32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #22

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#22. Recovery
When we recover better from our workouts and the stress of our daily lives we feel better, we think better, and our bodies are better able to perform optimally.⠀
Recovery is holistic: we need to sleep, eat healthy, drink water, and workout to reduce our stress. Here are 5 Tips to help you recover better so you live as your best, healthiest, full functioning self!⠀
Tip # 1: Get 8 Hours of sleep each night. During deep sleep our bodies secrete testosterone, and growth hormone. These anabolic hormones allow us to recover, changes our cognition, affects our decision making abilities, aids in memory consolidation, helps motor skills sink in, and reduces inflammation.⠀
Tip # 2: Get more sun! Lack of sun exposure leads to lack of vitamin D3, which we need to make 5-HTP into Serotonin, Serotonin becomes Melatonin, and Melatonin helps turn off our adrenals so we can get good sleep!⠀
When we are Vitamin D3 deficient, we are serotonin deficient (which makes us moody), we are melatonin deficient (which causes sleep issues), and we get all of the problems associated with sleep issues.⠀
Tip # 3: Reduce Alcohol consumption. Alcohol essentially spikes our cortisol, and, similar to taking a sleep drug, we don’t enter into deep sleep and lose all of the benefits and adaptations that happen during deep sleep.⠀
Tip # 4: Workout to help you sleep better. The right amount of training can increase your sleep pressure—our drive to want to go to sleep. And the higher the sleep pressure, the better quality of sleep we get.⠀
Tip # 5: Track your Data. Services like the Whoop Watch have data tracking and analysis to help you track things like your sleep (total time in bed, deep sleep cycles, etc.), and your Heart Rate Variability indicating that our nervous system is balanced, and that our body is very capable of adapting to its environment and performing at its best.
When we recover well we improve how our body functions, so we feel better, we move better, we continue to get healthy and fit. We can start with getting good sleep to recover better, and look at our lives holistically to improve our recovery so we can live optimally.

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #21

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#21. Stress Management
Stress is in large part the story of cortisol aka, the “Stress Hormone”.⠀
When we are stressed our bodies increase cortisol, which has been linked to weight gain, including higher levels of visceral fat.⠀
Stress Stops Healthy Habits. “The link between stress and weight gain is real, mainly because healthy habits like getting enough sleep, exercising and eating a healthy diet are harder to maintain when you feel like you’re maxed out emotionally.” – Dr. Heinberg⠀
Ways to Manage Stress:⠀
Exercise pumps up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins, and improves your mood!⠀
Practice mindfulness training, such as: meditation, prayer, breathing exercises, and journaling.⠀
Get more physical contact—even as little as 6 seconds of physical contact can help to boost oxytocin, a stress fighting hormone.⠀
Eat a healthy diet—managing your weight can help to manage your stress, and managing your stress can help to manage your weight.⠀
Sleep 7-9 Hours a night to recovery well and reduce cortisol levels.⠀
When we manage our stress we make it easier to lose weight, get more sleep, exercise consistently, and make better nutrition choices. Take time to treat yourself, and use these tips to manage your stress so you can live optimally!

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #20

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#20. How Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss?
The Research Is In: To reduce bodyfat, you need to get enough sleep.⠀
Lack of sleep messes with how our bodies regulate hormones, which leads to increased hunger and appetite, and decreased energy for physical activity. When we sleep less we end up eating more and exercising less which leads to significant weight gain.⠀
We are also less able to resist tempting foods. One study found that increasing sleep amounts reduced sugar intake significantly (by about 10 grams!) Boosting sleep amounts started participants on a trend toward lowering their fat and carbohydrate intake.⠀
To Improve your sleep, total time in bed is important, so is sleep quality.⠀
Establish a Night-Time Routine⠀
• Establish a consistent time each night to be in bed.⠀
• Set a reminder at night to begin this new habit.⠀
• Create a routine that begins 1-2 Hours leading up to your ideal bed time.⠀
• Avoid electronic devices/tv before bed.⠀
• Practice journaling/ meditating/ praying, before bed.⠀
Improve Sleep Quality⠀
• Avoid caffeine & alcohol before bedtime.⠀
• Do not going to bed too full, or too hungry.⠀
• Block out all light. Sleep masks can help.⠀
• Sleep in a comfortable, cool room.⠀
When we get enough sleep, we eat better, we recover better, we feel better, we get more out of our workouts, and when we add all of these things up we can live better. Rest well to live optimally!

