SPECIAL GUEST POST: Michelle Pino

I have a great post for you today. I was contacted through email by Michelle Pino, who is a Spa Manager in Upstate New York.

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Michelle has provided these tips in hopes to educate others on how to lead a more motivating and less stressful life. Michelle believes a more focused approach on our health will result in a more balanced life. Michelle says she is thankful to work with Blessedwiththunderthighs in working together to share her ideas!

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Women’s Health Week a Launchpad to Get Fit

Because women are more apt to focus on their outward appearance and body image than men, National Women’s Health Week, which began May 12th, provides an excellent chance for women of all ages to learn how to maintain the look they want through a healthy lifestyle. Research shows that the key to women’s health is striking a balance between a nutritious diet, regular exercise and adapting one’s lifestyle to meet special needs.

A Nutritious Diet

Healthy eating habits should be formed early on, but Women’s Health Week is a great time to begin a healthful meal plan full of vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources. In addition to eating foods packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, women should limit their dependence on pre-package, processed and fast foods, which usually lack nutrients and go overboard with fat, sugar and salt. Choosing foods in their whole, natural state or packaged foods with five or fewer ingredients are good ways to maintain good health and shed pounds. For strong bones, choose low-fat calcium rich foods such as 1 percent or skim dairy milk or soy, rice or almond milk. While limiting fats also promotes weight-loss, women should consume plenty of “heart-healthy” omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Choose salmon, light canned tuna and other fish to get these brain-boosting fats into your diet. Or, try sprinkling ground flaxseed over cereal for a vegetarian source. The more healthfully you eat, the less you will crave sugary, processed snacks. As an added bonus, replacing low-nutrient with nutrient-dense choices will not only increase your energy, but improve your complexion and strength of your hair.

Regular Exercise

The second pillar of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise, which burns calories, builds muscle and bone mass and even can improve mental health. Women who want to shed excess weight will see results by adding short, 30-minute aerobic workouts, such as brisk walking, cycling, jogging or joining a dance class 3 or 4 times a week. To improve circulation, digestion and mood, try out a low-impact Pilates or yoga classes, which focus on stretching and building core strength. Build muscle and strong bones by using weight machines, free weights and strength-building exercise regimens.

Adapting According to the Situation

Nutrition and exercise are important for everyone, but what happens when a woman goes through a big life adjustment? Pregnancy and menopause are all examples of conditions that will cause a woman to adjust her diet and exercise program to meet her individual needs. With the help of a doctor or dietitian, pregnant women can adjust their meal plan to include the additional calories, calcium and other nutrients needed to nurture the growing baby in their womb. A fitness coach can also help expectant mothers modify a workout plan to be gentle on softening joints and avoid back injuries. Older women must also take special steps to account for the changing hormones that come with menopause. These women often need to stay vigilant against heart disease by restricting sodium and cholesterol. Adding calcium sources can also protect against osteoporosis and broken bones.

Getting started is always the hardest part! Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, increase your fitness, or achieve a specific fitness goal, the first step is usually the toughest. What all fitness goals require is inspiration. An inspiration board can be a constant source of that needed inspiration.

Your inspiration board could have pictures; inspirational quotations, goals, recipes, important statistics, and anything else that helps you get on track. Let’s look at some specific ideas that will help you getting and stay motivated.

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The above example:

Smoothie– A part of my personal goal live a more balanced, healthy life, I need to incorporate my nutritious snacks into my daily diet.

Bike– Since I am not very athletic, simple activities like bike riding are a fun way to stay active without doing anything too strenuous on the body.  I love beach bikes with the big baskets!

Sneakers– An easy to way to stir up some motivation is to treat yourself to some new workout gear!  Choose fun colors that will make you excited to show them off at the gym!

Paleo Pizza– Luckily we live in an age where finding delicious healthy recipes like Mediterranean Paleo Pizza. Mmmmm! I am not on the Paleo diet, but this recipe sounds really tasty!  If you’re going to start eating healthier, it’s best to keep an open mind and try new things.

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Sorry that this is coming toward the end of National Women’s Health week… but it doesn’t really matter. Today is the day you can start to make better decisions for yourself 🙂

Thanks, Michelle, for sharing your multi-faceted approach to health and wellness! I hope you all learned something new and gained insight from these tips!

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