We are just a few weeks into the new year and I've seen a lot of people stepping up their fitness and health game! I've also seen a few people post about giving up and trying again next year. Why?! It's too soon. Way too soon.
If you've followed my journey for a while, you know that focusing on my health and fitness routine has really helped me not only with my physical or internal health goals, but in my career, life, and with my relationships.
This blog isn't all about fitness. This is about health, but what I will say about fitness is that I used to be so misinformed about how to get abs and actually keep them. Well, I now know that it's all about nutrition. A waist trainer helps, too. It’s not hard, but it’s a challenge when you’re addicted to sugar, comparing yourself to everyone else and trying to do exactly what they do.
Don't ever forget that we all respond to exercises and nutrition differently and when you find what works for you — stick with it! As a former fitness trainer, I would encourage you NOT to follow the fad diets or the crazy workouts that other people tell you that you must do. If you've got some serious goals and aren't quite sure where to start, get a personal trainer, coach, or nutritionist who can work with you personally. If you're low on funds, please do your own thorough research.
PS. At the end of the blog, I've posted a few of my favorite supplements and workout accessories to help get you going, or to keep those results coming.
Here are 5 ways that focusing your health can help you to improve your career, life, and relationships.
According to the Nutritionist Resource, ensuring your diet comprises of nutritious foods with vitamins, minerals and good fats is the best way to help you boost your mood and feel more confident in yourself. Working out regularly and eating healthy develops strength for both your body and mind. Livestrong.com explains when you exercise; your brain releases serotonin that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind. Regular exercise also helps decrease feelings of anxiety and depression. Which leads me to our next benefit...
Greater Sense of Happiness
Alongside decreased feelings of anxiety and depression comes what we all strive for - happiness. According to Susan Biali, M.D., in "Psychology Today," a healthy lifestyle -- including a regular, healthy breakfast, balancing your lean protein consumption with whole-grain carbohydrates, getting enough folate and omega-3 fatty acids and cutting back on alcohol and simple sugars -- has been linked to an improved mood and may even help alleviate depression. Carbohydrates allow the amino acid tryptophan to enter the brain where it produces serotonin -- the mood-enhancing neurotransmitter, but whole-grain carbohydrates produce a more lasting effect on mood, while carbohydrates made with refined grains, like white bread, cause a quick crash. I'll be the first to admit that I don't eat breakfast everyday, so I'll put my own spin on this to say that I'm down with the whole grains, eating less sugar and drinking less alcohol. One glass a day never hurt anyone, right? Cutting out wine would be a sin for me. #pouritup
Enhanced Focus & Mental Clarity at Work
A healthy body and mind means that you're operating at a higher level than someone who could care less about their health. Proper nutrition and exercise stimulates your mind and provides you with increased mental focus and clarity each day. Ron Friedman mentioned in the Harvard Business Review that just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach. Healthy choices mean better performance. This doesn't apply only to the sports world. This is our life. #thisisnotadrill
We all know how important it is to love yourself. I've heard it for years after getting into the health industry and while it may seem a bit overkill now, it's so true. We cannot love anyone else if we don't love ourselves first. We can't save anyone else if we can't save ourselves first and self care starts from within. Kimberly Truong mentions in her blog that a new survey has found that girls with negative body image are more likely to skip meals, avoid seeing friends and family, and even avoid seeing a doctor. Those with low body esteem were also more likely to be less assertive than those who felt positively about their bodies. This Psychology Today article states that when we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts. Taking care of ourselves from the inside, out will lead to increased self-love.
Stronger Relationships with Friends, Family, and Colleagues
“Healthy relationships enable us to be who we are,” says Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N., Director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing. “They nurture us and they help us grow. They help us become better people.” At the same time, these relationships can greatly impact our health. Think about the last time you went through a bad break up, had a bad fight with someone you love, or lost someone that you cared deeply for. How did that affect you? If you're someone whose in good health mentally, physically, and emotionally, the negative affects of that loss aren't less by any means, but they won't impact your mental state or health in the same ways that it would someone who is currently in an unhealthy place. Take the time to take care of yourself and you'll find that you can nurture relationships with many people in your life more authentically. You may even find some common things to bond over, like taking some spin classes together or going vegan for a month. #KALEYES
BONUS! BB's Health/Fitness Recommended* Must Haves
*disclaimer: these are items that I use, but if you have questions I suggest speaking to your primary care physician before use.
Baetea 14-Day Detox
I use this one every 3 months when I want a quick detox.
CLA Natural Weight Loss Exercise Enhancement
I take these daily with meals 2-3x per day.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is thought to play a role in reducing body fat, increasing lean muscle mass and improving exercise performance.
When combined with exercise, studies suggest that CLA may stimulate the breakdown of stored body fat and block new fat cells from growing.
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Vega Essentials Nutritional Chocolate Shake
I have this each day usually at lunch, or in the morning.
20 grams complete plant-based protein from a multi-source blend including pea protein, hemp protein, and flaxseed
Veggies and greens made from ingredients such as leafy greens, green algae, and peas . Made with real plant-based food ingredients.
At least 25% DV of 12 vitamins and minerals, Omega-3 ALA, 16% DV fiber
Gluten-free, certified vegan, Non-GMO Project verified.
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NLA For Her HerAmino Burner
I mix this up to drink during my workouts. Each time!
THERMOGENIC FAT BURNER
ENERGY, FOCUS, & ENDURANCE SUPPORT
PREVENT MUSCULAR BREAKDOWN SUPPORT
ADDED BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
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NLA For Her Uplift Pre-workout
I take this in the morning usually before a workout or on the weekends. I usually avoid taking it in the evenings so I'm not up all night.