How to Create a Life You Enjoy Living

This is my life… my story… my book. I will no longer let anyone else write it; nor will I apologize for the edits I make.
-Steve Maraboli

What is life if not worth living?

The truth is, you really can change your life to one that you enjoy living… at least most of the time. No one’s life is perfect but we all have the power to make our lives better.

A lot of this power of change might very well include shifting your mental energy to better things and/or things you can actually change. So fair warning: this isn’t some magical or easy answer to live your dream life. After all, if it were, I would have been doing so in my own life for a while now.

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.
-Brene Brown

The good news is that you can OWN your life and shape it to be something you actually enjoy living. Here I will share with you some things that I have personally learned in my pursuit to a better life for myself:

First of all, remember that you are worth this and you deserve a life you can enjoy living.
You are worth living a life you find satisfying and rewarding. It will take quite a bit of work, and a lot of mentality changes, but it is so very possible.

Realize that your idea of a life that’s satisfying and rewarding may be quite different than others’ idea of that life.
This is your life. It isn’t up to them how you live it. Don’t let others’ opinions poison your mind and make you doubt your abilities. You are powerful and a force to be reckoned with. You have so many more options open to you than you can even see right now. Open your mind to them. If other people don’t like it, then they can just deal with it or move on.

Think about what you really want out of life, either long-term or short-term, or even both.
What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your future to hold? Consider what your biggest dreams are right now. Don’t limit yourself to what you feel is possible for you right now. Like I mentioned above, there are so many more options available to you than you can see right now and you never know what you can accomplish until you set out to do it!

Weigh the pros and cons to your decisions. Can you really imagine living your life if you follow through with that decision?
Considering the good and the bad that could result from each decision you make. Is that decision really worth making when you consider the negatives that may come from it? Sometimes the positives actually outweigh the negatives or the sacrifice is worth what you get in return. Thinking in these terms for bigger decisions, and sometimes even smaller ones, can really make a difference. At the very least, it makes you think twice before taking a plunge.

Make goals that are actually reachable and allow you time to pursue them, and then craft a plan to meat the goal(s).
I wasn’t lying when I mentioned that you shouldn’t only consider possible for yourself. However, in order to pursue your goals, they still need to be realistic for you and your circumstances. You can make plans to make some goals fit into your life, while others may be a dream to hold off for another time. Think of the resources you have at your disposal right now or that you could possibly use. Wherever there’s a will, there’s a way!

Take action because none of this means much if you don’t actually take any action to achieve it.
Make plans and prepare, but also take action. All the preparation in the world will mean nothing if you don’t move forward with those plans. You may have to start before you’re ready and that’s okay. Some of it will have to be figured out as you go along because you can’t possibly see the whole path all at once.

Scale back on the negatives… Cut anything out of your life that sucks energy away from you or makes you miserable.
There is no space in your life for the negatives. Those people, tasks, or things in your life that suck energy away from you and leave you depleted… whatever you can let go of, do it! It’s not worth holding onto those things if they are keeping you from the life you want (and sometimes need) to live. Some of these things will be okay without you and some of them may not. However, your wellbeing is more important than most of them if you truly consider it. I’m not saying chuck important things from your life, by any means, but dispose of anything that you can that causes you misery.

Grow the positives- focus on any and all positives.
Along the same lines as the point above, focus on any and all positives and elaborate on them. Make those positives the center of your life and your life will begin to take shape around them as if they are the most important thing. It takes time but it certainly helps!

I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.
-Dele Olanubi

So I ask you, what do you really want from your life? Do you think it’s really possible?

 

~Bonnie~

10 Ways to Get Your Steps in No Matter What

When the weather is less than ideal, or you’re stuck inside for some other reason, it can be tough to get those steps in. The good news is that there are lots of ways you can get your steps in!

Don’t give up because you can still get those steps in. Make it fun and challenge yourself, or a friend, to get in as many steps as you can. The Fitbit app allows you to start and join challenges such as these and is an awesome way to keep that motivation alive! Or you can simply take a picture of your pedometer and post it on Facebook, send it to a friend you want to challenge, etc. Make it work for you and have fun with it!

