Stair Workout for Rainy Days…

Hey everyone! I am back!

Today is a rainy day in my neck of the woods. For those of you that are like me and aren’t motivated enough to run in the rain, here is an indoor full-body workout that you can do on a set of stairs!

Beginners: 1x each round
Intermediate: 2x each round
Advanced: 3x each round

Round 1:

  • Run up
  • 15 Sumo squats at the top
  • Walk down
  • 15 Push ups

Round 2:

  • Sprint up
  • 15 Squat jumps
  • Walk down
  • 10 Tricep push ups

Round 3:

  • Quick feet run up (both feet touch each step)
  • 15 Crunches
  • Walk down
  • 10 Jumping jacks

Round 4:

  • Crab walks up
  • 15 Russian twists
  • Walk down
  • 10 Superman arch ups

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If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation, and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

 

Trail Running…

Icapture have found a new love. I live in the great state of Minnesota which has an overwhelming number of parks and nature reserves. Earlier this summer, I made the decision to try trail running instead of my normal triathlons. I looked into if there were any races and it turns out there are quite a few! I looked into the Urban Trail Series which offers four races throughout the Summer/Fall. Below I have listed several things that I have LOVED so far about the races.

The series. I have already completed three 10_15nightrunbrittof the four races in the series. The Thanksgiving morning run will be my last for the season. I chose to have all of my races be 10K. I love that they are spread out into the Fall and Spring. Having previously done triathlons, they were held in the heat of Summer due to making sure that the water was warm for the swim. The November one should be in the snow, which will be another new experience for me! Running alongside the trees, somehow makes it seem easier to breathe. Like there’s some sort of “extra oxygen” coming from the trees surrounding me. I know it’s silly, but it feels refreshing.

The hilly terrain. I get to use different muscles than I am used to running with. Being from Minnesota, the terrain is normally flat. Because the races are on hilly terrain, the distance should seem much farther, but somehow it doesn’t. I am sore in places that I have never been sore before. Having to run up hills like a stair-climber, but getting to sprint down them right after. I had one race that had an uphill climb close to a half-mile, but still got to run for a few minutes downhill, so it all felt worth it.

The sounds of nature. I am one of those people who can’t run unless they are listening to music. At least, I thought I was. About half way through the race, I took off my headphones just to hear someone that was talking to me. I loved hearing the sound of my footsteps in the Autumn leaves. I loved hearing the sound of the wildlife running/flying along beside us. I didn’t have to listen to the sounds of cars like I do when I run my block at home. It was all quite refreshing.

Getting dirty. There’s something about running through the mud and puddles and getting dirty knowing that you get to just rinse it all off when you get home. The first puddle is always the hardest. After you get your shoes soaked in mud, the rest of the run is nothing!

Softer than concrete. I have run long races in the past along concrete streets. The race does a toll on my hips and knees. Even though my muscles, heart, and lungs can keep going longer, my joints start to hurt after about Mile 6. When running on the trails and soft dirt, I feel like I could run forever!

 

I hope that you get a chance to run trails some day if you haven’t already. Maybe you will have similar experiences to mine! I would love to hear how you trail run.

Running in the dark…

10_15NightRunBrittZoomedOut.jpegIt’s Fall and the days are getting darker. It’s time to break out your reflective gear and double check your running habits to make sure you are being as safe as possible. The following are four easy tips for nighttime running (and running in general).

Chose a well-lit route or provide your own lighting. Running on streets that have lamps is the safest way to go, even though these streets might be the busiest. There are also headlamps available that are meant for running. These can illuminate the path in front of you, and also clue in drivers that you are there.

Be visible. Safety vests and reflective strips are your friend. Don’t think you can get away with those tiny reflective spots on your favorite leggings. Be obnoxious with your reflective gear. Make yourself noticeable, especially at a driver’s eye level. Avoid wearing dark colors. Pair your light and neon colors with your reflective gear.

Stick to familiar routes. If you are wanting to try a new route, go ahead and try during the daylight. Nighttime running should be kept to familiar routes. I also recommend choosing a shorter route and running it multiple times. This way, you are closer to your destination in case something happens.

Run in silence (or near silence). Consider not listening to the music and enjoying the sounds of nature (and traffic). If you are one of those people that NEEDS to listen to music, consider turning the volume down so you can hear your surroundings.

