Monday, December 5, 2011

Give Yourself the Best Gift of All This Holiday Season: Health and Wellness

The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means Christmas and holiday parties, visiting family, and celebrating New Years! So many of us, myself included, have made New Year's Resolutions to lead healthier lives and/or lose weight. This time last year I was 30 pounds heavier. Now I'm a half marathoner! I put my health first this year and I am so grateful I did. And if I can do it-you can!

Why wait until New Years to start the journey of healthy living? Start now!
There is about 4 weeks left until New Years. In four weeks you could lose 5-10 pounds, or run a mile, or eat at home 5 nights a week. Regardless of what your health and fitness goals are, four weeks is a lot of time to get a jump start on your resolutions!
Here are some of my tips to getting started on your healthy lifestyle journey:

1. Make sure you're starting your healthy life journey for the right reasons. Why do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Don't begin this journey for anyone else but yourself. Do this for YOU!

2. Begin realistically. It's not realistic to go from eating out every night and never hitting the gym to cooking 7 nights a week and running every day. Start small, and build up to your ultimate goal. I started with running half a mile three days a week. Now I run 4-5 times per week and rarely eat out (unless I'm on vaca).

3. Find an activity that you like. As you all know, running is my activity. I love it. But not everybody likes running. Maybe you enjoy swimming or Zumba. Or playing tennis is your thing. Regardless of how you get moving, make sure you enjoy it! That way you're more likely to stick with it and you'll have fun at the same time.

4. Find accountability somewhere. Get your coworkers involved or make plans to walk with your sister. If you have someone counting on you, you're much more likely to adhere to your workout schedule. No one wants to be let down!

5. Don't beat yourself up when you fall off the wagon. So you had a huge burger and a plate of fries the size of your face for lunch-oh well. Was that the best choice? Probably not, but it's life. Sometimes I eat Popeyes chicken for dinner. But the next meal I have I'm right back on the healthy meals wagon. IT'S OK to splurge every once in awhile-just do it in moderation. You all see me make cookies and tailgate all the time. But that's once a week and I ran before the tailgate. Indulge in moderation and pick and choose what treats you have. You'll enjoy them a lot more and be able to bounce right back into healthy eating.

6. Drink WATER! Ditch those Cokes! Trust me-drinking water makes me feel so much better. If I give one health tip, it's ditch the soda and drink water! Water will be blah at first, I know. But stick with it and use Crystal Light to make water more flavorful. I started out drinking tons of Crystal Light and now I typically just drink plain water.

7. Remember, this journey takes time. You deserve a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body. It does take work and time. Some days are harder than others. But DON'T GIVE UP! You CAN do it! Be patient with yourself and reward yourself with new running shoes or a new tennis racket. And think about how awesome you'll feel when you're finished with your workout or you prepared a good meal. Stick with it!

If anyone has any questions for me, don't hesitate to ask! Tweet me @ashleyrunning or e-mail me at I'd be happy to answer any questions or hear any of your suggestions too!

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  1. great post!! Eating healthy and getting into shape to lose some weight is my new years resolution! It seems so far away sometimes, ha:) but I'm excited!!

  2. Great post- I need to get back to working out more frequently!

  3. I need to get back into running. It's so hard to jump back in after a prolonged break.

  4. Love this! Definitely a New Year's Resolution :)

  5. love this post ashley!! you are such an inspiration!! i NEED to hop back on the fitness train! I'm planning on starting the Insanity workouts over Christmas break ...its been SO hard to get a routine this semester =\

  6. After not exercising EVER, I just started Couch to 5k a couple weeks ago, and I've stuck with it so far! I may not enjoy it yet, but I'm hoping I like it by the end! :)