Here are some of my favorite ways to get my steps in when I’m stuck indoors:

  1. Treadmill or elliptical: If you have access to one or both of these machines, they can be a wonderful way to get your steps in where it’s warmer and more comfortable. You can make it more interesting by listening to music, watching videos, creating a photo album on your phone of motivating pictures, or browsing Pinterest for inspiration!
  2. Pacing through your house or other indoor setting: This works anywhere you have the ability to walk back and forth. Your house, a game or other event your child has, while your children play indoors, etc. It can be done almost anywhere and almost anytime.
  3. Walking in place: Again this can work anywhere and anytime. You can walk in place while your children play nearby, while you watch an entertaining TV show or movie, while you listen to music, folding laundry, etc.
  4. Indoor walking videos: Leslie Sansone, on demand fitness videos, etc. Almost everyone has a walking video of some sort out these days. Even Biggest Loser has a Power Walking DVD.
  5. Store or mall walking: Walking the aisles of a store or walking cycles around a mall might be slower going unless they aren’t busy at the time, but is a great way to get those steps in while keeping warm and safe. Just try to avoid those food aisles if it’s too much temptation. Some good ideas where there isn’t much food for sale include home improvement stores, office supply stores, electronics stores, etc.
  6. Indoor walking tracks: These are not available everywhere, but typically in an area where weather is bad there should be at least one option. It could also be a mall that someone has mapped a route around or a high school gymnasium.
  7. Run after or play with the little ones in your life: If you have any young children in your life, simply chasing after them and/or playing with them can really give you a workout… and help you accumulate those steps!
  8. Dancing: You can dance anywhere. Not only does this get your heart rate up, but it also adds up to plenty of steps! The good news is that you don’t have to have any fancy dance moves for it. Just go with the flow and dance to your favorite music. Dance like no one’s watching, as the saying goes!
  9. Be inefficient as you go about your day: Take multiple trips to do housework or to get items you need from different areas of the house. Take clothing from your laundry basket to the washer one at a time, and then from the dryer to where you want to fold them one at a time. Carry in those groceries one bag at a time.
  10. Short walking bursts outdoors: Too cold to be outside more than 5-15 minutes? Walk to your nearest corner and back, or walk five minutes out and five minutes back. Go at your own pace and set a five-minute timer if you need to, so that you know when to turn back again. Short bursts outdoors should be okay and if that sun is shining, you are getting the added benefit of Vitamin D which is something many of us can lack in the winter!

 

~Bonnie~

Make This Year the Best Year

Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.
-Gary Allan

Finding inspiration each day to live a healthier life can be a huge task sometimes. Motivation naturally wanes as the novelty wears off. If you have trouble finding inspiration and things to motivate you each day, urging you to move forward day-to-day, I might just have the perfect tool for you!

My 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom can be just what you need. It is an eBook that contains daily inspiration for those striving to live a healthier life and lose weight. There is a quote for each day, including some words of wisdom from yours truly where I put a spin on the quote to show how it applies to your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey.

365 Days of Inspiration

You can check it out here: 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom.

The most valuable skill or talent that you could ever develop is that of directing your thoughts toward what you want.
-Abraham Hicks

Now, how do I know that this will help you with your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey? It’s simple… Making it helped me with mine! As I mentioned last week in this post: How to Survive a Big Slip-Up, I had a big slip-up. When someone ordered this eBook and I had only finished about half of it, I crunched to put it together. Making it and typing it out ended up having an effect on me similar to that which I hope my readers have while reading it… it inspired me and helped me feel motivated again! It lit a fire under me and helped me get myself more on track again.

This can be a great tool to save to your phone, tablet, or computer and take a peek at each day. Inspiration will be at your fingertips and will be fresh each day. You can also print it to have a physical copy of the eBook as well.