Run towards traffic. No, I don’t mean go running straight at cars. I mean run on the left side of the street (assuming you are in a country that drives on the right side of the road 🙂 ) If you can see the cars coming, you can jump out of the way if need be. This way, cars won’t sneak up behind you. If you are wearing a headlamp, they will be able to see it better too!

Okay! Hope you have a great Fall! Get out and keep running! Just be safe about it!

 

Happy trails,

Britt

Staying healthy when going back to school…

Flu season is coming! Going back to school and spreading germs is inevitable. Whether you are a student or a parent of a student, Fall is a hard time of year to stay healthy. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ward off the diseases 🙂

Wash your hands. Do it early and do it often. Carry hand sanitizer around with you for when a sink isn’t available. Clean your hands before and after every meal, after using the rest room, when they’re visibly dirty, and every so often throughout the day. Make sure you are washing your hands long enough. You should be scrubbing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds each time.

Be careful with contact. Avoid sharing food or drinks with anyone even if they don’t seem sick. Some illnesses take months to show symptoms. If someone is visibly sick, find a polite way to avoid shaking their hands or getting in close contact with them.

Stay hydrated. Keeping your fluid balance up is essential for a proper immune system. It will help flush out toxins and keep your body fighting those germs non-stop throughout the day.

Exercise and stay active. Getting your blood moving and sweating out toxins will help fight off disease and keep you healthy.

Maintain a healthy diet. Vitamins and minerals in our diet will help give our bodies the energy they need to thrive. If you feel any symptoms coming on, load up on Vitamin C and Zinc immediately. However, you will want to space them out by a few hours as they counteract each other.

Sleep. Finally, get your sleep! A good night’s rest will help your body rejuvenate and be ready to fight off more germs. Schedules change a lot when going back to school. Make sure you are getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep (10-11 for elementary age children).

Stay home if you are sick. You may hate missing school or work, but in the long run you are doing everyone a favor by taking a few days off. Even if you have to work, find a way to work from home. Avoid spreading germs to your coworkers or classmates.

Health Benefits of Disc Golfing…

Okay, I recently started playing Disc Golf (Frisbee Golf) this summer. I had always known what it was after seeing a few courses at parks that I visited, but I never got into it. I was always so bad at throwing Frisbees and thought it would be pointless for me to try. I borrowed a few discs from my S.O. to start off. He’s been playing for 15 or so years. We have a relatively easy course right next to my house, so that’s where we started. There are courses ALL over the Twin Cities, and we are still exploring.

I wear a fitness watch and love getting out and playing because it gets unbelievable steps in. There are a lot of other great health benefits of disc golfing that you may not even think of. Many of these can also apply to other sports as well.

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  1. Okay first off, Disc is just plain fun! Having an activity that you enjoy doing will get you out and playing more often. Let’s be honest…throwing a disc around for a half an hour is a LOT more fun than jogging around the block three times and you get the same number of steps.
  2. We all know the joy of practicing so hard on something that you get to see the end result. Sinking a nice putt will give you a sense of accomplishment and it will get you back out the course day after day.
  3. It gives you a nice break from your normal routine. As someone who works at least two jobs at all times, I enjoy a great cheap way to break up my work schedule in a healthy way. It gets my mind off thinking about work or errands for at least an hour.
  4. Similarly, Disc Golf can relieve stress. You get away from your computer or phone screen which cause most of our stress, start getting endorphins pumping, and just relax and have fun. It’s a great way to unwind from the day. Who knows? Maybe if you’re a little frustrated you might throw your drive a little farther for a little stress relief 🙂
  5. As someone who studied architecture and physics, Disc Golf is a great way to put it into practice. Trying to understand how each disc flies, and what you need for a specific hole will help you sink it easier. Wind will be a factor, so trying to work around that will help you practice that old high school physics we all forgot about. It’s all about problem solving.
  6. Disc Golf is a mental sport. The only one who affects your shot is you and the wind 🙂 . As you play, your confidence will build with your good days and fade with the bad ones. It’s all about getting back out there and being the best you can on each hole.
  7. Persistence. This one ties along with the last one. There will be great days/weeks/months and bad ones. Some courses are just plain hard! You may be getting used to new discs, or any other hiccup you might be having. Just keep playing and take one hole at a time. Just remember, if you had a bad round…it’ll be even easier to beat the next time around 🙂
  8. As a gymnast, I have always had to be overly aware of what my body is doing in space. Disc golf is the same way. You have to be aware of every little thing that could contribute to your throw. This includes fingers, hands, arms, fDiskGolf_07_07_16eet, chest, everything! If you have one tiny thing off, your disc could end up in a parking lot! This sport gives a real sense of body awareness.
  9. Nature. Some good some bad. I love getting out and seeing the woods and parks in my neighborhood that I wouldn’t necessarily see any other way. In my area, there are mosquitoes EVERYWHERE! Even with bug spray I get eaten alive. I can’t wait for fall days when I don’t have to worry about this and can just enjoy the nature around me. My S.O. has been known to see woodpeckers, deer, turkeys, and giant spiders, etc. while Disc Golfing. It’s a great way to get some fresh air!
  10. The people. I had no idea how many other people played Disc Golf until I started playing! Everyone is so proud to be in that community that they will help you improve your game whether they know you or not. I have had complete strangers ask to play with me and give me pointers. It’s a great community that you will love to be a part of.

