When we hear the word fitness, or being fit our minds directly gravitate towards buff bodies, muscles maybe you imagine someone working out or sweating while running. Whatever your mental picture of fitness may be, you may only partially be thinking of what all fitness entails. I am not a fitness expert, but I do know my body and what works for my body and I want to share a little with you what fitness means to me. When I think of being fit, I think of eating healthy foods, taking care of what I put into my body and making sure I stay active regularly to have a healthy heart. Many people feel that in order to be fit you must be a certain size or a certain weight and actually that’s not the case. I know many girls who can wear a size XS top and a size L pant but that doesn’t mean that you are unhealthy, it just means that your are curvy and you have a real body. I think women’s bodies should be celebrated and there shouldn’t be pressure to be really tiny or crazy muscular, unless it’s something you really want for yourself. I believe that a woman’s body should be healthy and well taken care of and really everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin.
When it comes to weight loss or health I go by my BMI which takes into account your current height and weight and it tells you the weight you should be for your body type. I am currently at a BMI of 29 which is considered overweight for my 5’1″ frame, which also indicates I may not be making the healthiest choices for myself. You have to be honest with yourself and make realistic goals in order to change your mind and body. I recently started a weight loss program for myself because I knew that I wasn’t feeling like myself and I was losing energy throughout my day and I wasn’t able to really thrive on a daily basis. Health & Fitness is really about changing your habits and committing to living a healthier lifestyle by becoming active and eating correctly. You really have to get to know your body and see what works for you and just begin each day with a goal in mind, and really follow through on these goals. Remember that when setting a goal, If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
A few of the apps I am currently using that have really helped me improve my daily routine are: My Fitness Pal (a calorie counting app that lets you know how many calories you are consuming in a day and the nutrients you are getting in those foods. You can also set a weight loss goal in this app and it will adjust your calorie intake according to the goal you set for yourself. BE REALISTIC!) C25K (a running app with an 8 week program that helps you with speed and endurance and this can be synced to My Fitness Pal as well so you can track your exercise as well) 10K Trainer (this is also a running app that you can do after you complete the C25K program and it helps you train to run a 10K, it’s a little intense if you are new to running but both these apps are amazing. You must also maintain a healthy diet if you are trying to lose weight and get results). If you all have any other suggestions for health & fitness apps or programs please don’t hesitate to put them in the comments!
Overall, I really wanted to touch on this topic because it can be difficult to understand how to lose weight in a healthy way, maintain your healthy habits for a lifetime and also how to have fun while trying to get your body to the best it can be. I reached out to some amazing ladies from some tips and tricks that will help you all improve your health and fitness routines this Summer. Remember to love yourself and take care of your body because it literally gets you where you need to go every day. Take your time and establish healthy routines and make goals for yourself and you will see amazing changes in your body.
What is your #1 Get Fit Tip?
- Watch out for simple carbs. Try to balance your carbs throughout the day. – Maria Herrera, Dietitian
- Find something you enjoy doing and make it a daily practice…whether it’s a dance class, kickboxing, yoga, or just going for a run, commit to it and have fun. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to do what makes you feel good. – Mary Joe Alvarez, Yoga Instructor
What is your go-to healthy snack for Summer?
- My Summertime yogurt recipe that I whipped together. This recipe consists of raw coconut shavings, chia seeds (great to add onto anything, really.), fresh strawberries, Fage 0% fat Greek Yogurt, and honey. It keeps me cool and satisfied! – Danielle Margherite, Photographer
- Rice cakes with peanut or almond butter (it’s better to have a natural nut butter, as opposed to the ones with preservatives), sliced strawberries, sliced green apples. – Blanca Beroes, Jewelry Designer & Fitness Expert
- Almonds/Nuts & Cheese – Maria Herrera, Dietitian
- (Sweet) sliced strawberries with peanut butter or a bowl of acai topped with fresh fruit. (Salty) Avocado Toast: mash avocado and mix in chia seeds with salt and pepper and spread on your favorite toast or use as a dipping spread for veggies. – Mary Joe Alvarez, Yoga Instructor.
What are your top 3 exercises to keep you bikini ready this Summer?
- Squats…Squats…more Squats! My top 3 exercises that keep me bikini ready are: Goblet Squats (I use a 30 lb weight), Leg Lifts on the parallel bars (to workout lower and upper abs, also, obliques), and the epic StairMaster (to workout those legs while still doing cardio). Danielle Margherite, Photographer
- Squats 2x a week…never skip leg day. Cardio 3x a week. Lastly, depending on your fitness goals, lift heavy weights to tone and build muscles (Ladies, don’t be afraid of lifting heavy, you won’t look like a man, Women don’t have enough testosterone to build muscles like men) If you are already fit and are just looking to tone, then make sure you lift with sufficient weight and do as many reps as possible. – Blanca Beroes, Jewelry Designer & Fitness Expert
What exercise classes would you highly recommend for a full body workout?
- I have a dancer’s background and I am all about being flexible and toned at the same time. I highly recommend taking a Pilates class, for both men and women. This class strengthens your core while giving your entire body a good stretch. Pilates relaxes you like Yoga does, and leaves you feeling pumped like a Zumba/Cardio class. – Danielle Margherite, Photographer
- I recommend training in circuits, because it engages the whole body and in 45 minutes you can get a full body workout. Whether its with a fitness group like CrossFit, functional exercises, or just by yourself at the gym; make sure to mix upper body exercises with legs and glutes. It is very important to build a strong core, work on your lower back routine as much as possible, that will give your whole body strength. – Blanca Beroes, Jewelry Designer & Fitness Expert
What is the best advice for someone who is trying to lose weight while maintaining a healthy body?
- Definitely try to cut down on juices and sodas, or any high calorie drinks and substitute them for water. – Maria Herrera, Dietitian
- Add the Good Stuff. That’s always my advice for someone starting out and trying to incorporate a healthier lifestyle. Just eat real food (avoid processed & packaged foods as much as possible) and don’t get caught up in counting the calories or starting a diet, but rather into looking at the nutritional value of what you are eating. When your body is satisfied with essential nutrients you will feel fuller and start craving those healthier foods because at the core level, you are feeding your cells nutrition. Secondly, MAKE IT! Whatever it is you are in the mood for, find a healthy way to make it. Remember it’s not about restriction but rather substituting the unhealthy ingredients for better options. – Mary Joe Alvarez, Yoga Instructor
Special thanks to all the ladies, who participated in this article and gave amazing advice to all my readers. I really appreciate it!
Mary Joe Alvarez, Yoga Instructor
Blanca Beroes, Jewelry Designer & Fitness Expert
Danielle Margherite, Photographer
Maria Herrera, Dietitian
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