Flowers are starting to bloom marking springtime and the end of winter. It also hails the upcoming summer season, so this TIL is devoted to warm weather and fitness. The summer season should be jam-packed with lots of sunshine, beaches, and poolside relaxation
These are the tools, tips, and apps that I think could help anyone dive into a fitness lifestyle, summer fun, and healthy living.
1. Tech: Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate
There’s no other tool that’s more helpful in helping us become more habit-aware for our health than the Fitbit. It is a gateway tool to becoming fit, in my opinion. It gives us a picture of our routine and nudges us to become more aware of developing healthier habits. For example, I absolutely love the step counter. I aim to get 10,000 steps per day. This ensures us that we keep our body moving especially if our days are spent on jobs relegated to sitting down all day. I also love the pulse and heartbeat feature. Do you know that your resting heart rate tells a lot about how healthy your heart is and is a great indicator of how fit you are? (Check out this Harvard Health Publication article about it!) The sleep tracker feature also shows an area that is vital for health and the quality of sleep you get every night. Sleep quality affects not only your physical health but also our mental health. I definitely recommend getting a Fitbit to anyone who needs to become more mindful about their physical health and fitness.
2. Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent Fasting is more of an eating habit. The book “Why We Get Fat” showed how our body is actually hard-wired to maintain a normal weight. However, eating processed foods like sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates messes with our body’s insulin level causing us to store fat. (Gary Taubes on “Why We Get Fat”).
Intermittent Fasting is the idea of eating fewer meals per day. For example two big meals a day instead of the three or more times we eat now. Our habit of our snack-filled “eating all-the-time” culture is actually going against how our guts evolved to process food. Our ancestors did not eat so many times. They had hours to go before every meal, this space between meals (4 hours at the minimum) and eating fewer meals kickstarts our guts to clean-up and detoxify. It also helps as become more healthy. Intermittent Fasting though will require us to eat highly nutritious meals (foods high in vitamins and minerals) instead of junk food and processed foods with lots of chemicals. The most nutritious plant-based and low meat based diet ensure that we become more mindful more critical about the types of food we eat in the few meals we have per day. (Body starvation is often due to a lack of nutrients, not food). Intermittent Fasting is something that forces us to learn about nutrition and become more mindful about how our gut and body works to becoming healthy. Check out this infographic:
Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat. Embed this infographic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version.
3. Book: Clean by Alejandro Junger.
This is a groundbreaking book. The premise is that most of our allergic reactions and extra weight problems could be tied to our gut health. The gut flora does an amazing job of detoxifying and cleaning up our bodies. However, if we eat crappy food filled with preservatives and unhealthy ingredients, we actually end up killing the flora and gut bacteria that lives in our intestines. (Check out this video on how a McDonald’s food never goes bad:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dxNNpxGTL4 Why? Because it’s full of salt and preservatives that even fungi and mold won’t eat. We are putting this into our bodies?)
An unhealthy gut causes major side effects to our health in the form of allergies and diseases.
Clean is an M.D.’s program designed to be easily incorporated into our busy schedule while providing all the practical tools necessary to support and rejuvenate our bodies. The effect is transformative: nagging health problems will suddenly disappear, extra weight will drop away, and for the first time in our lives, we will experience what it truly means to feel healthy.
4. App: MyFitnessPal (Calorie tracker).
MyFitnessPal is one of the best calorie counter and tracker out there. I often use this to track my meals and ensure I adhere to my caloric intake. However, at this point — since I eat mostly the same meals every day I have not used it as much. I can see someone just starting to become more mindful of what they eat can find this app invaluable for tracking eating habits.
5. App: Fitness Buddy+.
This is a great app for the gym. For anyone just starting a fitness routine for working out. This app is a way to familiarize ourselves with the various workouts and machines in the gym and acts as a handy fitness coach. This also helps focus the workout based on targeted muscles and provides great tips on proper ways postures and workout techniques. Very useful!
Enjoy the warm summer weathers and feel free to comment for recommendations on other apps, tech, goodies for TIL!