– Today’s post is contributed by one of my favourite fellow bloggers – Jessica Tiare Bowen of UsedYorkCity, who will be sharing with your her top 5 simple tips to be more healthy without spending hours at the gym and following strictly your meal plan! –
Last year was a pretty epic one for me. I welcomed my sweet son into the world…and along with that, gained a whopping 35 pounds. Totally normal, yes, I know, but much like most women who have been pregnant, the thought, “How in the world am I ever going to lose this?!” popped into my head, oh, we’ll say more than a few times.
Born at 7.1 pounds (plus the placenta and all the water weight that goes with delivery), I had already kicked about 15 pounds before leaving the hospital, but those extra 20 were what I was more concerned about—especially since, with a new little man to watch after 24/7, getting to yoga and spin class were nowhere to be seen on the horizon.
And yet, just 2 months after giving birth, I’m (shockingly) at my pre-pregnancy weight (with no time spent at the gym or on a crazy diet!) Run Agness Run is all about sharing a love of clean eating and a healthy lifestyle, and I’m confident that by integrating these super easy tips into your daily life (post-pregnancy or not!), you’ll be well on your way to feeling your best self.
1: Walk Everywhere And Track Your Progress
Walking is, in my humble opinion, the most underrated form of exercise. It’s easy! It’s free! And by walking you’ll also be saving a ton on car expenses, subway and bus fares, or taxi cabs. It’s a win/win all around.
I’m a huge fan of the pedometer (I have a free app on my iPhone, but you can purchase a regular one very cheaply, too.) It tracks every step you take, and thus holds you accountable. Before baby, I would log 10K steps a day (roughly 5 miles), but now I set a realistic goal of 5K a day (because as we know, flexibility is key for a healthy lifestyle!) If it’s raining one day and I see that I only logged around 2K steps from my pedometer, I will be sure to make the additional steps up throughout the week.
2: Eat Food In Its Purest Form
We’ve all heard the evils of processed foods, foods caked in sugar, and the “enemy” that is carbs. While I will never give up the occasional chocolate molten lava cake or warm and flaky baguette, I think it’s important to center MOST of our food consumption around things that you would find at your local Farmer’s Market. Meaning veggies, veggies, veggies! Beans, lentils, fruits, cage-free eggs! If meat is your jam, go lean, organic, and local, when possible. And bonus points? You can eat as much kale and as many Granny Smith apples as your little heart desires, no portion control needed.
3: Carry Snacks With You
I don’t know about you, but times when I’m most likely to head running to the nearest pizzeria is when I’m out and about, find myself famished, and don’t think there’s any way I’ll possibly make it until I get home to eat. Have no fear! Stock your bag with healthy snacks to get you through those transitional times. My personal favorites are carrots, pepper slices, whole fruits, almonds, trail mix, dried fruit, and magic balls.
4: Always Have Your Water Bottle With You
I know I don’t need to preach the benefits of staying hydrated, but it truly does wonders for telling the difference between thirst and hunger, not to mention the great effect it has on your skin, digestive system, stress and energy levels, and muscle tone. Whether you’re on the go or at home, drink and refill often! Adding a squeeze of lemon is my preferred way to drink.
5: Use The Moderation Trick
Jennifer Garner once said that when it comes to eating a meal out, she gives herself 3 choices: bread, dessert, or alcohol. As part of my job for UsedYorkCity.com, I do a lot of restaurant reviews and dine out several times a week. This could easily lead to never taking off those extra pregnancy pounds, but I try (for the most part) to pick one of these three things to enjoy, and then make sure my entree is veggie heavy (just another benefit of being a vegetarian!;-) While there are occasional special instances of throwing the rules out the window and going for the full trifecta, my body generally thanks me the following day if I stick to this trick.
And there you have it! Five simple tips to a healthy lifestyle that anyone can easily integrate into their daily routine—no gym or special diets required!