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Schedule your planned exercise for an hour, six days of the week. Try to get your exercise in early so you don’t put it off or end up skipping it altogether when the day gets away from you. If that doesn’t work for your schedule, break up those workouts into shorter 10 or 20-minute segments throughout the day. And find an exercise you enjoy, so you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
On the one day a week when you don’t work out, plan an active recovery day. It’s your day of rest from intense workouts, but you still move. Take a walk. Do a gentle yoga class.
Sneak movement into your day. Look for ways throughout your day to get bonus movement. Take the stairs, stand up, stretch, walk the dog, garden,
do exercises while you watch your favorite show.
Maintain a healthy weight by making a lifestyle change in what you eat. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Set a goal of five to 10 servings per day. Eat more nuts and seeds, whole grains and low-fat dairy, beans and fish like salmon and mackerel. Reduce the amount of processed and packaged foods you consume. Generally speaking, the fewer ingredients, the better the food. Eat less bread, pasta, cereal, pancakes, cookies, and muffins.
Cook once—eat all week. Prep healthy foods on Sunday to last all week (cut up fresh fruit and veggies and have them ready to go, or make a big batch of brown rice to mix with chicken or beans).
Pack your own lunch. Some ideas include Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, whole wheat pasta, apples with almond butter, turkey burgers, smoked salmon, frozen smoothies, cottage cheese and cantaloupe, edamame, mixed green salads, veggies with hummus, hard-boiled eggs, and whole green crackers with low-fat cheese.
Lower your intake of sugar. People are now consuming 150 pounds of sugar and sweeteners per year (22 teaspoons a day) because it’s in everything. And if you are avoiding sugar and consuming large quantities of artificial sweeteners instead, you may be no better off. There might be zero calories in your diet soda, but it can lead to weight gain because you’ll be craving carbs. Plus, aspartame has been found to cause cognitive problems and a slew of other negative side effects. Stick with the natural sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth. When in doubt, eat an orange or an apple!
Shop the perimeter of your grocery store—where food tends to be the healthiest and you can avoid packaged and processed.
Chris Freytag will be the keynote speaker at the Annual Twin Cities Go Red For Women Lunch & Learn. Tuesday, January 22, 2013, Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For ticket/sponsor information, contact: Go Red Director Alicia Gordon, Alicia.firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-278-7922.