I couldn't be more excited to come to you tonight with a guest blogger post! In honor of National Women's Health Week, Michelle Pino contacted me to write about living a healthy lifestyle, overcoming daily stresses and treating your body right. Michelle is a Spa Manager at Skana in Upstate New York. Although she does not currently have a blog, I think you will all love what she has to say, and hopefully she will start a blog soon so that we can read more of her inspiring posts!
Michelle has provided these tips in hopes to educate others on how to lead a more motivating and less stressful life. She believes taking a more focused approach on our health will result in a more balanced life. Her hobbies include cooking, reading, and learning about healthy lifestyles. I hope you enjoy this guest post as much as I do!
What’s a healthy balance?
It is well known that diets are not a sustainable way of life. Sure, you may see some quick results in the beginning, but ultimately diets fail because they do not mimic your actual lifestyle. Additionally, diets actually slow your metabolism by severely restricting calories, thus sending your body into starvation mode. In this state, your body naturally clings to every calorie to be stored as fat for later use. As National Women’s Health week winds down, there is still time to start positive changes. The month of May is also the host to National Physical Fitness & Sports Month.
The mantra for exercise has been, “More is better!” This is, in fact, false, and has had one of two effects on most people. This idea has caused some folks to spend way too much time in the gym without seeing any results. For others, it has completely intimidated them from even wanting to begin an exercise routine. More is not better, better is better. But again, how do you strike the right balance?
Even the idea of achieving balance can be quite overwhelming and send your mind into a tailspin of checklists and unreachable goals. This is where an inspiration board enters the scene. An inspiration board is an incredibly useful tool for helping you to plan, track and achieve your fitness goals.
An inspiration board helps you to strategize by starting you on the brainstorming path. It is a concrete and tangible way to process your thoughts, ideas and dreams. It can be as detailed or as simple as you like.
Places to look include:
➢ The Internet
➢ Photos of people, places, or objects
➢ Athletic gear
Find your anchor for the board: The purpose of the anchor point is to give you a reason for why you will stick to this journey of health even when you want to throw in the towel.
The inspiration board is to serve as a reminder of why you are doing what you are doing. It is both motivation and accountability.
You want everything on your inspiration board to feel connected. Take time to look over each piece and decide what is truly worthy of your board. Make the board as specific or general as you like to fit your goal.
Here is an example board:
The Warm weather and plants in bloom has me inspired to start enjoying the outdoors. Green is everywhere this time of year, and it’s a great color to be inspired by. Personally, I am not trying to run a marathon; I just want to live a healthy balanced life. It is important to do what makes you feel good. So if walking and bike riding is your thing, go for it!
Golf is a great example. I’ve been taking lessons at Kaluhyat a Syracuse golf course near my work, as a way to stay active outside. Enjoy the outdoors and go for a walk. To me, there’s no better feeling than enjoying the outdoors and the reason for being the focus of my inspiration board.
Simple yoga stretches are great because they can be done in the comfort of your own home, or even in the office. There are a lot of great resources on the internet for beginner yoga.
The biggest change in creating a healthy balance is improving what we eat. Smoothies make for an easy on-the-go breakfast for those hectic mornings when you are trying to get the family out the door. Smoothies are great because of their versatility.
What better way to boost motivation than to treat yourself to some fabulous workout gear or a fresh pair of new kicks? Bright colored apparel, like these Asics from Zappos, is very popular this spring. Bright colors are so appropriate for the warm weather and motivation!
Luckily we live in an age where it's easy to find delicious healthy recipes like Mediterranean Paleo Pizza. Mmmmm! I am not on the Paleo diet, but this recipe sounds really tasty! If you’re going to start eating healthier, it’s best to keep an open mind and try new things.
Let your creativity flow! The visual boards can also assist in planning baby showers, birthday parties, and maybe even your next vacation. What would your Fitspiration board look like?
Michelle's post inspired me to create my own Fitspiration board:
As you can see family, friends and my boyfriend definitely help to motivate me to live a healthy lifestyle and they also help to keep me balanced.
I put Kara Goucher at the center because, as my favorite elite marathoner, I think she put it perfectly when she said, "Watching the world's best fires you up to achieve your own feats of greatness."
If I could split my time evenly between running and SoulCycling, I think I would be the happiest person in the world. Maybe not the most balanced, but certainly the most charged with endorphins.
And last but not least, visualizing healthy food makes me crave healthy food.
Now it's your turn! Show me your Fitspiration board!
Thank you, Michelle!!!