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new years

8 Ways to Be Your Best Self in 2018

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8 Ways to Be Your Best Self in 2018

Happy 2018! Here we are again at the beginning of another year. If you’re not the kind of person to make resolutions, maybe this list can change your mind. The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on the previous year - a time to acknowledge your accomplishments and to begin working towards things that you still want to achieve. For me, the new year is a reset, and a time for appreciation and growth.

Below I’ve listed some guidelines on resetting your body and mind for 2018! (One could also argue that these are ranked by importance)

1. Drink Water.

This seems like an easy one, right? But have you ever truly reaped the many benefits that drinking enough water provides? A good friend of mine would tell me that the answer to all of your maladies is water. If you skin looks tired, drink water. If you’re feeling under the weather, drink water. If you feel a headache coming on, drink water. If you’re feeling lackluster, drink water - you get the point. It is recommended to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. For example, a 180lb man or woman should drink 90oz water per day. Give it a go for clearer skin and a clearer mind!

2. Get Enough Sleep.

Here’s another favorite for resolution-ers. We often say that, with every new year, we’re going to sleep more and work less. But with another year gone, here it is again, making it to the top of the list. Sleep is just as crucial for peace of mind and productivity as drinking water. Without enough sleep, or without enough quality sleep, we enter the vicious cycle of relying on other substances to keep us awake, disrupting our natural sleep cycles and throwing our hormones out of whack. This creates a crabby, tired monster who never gets anything done. Let’s stray away from that in 2018.

3. Put Away Your Phone.

This one is tough. I get it. Our cellphones are our connection to the outside world, they’re our source of income, and they’re also part of our identities. Take this tip with a grain of salt - the more you’re looking at your phone, the less time you’re a part of the world around you. Start small and keep your phone away during dinner with friends. Focus your year on building solid social connections without the use of electronics - you’ll gain much more than you think.

4. Get Up and Move.

Notice how an exercise-related topic is 4th on the list? That’s because, in order to get the most out of exercise, you have to be hydrated and well rested. Now for this exercise goal, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy - just getting up and moving daily is all I ask of you. If you drink more water, you’ll also need to take more trips to the bathroom, which is more movement (see how i slipped that one in). If your movement is going for a walk at lunch, awesome! If its commiting to 3 days per week of strength training, amazing! Or even if it’s going to zumba with your mom every Saturday morning, even better! I hope to be less hard on myself in 2018 for missing a workout, and so should you!

5. Eat More Veggies and Less Donuts.

Now, here’s the food one. This year, I challenge you to have a more open mind when it comes to what you eat. I know it’s easy to fall into cycles: you eat poorly, then realize you’re eating poorly, so you eat really well for a week, only to have your flow disrupted when your coworker brings donuts into the office and you cave and eat three. Wow, can I relate to that. It’s tough to say no to sweets and treats, I know. But if you really want to eat the donut then eat it. Maybe don’t eat three donuts, and have an extra large serving of veggies during your next meal, but don’t be ashamed or discouraged if your diet hits a road bump.

6. Laugh More.

This one seems silly, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. This is just a friendly reminder to not take yourself too seriously. We’re all professionals here and we’ve worked hard to get to where we are, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t laugh until you cry every once in a while. When was the last time you laughed so hard you couldn’t breathe? If you don’t have an answer to that, it’s been too long.

7. Work Less.

Did you know that work days in Sweden are six hours? Can you imagine? That sounds amazing. They did this in order to allow employees to be more productive during each hour of work, and also to allow them to live fuller lives. Let’s take some advice from across the waters and start working less. If you can answer the question, “Will it make a difference if I do it tomorrow?” with a no, then it can wait until tomorrow. Just think of all of the time you’ll have if you actually stopped working when you left the office.

8. Learn Something New.

Lastly, there is evidence that continuing to learn may help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Now if that isn’t enough motivation to learn more about a subject of interest, a new language, or even just read more, I don’t know what is. One of my personal goals for this year is to read one book per month. I used to love reading growing up but I’ve fallen off of the wagon. I want to use this year to learn as much as I can. What do you want to learn more about?

This list is a guideline to help you live a more fulfilling life in 2018. We aren’t getting any younger, so now is the time to stop with the excuses and stay dedicated. Who knows - maybe you’ll develop habits to continue these great behaviors forever, or at least inspire someone around you.

Happy New Year and let’s be our best selves this year!

perform-for-life-amber-movement-specialist

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Is Your Diet Naughty or Nice?

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Is Your Diet Naughty or Nice?

Holiday season is upon us and for many people that means family, friends, and food. However, between the office parties, family gatherings, and food-based gifts, it is common for people to ditch their diets and skip exercise.  It becomes increasingly hard to make healthy choices when constantly bombarded with tempting options, which is why Americans gain more weight during the holidays than any other time of year.  The holiday weight gain then usually leads to the subsequent New Year’s resolution to begin a new diet and start fresh after the Holiday season.   At P4L we say – “Why not now?” Why wait until the New Year to be the best version of ourselves?

Here are a few tips to get you started in learning how you can improve your health immediately and successfully navigate this holiday season.

Start with planning your plate.

  • Set aside time at the beginning of each week to plan and prepare meals. This technique will save you time, reduce stress, and make it less likely you’ll resort to unhealthy convenience foods when your schedule gets busy.  
  • Keep meals simple and remember what your plate should look like: half should be filled with non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower); one fourth with lean protein (grilled chicken, fish, tofu, or legumes), and one fourth with whole grains (brown rice, quinoa or barley) or starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes). Using this plate method will help you create balanced meals that incorporate lean protein and fiber. Both protein and fiber take longer to digest and provide more sustainable energy.
  • Remember, the balanced plate method applies to breakfast too! Start your day with a protein-rich healthy breakfast, such as Greek yogurt. Avoid energy zappers like refined grains and sugars (think of bagels and cream cheese), and don’t forget to include fruits and whole grains, such as oatmeal or whole wheat bread.
  • At parties fill up a small plate with nutrient dense foods such as veggies, fruits and shrimp.  Allow yourself to choose your favorite foods in moderation, but be careful not to overeat.  Often times a small taste can satisfy your craving and prevent overeating later.

