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Abs, Abs, Abs

Hey y’all! For this Wellness Wednesday, we’re going to be talking about abs. That’s right, it’s winter time, and I am still working on my abs, keeping them from disappearing even though sweater season is right around the corner. At least, in my case, I sure hope it is, Florida seems slow on the winter update.

So before you start moaning and groaning, let me first say that having a strong core can help you with so much more than just looking great at the pool or beach. While it definitely has that benefit, it’s also helpful for keeping you balanced, as well as helping you to build muscle in other areas. Not to mention, if you are a dancer or even singer, a stronger core will help you to perform better. I remember my ballet days, and despite the main focus being on my posture and form and stretching my legs, I also had to have a good core to be able to do some of those moves. So if you’ve ever wanted to pursue dance or singing, then you’ll definitely want to work on those abs.

Now, you may be thinking, ick crunches, I hate crunches. I actually don’t hate crunches, but they can get a bit boring. Not to mention, regular crunches only work one part of your abs, while you have other parts that need to be worked too. Luckily, there are some variations on crunches, which I do every single night.

  1. Froggy crunches. I’m sure there’s a better name for them, but they make me think of frogs for some reason. Basically, lay down on your back and put your feet together, with your knees on opposite sides, like the butterfly stretch, except laying down. Then do your crunches as normal.
  2. Legs up crunches. Again, a simple variation, you’ll just want to lift your legs up in the air, bent at the knees and do your crunches as normal.
  3. Planks. Oh planks, can’t say I don’t hate those, but they are fantastic for working on your abs. They aren’t necessarily a crunch variation, but they’re a great workout so they had to make the list.
  4. Standing crunches. These are better if you don’t want to get down on the floor. So you’ll stand with your feet shoulder length apart, and you’ll bring your leg up to your chest, one at a time, alternating, while also crunching your stomach inward.

I am trying to keep my health a focus and priority, and that means not taking many days off from workouts. These are some of my go-tos for every day, and so far I’m really seeing progress that I’m very happy with. I hope they help you out and that you continue to make fitness a priority in your life as well! And don’t feel that you can’t start now, New Years doesn’t have to be the starting point to getting your health where you want it.

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Chia Seed Pudding

Hey y’all! If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast option or even an afternoon snack, look no further than chia seed pudding. It takes literally 4 ingredients or less, and is super easy to make. Check it out! Oh and it also tastes amazing, since that part is super important πŸ™‚

chia seed pudding

Chia Seed Pudding (Serves 1)

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Original)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of chia seeds (I used about 3.5 tablespoons to make mine thicker)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey (add this at the end, I added mine at the beginning and it didn’t mix too well and wound up at the bottom)
  • Fresh fruit to top (I like a good mix of berries)

How To:

  • Stir in chia seeds in with almond milk until well mixed.
  • Put in fridge overnight or at least 3 hours.
  • Add honey and fresh fruit when ready to eat.

What did I tell you? Super easy, healthy, and delicious!

If you’re not sure why you need chia seeds, check out this article to read up on this superfood https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds

Have a Cup of Tea

Ahh tea, one of my absolute favorite drinks. It’s perfect for hot or cold weather, since you can drink it hot or iced, and there are so many flavors and styles, it’s impossible not to enjoy a good cup of tea. Not to mention, you can drink it however you like, with milk, sugar, lemon, nothing added at all, how you drink the tea is completely up to you. But you know what’s even better than all of that? The health benefits of drinking a good cup of tea.

I’ve been having a cup of tea each morning for months now, and even when I was a kid, my gram and I used to do tea parties each afternoon where we’d enjoy a cup of tea in her tea china. Needless to say, that holds amazing memories for me, and that’s definitely where my love of tea came from. However, if you don’t have something like that that made you a tea drinker, these health benefits may just convince you to have a cup of tea.

Health Benefits of Drinking Tea:

  • Soothes a sore throat. I think it’s safe to say we all want a nice hot cup of tea when we’re feeling sick and have a sore throat. It’s soothing, and there are certain types of tea that are better than others for helping it. Lemon tea is great for helping with that, as are the special Throat Coat teas that are made specifically with sore throats in mind.
  • Helps ease your stomach. A cup of ginger or peppermint tea can help if you are having some nausea or an upset stomach. It’s an all natural way to get feeling better in no time!
  • Helps ease anxiety. Peppermint and chamomile tea are great for helping when you are feeling anxious or stressed. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, chamomile is great as are special blends of night time tea that may include lavender or chamomile.
  • Gives antioxidants. Most teas, but especially green teas, are high in antioxidants which help your body to stay healthy. Having a cup of green tea each day can be extremely beneficial to your health.
  • Wakes you up. Green tea has an all-natural form of caffeine, so if you feel you can’t quite quit the coffee habit, this is a great alternative to help you still get that jolt. Black tea is also full of caffeine, so that’s a great option as well.
  • May help reduce heart issues and cancer. Tea has these things called flavonoids in it, which can be very beneficial for reducing heart issues and even potentially helping protect against cancer. Seems like a great reason to add a cup or two to your diet!
  • Lower cholesterol. Oolong tea has actually be found to help lower bad cholesterol in an animal study, so if that’s a health issue you’re currently working with, it certainly couldn’t hurt to add a cup or two each day to help with that.

