Top 6 Fitness Tips for Healthy Living

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles | May 24, 2016

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand, I can’t imagine one without the other because we need both to achieve complete health and wellness. Incredibly fit people who eat poorly can still develop health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. And those who consistently eat organic, unprocessed whole foods can have poor body composition and low bone density if they don’t exercise regularly.

That means the key to feeling great, looking good, and living longer is a healthy combination of both nutrition and exercise. But what type of exercise should you focus on? How do you balance a work/life schedule that incorporates a good amount of exercise? Don't worry, we've got you covered!

Here are some of the best fitness tips available, tips that can help you begin incorporating daily physical activities into your healthy eating lifestyle!

  1. Lift weights. Strength training is one of the most efficient methods to help you achieve a healthy body composition. It assists with everything from building strength to improving muscular endurance, as well as preventing injuries and controlling blood glucose levels!
  2. Stretch. Stretching improves your flexibility and helps you perform better and feel better. Stretching for 5 to 10 minutes every day can help prevent injuries.
  3. Do high intensity interval training (HIIT). While low intensity aerobic exercises can help burn fat, you’ll get more “bang for your buck” with high intensity workouts. Short intense bursts of activities burn more fat for hours after you work out. These exercises are more challenging and can really get your heart rate up, but they don’t last as long as low intensity workouts. They’re perfect for busy schedules and you’ll have more time for stretching and strength training!
  4. Rest. In order to see progress with any physical activity, your body must rest. If you don’t allow your body to absorb the training and repair and rebuild itself, it’ll take longer for you to see your fitness gains and you’ll increase your risk of getting injured. I recommend completely resting for one to two days a week, depending on your fitness goals and abilities.
  5. Manage hydration. When you work out, you sweat! And when you sweat, your muscles and blood lose some of their water. If you lose too much water while you exercise and you don’t replenish that loss, you can put an unnecessary workload on your heart. There’s no need to chug gallons of water – simply sip on it during your workouts and throughout the day to slowly replace what is lost.
  6. Stay consistent. Don’t be a weekend warrior. You can’t get the best results if you completely ignore exercise all week long and then hit the gym hard on Saturday. Your body craves movement every day. If your weekdays are busy, squeeze in shorter or less strenuous workouts during those days and set aside more time for exercising on the weekends. The important thing is to stay active throughout the week.

Whether your main goal is to get in shape or better manage your weight, you need both a balanced, nutritious diet and exercise to help you achieve those goals and stay in tip-top health!

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles's profile picture

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles

Jenn Giles, R.D., C.S.S.D. is all about health and wellness. She has over 15 years’ experience, including a dual master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She supplements all of this with her spin instructor certification and USATriathlon Level I Coach Certification.

Jennifer is passionate about (actually, obsessed with) the sport of triathlon. She has been personally participating in triathlons since 2000 and running road races since 1992. She is a two-time Ironman finisher and has completed countless numerous marathons. She has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite since 2006 and competed as a member of the 2006 Aquaphor/ Sponsored Athlete Team. She was ranked as USAT All American Honorable mention in 2006 and 2011. Jennifer does all of this along side of her husband, Patrick, who is an equally accomplished triathlete and runner. They try as hard as they can to do all of their training and racing together.

She will tell you, however, that her most important, most rewarding and most challenging job is as a mother of four. She knows first hand the challenges of maintaining optimal fitness, overall good health and achieving goals while raising a family - of which good nutrition is the cornerstone.

Most importantly, she knows how to motivate, inspire and challenge athletes based on their own abilities, strengths and everyday lifestyles. She believes there is an athlete in everyone - no matter what their abilities are – and if those abilities are manifold, then there is an even better athlete in there!

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