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5 Myths about Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

5 Myths about Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

As the New Year rolls along, you can bet that almost every resolution you hear includes the iron clad “get healthy” resolution at the top of the list. Your gym, which is normally far below maximum capacity is now bursting at the seams with people and it’s miserable for the first two weeks of the year, but if you have a bit a patience it will return to normal by week three. Why? Because believing the following workout myths will keep the results at bay and people quickly lose motivation.

We’ve all been there, starting the year off with good intentions to hit the gym 3-4 days per week, eat healthy and be a healthier version of you. Right?! So why does it fizzle so quickly? Do we really understand how to achieve better overall health and more importantly, maintain it? Achieving an overall healthy lifestyle is easier than you think if you ignore these common myths:

Myth #1: I don’t have time to workout

I hear this myth all the time. “I don’t have time to work out.” Truth be told, you can start on a path toward better health by simply adding 30 minutes of activity to your day.

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The activity doesn’t have to be in the gym, you can pick something that fits comfortably into your current lifestyle. A few healthy options include walking your dog, taking your shorter breaks at work to walk laps around the building outside, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the store. You will see your efforts will make you feel better and you will want to increase your time naturally.

Myth #2: I’d have to spend hours at the gym to see results

Okay, I get it. Walking isn’t your thing but you have a gym membership you’ve been paying on for six years yet have never stepped foot in the gym. Why? Because ain’t nobody got time to spend hours in the gym. I hear you and I’ve got good news and bad news; the bad news is that you can’t get that money back but the good news is, you CAN start utilizing the gym and I challenge you to start with only 45 minutes.

Start with a 20 minute cardio warmup like a brisk walk on the treadmill or elliptical then move on to free weights for the remaining 25 minutes. Voila! You just kick-started your healthy gym habit and a got a workout in less than an hour.

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Myth #3: I can achieve results by doing only cardio or strength training

You’ve got your favorite type of workout, I get it because I do too. But, only focusing on cardio or strength and not creating a workout that incorporates both will leave you frustrated. You can drop weight with cardio but you will hit a plateau and if you aren’t toning at the same time you will find yourself with flabby skin. Toning with no cardio will only get you so far, so do yourself a favor and add in a healthy mix of both for maximum results.

Myth #4: I work out regularly so I can eat whatever I want

I believe this is the biggest myth of all. Many people believe they can eat whatever as long as they are pounding it out at the gym and it’s simply not true. Diet accounts for about 80% which is a HUGE part of whether you will be successful in achieving overall health.

Research has proven that you can lose and maintain a healthy weight by modifying how you eat. Notice I didn’t say how much you eat, rather how you eat. It’s not about dieting, depriving yourself or eating less. It’s about eating more of the foods that are good for you: healthy carbs, protein, leafy vegetables and fruits.

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Making simple substitutions at meal time will sustain a long term healthy lifestyle change. If you feel you are eating healthy but the weight isn’t budging, try keeping a food journal – you may be surprised to find that you could make small modifications to get on the right track.

Myth #5: It’s too expensive to be healthy

Let’s think about this – gyms cost money, eating healthy foods that you purchase from a store and prepare costs more than pulling in a drive-thru so the two combined equals more expensive, right? Wrong. With the increase of pop up gyms that cater to those who want a low cost solution, you can get a gym membership with no monthly contract for $10 a month or better yet get out and walk for free or purchase DVD’s to work out at home.

Food prices continue to rise and although healthy options can be higher than buying pre-packaged food, you can save in this area as well. Plan your meals around the weekly sales, stock up on fruits and veggies from your local farmer’s market and buy your meat in bulk. Let’s face it, the cost of being unhealthy far outweighs that of being healthy when you add up ailments, doctor co-pays and prescription costs.

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Creating a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. With the minor tweaks that I mention and a dedication to dispelling these myths you will be on your path to overall better health in no time.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Jasmine Bryant

Authentic Living Enthusiast

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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