Hi everyone! Today I have a guest post for you from Michelle Pino from Skana Spa in upstate New York. Michelle believes “the daily stresses and life’s challenges, make it so important to make health a priority and inspire us to treat our body right.” With National Women’s Health week beginning tomorrow, we wanted to kick it off in a fun way! Michelle is offering some great advice on how to create your own fitspiration board and find out what inspires you to be healthy. If you create your own fitspiration board, or want to jump in on the topic, we’re asking that you hashtag it with #whatinspiresyou.
Balance your Health
By Michelle Pino
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply improve your health, balance is critical. However, you may be wondering what, exactly, it looks like and how you can achieve it in an otherwise hectic life. Mother’s Day kicks off National Women’s Health Week, so now is the perfect time to create your inspiration and get motivated!
Research has established that dieting is neither sustainable nor healthy. While you may get some meager results at first, all diets inevitably fail because they do nothing to promote truly healthy habits. Once you quit dieting, it all falls apart. Furthermore, the calorie restriction caused by dieting slows metabolism because your body thinks there’s a food shortage. It enters starvation mode, hanging on to every calorie and bit of body fat that it can.
For exercise, it’s often taught that more is better. This is as false as it is unhealthy. It causes some people to spend too much time exercising without getting anywhere. Others feel too overwhelmed or pressured by the idea and never even bother. It’s important to focus on quality over quantity, but how can you do this?
It’s helpful to make an inspiration board. This gives you a concrete method of organizing your thoughts and goals, helping you stay focused. Creating your board shouldn’t feel like a chore. Start by finding things that make you want to become healthy. Try looking at:
Look at the items and decide what they share and how they relate to you and your goals. Next, pick something to be your inspiration anchor. For instance, if a loved one suffers from diabetes and it makes you want to be healthier, their picture can be a great choice. The anchor’s purpose is to remind you of why you’re working so hard, even when you want to give up.
Organize your items around your inspiration anchor. You don’t have to use everything you picked, and you can do away with things that don’t quite match with your anchor. Take a few moments to inspect everything and decide what really belongs there. You can make the board as simple or complex as you want.
When you’re finished, put your inspiration board in a place where you will see it frequently, especially when you first get up in the morning. It should be a reminder of your goals and why you’re working to achieve them. It should be a method of both accountability and motivation.
During the course of your journey to better health, you can put new pictures, words, recipes and other objects on your board. One suggestion is to add your weight and measurements as you achieve weight loss. There are no rules that you have to follow. Just enjoy each step of the process.
Here is an example inspiration board:
- Everyone has his or her own source of inspiration, but to me the outdoors is my inspiration, so I’m using this as the anchor of my motivational board. Whenever I am out walking or golfing, it boosts my mood! The fresh air and sunshine are enough to make me want to move to Florida! And a mood booster is what I need to improve the healthy balance in my life.
- Nutrition is also something I need to work on for sure. Eating poorly is taking an effect on my energy levels during the day. I’m looking for a long-term improvement, not a temporary fix. I’m looking to experiment with healthy recipes and swapping bad snacks for healthier options. I plan to cut back on those tempting sugary cocktails, and opt for a fruity-smoothie version instead. I found a great recipe from Bar10der. Makes for a fun alternative to water or tea. I may even try them as an afternoon pick-me-up, or a power breakfast. There are thousands of great healthy cooking resources out on the internet. For example, have you ever tried a Mediterranean Paleo Pizza? I have not. But I found the recipe, and I can’t wait to try it.
- An easy way to feel motivated is to buy some bright colored workout gear. If you feel good wearing it, you’ll be more excited to wear it when you exercise. I love this purple print tank from Athleta.
- As part of my initiative to spend more time doing activities outdoors, I’ve started to learn to golf at Atunyote, a New York golf club near my work. I usually golf 9 holes, it’s nice to be able to spend most of the time walking. What I like about it is that it’s a leisurely sport, nothing too strenuous.
- I would like to start running more. I’ve read from a lot of resources online about a great Couch-to-5k program that would be perfect for me to start with. It involves a mix of walking and running which is great for beginners. Hopefully by the start of fall, I’ll be ready to sign up for my first race!