5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health and Happiness

by Jaclyn Lentini

exerciseWe’re all busy, but that is no excuse to ignore YOU!  Now-a-days between work, kids, friends, more work, dinner time, family time and the list goes on and on you ask yourself, “Who has time to workout?”   I’m here to tell you that you do.  Investing in yourself as little as 30 minutes a day will help you move towards a healthier mind and body.  You will find yourself to be more balanced and happy.  It’s funny, we as mothers, wives, and girlfriends find that we give so much of ourselves to everyone else without taking a step back to ask “What have I given ME today?”

After being in the fitness industry for over 10 years I’ve learned a lot from colleagues, clients, and friends. All of whom lead busy lives, but realize that in order to maintain their wellbeing they each take at least 30 minutes everyday for their own health.

I’m going to share with you my 5 tips on how you can take time everyday to invest in your health and happiness.

Tip # 1:  Start your day early!

When you wake up earlier than your hubby and kids you will have the best ME time of the day. You’re refreshed from a good nights sleep and will have the most

amount of energy of the entire day.  I always enjoying having a cup of coffee or tea prior to my morning workouts as this will help you feel refreshed and alert during your workout. Put on your yoga pants, tee-shirt, sneakers, and smile and go for a brisk walk, jog, or run outside!

Tip # 2:  Pack a lunch!

A healthy diet is key in living a balanced life.  If your lunches consist of McDonalds or pizza I’m sure by the time 2pm comes around you are falling asleep at your

desk. Having that piece of birthday cake from Suzie’s office birthday party also doesn’t help, as you’ve just spiked your insulin levels and once depleted from your body you will crash.  A healthy lunch consisting of protein, whole-grain, fruits, & veggies will fill you up and offer a continuous amount of energy all day. An easy, good-for-you lunch is a turkey sandwich with whole-grain bread, lettuce, tomato, bell pepper (sub any veggies you want), with a side of fruit (not a cup of sugary fruit, but rather a whole fruit such as an apple, kiwi, banana etc), and bottled water.  If you are not a fan of drinking plain water I love putting fresh lemon slices in my water or you can even try the individual packets of Crystal Light.  Pack your lunch the night before so you are all set in the morning to grab and go!

Tip # 3:  Park far and take the steps!

Do you know on average a person’s stride length is 2.5 feet long? That means the average person would need to walk 2,000 steps to complete one mile and

almost 10,000 steps to complete five miles.  Seems like a lot of steps, huh!  The more you walk throughout the day the better.  Take the approach of “each step counts.” If you’re going to the mall or food store park as far away (within reason of course) as you can and enjoy the extra walk. When you pull into the parking lot of your office, park in the last spot farthest from the entry and enjoy the extra steps.  And, always take the steps rather than the elevator.

Tip # 4:  What is your passion?

Do you enjoy reading? Do you enjoy walking? Do you enjoy helping charities? What is YOUR passion?  I’m not asking for the polite answer, but I’m rather asking for the selfish answer.  You have the rite to be selfish about something. Something that is all yours and that nobody else can share.  Something that if you could give everything up for at least 30 minutes a day you would want to do.  No matter what your answer now is the time to begin enjoying your passion everyday!  Don’t let another year pass and allow yourself to say, “Well, I’ll get around to doing it sometime.”  Your sometime is now.

Tip # 5:  Exercise how-to’s!

Now that you are balanced, less stressed, and eating healthier I want to share with you a few exercises that you can do at home or in the gym. Let’s get those legs moving and arms pumping so you can maintain lean, sexy, and healthy muscle!  Complete each exercise without resting, then take a 1 minute rest, and repeat.  Repeat this circuit 3 to 5 times.

image001 SquatA) Squats: Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Do not lean forward. Keep your chest high and abs tight. Lower your body down to a 90 degree angle so your butt is in alignment with your knees. Then, push up from your heels until you’re standing straight up. Repeat 20 times.

image004 Shoulder Press w BandsB) Shoulders:  Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Using a exercise band, hold each handle, stand on the middle of the band for resistance, and push your arms above your head until your arms are completely straight and shoulder width apart. Slowly lower your arms down to your side. Repeat 20 times.

image006 Bicycle AbsC) Abs:  Bicycle crunches are a favorite. These target all of your abdominal muscles and when completed at a moderate-pace are effective. Lay flat on your back. Put your hands behind your head and look towards the ceiling. Now, pull your left elbow forward while pulling up your right leg. Allow your left elbow to touch your right knee. Hold for 2 seconds while crunching your abdominals.  Return to your flat lying position and repeat with your opposite arm and leg. Repeat 20 times.

I hope my 5 tips will help you achieve a happier and healthier you!  Finding balance in life is what a majority of us strive for. It’s certainly possible and when you begin to invest time in yourself you will surely see a change in how the rest of your life falls into balance.  Rise early, plan ahead, take strides, support your passion, and get that heart pumping!

Thanks for reading & best of luck!

jaclynJaclyn Lentini is the owner of Fit-Addict competitor coaching, J2 Fitness Bootcamp instructor, & Fitness Life Coach.  She resides in New Jersey.  Make sure you visit her website and follow her on twitter.

Please do not to paste links or email addresses in comments. Try to make comments 8 words or more. Thank you!

Comments

  1. Ryan says

    Wow! Tip #4 really made the light bulb in my head switch on. I love basketball. I used to play it all the time. When I was a kid, you never saw me without a basketball in my hand. In my free time, I would always play basketball. I was much thinner back then and in I was in way better shape. Now, being the heaviest I’ve ever been, I am out of shape and I do not act on any of my passions. What a great idea. If I play basketball for 1/2 hour a day, I know my metabolism will increase and I will have more energy and lose weight. Thanks for the spark Jackie!

  2. says

    Jaclyn, you listed some great ways to get healthier and hopefully happier here! The problem for me often is the time crunch, my husband packs my lunch but I’m often in such a rush to get out the door in the morning that I forget it.

    Your list has inspired me to push a bit harder to carve out time for exercise & to decrease my stress levels enough to allow healthier habits to take root in my life.

    Thank you for such awesome advice!

    • says

      Thanks geekbabe! I’m glad you liked my post! I certainly understand “The Time Crunch” but small things like remembering your lunch will help you continue your healthy path. And, most importantly when you remember your lunch you’ll automatically feel a sense of happiness because you remembered something for YOU that day :-)…see how it all works!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>