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #19

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#19. How to Drink More Water

Our body needs water for just about every bodily function. When we don’t drink enough water we feel rotten, it affects our mood, and can lead to long term health problems. When we drink enough water we improve our health, our body functions optimally so that we can look good, feel good and live optimally!

The best tip for drinking more water: make it enjoyable. When we like drinking water we are more likely to drink more water. Use an added (non sugar) supplement to your water like Zip Fizz, or Nuun tablets. Infuse your water with your favorite fruits for added flavor and micronutrients!

Tip #2: Make it convenient. Have a water bottle with you at all times. Have a straw top so you don’t even have to take off or open a lid. When we make it as convenient as possible we make it super easy to drink more.

Tip #3: Make a goal. A good start is to try and drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Add another 6-8 ounces for every hour you spend in the heat. Add 6-8 ounces for every hour of high intensity workout.

Tip #4: Make sugar free coffee or tea! We used to think coffee and tea are diuretic based on some really shoddy science which has since been debunked. So coffee and tea in moderation count toward your water intake. Just look for healthy options without added sugar!

Tip #5: drink to satisfy thirst. Our bodies are pretty good at letting us know what we need. When you are thirsty drink water. If urine is extra dark, this can be a sign that we are dehydrated and need to drink more. If urine is clear, this can be a sign we are over hydrating and need to make sure we replenish our electrolytes (which really means salt).

If we make drinking water enjoyable, and convenient we can drink enough water to look good, feel good, and live optimally!

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #18

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#18. Focus on One Healthy Habit Change A Time

Making changes to our busy lives can be difficult! making time to plan out our schedules, track our macros, meal prep, fit in more workouts, etc. can all be overwhelming.

One simple strategy to reach our health and fitness goals, and make consistent progress is to focus on changing one habit at a time.

Every time we perform the habit (getting 30 grams of protein at breakfast, drinking more water during the day, going to bed a half hour earlier each night, etc.) we get to feel successful, we activate the reward hormones in our brain (dopamine), and we want to repeat the habit.

Some healthy habits to try:
• Get in bed at the same time every night.
• Eat at least 30 grams of protein at breakfast
• Spend 15 minutes a day stretching
• Journal for 10 minutes every night before bed
• Eat one vegetable with every meal
• Put your gym clothes out before going to bed

Once we successfully complete the habit enough times, the habit becomes a part of our lifestyle, and we can choose a new habit to work on. We repeat the process of small successful wins again, one habit at a time, to continue working towards our health and fitness goals.

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #17

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#17. Eat Real Food.

When we base our food choices on real food including a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, carbs, and healthy fats, we are choosing minimally processed, nutrient dense foods that help us to look good, feel good, and move better.

Fruit & Vegetables: Taste the rainbow. The more variety we get in our veggies, the more we get a variety of micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) that our bodies need to run optimally.

Protein: prioritize lean protein (minimally processed), including animal protein, lentils & beans, and egg whites, and dairy (cottage cheese, plain greek yogurt).

Carbs: Adding some starchy carbs (minimally processed) to get fibre and enough energy to support your workouts. Try sweet potato, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, steel cut oats, quinoa, etc.

Fats: Choose healthy fats, including whole-food fats like nuts and seeds (Avocado!), blended fats like butter and nut butters, and pressed oils like olive or almond oil.

Eating real foods can help us to look & fee the way we want, to reach our health and fitness goals, to live into our best selves!

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #16

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#16. Purchase Healthy Prepared Meals.

Purchasing prepared meals is a great way to have healthy food ready to heat up and enjoy. If you do not have time to meal prep, and/or if you would rather have the convenience of prepared meals, there are multiple services that will do the work for you.