The reality is, there are so many benefits to tea, some of which are just relaxation and enjoyment. One of my favorite things that I’ve done with some family friends is going to an afternoon tea and just spending time together over delicious little snacks and several pots of tea.

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Get Your Steps In!

I think by now we all know how important exercise is. However, did you know the reasoning behind getting in your 10,000 steps a day? Of course, most of us have heard of this goal, but we may not know the reasoning behind it. Luckily, I pulled that information, so you now know why you need to get your steps in!

As with most forms of exercise, getting your steps in is not just to torture you, there are real health benefits to it. So check them out and start walking!

  • Increased flexibility. That’s right, just walking can help with that, though I definitely suggest adding something else on too to help keep those muscles loose.
  • Burn fat. It’s a form of working out, so of course, by getting those 10,000 steps you are burning calories and fat.
  • Promote good digestion. This one may be a bit surprising, it’s actually not something I had known about previously.
  • Relieves stress. Especially now that we are getting into cooler weather, there’s nothing like a nice walk outside in the brisk fall air to help you get out of your head and let go of some of that stress.
  • Increases energy. All forms of exercise give you more energy after to tackle what’s left of your day, so make sure you hit those step goals!
  • Improves posture. This one is important for soo many reasons, the top one being, you don’t want to see a chiropractor once a week for the rest of your life! So stop slouching and get walking!

There have also been a few studies showing women especially are less likely to suffer from medical issues if they get their 10,000 steps a day. So ladies, and gents, please make time for this, and use a tool to help you know if you got your steps. If you have an Apple watch or Fitbit, check those stats! If not, pedometers and other fitness trackers are cheap, and easy to use πŸ™‚

Get Enough Sleep

For this wellness tip, it’s all about catching those Z’s! We all know how important sleep is for our bodies, but yet, we never seem to get enough sleep. Did you know that an adult is supposed to get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep a night? I know people who get 5 and think that they can survive on coffee. We’ve all had to pull some late-nights, and as long as it isn’t a common occurrence, it’s not the worst, but if you consistently don’t get enough sleep, try some of these tips.

  1. Take melatonin. If you struggle to fall asleep, try taking a melatonin pill. It’s all-natural and will hopefully help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  2. Try a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are great for anxiety, but they also will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Drink a cup of tea before bed. Sleepytime tea is one of my go-to’s when I’m struggling to fall asleep, and the soothing blend usually puts me to sleep before I even finish my drink.
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  4. Try stretching before bed. Stretching your muscles is a form of relaxation, and can help you to get sleepy enough to fall asleep.
  5. Stay away from blue lights. You need to put yourself on blue light restriction a few hours before bed, so that means no laptop, no phone, and no tv. And definitely no Candy Crush.
  6. Cool down your house. Did you know that you actually sleep better in cooler temperatures? I personally like to set my thermostat down a few degrees and turn a fan on, that way I can snuggle up under my comforter. Try it and see if it helps you.
  7. Read while in bed. Set time aside to read for 30 minutes and see if that helps your eyes to get tired. Just make sure you’re not reading on an iPad, that will work against you with the blue light. A real book is best for right before bed.
  8. Go to bed at a decent time. This is the most important one, don’t go to bed at midnight if you have to be up at 5 am! I’m one of the only 26 year olds who can happily be in bed before 10 pm, but guess what, I love my sleep, and I’m not ashamed of that fact. I also don’t need coffee to live πŸ˜‰ so just plan out enough hours to help you get enough sleep each night.

I hope these tips help, and I hope you find that with your new extra hours of sleep that you are finding yourself in a better mood, needing less caffeine, and overall living a healthier life!

 

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

In honor of fall being just around the corner, I present to you, a cinnamon apple breakfast quinoa recipe that is sure to delight your tastebuds and keep you feeling full all morning long! This recipe makes enough for two, so if you’re cooking for more, just go ahead and double or triple the recipe.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • A dash of honey to taste

How To Prepare:

  • Put quinoa, water, and apples in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon, and serve with a dash of honey!

That’s it, it’s super easy! For drool-worthy pics and to check out the original recipe, go here. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

Use Vinegar Instead of Chemicals

Did you know that you can use vinegar instead of chemicals for cleaning? It’s an all natural disinfectant, and mixed with some warm water, makes for a wonderful floor cleaner. By itself, it can clean glass stove tops, counters, and more.

Walking

Most of us struggle to get the right amount of exercise each day, in some cases you have to get up super early before work to get a workout in or you wait until the evening and try to work it around everything else. No matter who you are or whether you have a gym membership or not, one exercise that you can do that is great for you is walking.

The studies have spoken, and walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is. If you don’t believe me, check out this study about walking groups: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/11/710 Walking has been proven to help with weight loss, cardiac health, lower blood pressure, and decrease depression, while also giving you a boost creatively.

With all the different benefits, even 30 minutes of a brisk walk each night can make a huge difference for your health, and it’s easy enough to do. If you have time to binge several episodes of The Office on Netflix, you have time to fit in a walk.

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