If you are interested, take a peek at the official page here: 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom

For a limited time, you can also get all THREE of my products to-date for a special price, here: Getting Started Weight Loss Bundle which includes my previously free Getting Started Weight Loss Workbook, 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, and Goals to Become the Best You Workbook + Guide. This bundle and it’s low, low price will only be available for a short period of time!

 

~Bonnie~

How to Help Your Kids Eat Healthy

Most parents and caregivers can agree that getting kids, especially young ones, to eat healthy can be a constant challenge. They don’t want to try new things and when they do, they can be put off by the texture or the taste, or even something else. Here are some tips that have worked for me or a family member:

Rule #1: Don’t force them to eat certain things! It doesn’t get you anywhere and may even backfire.

Rule #2: OFFER all foods by asking them if they want it and/or placing a small amount on their plate. The more the food is mentioned, the more likely they are to at least say yes at some point.

Rule #3: Make the food appealing or attractive in some way. Entice them. For example, with broccoli, I told my nephews that it looked like a little tree that they could eat. It still took a while for them to try it but the tree thing intrigued them and helped them get used to the idea.

Rule #4: If they really don’t like a certain food, don’t force them to eat it. They may learn to like it later on and you can certainly keep offering it to them, but if they’ve already tried it and say they don’t like it, don’t force them to eat it.

Some other ideas:

  • Hide the healthier foods in the less healthy food that they like. Go with this age-old idea of hiding it in their other food. You can mix small pieces of veggies and meat into scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese (or other pasta dishes), spaghetti or other kinds of sauces, breads/muffins that you make yourself, etc. The ideas are endless. Now, I realize that you’re not going to “fool” all kids this way but it’s an idea for some that are picky but not super picky.
  • Put it in front of them without saying anything. Serve their veggies on their plate along with their other food without offering it or mentioning it beforehand.
  • Tell them that they need to at least take a bite of it. This can go hand-in-hand with the previous idea. Say they need to try it before they make a decision about it. If they finish the rest of their food and want more of those, make a deal with them that if they eat their veggies, they can have seconds of the other dishes.

Children will learn to view it as their choice which makes them feel as if they have more control over what they are eating and is usually more constructive long-term as well. Sure, it may take longer for them to even try a food let alone actually eat it, but it gives them a much more positive view of healthy eating… particularly regarding vegetables.

I have used these tactics with my four-and three-year-old nephews for at least a couple years now and have much better results than when forcing them to eat certain fruits and vegetables. My mom also did this with my siblings and I when we were younger and I fully believe that it helped us enjoy healthy foods more. My sister and I especially like a variety of fruits and vegetables. My brother likes a few too, just not as much as us girls. I know for sure that what my mom did helped me and now I love all kinds of healthy foods that even she doesn’t particularly like.

My opinion is that the better a view of healthy eating that your kids have, the better it will serve them and your whole family. So teach them about healthy living and simply encourage them to live a healthier life. Most of the time it doesn’t have to be rocket science to teach our kids good habits!

What do you do with your own children to get them to eat healthier, drink more water, or exercise?

 

~Bonnie~

How Making a Positivity Jar Can Help You

Many of us can find it hard to stay positive, especially when life keeps throwing lemons at us. I am not naturally a positive person myself. In fact, when I had just graduated from high school, a friend gently informed me that I complained too much. Still, it hit me hard and that’s when I began to make a transformation. It has been slow going and it isn’t all continuous. I make progress here and there but it adds up in big ways. The lesson I learned then has stuck with me.

When I began my weight loss journey this time, one of my focuses was to be more positive. I’m not even sure how or why this got driven home so well, but I’m glad it was! I’m thinking it was a combination of reading motivational articles and receiving consistent positive support and encouragement from my friends on SparkPeople. Part of it had to be a natural gravitation on a personal level as well though, because I know it wouldn’t have had this much of an impact if not.

Either way, I still may not be the most positive person but I learn more and more each day on how to be more positive. One thing I have learned is that the more positive I am in general, the happier I am and the better my life is. I can see so much more beauty in the world each day than I ever could have before!