 

As if you needed another reason to go throw your disc….well now you have 10! Have fun and be safe! Remember your bug spray! Bring water!


I hope that these tips and tasty tidbits motivate you to live slightly healthier today.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation, and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

Look here for my latest post…First Triathlon Tips

 

First Triathlon Tips…

So you signed up for a triathlon…now what? Below is a list of items that I have learned over the years from experience and from friends’ experiences. I have been running triathlons for three years now. This list is designed for outdoor triathlons, but some of these items can certainly be applied to indoor triathlons as well!

Pre-Race

  • Pick a fun race. Pick a race in a location that you love, or that offers great amenities. Most races will give you a T-shirt and/or medal for finishing. Get yourself excited about the race. It’s harder to train for a race you aren’t looking forward to. Some have free beer or goodies at the end J Those are my favorite!
  • Find a training plan. There are multiple free training plans online that will take you day by day through your training process. Of course, these are not tailored to your athletic abilities. If you are really devoted, you can ask a personal trainer to write up a training plan for you based on your experiences and strengths.
  • Know the course. Go out during your training and examine the lake, see what the water condition is, look at what obstacles you might encounter on the beach run. Look at the bike course. Drive or bike it before the race to get used to hills and turns that you will encounter.
  • Taper before the race. Tapering is when you cut back on your training a few weeks before the big day. Give your muscles a chance to rebuild in time for the race. Still get out and get a few minutes on each leg. I like to go for light jogs and nice leisurely bike rides instead of intense training sessions.
  • Pre-race checklist. A few days before your event, make a list of EVERYTHING you will need. I say a few days, because you may think of more things you missed throughout the days leading to the event.

 

Race Day

  • Have a light breakfast. Don’t eat anything out of the ordinary. Your body may feel nervous and you may not want to eat, but make sure you get something. Energy gels are great for quick energy.
  • Set up your transition area in a way that makes sense for you. When it comes time to use your transition area, you don’t want to waste time finding your socks. Place things by discipline so you have one mini pile for each leg of the race.
  • Warm up in the water. Get your body used to the water. I have heard countless professionals also say that this helps your body not hit panic mode as much during your race. Take a few laps, but you don’t need to waste all of your energy.

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The Swim

  • Pick your favorite stroke. There is no rule that says that you need to do a freestyle stroke the entire race. You can mix it up as much as you want. I have been known to whip my backstroke out every once and a while.
  • Goggles under your cap. You will be bonked around. I have been hit in the head a few times by people’s flailing arms. I have even had my goggles knocked off in one race leaving me without for the entire race. Put your goggles on first and then your cap!
  • Know your buoys. Most races will have multiple distances racing at once. Know which color buoys you are following and take your turns accordingly.
  • Take your time. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking of the whole race at once. Think “buoy to buoy”. Take it one at a time. Don’t be afraid to take breaks on the lifeguards. Just keep thinking forward progress. Any forward movement is better than none.

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The Bike

  • Yayy! You survived the hardest part. Now you’re on to the bike. Use this leg to make up some time. Know your gears and when to use them.
  • Carry water and gel on your bike. Don’t fill up on either right before or after a transition. Let your body get used to your current leg before you put your body through eating or drinking.
  • Make sure you communicate with other riders. Communicate when you are passing and then pass them as fast as you can. Don’t draft on them. Not communicating and drafting on other people is actually illegal in most races.
  • Pace yourself. This is the longest section of the race. Don’t start sprinting right away. Know your race pace and stick to it!

