Healthy Habits: Week 2

How was your first week of 2016?? Mine was eventful to say the least, but more on that in an upcoming blog post (change is in the air!). More importantly… how did you do with your first week of healthy habits?

I committed to this 21 day challenge and I encourage you to do the same. Week 2 starts tomorrow!

January 8: Eat the daily recommended amount of fruit.

2 servings of fruit per day is the recommended amount. Examples of one serving of fruit are an apple, 2-3 clementines, 1 cup of berries, or 1/2 cup of fresh juice. Add blueberries to a salad, make a fruit smoothie, grab an apple for a snack, or drink a glass of juice with breakfast to eat your fruit for today.

January 9: Go on a brisk walk/jog with a friend.

Meet a friend for an early morning walk, take 30 minutes of your lunch hour to get some fresh air, or take a walk after dinner. It will feel refreshing to get some exercise and gives you a chance to catch up with a friend!

January 10: Cook dinner at home.

Is the kitchen a foreign land to you? It’s not scary, I promise! Pick a healthy recipe to cook and avoid all the extra salt and fat that most restaurant meals add. Check out a few of my older blog posts for ideas:

January 11: Strengthen your upper body.

I’m bringing sexy back, whaat?! Speaking of sexy backs… take 20 minutes today to strengthen your back and other upper body muscles. (Psst… especially if you are a bride with a strapless dress!) This 15 minute AT HOME workout will hit your biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, and chest.

Do 15 reps of each exercise, rest one minute and repeat 3 times.

  • Wide pushups (chest, shoulders, back): position hands wider than shoulder width and lower chest to the floor, pausing just above the ground. Push back up to the starting position. FullSizeRender_6FullSizeRender_7
  • Tricep dips (triceps): position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured object (bench, coffee table, or stable chair). Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs out in front of you. Straighten your arms, then lower your body until there is a 90 degree angle in your arms.FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender
  • Shoulder push ups (shoulders and triceps): start in a straight-legged pike position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows locked. Shoot your hips towards the ceiling and plant your toes into the ground so your body looks like an upside-down ‘V.’ Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground. Once your head is about to make contact with the ground, pause, and then press back up to the starting position.FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_5

January 12: Eat dark chocolate to beat the midday slump.

You heard me right! Research shows that chocolate with a high cacao content lowers blood pressure and improves focus. Chocolate with at least 60% cacao contains powerful stimulants, which results in the brain becoming more alert and attentive after consumption. A regular milk chocolate bar with high sugar and milk content won’t be as effective, it’s the high-cacao content chocolate you need!

January 13: Do 30 minutes of cardio.

The recommended amount of moderate intensity exercise is 150 minutes per week (30 minutes 5x a week). That’s a great goal to work up to! It may seem like a lot, but start today and take it one day at a time. These 150 minutes per week can drastically lower heart disease risks, increase your overall health and help with weight loss. Aim to increase your heart rate, whether that means going on a 30 minute walk or run… every person is different!

January 14:  Write or print out an encouraging quote or Bible verse and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

When making changes in our lives, we need support and encouragement. Choose words that are truly inspiring to you and put them somewhere you’ll see them often. I frequently have an encouraging Bible verse from the She Reads Truth app as my phone’s lock screen. Here are a few of my favorite quotes. What motivates you??

If you think taking exercise pictures of myself with a puppy around is easy… it’s definitely not. A few bloopers are inevitable. Enjoy 🙂

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