Here are some questions to ask yourself in the moment:

  1. What can I learn from this negative experience?
  2. Is there any way that I (or someone else) benefits from this?
  3. Can I spin this problem/experience around and squeeze any amount of good out of it?

There is always something positive to be found in each day and there is also something good in every bad. Sometimes we just have to dig deep or look hard for it!

How you can stay positive each day:

  • Embrace the good times. Whenever you are happy or enjoying life, take the time to be grateful for it! It helps train your brain to focus on those happier moments. Those little things you might otherwise not give a second thought to, are some of the best ones to focus on.
  • Never stop looking for the positive. Even in moments where you might not otherwise take the time to really see your surroundings, simply be observant. Notice all the positivity going on in your life.
  • Appreciate the beauty around you. Whether you are in a car, bus, on a bike, or walking… or even playing the waiting game for whatever reason; look around you and appreciate the beauty in the little things.
  • Repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Tell yourself nice things: “I am beautiful” or “I am worthy.” My favorites are “I am strong and I am capable.” The more kind things you say to yourself each day, the more the world opens up to you!
  • Do nice things for other people. When you are nice to other people, even doing something as small as smiling at someone passing you by, it can lift your spirits and remind you that there is so much good in the world!

You may be wondering by now, what is all this about a “Positivity Jar” mentioned in the title. Well, I have been seeing this idea all over the place but on Facebook mainly, about a New Year’s memory jar. You write down good memories and put them in a jar to look back on at the end of the year.

My spin on this is to put anything positive in there, not just memories necessarily. You can write anything good that happened each day on a piece of paper, fold or roll it up, and drop it inside. Then you can take them out and read them throughout the year, whenever you’re having a hard time or needing inspiration, as well as at the end of the year. This encourages you to focus on all the good happening in your life instead of letting your life pass you by. Then you get to remember even the “little” things that happened throughout the year when you read them again.

Some ideas for jars:

  • Positivity Jar: To put positive happenings in each day.
  • Positive Affirmations/Positive Thoughts Jars: Fill the jar right away with positive affirmations, or positive thoughts, that you can pull out whenever you need a boost!
  • Gratitude/Thankfulness Jar or Blessings Jar: These you can write down things you are thankful for or consider a blessing and drop them in over the course of the year.
  • Smile or Happiness Jar: Whatever makes you smile or feel happy each day or whenever the feeling grips you!
  • Inspiration Jar: This one kind of works similar to the positive affirmations/thoughts jars. You can fill a jar with things that inspire you and then read them as needed to spark your inspiration. You can also add inspiration ideas as you go along as well!

What you can write down to put in the jars:

  • Weight loss or fitness related achievements
  • Goals of any kind, progress or achievement
  • Career happenings
  • Finance progress you’re working towards
  • Life in general

Really, anything goes for what you want to write to go into your jar each day. You can make the jar however you want. I personally used the coffee cans you see in the above picture. Then I put labels on them and wrote what I wanted it to say. Your ideas for your jar might change over time. Also, don’t be afraid to make two jars. It can be double the fun and double the dose of positivity.

In the short amount of time that I have been using my jars, I have noticed great results. They are a fun way to focus on the positivity in my life and end the day on a good note. Not only that, but they are also very easy to make and use. Now, who doesn’t love easy things that actually work?

Here are some blog posts by some women who are doing similar jars themselves:

Michelle from Dishes and Dust Bunnies has a “DIY Dollar Store Memories Jar” with a free printable for the jar! This post is from 2015 but she has made an update in there for a 2016 printable. Check it out here: Memories Jar.

Heather from Mommypotamus discusses making her own as well. You can check it out here: Gratitude/Happiness Jar.

And finally, Vicky Barone has a post from this year for making a “Happy Things Memory Jar 2016” and also has a free printable for it as well. Check hers out here: Happy Things Memory Jar.

You can also search Pinterest for even more ideas or just visual inspiration for your jar! Remember you can use anything. There is probably what you need in your house right now. Either way, take the idea and run with it if you want!