You can use an online site to deliver meals, already split up into individual containers, set to your portion sizes and macros. You can use services that deliver recipes and all of the ingredients, so all you have to do is follow the recipe and do the cooking. You can visit a store that sells prepared meals and pick what looks good for the week ahead!

Purchasing prepared meals can be more expensive, but you are paying for the convenience and time saved. Additionally, you can always do a combo of meal prep for most of your meals and purchase a few prepared meals for later in the week.

Choosing to purchase meals already prepped and ready to go can be a great way to consistently eat healthy to reach your health and fitness goals!

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #15

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#15. Track What You Eat, And How Much.

If you were trying to dial in your finances, you would start by tracking everything you spend. You’d want to know how much you spend, how often you spend it, and then you’d want to make sure everything you’re buying is essential.

The same is true when we work on dialing in our diets. Tracking what we eat, and how much of what macro (protein, carbs, and fat) is essential data to know what we are doing right, and what we need to change.

We recommend tracking your food on the free app, MyFitnessPal. It familiarizes you with serving sizes & portions and shows you exactly what you’re putting into your body. You can set calorie, protein, carbohydrate, and fat gram goals, or we can set those for you when you sign up for Personal Nutrition Coaching!.

For a quick visual guide you can use the Hand Method:
1 Palm size of protein-dense foods with each meal (2 for men).
1 Fist of vegetables with each meal (2 for men).
Optional: 1 Cupped hand of carb-dense foods (2 for men).
Optional: 1 thumb sized portion of fat-dense foods (2 for men).

To lose body fat, and gain muscle, we need to eat in a slight caloric deficit, and we need to balance out our macros for what helps us best to reach our goals. The first step is knowing what we are eating, and how much.

If you need help dialing in your diet, send us an email jesse@rosevillecrossfit.com to meet with a nutrition coach!

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #14

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#14 Meal Prep.

When we have healthy food prepped and ready to go we are more likely to eat it. Taking time each week to plan out our week, shop for the week ahead, and plan some meals is one of the strategies that healthy & fit people use to reach their fitness goals.

Step 1: Plan Out Your Week. What days do you have kids soccer, work meetings, friends dropping in from out of town, and what days can you cook? Failure to plan is a plan to fail, instead plan to succeed by making a plan!

Step 2: Write out your weekly meals. Keep it simple, basing your meals off of your lean proteins and veggies. Add a healthy fat, and (optional) a starchy carb. Write out a grocery list.

Step 3: Shop for the week ahead. Get all the good ingredients to make your meal-prep life easy this week! (Optional: use an app or website to help you plan meals and create a shopping list for you based on your preferences!).

Step 4: Cook for the week! A few strategies here: Cook Breakfast egg cups you can freeze and re-heat for a quick, healthy tasty breakfast. Cook the next 4-5 days, or cook for the next 2-3 days, and pick another day this week to finish cooking. Cook each night, and cook extra to pack for lunch the next day.

Step 5: Store it for Grab & Go. Invest in some good clear food storage containers to easily see your meals, and have them packed and ready to go.

When we prepare for the week ahead, we save money and put in the work necessary to reach our health and fitness goals!

32 Tips to Improve Your Health & Fitness Tip #13

32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness

#13. The Obstacle is The Way

Often, the hard thing that we are not doing is the one thing we need to do to be successful.

This hard thing is an obstacle: waking up early to workout without any distractions, meal prepping on Sundays when we would rather relax, getting to the gym early to stretch so we can stay healthy, choosing the cream without added sugar for our coffee, turning off Netflix to get to bed on time, etc.

These are all obstacles, but they are also the path we must travel to reach our goals. When we accept the reality that we must do the difficult thing to succeed, we reframe the obstacle in our mind.

When there is an immovable rock that is blocking our path, and when the destination is worth surmounting the obstacle, we must become rock climbers.

No one is going to do it for us. There is no easy way, no shortcut, no gimmick to overcoming the obstacle. If the journey is worth the trouble, we must solve each problem, overcome each obstacle until we succeed.