at least twenty minutes of downward facing dogs, warrior poses, and chair poses.

There are a lot of reasons why you might not have liked an exercise regime at first. Maybe it was too boring like I thought yoga was. If you find that your workouts are high impact (aka you're sore for days afterwards) and you need to take a break, but you don't want to actually skip exercising entirely, you might want to go back to the workout you originally found to be a little boring. These are often low impact and, if you can learn to relax during them, you'll learn to love them.

Maybe you found it too challanging. I know I found kickboxing hard the first time I tried it! But you have to build up to something so high intensity. If you are doing another workout routine now and you are finding that its getting to easy for you, try the challenging workout again. It might just be exactly what you need!

All exercise has its upsides and downsides. You have to find one that you like, but since you adjust to your routine, you have to try new things, or things you may have tried before but didn't like originally. Your body might just end up thanking you for it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm-Up: Give Me Hope- New Politics

Queen of the Scene- Hot Chelle Rae

Checkmarks- The Academy Is

Faster Ride- Cartel

Cool Down: Paper Heart- David Cook