 

~Bonnie~

How to Survive a Big Slip-up

The truth of the matter is that slip-ups happen from time to time, for all of us. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes we also go through periods of time where all it feels like we do is slip-up! Those are really the pits! I had one of those myself recently and I had to constantly fight the “I’m a failure” feeling that kept creeping in simply because I was struggling so bad and nothing I did was working.

There is some great news… It is completely normal for this to happen in your weight loss or healthy living journey and I guarantee that you will get through this as long as you don’t give up! So no matter what you do, keep trying to forge ahead with your healthy living goals. As long as you keep trying, you will find something that works for you. It just takes time! It may even take longer than you imagined but it will indeed happen.

Use your bad experience to fuel you as you move forward, instead of seeing it as a totally negative deal. Learn from it and keep moving forward. There’s no use beating yourself up about the past. As I like to tell myself: “It is what it is and all I can do is move forward.” You can’t change what already happened, but what you can do instead is keep trying to do better.

Here are some of the things that have helped me get out of my big slip-up:

  • Look at the big picture. When things are tough and it feels like everything is fruitless, look at the big picture of your goals. It can be a beautiful tool because it reminds you of the big reason as to WHY you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy.
  • Focus on what you CAN do. Focus on each healthy decision you can make to help dig you out of the hole that it seems you fell into. What can you do right now, right here, to better your mentality?
  • See what you can do TODAY to move forward. There is only so much you can do each day. Think about what you can do today to work towards your goals. That way it seems like so much more of a manageable chunk.
  • Take it all one day, one moment at a time. No one can achieve their goals in no time flat. You think about each day, or each moment at a time, whatever works for you to make it easier and more doable.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult it seems. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of all the things you need to do in order to achieve your goal. Just put one foot in front of the other no matter what and keep yourself moving forward.
  • Get yourself pumped up about something! Nothing can spark your motivation to do well like getting yourself excited to do it or something else you really enjoy. Feeling happier and more at peace will certainly help you get back on the right track with your weight loss and healthy living goals!

Even when it seems fruitless, remember that you are simply AMAZING for your efforts. Always keep trying! Even when it feels like you’re not making any progress whatsoever, keep going!

Try something new if you need to or try things that worked for you in the past. Trust your process because it is yours alone. Remember you haven’t failed until you quit trying.

Repeat this mantra when all else fails, “I CAN AND I WILL!” You will get through this.

 

~Bonnie~

Holiday Season

You may or may not have wondered where I had ventured off to since I have been MIA for a few weeks. Life just got to me and I had to take a step back from the blog and my business. Too much has been going on lately in my life, add to that the holidays and everything else, I’m still not back to normal but I am slowly getting there.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed their time with family and/or friends! Personally I had the best Christmas I had had in a long, long time. It wasn’t anything spectacular by any means but it was special to me and I really lived it up and enjoyed it as much as I could.

This post is short, and hopefully sweet, because I just wanted to get back out there and post something. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. I promise you that I will be making more of an effort to get awesome posts published these coming weeks, particularly with the New Year coming up. We will make 2016 our best year yet. Here are some posts to help you make it until my next ones, a three part series about how to survive winter while focusing on your health (just click on the links in the captions of the images to view the blog posts):

winter fitness tips
Winter Fitness Tips
Winter healthy comfort tips
Winter Healthy Comfort Tips
Winter Motivation Tips
Winter Motivation Tips

 

How was your Christmas? Did you get any gifts that you’re particularly happy for? Or did you realize that all the gifts you really need are in your life already such as your family, friends, pets, etc.?

~Bonnie~

You are So Worth It


Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde


This simple little quote really says it all, doesn’t it? We need to choose to be ourselves because we are unique, valuable beings. It is important to be you and be proud to be who you are.

You are beautiful and you are worth it, remember that. There are no qualifications or conditions that make you so. You just are because you are a one-of-a-kind person with qualities and traits that make you uniquely you.

