Small Steps, Big Achievements

Hello fellow readers!!

So glad you are back for this next post!

Last time I spoke a little about WHY you would want turn your life around and make a complete lifestyle change.

This week we will be getting into HOW to make small adjustments to achieve that desired drastic result. We will be covering many tips that will help you begin your journey to living a healthy lifestyle!

"""Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier


Don't Hold in Your Pee

Drink a Ton of Water!

Cut Out the Sodas, FOR GOOD.

Cut out the fast food

Stand and Walk as Much as You Can

Practice Good Posture - Always

Stretch (When Your Body is Warm)

Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep

Don't Hold in Your Pee

  • It is wise to use the bathroom with a certain frequency so that our bodies can eliminate all of the excess and waste product that it doesn’t need.

  • Holding in large amounts of urine for an extended period of time also exposes your body to potentially harmful bacteria, which can increase your chances of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection.

  • One of the primary reasons that it is always recommended to consume enough liquids is that it aids the important function of cleaning the kidneys.

  • As time goes on, these infections can spread to the kidneys and lead to much more serious conditions like:

  • Kidney stones, which are tiny “stones” that form in the kidneys from excess sodium or calcium, and if these mineral deposits are not regularly expelled via the urine

  • Cystitis - a problem that primarily affects women, and has to do with the inflammation of the walls of the bladder. Its primary symptoms are Pain in the pelvis & Burning and pain while urinating

  • It also helps to keep good posture when your bladder is empty; it is hard to keep your abdomen pulled in tight and hips aligned when you're is about to pop!

Drink a Ton of Water!

  • Women should drink at least 72 oz

  • Men should drink at least 104 oz

  • Your body is 60% made up of water

  • Water keeps your body temperature within a normal range

  • Water lubricates and cushions your joints

  • Water protects your spine and other tissues

  • Water helps you eliminate waste through urine, sweat, and bowel movements – this is especially helpful for those who are active as it also aids in muscle recovery

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."

- Vincent Van Gogh

Cut Out the Sodas, FOR GOOD.

  • Back to point 1, DRINK WATER. You need a lot of it anyway and it is ZERO calories!

  • Do not get your calories from drinking sodas! They provide NO beneficial nutrients and actually contain contents that HARM you

  • Sodas are bad in many, many ways... Such as:

  • Liquid sugar is very fattening

  • Sodas do not make you feel full because they contain large amounts of fructose (aka simple sugars) – so you are drinking empty (harmful) calories, just to drink it... There are no essential nutrients in sodas.

  • People who drink sodas gain more weight than those who do not, and weight gain is usually over a few years (Yup, it all adds up and can easily be avoided!)

  • Large amounts of sugar are turned into fat in the liver

  • Sugar drastically increases belly fat accumulation

  • Sugary sodas can cause insulin resistance, which is a key factor of metabolic syndrome

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages may be the leading dietary cause of Type II Diabetes

  • Sugary soda can most definitely be addictive

  • Numerous studies link sugar-sweetened beverages to heart disease risk

  • Soda drinkers have a higher risk of cancer

  • The sugars and acid in sodas are a disaster for dental health

  • Those who drink soda have a drastically increased risk of gout

  • Sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of dementia

Cut out the fast food

  • Start eating at home – know what you put into your body and how it is made

  • Most fast food is not good quality, so why eat it at all if it is simply just going to make you fat?

  • Fast food is high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol

  • Eating too much over a long period of time can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, & obesity

  • Try these tips to make better choices with fast food:

  • Practice portion control when eating fast food (meals today are twice the size as they were 30 years ago), and try to choose from the healthier items

  • Choose foods that are boiled, steamed, or grilled instead of fried

  • Choose soups not cream based

  • Select lean meats when ordering a sub or sandwich, such as turkey or grilled chicken instead of burgers, steaks, or cheese sandwiches

  • Ask to get sauces or dressings on the side so that you can use just a small amount Get up frequently to walk around the office

Stand and Walk as Much as You Can

  • Stand to work at your computer

  • Walk your dog

  • Walking keeps your blood moving and muscles active, and burns calories

  • Try your best to stay far from a sedentary life

  • I use the Garmin vivoactive watch to keep track of how many steps I have taken, how much sleep I have been getting, and to track other physical activities.

