1. Rest up: In the busy world in which we live people tend to toss out sleep in order to accommodate other “more important” things. But the truth is, sleep is just as critical as exercise and nutrition. Adults should get about 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
2. Fill up: To help you lose or maintain weight, it’s important to stock up on nutritional foods that fill you up to avoid overeating. Avocados, almonds, pecans, oatmeal and hummus are some great choices.
3. Eliminate Stress: Though it’s pretty unrealistic to do away with all stress factors, taking time to relax can actually change the way your metabolism stores fat. High anxiety levels can cause the body to pump out too much cortisol, storing fat in unwanted places like your belly.
4. Run It: When it comes to cardiovascular exercise, studies show it’s better to do higher intensity workouts for about 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Sometimes, less is more.
5. Group Affair: Staying fit is easier when others around you have similar goals. Invite your friends to workout with you, join a fun, new fintess class, or become a gym member. Having others there to encourage you will boost your motivation and energy.
6. Sugar-Free: Sure we love sugar because of its obvious quick energy spike and delicious taste, but cutting back on some sugars is a great way to improve your health. Start by eliminating packaged and processed foods like pizza sauces, salad dressings and pre-packaged soups that are all extremely high in sweeteners.
7. Humor Corner: They say laughter is the best medicine and there are many reasons for that. Laughter is said to not only trigger the release of endorphins but to also benefit blood flow, sooth physical tension and improve your immune system.
8. First Meal: It’s all about breakfast. Wake up to a healthy meal of fruit, yogurt or whole-wheat toast to fuel your tank, get your metabolism running, and give you plenty of energy for the day ahead.
9. Mix Up: The best workout regimens are those that encompass cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises. A smart way to do it all is to set aside a few days for cardio and practice the other exercises in between.
10. Body & Soul: A healthy body contributes to a positive mind and vice-versa. Staying fit starts with finding the equilibrium between mental and physical health.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
› A Key Biscayne native, Cristina Alvarez is a Fitness Manager & Step Aerobics Instructor at Tufts University. She believes in indulging in the pleasures of life but emphasizes that it’s all about moderation.