Take a moment now, if you can, and think about your beauty. Let it fill you with promise and love for yourself. You have something to offer the world. So remember that the next time you’re getting down on yourself. Think of all the things you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. Quiet that negative voice in your mind.


Now is the best time to start becoming the person we want to be.
-Alan Watts


It is never too late to build yourself up. If you or other people in your life have been continuously putting you down, then it might take longer to achieve results. However, it will never be too late to turn your self-image around… to learn how to love yourself.

Take it day by day. Think positive thoughts. Encourage yourself and become your own very best cheerleader. Tell yourself when you’re doing a good job, give yourself a pat on the back for it. Reward yourself from time to time for all of your hard work. You are worth all of this!


It is never too late to be who you might have been.
-George Elliot


Like I mentioned above, it truly is never too late to work on you. Why…? Because we will all be continuously working on ourselves throughout our lifetime. We are never done, and that is not a bad thing!

This gives us infinite possibilities to do what we want, to achieve the things we really want to achieve, and to spend time doing what we truly want to. It won’t be all puppies and rainbows, but it will definitely be rewarding and fulfilling.

The more you build yourself up, the more things you will be able to achieve… and the more you achieve, the higher your dreams will soar. I know this from personal experience. You will learn that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Life is full of chances and choices you might not have even considered before.

Your whole world shifts the more you believe in yourself and your abilities, your beauty and your worth. So let me tell you that the world is beautiful with this clarified view!

Join me in believing in you and your ability to make your dreams come true! I have faith in you!

 

Would you like quotes like this with encouraging words every day of the year? Check out my 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, which is on pre-order by clicking that link.

~Bonnie~

Winter Motivation Tips

This is Part 3 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness. You can find Part 1 here: Winter Fitness Tips and Part 2 here: Winter Healthy Comfort Tips.

Today I am discussing ways to keep your motivation strong throughout winter. Here are some tips that have helped me presently as well as last year:

  1. Keep your eyes on the goal: keep focused on your WHY:
    Why you want to lose weight, but also why doing your best throughout the winter to lose weight and improve your health is so important to you personally. What are you most looking forward to this coming spring or summer? Would you like to be healthier and be able to enjoy it even more?
  2. Think about each event coming up and focus on each one at a time:
    Holidays, seasons themselves, events, vacations, etc. Any kind of special occasion you’re looking forward to or have a party for. Use it to your advantage to keep you focused and on track.
  3. Stay focused on your goals:
    Think about your short-term goals. Make weekly and/or monthly goals that will help you stay focused on the here and now. If you have a long-term goal, breaking it into smaller and more manageable goals that you can focus on weekly will help immensely. That way you have something to look forward to but aren’t overwhelming yourself.
  4. Find supportive support:
    Having support is pretty important, but having the right support is even more important. Make sure you are choosing people that will support you and have your back no matter what. If you don’t have those kinds of people in your life already, try online support such as SparkPeople. You can find all kinds of support there: chat forum (even on the mobile app), friends, blogging feedback. Of course take everything with a grain of salt because where there are people, there are going to be negative nellies or just downright troublemakers.
  5. Create a motivation board just for winter:
    Have you ever heard of a “vision board?” Well, I prefer to call mine a motivation board because that’s how I see it. I fully plan on making a winter motivation board for short-term visualization purposes and have even started collecting pictures for it. So I encourage you to include all the things that motivate you: pictures, certain words/phrases, or other items that symbolize your WHY.
  6. Create and/or work on your Weight Loss Journal:
    There are so many ways to go about this and you can include anything at all that you want to. You should include the things that motivate and inspire you, as well as including some of your accomplishments. You can also include your progress pictures here, letters to yourself, descriptions of your healthy living goals and dreams or experiences themselves, pictures of things you like that represent healthy living. Starting my own weight loss journal saved me last winter. It helped keep me motivated and was very therapeutic to work on.

