The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!


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3 Easy Ways to Jumpstart Your Health

Drink more waterWhile most people would say that they want to become healthier, as we all know, saying it and doing it are two very different things. It can seem like an insurmountable task at times, especially for those people who might be severely overweight or have an ongoing or chronic medical condition.

The good news is that, after you receive the go-ahead from your health care provider, there are many small ways to begin improving your health, and most of these can be done throughout the course of an average day. Yes, joining a gym or an exercise program is a great way to get started on the road to better health, but it’s not the only way, and for those people who might be intimidated or unsure, having a list of little things can be a big deal.

If you’re ready to partially take the plunge and learn how to improve your health, check out this list for tiny ways to make a huge impact.

1. Drink More Water

It seems so simple, but some might be surprised to know that many people struggle with drinking enough water throughout the day. Perhaps it’s because we’ve gotten used to the strong taste of flavored drinks, but whatever the reason we should all make a conscious effort to hydrate with water over anything else.

Aim to drink 64 ounces of water each day. While this might sound like a lot, it translates into only eight 8-ounce glasses. Add sliced fruit or fresh berries to your water if you’d like a little flavor, just don’t add sugar or other sweeteners.

2. Keep a Movement Diary

Even those who might self-identify as couch potatoes move more in one day than they might think, so it is a great idea to keep a movement diary. Simply jot down the times that you engage in any movement throughout the day. This could be as simple as taking the trash out, or something more intense like walking your dog for 30 minutes.

Now might be a great time to invest in fitness tools like heart rate watches, as well. As you monitor your heart rate you’ll have a better idea of your fitness level, and seeing your heart rate decrease over time can also encourage you to keep going and increase the amount of exercise you do every day or week.

Snack Healthy3. Snack More Often

While it might seem logical to skip or reduce meals during the course of your day to try and lose weight, that can actually have the opposite effect on your health. The human body needs energy in the form of food to keep all of its systems operating, but a bag of chips or a fast food burger is not the best way to accomplish this.

Be sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast, and then plan to have a snack two hours later. This could be as simple as a spoonful of natural peanut or almond butter, a piece of cheese, or a handful of grapes. Then, plan to have another snack after lunch. Again, choose something healthy like a piece of fruit, a slice of whole grain bread, or a cup of yogurt. As your body gets used to being fueled throughout the day you’ll find that you feel better and that you eat less at meal times.

Health and fitness are not a destination but a journey. If you start with small steps that you can increase to big steps over time, you’ll find that the journey becomes more rewarding and a whole lot easier.

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4 Healthy Winter Produce for Your Cold Weather Menu

Winter is rough for many reasons. The weather is cold and uninviting, the amount of light diminishes, and we respond to these stressors by binging on carbs, sweets, and other unhealthy foods.cold weather vegetables

So what’s the solution? While much of it centers on maintaining a certain level of self-control and willpower, a portion of the answer may lie at our local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Fresh and healthy produce is not only limited to the spring and summer months. Wintertime harvest offers up a great deal of tasty options that are fresh and healthy.

Revamp your wintertime menu with these healthy and tasty items, and prepare to chase those cold weather blues away.

1. Potatoes

The humble potato is often dismissed outright due to its high level of starch, but these vegetables are not only tasty but they also bring a number of essential vitamins and minerals to the table. Potatoes are high in potassium, folic acid, and magnesium, and even boast a fair amount of protein. The sweet variety boasts a great deal of beta carotene as well. Whether you choose the sweet ones or the plain white kind just eliminate the butter and cream that you might be tempted to add and you have a versatile and healthy dish for your winter table.

Parsnips2. Parsnips

For the uninitiated parsnips might be passed over as slightly anemic carrots, but these long, white veggies offer a vitamin punch and they’re quite tasty as well. They are at their peak during the fall and winter months and come loaded with fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Parsnips lend themselves well to purees and soups, so the possibilities are endless. Some home chefs like to roast the parsnips with some crisp, fall apples until they’re both tender and combine them into a sweet and savory soup. Add some homemade bread and you’ve got a wintertime meal to remember.

3. Squash

Almost everyone is familiar with the most famous of the fall and winter squash — the pumpkin — but this type of winter vegetable comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each has a number of unique aspects, but the health benefits are all very similar.

Squash boasts an impressive amount of beta carotene, as well as fiber and potassium. Additionally, the recipe possibilities using squash are endless. Butternut squash is delicious when baked with olive oil and garlic, and acorn squash that is roasted, cubed, and tossed with radicchio, lentils, and goat cheese results in a wonderful winter salad. Take your pick of any of the squash recipes you come across and you can’t really go wrong.

4. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a strange fruit, but one of the most unusual things about them is the fact that they are harvested in the fall and winter. As one of the oldest-known fruits in the world, they are among the healthiest, as well. While getting the seeds out of the fruit might be quite a task, those seeds are packed with heart-healthy antioxidants and are high in fiber too.

If extracted seeds aren’t your thing, find some fresh pomegranate juice at your local store or farmers’ market. Just make sure it’s sugar free and you can still reap the health benefits.

It’s perfectly normal to want to hibernate during the winter and eat all of those foods that you’ll regret in the spring. However, reach for some of these winter veggies during your next grocery visit and find more to love about the season.