Be Mindful of What You Eat

  • Pay attention to how and why you are eating throughout the day. Keeping a food journal helps with accountability and may help you be more mindful about what you choose to eat or drink and why. The goal is to teach you to respond to your body’s physical hunger, not external influences such as emotion, stress, or boredom. Recognizing when and why you are eating can ultimately lead to better food choices.
  • If you find yourself reaching for food when you’re not hungry, get moving! Try walking around the block, dancing around the house, or drinking a glass of water. Exercise is wonderful for both the mind and body and will help you to feel more energized during the afternoon slump.

Instead of eating...

  • Full fat dip or sour cream...try veggies with Greek yogurt based dip.
  • Refined white flour...try whole wheat flour/bread products.
  • A bread basket...try a shrimp cocktail.
  • Dark meat turkey or ham...try white meat without skin.
  • Potato chips with onion dip...try whole grain crackers with hummus.
  • Full fat cheese...try reduced fat cheese.
  • Candied nuts...try roasted or lightly salted nuts.



 

 

Learn more about Erin here

 

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TURN YOUR RESOLUTION INTO A LIFESTYLE

TURN YOUR RESOLUTION INTO A LIFESTYLE

Many people make new year’s resolutions to change their life during the new year in some way or another. These changes can be big or small, significant or rather insignificant. However, it is all too often that these resolutions, especially ones concerning exercise or health, are put on the backburner as one continues a busy work schedule and life in general. Though it may seem out of reach, it is possible to stick to a new year’s resolution, become healthier, and to make these changes a permanent part of your every day life.

            More often than not, a person’s job can and will take priority over their health and fitness goals. Making a new year’s resolution in this day and age is synonymous with failing to keep it. Perhaps the most common excuse for giving up on fitness-related resolutions is people’s alleged lack of time, claiming that their 9 to 5’s take up any reasonable time that they might be able to go to the gym. Lucky for you, Perform for Life is accommodated to exactly this – we are open from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 9pm on weekdays, with our earliest group class beginning at 6:10am. This allows our clients to get a sweat on before they go into work, which can make your day at work all the better, considering the fact that studies have shown exercise to improve mood, concentration, and productivity levels. Along with this, our schedule also allows for the option of coming in after a long day’s work if waking up early isn’t exactly your cup of tea. Not only this, but our location is ideal for those that work in the financial district of San Francisco – at 1825 Market, we are a straight shot into FiDi. We even have a shower, meaning that you could bring your work attire, get a workout in, shower, and be into work all before 9am.

            Another way to improve the likelihood of sticking to your fitness resolution is by getting a fitness coach. In doing so, you can lay out specific goals and have a professional construct a plan to achieve them, while also having someone to keep you motivated and accountable (to them and to yourself). Not only this, but at Perform for Life, our motto is ‘exercise, socialize, revitalize’, meaning that we aim to create a positive and supportive social environment that allows not only your coach, but also the friends that you make here who are on a similar fitness journey, to keep you on track. Having specific goals also increases the likelihood of adhering to them – it is much more feasible to work towards a goal of ‘losing 15 pounds of fat, specifically around my waist and hips while increasing stamina and energy levels’ as opposed to simply ‘getting in shape’. Remember, the key to achieving goals and goal setting in general is to have S.M.A.R.T. goals – goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely.

            Don’t be one of the many that lets themselves down and fails to keep their new year’s resolutions. Everyone has the potential achieve their goals, but not everyone has the motivation and drive to do so. Becoming a part of the P4L family is setting yourself up for success, so why not try?

 

 

Learn more about Coach Austin here

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What To Do Differently this New Year

New Year, new you? Right?

Every year we set goals for ourselves. Some may be goals from previous years that were not accomplished and others may be completely new and foreign. Here are some unconventional goals to set for yourself this new year:

1) PUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH FIRST

One thing that many of us fail to do is take care of our mental health. Our physical health is often prioritized but what we fail to  think about is how important our mental health is to leading a physically fit lifestyle. Studies have shown that mental health will lead to better productivity to foster physical health, combat stress, and overall happiness. Try meditating first thing in the morning to start your day balanced and grateful!

2. EAT A BIG BREAKFAST

Sometimes, sleep may seem more important than eating a large, healthy breakfast. This year, make a commitment to yourself to eat breakfast everyday! Eating breakfast is essential to healthy living and sets the tone for your entire day. Studies have shown that eating breakfast is important to maintaining a healthy body weight/diet. Remember, the period of time between dinner and breakfast is the longest your body goes without food and nutrients.

3. MEAL PREP

Although meal prep may seem tedious and boring, it is a great way to make sure you stay on top of your diet routine. There are many ways to spice up your meals… check out these awesome freeze ahead crock pot meals that you can prepare, label, and throw in before you leave for work: http://tiphero.com/29-freezable-crock-pot-recipes/

4. DON'T DETERMINE YOUR SUCCESS BY THE SCALE

You have been working hard for months and decide to step on the scale. You see no improvement. It is important to note that you should never determine your success through the number on the scale! Instead, always measure success through inches! Muscle weighs more than fat and it can be discouraging to see that all your hard work “didn’t pay off” when you don’t see the number you were hoping for on the scale.

This New Year, make a commitment to yourself and make this YOUR year!

 

 

 

Learn more about Coach Stubbs here

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