  • It connects to my iPhone, and just like the Apple watch, it shows my calendar reminders, text messages, phone calls, and other social media notifications.

  • However, this Garmin watch is less than half the price of an Apple watch!

  • Keep a lookout for the next couple of blog posts - I will be covering the health effects of sitting!

"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still" - Chinese Proverb

Practice Good Posture - Always

  • We are constantly fighting gravity and pure laziness. It is crucial to always practice correct form of posture, or eventually you will slowly start turning into a hunchback!

  • Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities.

  • Correct posture:

  • Helps to keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.

  • Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury.

  • Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.

  • Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain.

  • This will also help you with back pain and possibly other joint pain (as everything is connected)

  • To maintain proper posture, you need to have adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions, as well as efficient postural muscles that are balanced on both sides of the spine.

  • You must recognize your postural habits at home and in the workplace and work to correct them, if necessary.

  • If you have poor posture and tend to slump, your postural muscles are more prone to injury and back pain.

  • Factors that contribute to poor posture--most commonly, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. Also decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits.

  • How to Properly Sit:

  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don't reach the floor.

  • Don't cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.

  • Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

  • Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.

  • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.

  • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.

  • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

  • How to Correctly Stand:

  • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.

  • Keep your knees slightly bent.

  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.

  • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.

  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.

  • Tuck your stomach in.

  • Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.

  • Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.

  • Proper Lying Position:

  • Find the mattress that is right for you. Your comfort is important whether it be a firm or soft mattress.

  • Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position.

  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your side or back is more often helpful for back pain.

  • If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees

Stretch (When Your Body is Warm)

  • It is definitely important to stretch to keep a healthy range of motion in your joints

  • Be sure to do static stretching ONLY when your body is warm – this means after you workout, or after some form of cardio to raise your heart rate and to warm up your muscles and joints. This will decrease the risk of pulling a muscle, which is likely to happen if you perform static stretches while "cold"

  • Yoga and Pilates are great to stretch your body, lengthen muscles, and to get a decent workout in while your body is at a higher temperature

Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep

  • Sleep is when your body repairs and heals itself, recovering to feel rejuvenated; this is also when your muscles repair and grow.

  • During sleep your blood vessels and heart repair themselves as well

  • Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin)

  • When you don't sleep enough, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down, making you feel hungrier than when you are well-rested

  • Sleep affects how your body reacts to insulin (hormone that controls blood glucose/sugar level)

  • Sleep deficiency results in higher than normal blood sugar level, which can also increase your risk of diabetes.

  • Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy

  • Sleep allows your brain to get some rest, and helps your brain to work properly

  • If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections

  • People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school

  • They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes

  • Sleep can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others

  • If you do not get enough sleep, you may have trouble solving problems, making decision, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change

  • Sleep deficiency has also been linked to risk-taking behavior, depression, and suicide

  • Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and stroke

  • Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity

  • Side note – sleep loss adds up and getting out of rhythm can still mess things up. Some people nap to deal with sleepiness

  • Naps provide a short-term boost in alertness and performance. However, napping does not provide all of the other benefits of night-time sleep

  • Thus, you cannot make up for lost sleep

  • I use the Garmin vivoactive watch to keep track of how much sleep I have been getting. It also records the number of steps you take along with other physical activities.

  • The Garmin watch connects to my iPhone, and just like the Apple watch, it shows my calendar reminders, text messages, phone calls, and other social media notifications.

  • However, this Garmin watch is less than half the price of an Apple watch!

"Because we all have to start somewhere.""

That's all for today! Stay tuned for the next blog posts coming soon ---> How to Start an Exercise Routine & Health Effects from Sitting

I am here to help! Please comment or send an email if you have any questions or feedback.

Keep a lookout for more Meant2Move Fitness blog posts! Articles, motivation, and videos to help you on your journey to BECOMING FIT.

Signed with Sweat,

Tiffani K




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