For the Love of Fit
Written by Miss Black US Ambassador, Ebony Andrews
The start of the New Year is typically trademarked with new resolutions and ambitious goals. Many of us may have the all too familiar resolution of getting fit this year. Health and fitness is always at the top of my list. If this is one your goals, I encourage you to step things up this year. Resolutions are a passive form of goal setting. This year, challenge yourself to make real commitments to a healthier self through the year. These commitments go much deeper than signing up for that discounted gym membership or ordering the latest fitness DVD. Your commitments should empower you and inspire you to take action. Reaching your best self will require understanding the roles of food, fitness and self-care play in your life. So, let’s start with some basics that can help you get things started.
Your body performs based on how you fuel it. Instead of latching on to the newest fad diet, think of how you can best fuel your body for success. Our bodies need nutrients, vitamins, protein and energy. How much of these we receive depends on what we choose to put in our mouths. Gear your meal choices toward creating the best fuel. Your body will appreciate veggies (especially green leafy ones), lean proteins (chicken, turkey, fish, seafood…to name a few), long lasting and energy creating carbs (oats, grains, sweet potatoes are some of my favs) and some healthy fats (nuts, avocado and coconut oil are some great examples). When you think about these types of foods, identify the foods that you actually like. What are the fruits and veggies that you will actually eat versus the ones that will be doomed to a slow rotting death because you won’t eat them? Fueling your body is a balance of supplying yourself with what’s good for you and finding the nutritious foods that taste good to you.
You are designed to move! I promise, you’re built for it. There’s power and functionality in those muscles and joints. To be your healthier self, you have to get moving and determine what physical activity looks like for you. It doesn’t have to be tedious, time consuming or expensive. Being active shouldn’t feel like training for American Ninja Warrior…unless that’s what you are aiming for (Sidebar: don’t be surprised if this pops up in my future plans!). In reality, getting active can be as simple as going for a walk, taking a dance class or…grabbing some weights, a good playlist and getting to work in your living room. Whatever activity you choose should bring you joy, be a source a fun and give you a slight challenge. Find the things that you love and commit to doing them regularly…rain or shine. The more regularly you do it, the better you’ll feel. And not just physically, but mentally too! Exercise is an amazing stress reliever that has the power to promote positive emotional and mental health.
The last major component that I want to emphasize on your journey to a healthier self is…. SELF CARE! Nothing will function properly if you aren’t giving yourself the time you need to take care if you. I know many of us lead a double life as a superhero. More power to you for your extraordinary efforts to keep the world turning!...although science tells me it will keep turning even if you take a break. Sleep, stress releasing activities and fun are just as important as physical activity and nutrition. Stress can kill you just like a bad diet and lack of exercise…which is why self-care is vital! You have to make time for the joys and relaxation that make you feel good. They supply your body with what it needs to handle your superhero feats. Self-care doesn’t have to be extensive so, don’t cut it out based your claims for having a “lack of time.” Your body can remind you in some unfriendly ways to have a seat. To avoid a forced a timeout, be consistent with your rest. Your healthier 2016 can’t be realized without including things that help you rejuvenate.
Make your commitments to the foods that fuel you, the fitness activities that invigorate you and the self-care remedies that soothe you. They’ll power you through the year and life in general. It’s more than exercise and dieting…it’s finding your love of fit!
To help guide your quest to your best and healthiest self, I’ll be starting weekly “For the Love of Fit” Periscope broadcasts focused on health, fitness, self-care and more. I’ll be sharing my love of fit through covering a new topic and answering questions every week.
See you soon!