 

Some general life tips for getting through winter as well:

  • Do things you enjoy doing: read a good book, go to an indoor game place such as an arcade or bowling alley, go ice skating… just do anything fun that makes you excited and happy!
  • Keep warm: If you have a fireplace, sit in front of it or roast some marshmallows. Pretend you’re camping in your own living room. Remember what it was like to be a kid! Drink hot beverages (caloric ones in moderation), snuggle up with the pets/loved ones, get moving to get the blood flowing, etc.
  • Get out once in a while. If you’re like me, you might spend too much time indoors. So if you need to get out, get out. If the weather is bad, go somewhere indoors: the library, a mall, bowling alley/pool hall/arcade or something else, or simply make an enjoyable outing of your trip to the grocery store.
  • Sit and breathe. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and let your thoughts take you wherever they want… but guide them with positive vibes/thoughts. I guess you could call this meditating in a sense. I’m not sure about “meditating” myself but definitely enjoy a quiet moment just being.
  • Keep your hands and mind busy: Board games, puzzles, word searches/crossword puzzles/Sudoku, online games especially ones you need to play with actual people, active video games, and much much more!

 

What is your favorite way to combat the winter blues? Would you like to share any tips on keeping motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the colder and darker months?

~Bonnie~

Winter Fitness Tips

This is Part 1 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness.

(And here is Part 2: “Winter Healthy Comfort Tips” if you want to check that out as well!)

Today I am bringing you winter fitness tips. It can be quite hard to continue your exercise plan as the weather gets colder and colder. You’re used to warm weather and being able to get out more. Now all of a sudden it’s dark earlier, cutting your available exercise time even shorter. Not to mention the chilly air and low temperatures. Those can really present a challenge for many of us.

  • First of all, if you’re going to exercise outdoors, bundle up and layer your clothes too. I personally like to do a tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a coat when it’s super cold. Also try leggings under your pants, or use thermal underwear to wear under your clothes. Plus a hat, gloves, and scarf as necessary.
    • Ideally you should get exercise clothes that wick away moisture (sweat) to keep you warmer. However, if you’re like me and even bundled up can’t manage to spend much time outside, regular clothes work just fine.
  • If it’s icy outside, be extra careful. Shoes with good traction in the treads are necessary, maybe even good fitting snow boots specifically for walks in the snow/ice would be beneficial. Walking sticks might be a good option as well.
Now obviously you can choose to exercise indoors as well:
  • Join a gym. If you want to and can afford it, this is a valid option. Weigh the pros and cons though. If you feel you really will go and will make it a priority, then invest. If not, then choose some alternative exercise options. You don’t want to waste money.
  • Exercise videos: stock up on exercise videos that interest you, either physical DVDs/discs or online subscription, or even free services such as On Demand or YouTube!
  • Dance around your house. You can do this anytime, with children or pets or some other loved one… or even by yourself! It’s very versatile. You can even dance with or without music. Let the moves just carry you away.
  • Walking in place. You can do this almost literally anywhere. If you have pedometer or fitness tracker, set a goal for yourself… or set a time minimum instead. Use the timer on your phone to make sure you’re moving for a certain amount of time.
  • Get more steps in everyday life. Be “inefficient.” Take extra steps to accomplish your daily chores in order to increase your activity. Instead of grabbing as much as you can to carry in one trip (such as laundry or grocery bags), take them one at a time. It adds up, trust me!
  • Small equipment: Dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, hula hoops, mini trampoline, step up stool, a small stepper, and sometimes even a stationary bike are smaller and take up less room to store in your house except at times of use.
  • Clean or organize! You can certainly work up quite a sweat and get your heartrate up just by cleaning and organizing your house. Clean and organize in stages if necessary, but use the things you don’t do on a daily or weekly basis as exercise! Plus all extra activity is a great idea and good for your health! It’s hard work physically and you also get the added bonus of a clean and orderly house!
  • Mall walking. Grab a friend to go walking around the mall just to get your walking in… or even go by yourself! Depending on the size of your mall, you can get quite a few steps in just walking a couple loops!

 

There you have it, some tips to at least get you started and/or get the mental juices flowing.

Do you have a plan for winter exercise? If so, what is it? If not, do these tips help you?

~Bonnie~