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The Run

  • Last Leg! Use all of your excess energy in this leg. You never want to end the race thinking “I could have pushed myself harder”.
  • Walk the water stations. I use the water stations to catch my breath and take a few seconds to regather myself.
  • Find a running buddy. I think my favorite race was one where I found two people running the same pace as me and we ran together. We pushed each other to the finish and had a few laughs.

 

Post-Race

  • Protein! Get some protein in to rebuild those muscles as soon as you can after the race.
  • Rest! Congrats on your finish! You deserve a few days off.
  • Thank your support staff. Send a message or shout out to those that helped you train, came to your race, or provided any extra support. They will love to hear how much they helped you.
  • Sign up for another! You know you want to! You will be on a triathlon high after your race. Use this enthusiasm to sign up for another!

How to be young…

Being young can be stressful and hard. You’re fresh out of school. Loans are piling up. Relationships might not be going so well. Well don’t let your health suffer because of it!

 

Here are some tips to get you started on living a healthy young life.

 

Drink more water. It’s easy and free. Drinking water keeps you full longer and helps curb cravings. It has so many other health benefits. I wrote a post about it here.

Spirits over Beer. Partying and getting drunk is part of most young adults’ lives. Unfortunately, many alcoholic drinks are full of calories.Here is a  helpful guide to which drinks give you the most alcohol per calorie. Of course, always go with diet sodas over regular or juices for mix-ins. Remember that you’ll be getting drunk faster than your friends drinking beer, so take it slow!

Healthy snacking. Snacking calories add up SO fast. Some of the normal snacks you might make, like nachos or mac and cheese, actually have more calories than a full meal. Be careful with your snacking habits. This page tells you what you are actually craving. Want chocolate? Try some nuts. What you’re really craving is magnesium! We live busy lives as young adults, make sure you have healthy snacks on hand in your purse or in your car for when you get hungry.

Don’t forget to indulge. YOLO. You only get to be young once. Don’t forget to treat yourself every now and then. It will help fulfill your cravings. Go healthy afterwards for a sort of ‘detox’ and BAM you’re back to normal.

Talk to friends. Being in your 20s and 30s is hard! It’s stressful finding those first few jobs, getting into relationships, buying a car or home, etc. Make sure you talk to friends and family. Who knows, they might have some tips up their sleeves from when they went through it. Just remember that everyone is struggling with you. You aren’t alone.

Coach. Coaching is an easy way to get a few thousand more steps in per day, plus you get paid to do it! I started coaching a little over two years ago and it’s the best part of my day. I get to hang out with some cool kids who keep me up to date with the latest teen slang and celebrity drama, plus I get moving and it pays for my groceries and gas for the week. Find a sport that you either did growing up, or have an interest in. Make it fun. Don’t let this become a chore. If it is, it’s not worth doing. Being in your 20s and 30s is the best time to start. You may need a few extra dollars to pay off those student loans, and you won’t necessarily have your life all planned out with 5 kids already.

Eat Slow. I know you live a busy young life, but take it easy!  It takes 20-30 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Start with a smaller size portion and see where you go from there. Make sure you drink water while you eat. When you’re finished take a break. Check back in with yourself in 30 minutes to see if you really are still hungry. Chances are, you probably aren’t!

Play Sports. Get out and get moving in a fun way! Fitness doesn’t just mean running around your block 20 times and calling it a day. Things like playing disc golf and playing catch are great exercise and they make a great date! Head over to the lake and take a walk around. You’ll thank me later.

Walk instead. How often do you drive somewhere within 2 miles just to pick up food or drive an errand you could have walked. I live in an urban area, but I still find myself doing that all the time. The other day I realized I needed to stop at the grocery store and reality checked myself. I only needed a handful of things and the store is only a few blocks away. Why should I have to drive? I grabbed my backpack and my boyfriend and we walked! We got to spend some time together and get yummy treats 🙂 Win-Win. Need to return a shirt to the store? Walk. Need to deliver a letter from the post office? Walk. It’s that easy.

Eat Breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. Get your day started fresh with energy and help cut cravings throughout your morning. Oatmeal or a granola bar will suffice. You don’t have to go creating a 5-star egg white omelet every morning. Breakfast can be easy. I usually grab a yogurt first thing and have a granola bar a few hours later when my tummy wakes up a little more.

