Tips to Start Off a Healthy Week

Last week, I got the OK from my doctor to start exercising again (yay!). I haven’t been able to work out at all since October, so I’m anxious to get back into my running shoes and back into shape. I’ve signed up for the Bike MS Pedal to the Point, I’m going to play in the Blondes vs. Brunettes Powder Puff Football game to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, and I’m considering doing a duathlon in late July. Is it obvious I’m trying to make up for lost times? 🙂

Of course, being excited about getting back into shape and actually getting back into shape are two very different things. I’ve heard time and time again that planning is key to starting a healthy lifestyle, however, this is where I always fall short. If the best intentions got a person in shape, I would be running a marathon every weekend. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So in honor of the first Sunday of operation “Whitney Gets Back Her Fitness Mojo”, I wanted to share a list of must-do steps to kick off a healthy week (via Fitsugar).

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1. Plan your meals. What do you mean a glass of wine and a bag of chips isn’t a healthy dinner? Planning meals in advance is key for me: I’m too often tempted to grab take out or eat junk food for dinner, especially when life gets hectic. Before I go grocery shopping, I scour my Pinterst boards (here and here) to pick some recipes I want to try and then fill out my meal planning template (here: Meal Planning blank). I also like to prep as many meals as I can on Sunday – this decreases the likelihood that I won’t skip making a healthy dinner because I’m too tired.

2. Prep your kitchen. I love this article’s tip about putting smoothie ingredients in individual bags. Part of the reason I don’t make smoothies as much as I should is because they take some work, so I’m definitely going to prep these bags in advance. Now if only someone would invent a self-cleaning blender…

3. Stock up on work snacks. If you’re like me, you tend to fall victim to the 3:00 slump. Low energy makes me grab for the nearest candy dish or vending machine snack. Bad news for fueling a healthy body. So prepare for this and make sure you have nutritious snacks at the ready. Just make sure they are snacks you actually like, or you won’t be satisfied and end up reaching for that brownie anyway.

4. Schedule exercise. Any trainer will tell you that the best way to fit in a workout is to treat it like a meeting or date. Actually writing a workout down in your calendar makes it much more likely you will keep your commitment. I’m horrible at this. Simply terrible. I too often treat exercise as low-priority – I fit it in after I’ve done everything else, so it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. For me, signing up for a race and setting a training schedule keeps me on track. I also follow the girls from Tone It Up! – they put out a weekly exercise schedule with toning moves and training tips.

5. Pack your gym bag. This all but guarantees you will have everything you need to get your workout on, which means you’ll be less likely to skip a workout. Plus, by packing your bag in advance you can make sure you look totally fierce for your workout. Looking good = feeling good.

6. Take time for yourself. Most of us are probably thinking, “Yeah right.”  But seriously, taking time to re-energize and relax is important. It makes us better friends, spouses and parents. I really like to read, catch up on my DVR or chat with a friend. With a glass of wine, of course 🙂

Here’s to a healthy week!

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