Fitness in a Busy Life // Guest Post

Hello everyone! If you are reading this, I am probably on my way to Atlanta for the weekend! (Be jealous!) I am actually glad that today is a guest post day because it gives me the time to take a break and catch up with everything that has been this week... With that being said, Katie from Inkspot is taking over Wandering Forevermore today and sharing some really good fitness tips. She mentions yoga, therefore she is awesome. I met Katie through the Her Campus Blogger Network and she has quickly become one of my great friends. I always enjoy reading and watching the videos she regularly shares about world issues and current events. Also, her doggies are potentially the most adorable thing on my Facebook and I may or may not watch every video she posts of them as well.... 
Enjoy the post!

Fitness in a Busy Life 

Hi Everyone! I'm Katie, the quirky college student running Inkspot  and my twitter, LiteraryOdyssey , and zoo keeper to the Wackadoodles

 Fitness and wellness are huge passions of mine. I'm en-route to being a naturopath (ND), which means health of all forms is numero uno. Good health is the roots of a good life. Health means different things to many people; it does not necessarily mean running a marathon or being vegetarian. Sometimes health means taking the best care of yourself as you can while feeding your soul, however that may be.

In a post on my blog not too long ago I spoke openly and honestly for one of the first times about my health struggles. My body does not always cooperate. A good day for me might mean that I was able to walk up the stairs that day or spend hours at the mall with friends. A bad day might find me lying on my bed, convincing myself to read a sentence. To be frank: traditional fitness and exercise hasn't been a part of my life in years. My definition of health has been eating well, loving life, centering in gratitude, embracing my creativity and staying active in my own special way. 

My degree is Health Science with two minors - one being in Holistic & Integrative Health. The courses are pretty diverse, from heavy biology and chemistry to Healing & Spirituality. This past semester I took Lifetime Physical Fitness and Wellness, a requirement for my major.  It wasn't the "health" course like we have in high school. (You know, the standard: eat your veggies, smoking = cancer, count your calories, play sports.) Instead, the professor personalized the course by giving us opportunities to look deeper at our lifestyle and set up fitness and wellness goals. (Anytime I can take course material deeper than the coursework and apply it to my life, I feel like I am getting my money's worth out of my education!) She allowed us to tailor the assignments to fit what our physical bodies would allow. It was fun - we were even challenged to make it fun. Fitness and wellness as play? I'll take it!

(Hey, if something isn't fun - this ADD gal isn't apt to do it very long.)

It got me thinking about how I already fit fitness into my busy life. The actions may seem small, but they add up! And it's amazing how doing a few small activities can bring a smile to your face and boost your mood.

- First and foremost: drink enough. The first thing in the morning and last thing at night drink a glass of water. This isn't fitness-related per-say, but it makes a difference. I started this because I have a habit of not drinking enough water. Starting off first-thing with a glass of what puts me in a good place. It sets you up for success the rest of the day. (It's even better if you put some lemon in your morning drink of water!)

- Get up and walk every half hour to hour. Ideally I aim for a 10 minute walk around the house or my backyard, but if my muscles are protesting too loudly, it is less. The point is to get up, get moving, and get the blood flowing whenever you can. Your legs will thank you --- no more pins and needles!

- Planking. I repeat: plank. This is an all-over muscle work out for toning and strengthening. All it takes is five minutes. Do it during commercial breaks, while your breakfast is cooking, while you wait for your clothes to dry in the wash - whenever. You will feel the burn, I trust you. If you've never planked before, true planking will show you just how much certain muscles, especially the core, need to be strengthened. (I can only do 30 seconds at a time!) 

- If applicable: Take your dogs for a walk or play with them. I don't mean just sit and throw a rope. I mean play. Jump up and down with them, run with them as they race after the ball. Let their energy inspire you! 

When I first met Amara, my energizer bunny Shih-tzu, it was her energy that touched my heart. She was this tiny furball that zipped around our feet, jumped into our laps, and begged for attention. She embodied energy and activity. This little girl has become my biggest inspiration. Dogs are smart, they can be some of our biggest teachers. I know when I've been sitting too long because Amara has too, and she makes it known. She bugs me until I get up and play with her, run around the halls, chase her down the hall, roll around on the floor, take her for a walk. Then I can sit back down and get back to work with her in my lap. 

She makes me move.

(She also makes a great fitness coach!)

- Morning Qi Gong or Yoga. All it takes is 5-10 minutes, no more. Qi Gong is a slow, meditative ancient martial art. It is the great-grandfather to Tai Chi. Both of my parents are certified facilitators which got me into it. What I love about Qi Gong is that anyone can do it. It can be modified so that anyone, with any number of limitations, can participate. The purpose is to gain balance and movement, to induce better circulation. I use a set of three or four movements first thing in the morning to start my day off. I also use some yoga I have been taught. Yoga is amazing for toning and strengthening muscles! I highly recommend it. There are some great videos out there, such as Gaiam's, but I personally love whenever there can be a community aspect, such as with taking classes. Community really helps me keep motivated to keep up with any kind of fitness program. Some colleges are now offer classes to students for reduced costs or free and some wellness businesses offer yoga courses where the first class is free. See what resources are available in your area!

- Walking lunges. You will look like a praying mantis, your roommates (or husband or parents) will think you are crazy - but your butt and hamstrings will thank you. While I am brushing my teeth or if I need to get something from down the hall I don't walk or run...I lunge it. 

- Skip. Why did we all stop skipping? Skipping is so much fun! One rainy day my roommates were gone and I was feeling down in the dumps so I spontaneously decided to skip around the apartment. Alone, skipping like a little kid, I broke out in roaring laughter. Now I skip around my house, my yard, down the hall. It instantly brings a smile to my face and it's a great cardio work-out. Win-win!

- Running in place. While I'm cooking, brushing my teeth, waiting for a phone call to pick up - I run in place. It keeps me moving! 

- Turn cleaning into a dance session. There are many cures in life: dancing is one of them. Whatever your issue is, dancing around your room to your favorite tunes makes the day instantly 150% better. It is also a really, really great work out. So cross to things off your to-do list at once - clean the house and get your groove on! Break out the moves!

- Lift them groceries. Go to the gym to lift weights? No time for that! Lift my groceries or even a gallon of milk a few times? I got time for that. 

- Hold your stomach inWhile you're just standing or walking around, tighten your core muscles. This is really great for core strengthening and toning. 

- Walk wherever you can, whenever you can. If that means taking the stairs and not the elevator, and you are well enough for it, do it. 


Here's my challenge to you: get active and make it fun. Laugh at yourself. Make it a party! Put on your favorite songs. 

What do you do in your daily life to keep active and fit?


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