Go to the gym. If you’re lucky enough to have a gym membership (some are as low as $10 a month). You can use weights or cardio on rainy days. Don’t let winter be an excuse for fitness. I live in a state where it is winter for three seasons. It is so easy to hide inside and Netflix. I now grab my ipad and Netflix on the go. You can use gym internet to watch shows on your tablet or phone while walking on the treadmill. Great deal! Before you know it you’re 45-minutes into your walk!

Eat Nutrients like whole grains and veggies. Load up your plate with bright colors. Sometimes that salad bar plate isn’t as healthy as you think. Croutons and dressing really add up. You’re better off with that veggie stir-fry.

Take time to eat. Along the same lines as waiting 30-minutes afterwards, make sure you are taking time to enjoy your food. I recommend not binge-watching while eating.  Take a break from re-watching Gossip Girl to listen to your body and focus on your body. It will help you know when you’re full and it also provides a great opportunity to  talk to your loved ones.

Drink Tea. I’m not suggesting cutting coffee completely from your diet, but teas like green tea have been proven to speed up your metabolism. Maybe you need your coffee for a kick start in the morning, but you can make your second cup a tea. End your day with a nice tea. Doesn’t matter. Plus with tea becoming a trend, they have a whole bunch of fancy schmancy flavors now! You don’t want to miss out!

Do it now! Be proactive. Not reactive. Don’t wait until you notice you can’t fit in your favorite shorts anymore. Make an effort to stay fit and healthy even when you know things are going well.

 

Congrats on making it 20-30 years into your life. Take care of yourself so you can live a few more decades!

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I hope that these tips and tasty tidbits motivate you to live slightly healthier today.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation, and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

Look here for yesterday’s “Tips for Bringing Your Lunch…” Post.

 

 

Tips for Bringing Your Lunch…

Whether you call it Supper/Dinner/Lunch, you need to eat it. Countless studies have shown how important it is to refuel your body throughout the day. Lunch is always my favorite meal, because I usually get to take a break from whatever I am doing and eat! Here are some tips for how to have a healthy lunch. I’ve gone in order of planning to eating, and what to do if you forget your lunch!

food-dinner-lemon-rice

  1. Budget. Bringing your lunch is almost always cheaper than eating out. Most times it is even cheaper than that $1 burger from the local fast food joint. You would be surprised how cheap groceries are when you buy in bulk and get generic brands. Know ahead of time if your goal is to buy the fancy schmancy whole grain $10 artisan fresh baked loaf from the bakery, or if a 50 cent loaf of cottage bread will do.
  2. Weekend planning and freeze it. Once you know what you want, plan for it. Go buy everything you need and make it ahead of time. It takes so much less time to just devote and hour or so of time on the weekend to cook everything and freeze it. Things like salad you may just have to do the night before, but you can certainly prepare everything that needs to go in it. Once you have everything cooked. Freeze it. I usually keep 2 days worth of lunches thawed in my fridge and every morning move another from the freezer up to the fridge to thaw.
  3. Make healthy Dinners. One of the easiest things you can do it just use leftover dinners. My S.O. and I always plan for lunches for the two of us for the next day. Even when we eat out and know there isn’t any food at home, we package some for lunch. Of course, eating out isn’t recommended since you can’t control how the food is made and healthier options aren’t always available.It’s also way more expensive.
  4. Taste Bring something you know you like. If you pack something you don’t look forward to eating, you will be more likely to snack and indulge in other things to get your satisfaction.
  5. Lunchbox that keeps it fresh. Or cooler. Invest in something that will keep your food cool or make it easier to tote around. It is up to you. Keeping a refrigerator item in a plastic grocery bag at your desk for 6 hours is not the safest thing to do. I am guilty of this! If there is a fridge at work, use it.
  6. Water Don’t forget to pack a water bottle as well. Keep sipping every every few bites. It’ll help trigger your ‘I’m full’ reflex sooner.
  7. Leave a note. So you went through all this work of planning and cooking and then you forget you lunch. Don’t be that person! Write yourself a reminder note on the fridge or near your morning coffee cup. Put a sign on your door. Do what you gotta do! There are even apps that will send you reminders like this.
  8. Have a Plan B. You know the days. You didn’t have food at home to bring. You didn’t have leftovers from dinner the night before. Lunch break is sneaking up on you and you’re wondering where to grab a quick bite. Most likely fast food. Guess what…you can plan for this too. I have my favorite go-to frozen healthy meals. You may have a couple in mind. When you see them go on sale, stock up! You can keep them in your work freezer. Maybe your version of this is keeping a meal replacement shake in your desk. Figure out what your last minute plan is and plan for it 🙂
  9. Really Last Resort. If you are really in a bind and can’t figure out what to do, find a grocery store. It’ll still be cheaper than a value meal at your local fast food place, and will still fill you up. This happened to me last week! I wandered into the frozen food section of the store across the street and found that my favorite brand of healthy frozen burritos were on sale. I grabbed one and went back to work to heat it up. Super easy. Super healthy. Super last minute.

