9.25.15

Deep breath

And M O V E

I’ve been hunched over

back curved over the blue glow of a screen for hours

But now

Standing straight

I’ve traded clicking keys

for gentle pads

Muscles aching as they are

stretched – tested with each step

Protected under a blanket of

grey and black

I follow the rhythm of the

pounding in my chest

Steady. Reminding me I’m alive

calming me

curving around familiar stretches

watching the world settle in

quiet down

through blurred lenses

a gentle whish – a cool breeze

pushing, pulling – urging me

petrichor fills my lungs

while a million, tiny drops of water

dance on my face.

-cv

[9.25.15]

Improving Your Diet with Modern Lifestyle Choices

The following is a guest article, submitted by one of RJR’s readers. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, follow the guidelines listed here.

Today, life moves at fast pace; and while it may be easier to buy a hamburger and french fries – the easiest way isn’t always the best way. If you have these kinds of habits in your diet, surely you must have noticed the negative effect it has had (or will eventually).

The food you eat should energize you – not make you feel sluggish and lethargic. There are countless diet books, recipes and people pushing the latest diet craze. However, you don’t have to follow a diet from a magazine or a book. Instead, simple changes to your lifestyle and to the way that you think can help you rise above any daily nutritional challenges.

Keep a Food Diary

Make a list of your eating habits. If you write down everything you eat for a couple of days, it will help you discover the bad habits. Then, you’ll know what to change. Keeping a food diary is the first step on the road towards improving your diet.

Some common eating habits, which can lead to weight gain include:

  • eating when stressed out
  • eating too fast
  • cleaning your plate
  • skipping meals
  • always having dessert
  • eating while standing up

Identify all the triggers causing these patterns and prioritize the ones you have to change as soon as possible. Write down new, healthy habits to replace the old, bad habits.

Small Changes, Big Impact

Small changes can have a big impact in the long run. One thing, which requires almost no effort is eating more S L O W L Y.

It takes about 20 minutes from the moment you start eating for your brain to send signals you’ve had enough. If it is too difficult for you to slow down, try taking “mini-breaks” during your meal. Other things you can do include:

  • Switch fried meals for grilled ones; the ingredients are the same, but the end result is much healthier.
  • Avoid adding salt after the meal has already been cooked.
  • Swap most refined grains for whole grains to help with weight management.

Simplify your meals by adding fresh ingredients into your diet every day. Fruits and vegetables should make up 50 percent of your plate. If you know that fast food is a weakness while at work, try to pack your meals at home.

Spice it Up with Working Out

Deciding to live a healthier lifestyle is one thing; actually doing it is another thing. Simply improving your diet isn’t enough. If you add exercise to the equation, you’ll see better results. By incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, and adopting a healthy diet, you’ll have a greater chance to live a healthier life.

To make sure your diet is compatible with the need for energy after exercising, consult a post workout nutrition guide. When you overcome the first level, increase the intensity and duration of the training sessions.

Changing bad habits, such as eating while standing up or in front of the TV, is essential for living a healthy life. It may not be easy, but it will prove worthwhile. Healthy habits will control your weight, improve your mood, combat disease and boost your energy. Why not give it a try?

About the Author:

Peter is a yoga enthusiast and fitness lover. He is dedicated to healthy living, exercising and spending time outdoors as much as possible. A firm believer in healthy diet, natural smoothies and energy healthy drinks for overall health benefits, Peter is powered by true motivation in all aspects of yoga and fitness-ing. He hopes to run his own yoga and fitness center someday. You can follow Peter on Twitter.

Get Your ‘Beach Body’ Back in Time for the Summer

The following is a guest article, submitted by one of RJR’s readers. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, follow the guidelines listed here.

It sneaks up on us every year. It’s still a little chilly outside, and your snuggled up on the couch eating a big bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese when the weather reporter hits you with upcoming temperatures that make you drop your fork—beach season is upon us.

Most people indulge a little more throughout the winter. With the holidays and the undeniable satisfaction of comfort foods when it’s cold out, it’s pretty common to put on a few pounds. But not to worry! It’s never to late to start working towards a healthier beach body. Get the motivation you need with a few of these helpful tips and tools to you get started.

Get Ready

In their post on taking steps toward attaining your beach body, Verizon Wireless says the first step is “assessing the damage.” For many people, just thinking of stepping on the scale can cause anxiety, and even discourage them from moving forward with a new routine. If you find the fear of the scale holding you back from getting started, Verizon suggests trying out the Fitbit® Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, which apparently “greets you with a grin each time you step aboard.”

Not only does the scale give you your accurate weight, but it can provide you with your body fat and body mass index, so you can focus on getting healthy, instead of just seeing the pounds you’ve lost. To make the process even easier, the scale syncs with your smartphone, “so you can log your food, carry your diet plan and know how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day.” It’s a hassle-free, easy way to get started on making healthier choices.

Make Small Dietary Changes.

You’ve probably heard it before, but it remains true: there are no “quick fixes” for losing weight. If you try and restrict yourself  earlier on, you’ll likely end up binge eating later, or making even poorer choices to substitute your cravings. Take it slow when changing up your diet. The cold weather probably had you staying indoors and eating heavier, high-calorie foods a lot more than you normally would during the summer.

Start by swapping out one meal for a lower-calorie option. Prevention states that even though it may seem like a small step, it’s proven to go a long way in helping you reach your goals. More vegetables, fewer carbs. More grilling, less frying. Once you’ve gotten into a routine of eating a little healthier, you’re more likely to be motivated to incorporate healthier alternatives into other meals throughout your day.

Kick Up Your Exercise Routine.

No time for a workout? Well then it’s time to reevaluate. Fitness Magazine argues that there is always something you can switch out for a quick 30 minutes of exercise. Try biking to work, or use part of your lunch break to go for a walk. Not only can it help you stay on track throughout the day, but Prevention states that light exercise (away from the office) has been proven to make you more productive.

No babysitter? No problem. You can take the kids with you. Pushing a stroller can add additional resistance and muscle exertion while you walk, and some gyms even offer child daycare while you sneak in a workout.

If you’re feeling good, and ready to push yourself to the next level, remember to do so safely and take things slow. You might want results fast, but if you pull a muscle from over doing it at the gym, you’ll end up having to put your routine on hold, ultimately slowing your progression. Make little changes first. With every small victory, you’ll gain a little more motivation and confidence to keep going.

sara upton

About the Author:

Sara Upton is an advocate for healthy living and a clean lifestyle. She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Jeff, and their golden retriever, Henry.