Spring comes in huge leaps to Tennessee and I am excited like an Easter Bunny about all those yellow daffodils. My body really missed the warm temperatures and I am so ready for springtime!
Meteorologically, the first season already started last week on March 1, astrologically we would have to wait until the spring equinox on March 20. I do not want to wait any longer and probably, the most of you agree with me. We hereby declare: it is spring! Dear weathermen, tell us that it is going to be warm, we want to get out, sit in the sun and have a delicious gelato.
Actually, Gelato is kind of my topic: a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise. Is this in any way connected to ice cream?, you might be asking. Yes, it is and it is also quite simple to explain, because if you keep your body in shape, you can, without any problem, treat yourself every now and then. Be it a gelato on a beautiful, sunny day or some fries while shopping with your friends.
If you are not happy with your weight or body, I can just tell you to change your diet and incorporate more exercise in your everyday life. I know it is hard in the beginning, however I managed to do it and I am such a lazy, hungry person. I changed my way of eating a few years ago and do sports twice a week. Of course, I am not always consistent and sometimes I struggle, in weight as well as in commitment. That is why I summarize in March and take a look at where I am right now. It is a bit like a spring cleaning for my body.
I did my summary a little earlier this year to have the chance to share my six favorite tips to be healthy, happy and fit with you. I hope they will be as helpful to you as they are to me!
Six tips to be healthy, happy and fit
1. Balanced Diet
A balanced diet including fruits, vegetables and whole grains on a daily base as well as healthy oils from fish and nuts helps you to feel lively, happy and fit. Dairy products and meat are desirable but better in moderation. Try various things and be open for new experiences. For example, it can be really fun to hide fruit from oneself. I probably have to explain that in more detail. I do not like eating fruits. Here are three examples why that is so: mango tingles my tongue, pineapple tears my roof of mouth and bananas leave a film on my teeth. However, if the fruits are hidden in dishes, the negative sides effects weaken and do not bother me anymore. Thus, apple slices are quite nice, but apple cubes in my oatmeal are amazing; orange segments bore me, orange fillets in fennel pasta taste fantastic; when it comes to plain pears a shiver runs down my spine, pears with brie and walnuts as bruschetta on the other hand are a dream come true. Hide fruits and vegetables in dishes you love and, bam, they become your best friends.
Anyone who claims he is not the sporty type is lying! I say that so boldly because it is true. Everyone is athletic, just everyone in a different, individual way. For example, I hate jogging, it is super boring (for me) and I will never like it. However, I have been dancing since I was a little child and I still love it. I tried many other sports, but none suited me as well as dancing did. In the past, my favorite was a kind of rhythmic gymnastics, today I do pole dance and cannot get enough of all the beautiful dancing elements as well as the enormous physical challenges. Did you ever hang on a pole using just one leg while being upside down? I tell you, it is a lot of fun! Find yourself a sport that is suited for you and that you care about. I promise you, as soon as you have it, you just want to do more. Here are some ideas: cross golf, bike polo, parkour, belly dancing, kickboxing, trampoline jumping, acrobatics, fatburn yoga, handstand training, pole fitness (my recommendation!), Ballet, …
Without routine I would fall apart within a few days. This is not a joke, my husband confirms that for sure. I eat regularly, I have my distinct sport schedule, I go to sleep early and follow certain rituals (put out my clothes for the next day in the evening, prepare my oatmeal in orderly steps, read before sleeping, …). This sounds a bit nerdy, however it helps me, and is especially good for my bitchy stomach. In general, regular processes are important because they provide us with a solid base that keeps us steady against the growing uncertainty around us. Especially, routine helps in stressful and difficult situations. We just keep going with our learned process and do not completely lose the grip when it gets turbulent.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
People who do not drink often feel weak and tired. Fluids are needed throughout our body to keep it going. When I was a teenager, I hardly drank anything, I was never thirsty. For that I often felt dizzy. Great deal, right? At some point I did not want to feel like that anymore (and my doctor did not think it was funny, too), so I forced myself to drink half a gallon per day. It was not easy, at first my body did not know what to do with all the liquid (ok, actually my body actually knew pretty well but we do not want to talk about that). After a year I got used to it and felt thirsty again. Do not be as stupid as I used to be, do yourself a favor and hydrate.
5. Fresh Air
Ok, who knows the sentence: “Come on, fresh air is really good for you!” Yes, I see hands everywhere. Unfortunately, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, … were just right. The fresh oxygen gives us power and the sun, even when it is cloudy, provides us with vitamin D and feel-good hormones also known as serotonin. I try to be outside for at least 20 minutes every day. This is not easy, because I often spend hours in front of my laptop and forget the time while I am working. However, I came up with a few methods to outsmart myself and I am happy to share them with you: reading outside (for work or in general), having lunch outside, outdoor sports, morning coffee on the balcony, a bike ride to work, going for a walk with neighbor’s doggy, small garden project, instead of bindge watching TV in the evening go for a 15 min. walk around the block, activities such as kayaking, SUP, etc. on the weekend, …
6. Treat yourself
Last but not least: treat yourself! If you eat well, hydrate and actively exercise in the fresh air, it should be no problem to enjoy something fatty, sweet or heavy every now and then. I think it even is really important to not draconically ban certain foods, your mind is a crafty little brat who wants to have the unhealthy stuff even more when it is not allowed. So be open for food like that, however, keep the consumption of burgers, Schnitzel, ice cream, etc. on a conscious level. This way these treats stay special and you will appreciate them even more.