Hopefully some of these tips will inspire you to eat healthy lunches. Remember to keep snacking throughout the day. And don’t skip breakfast!

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If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation (you don’t need a wordpress account), and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

For yesterday’s “Black bean salsa…” post click below…

https://millennialsurvivalblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/black-bean-salad-recipe/

 

Soda or Pop? Doesn’t matter. Still Deadly.

To be honest. I am sick of the ‘is corn-syrup worse for you than regular sugar’ debate.

Why?

Because it’s really not that hard to just cut out either.  To me, it’s like comparing jumping off a cliff to jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Either way…it’s gonna kill you. So don’t do it.

 

Why should I bother?

Many health benefits come from cutting out sugary drinks. Many of the following also apply to juices and other high calorie drinks that are surprisingly also made by major soda companies. I’ll take you head to toe of some of the terrible side effects. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sleep. Caffeine blocks the serotonin levels that we know and love. These are what keep sleep-inducing receptors in our brain from binding. Yes, even diet coke has caffeine.

Brain. Long term consumption of sugar impacts your ability to learn and remember things. It has also been linked to Alzheimer’s through a 2002 study by Molteni and colleagues. Increased adrenaline from caffeine can also lead to anxiety and mental instability.

Teeth. Soda has been compared to hard drugs by researchers. It has some of the same effects as meth and cocaine. The chemicals and sugar in the drink strip tooth enamel. The dye from your drink also dyes your teeth. These are the same in diet sodas!

Heart. A 2012 Harvard study showed that those that drank sugary drinks were 20% more likely to have a heart attack. Doctors found (through a longitudinal study) that even cutting back by one drink a day cuts your cholesterol. This is added proof that cutting back just one soda  day (to start) can already show great health benefits.

Bladder and kidneys. Soda is not only a diuretic from the increased caffeine levels (meaning that it dehydrates you) but can also cause urinary tract infections. Diet and regular sodas have also been known to decrease kidney function, especially in women.

Reproductive system. BPA found in some cans and bottles has been linked to birth defects and premature puberty as well as an increased risk of cancer.

Bones. Chemicals and sugar found in soft drinks can diminish calcium and decrease bone structure. This can lead to diseases like osteoporosis when we age.

Weight Loss. An expert from “About Health” states that by decreasing your intake of one large soda a day for a year would result in a 200,000 deficit or 60 lbs! Even diet soda still tastes sweet and triggers your brain to consume more sugar in other ways! The carbonation of the drink can also cause up to 3-5 lbs of bloating! If you want the six pack abs you gotta cut the six pack soda. 

Other diseases. Sugary drinks can also lead to a lethargic lifestyle which has many other ramifications like sitting around, liver problems and diabetes.

Live Longer. Drinking high amounts of sugar and soft drinks also leads to shorter telomeres in immune cells. Your body can’t fight disease as strongly with a weakened immune system which can be linked to a shorter lifespan.

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So How?

Get rid of drinks at home. The first step is to know that you want to make a change and get rid of your temptations. If it’s there…you will drink it.

You can start by eliminating a few drinks a day. If you are one that drinks a whole 2-liter or a whole 6-pack of bottles, start by eliminating one or two a day. As I said earlier, soda does contain caffeine and other stimulants similar to addicting drugs. Quitting cold turkey does come with side effects like headaches and sleeping problems, but these go away with time.

Have healthy alternatives around. Substitute low/no calorie drinks like water or carbonated water.

As I stated earlier. Many of the above health problems also apply to juices and other drinks that people perceive as being healthy. Yes, juices often have nutrients that our body needs to survive, but you can also get these without added sugars by actually eating the fruit that is pictured on the bottle. Juice is often made by soda companies that add in other sugars and chemicals that will ruin our bodies just as fast. I am one that had kidney stones, and they recommended drinking cranberry juice everyday. I have found a condensed low-calorie version that I mix in with my water once a day. I get the same benefit without added worry.

