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About Tanya Marten

copyright 2011
Tanya Marten

Health Tips

How do we find health tips that will motivate us? We all know that it’s important to eat right and exercise. We know if we eat well and exercise even moderately that we’ll feel better physically and mentally, we’ll look better, we’ll live longer, we’ll be more attractive and life will simply be better. We’re told this all the time in magazines, on the television, from our doctors, family and friends. It’s a fact. We KNOW this. Why don’t we DO it?

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Health Tips For Eating Well - Avoid These Top Five Excuses

One: Bad habits. We walk by Dunkin Doughnuts on the way to work and it’s easiest to get coffee and a doughnut/muffin. We grew up eating certain foods, they’re know. We always eat something when watching TV. Or have a drink to relax after work. We are comfortable with our habits and we don’t want to change.

Two: Conflicting information. What is healthy eating? Is it low carbs? Is it high protein? Is dairy good for me or not good for me. When I grew up I remember there was the pyramid chart and a song “Eat four, four, three and two or groups of foods best for you and eat them each and every day to help you grow in every way”. But then there was Atkins, the Zone & South Beach. Not to mention all sorts of lose weight quick things: the grapefruit diet, the Master Cleanse. (I have a few personal stories I can share about dieting). And what about coffee? And wine? Depending on the day of the week or the study those can either give me cancer or keep me from getting cancer… So yes, conflicting info. But we can probably agree that fresh fruits and vegetables are better for you than the Milky Way bar in your desk.

Three: Eating well takes time. If you cook your meals which is usually the healthiest as you know what was put in it and how it was cooked. Cooking takes time. You have to shop and plan and cook and cart it to work and wash the dishes. It’s time consuming.

Four Stress. People have very complex relationships with foods. When we are stressed which is a lot, we sometimes (or habitually) turn to food and drink to help us cope with the stress that we’re under. We may or may not know we’re doing this (and it may or may not be a truly destructive thing in our life). But even if you know you’re doing it, doesn’t stop it from being a real coping measure. And then not utilizing the thing we use to cope may make us more stressed and you can see where I’m going here. Then on top of trying to eat healthfully, I have to find new ways to cope with my life stressors.

Five: Pleasing others. It’s really a form of peer pressure. Have you ever been at a birthday party or at a work function and someone came over and handed you a piece of birthday cake and you politely said. “No Thanks”. People seldom just move on. You are almost always questioned and asked to defend the reason why you don’t want to eat or drink something. How many times have you heard “Aw come on, you don’t need to lose weight” or “Come on, just one drink, be sociable”.

Of course these are only a few reasons why it’s difficult to eat well. The reasons you have will be very personal to you. But it is good to do some self discovery and figure out what you’d like to be eating and drinking in your life and why you have the habits that you currently have.

Five Health Tips for Eating Well

One: Keep a food journal. Just write down what you eat every day. Don’t judge it, just simply write it down. Often when people take the time to write down what they’ve eaten they start thinking about the choices they make when they are eating and start making better choices.

Two: Don’t ask too much of yourself. You don’t have to give up every unhealthy eating habit you have right away. I had a friend that every time she went to go on a diet she made a list. It looked something like this:
No alcohol
No coffee
No tea
No caffeinated beverages or soft drinks
No candy.
No cakes
No white sugar
No dairy
And it went on. She listed every thing she wanted to change and wanted to change them all at the same time. So don’t follow this example.

Three: Pick one habit to change. Work on that one thing for thirty days - that’s how long it takes to create a new habit. Have a piece of fruit during the day. Or drink those Eight glasses of water. Have the grilled chicken instead of the Fettuccine Alfredo. But pick one habit to change and stick to it. Once you’ve got that one down, move to another.

Four: Use peer pressure to motivate yourself. Join weight watchers or diet with a motivated friend. The trick here is not to beat up on each other but simply to tell someone else what you are doing. If I say to myself “I’m going to have tea tonight instead of a glass of wine” it’s much easier for me to break that promise to myself than if I tell you “I’m going to have tea tonight instead of a glass of wine” because it’s possible you may ask me about it and I’ll have to tell you flaked out.

Five: Take Your Vitamins.

Health Tips for Exercising - Avoid These Top Five Excuses

One: Time. This is my all time favorite reason whenever I don’t do things I know are good for me. I don’t have the time. Other things are simply more important than going to the gym. There’s work, paying bills, finding new ways to make money, cleaning, talking to friends, reading, more work, taking care of children, pets, loved ones and the list just goes on and on. I can just hear myself. “I meant to go to the gym but work was so busy I couldn’t get out to go at lunch and then there were all those errands I absolutely had to get done on the way home as I hadn’t done them for the past four days so I’m really behind. And once I get home well . . . And you’ve got to be kidding me, if you think I’m going to get up an hour or more early to exercise before work. I can barely get my ass out of bed to be on time for work. I’m not giving up any extra sleep.

Two: Exhaustion. I worked all day and then ran those errands, the commute home sucked, I have to take care of dinner, do the laundry, vacuum, not to mention get ready for work tomorrow. I’m exhausted just telling you about it let alone doing it all - it’s just tiring. I’m dead tired and I can hardly get up the energy to walk across the room to turn on the TV.

Three: Hate Exercising or It Bores You To Tears. I’m mostly of the latter. I get bored very easily but I’m had friends who simply hate the gym. It’s not my favorite place either (although I’m generally proud of myself after I’ve gone.).

Four: Pain. There’s the chronic pain of arthritis or tendonitis or other physical ailments. Or there’s the weekend warrior pain of exercising too much at one time and then you’re out for two weeks because you injured yourself and then you push yourself again because it’s been so long since you had a good workout.

Five: Money. You don’t have the money to join a gym or going swimming at the Y or take a yoga class.

Five Health Tips for Exercising

One: Get a buddy. Exercising with a buddy is more fun and you will do it more often. You’re more likely to show up and you get to help someone else stay motivated at the same time that they help you.

Two: Join a class. Works on the same principle as above. People get to know you and they’ll be expecting to see you in class.

Three: Make it Fun. Find a kind of exercise you enjoy doing. Some people love riding a bike. Others love lifting weights. Still others like to swim. If you don’t know what form of exercise you like, try a few different kinds. Try circuit training or take a dance class. If your exercise is fun for you, you will be more motivated to go do it than if it’s simply another chore or task you have to cross off your list.

Four: Make it Easy. Do stair climbing in the stairwell at work or in your apartment to music on your IPod for Twenty Minutes. Or get a step counter and set a goal of 1,000 steps in one day. Take the stairs as opposed to the escalator or the elevator, you’ll be surprised how fast those steps will add up.

Five: Block out time to Exercise. Put it on your calendar or in your outlook task list just like you would with any other task and set a reminder. And don’t hit snooze. Even if you just jog in place or walk around your apartment for twenty minutes that is something you can build on.

Most Important of All Health Tips

Keep yourself positive (don’t yell at yourself when you fall down - it won’t motivate you). Take small steps, say nice things to yourself and applaud yourself for every time you do something healthy. Put a smiley face on your calendar. Pat yourself on the back. Treat yourself to a bubble bath. Whatever makes you feel good. And make sure to say to yourself “Your Name. That was a good decision. I’m proud of you.”.

Health Tips