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If you have any questions about where you can find information on these topics let me know, I can point you in the direction of some sources.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation, and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

For yesterday’s “The Importance of Water…” Post click below

https://millennialsurvivalblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/the-importance-of-water/

 

The Importance of Water…

What is the easiest thing you can do to improve your health today? I’ll give you a hint. You can do it without even getting out of bed. It’s Drinking Water!

 

There are so many health benefits to drinking water. I know you’ve heard them all before. But it really is that easy!

 

Let me remind you of a few of the health benefits of getting liquids in general.

 

1. Maintains your fluid balance. The body is 2/3rds water. We are constantly using water for everyday functions like digestion, circulation, and even maintaining your body temperature (sweating). When your body is lacking it will send you a ‘thirst’ messpexels-photo2age that we are all familiar with. Don’t ignore this! Drink up!

2. It can help control calorie intake. Sometimes we get the ‘I need nutrients’ signal from our brain and confuse it for hunger. Often times, what your body really wants is water. Obviously, this is not an excuse to only drink water. Make sure you are still eating at intervals and if you start to feel faint, grab something to snack on. Just make sure you are drinking water to keep your ‘I need nutrient’ signals at bay.

3. Energy. Water helps to give your body energy. training-barbell-muscles-hands-39613Cells that don’t get the nutrients they need will shrink and dry up. This will lead to muscle fatigue. Doctors recommend drinking water throughout exercise to keep your cells hydrated. This will prevent spasming and fatigue of your muscles.

4. Healthy Skin! Your skin needs lots of water topexels-photo-58050 do its job. Dehydration causes skin to look dry and wrinkly. We put lotion on our dry skin to help, but this really acts as a barrier to help keep moisture in. We need the moisture in our skin to start with, so make sure you are sipping throughout the day.

5. It helps your kidneys function. I am one of the lucky people to have experienced a kidney stone. Let me tell you…those that say it’s worse than childbirth are probably right. I will confirm with you once I pop a baby out of my own, but I DO know that kidney stone just straight up SUCK! Water helps your kidneys filter out toxins and when they build up in your kidneys they clump together and cause pain. Sometimes they need to be surgically removed. One way to make sure that you are properly filtering your kidneys is to check the color of your urine. If it is clear or light, you know you are getting enough water.

6. Helps digestion. Water keeps things moving through your digestive system and will help make you more regular. Doctors recommend fiber and water as the number one combination to help get rid of constipation.

 

So How Can I Make Myself Drink More Water?

 

There are many small things you can do throughout the day to help make sure your body is properly hydrated.

 

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to go around eating watermelon everyday to get healthy fruit hydration. About 20% of your daily water intake actually comes from your food. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with water and can help keep you hydrated.

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Choose drinks that you love. I used to be one that hated the taste of water. I was convinced I could taste the water piping and dirt. I started off by adding enhancers to my water or cutting up fruit to give it a great healthy taste. I substituted it for sodas and still got my flavor in.

Refreshing drink in the garden

Keep a water bottle near you. You can’t drink something that isn’t there. Find a fun cute water bottle if that is something you think might motivate you. There are many different water bottles out there to meet your needs. You just have to look.

Refreshing strawberry drink

Have a beverage with every meal. Make sure that you keep sipping after every bite or every few bites. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it will make you feel full faster. You won’t shovel as much food into your mouth leading to lower caloric intake.

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Keep track. Personal trainers recommend drinking half of your body weight in water. No I don’t mean literally. What they mean is…let’s say you weigh 160 lbs. Divide that number in half. That is how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day! A 160 lb person should be drinking 80 oz of water a day. 8oz in a cup. This person should be drinking 10 cups of water a day. Keep in mind that this is an 8oz cup. Pint glasses are 2 cups. These are the standard sized water glasses when you eat out. A Standard Nalgene Water Bottle is 32 Oz. Keep it filled and you will easily make your water intake goal.

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I hope that these tips and tasty tidbits motivate you to drink more water. Be careful about that liquids you drink. Caffeinated drinks like soda and alcohol will actually dehydrate you. I will talk more about how to pick your liquids on my next blog post, so stay tuned!

 

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Look here for yesterday’s “Take the Stairs” Post

https://millennialsurvivalblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/taking-the-stairs/